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Sample records for japan trench subduction

  1. Paleoseismology Along the Japan Trench Subduction Zone: Deep-Sea Sediment Records of Earthquakes in Tohoku

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanamatsu, T.; Ikehara, K.; Strasser, M.; Usami, K.; McHugh, C. M.; Fink, H. G.; Nakamura, Y.; Kodaira, S.

    2014-12-01

    After the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake, we have intensively explored earthquake-induced records in the deep-sea basins close to rupture zones of the 2011 and past earthquakes in Tohoku, Our study area focuses on small terminal basins near the trench for the following reason. Mass transport deposits from up-slope area down into the Japan Trench axis floor during the 2011 event were documented (e. g. Oguri et al., 2013). Similarly past earthquake-induced turbidites were expected to have been deposited in a number of small basins in the trench floor and in a lower slope terrace. Here we introduce our recent results and future prospects for paleoseismology in the Japan Trench. We collected cores from areas that are generally composed of diatomaceous fine grain sediment and fine-grained turbidites. Occasionally, wide spread tephra patches/layers are intercalated in the sediment. In the trench floor, two thick turbidite units below (older) than the 2011 event deposits were identified in up to 10m long sedimentary cores. An intercalated tephra within these turbidite units indicates that turbidites were triggered by historical earthquakes in Tohoku (Ikehara et al., in prep). On the other hand, frequent occurrence of thin-bedded turbidites was identified in the lower slope terrace. Several turbidite layers can be correlated over a wide area by tephra-correlation and matching of paleomagnetic secular variations (Usami et al., in this session). Turbidite-stratigraphy from both locations, the trench and lower slope terrace shows a similar pattern, and seems to be tied to the onland tsunami deposit stratigraphy straightforwardly. These observations suggest that deep-sea turbidite records are more reliable proxy for paleoseimic-stratigraphy of the Tohoku area. Encouraged by the results obtained so far, we plan extensive investigations in the area over the next few years to document effectively the spatiotemporal distribution of earthquake records of Tohoku.

  2. Combined wide-angle and multichannel seismic survey at an asperity of subduction earthquakes in the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kodaira, S.; Miura, S.; Smith, A. J.; Sato, T.; Tsuru, T.; Fujie, G.; Ito, A.; Takahashi, N.; Suyehiro, K.; Kaneda, Y.; Hino, R.; Mochizuki, K.; Kasahara, J.; Kanazawa, T.

    2003-12-01

    Recent progress of seismic wave form inversion revealed overlapping asperities of large earthquakes in the Japan Trench, e.g., the 1994 Sanriku-Haruka-Oki earthquake (M=7.5) and 1968 Tokachi-Oki earthquake (M=7.9). It is also recognized that the epicenters (initial break) of both earthquakes are situated at the trench-ward edge of the asperities, and the aftershocks were observed only around the asperities. Investigating structural factor controlling these asperity and seismicity pattern is believed to provide important and fundamental information to the physics of earthquakes. In August, 2003, we acquired wide-angle and multichannel seismic data covering the entire asperity region. The purpose of this study is to image structures of the asperity, and investigate the structures affecting the distribution of the seismicity pattern. Part of MCS data was processed onboard. We made CDP stacks by applying multiple suppression and poststack time migration. From the migration section of the dip profile, we recognized several key structures related to a subduction process; e.g., 1) the top of subducted oceanic crust can be traced up to 80 km from the trench axis. This reflector is recognized at 10 s twt to 70 km from the axis, rising up to 9s at 75 km then again down to 10 s farther than 75 km, 2) from 30 to 50km and 70 to 75 km, a weak reflector which is parallel to the top of the oceanic crust is identified. This might be the base of subducted crust, 3) located 35 to 45 km from the trench axis are several sub-parallel reflectors at 1 s above the top of the oceanic crust. These sub-parallel reflectors are also recognized at a central part of a strike profile, however there reflectors are not clear at the northern and southern end of the profile.

  3. Seismic heating signatures in the Japan Trench subduction plate-boundary fault zone: evidence from a preliminary rock magnetic `geothermometer'

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Tao; Dekkers, Mark J.; Zhang, Bo

    2016-04-01

    Frictional heating during earthquake rupture reveals important information on earthquake mechanisms and energy dissipation. The amount of annealing varies widely and is, as yet, poorly constrained. Here we use magnetic susceptibility versus temperature measurements during cycling to increasingly elevated temperatures to constrain the maximum temperature a slip zone has experienced. The case study comprises sheared clay cored from the Japan Trench subduction plate-boundary fault zone (décollement), which accommodated the large slip of the 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku-oki earthquake. The décollement was cored during the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 343, the Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST). Heating signatures with estimated maximum temperatures ranging from ˜300 to over 500 °C are determined close to the multiple slip surfaces within the décollement. Since it is impossible to tie a specific slip surface to a certain earthquake, thermal evidence for the cumulative effect of several earthquakes is unveiled. This as yet preliminary rock magnetic `geothermometer' would be a useful tool to detect seismic heating along faults that experienced medium temperature rise, a range which is difficult to assess with other approaches.

  4. The alkaline magma squeezed upward by the plate flexure prior to subduction off the Chile and Japan Trenches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirano, N.; Machida, S.; Abe, N.

    2010-12-01

    The petit-spot monogenetic volcanoes on the NW Pacific Plate represent a new type of volcanism on their tectonic settings (Hirano et al., 2006). The most important feature of petit-spot volcanoes is that they do not derive their heat supply from the deep mantle (in contrast to hotspot volcanoes), despite their occurrence as intra-plate volcanoes. Instead, the magma probably originates within the asthenosphere and erupts along fractures in the lithosphere where it is flexed prior to subduction. Although it is clear that the surface morphology and distribution of petit-spot volcanoes are influenced by cracks in the lithospheric that reach the surface, it remains uncertain whether petit-spot volcanoes form wherever the plate flexes and fractures. The project “Expedition of petit-spot VI” was carried out off the Chile Trench on March 2009 using R/V Mirai in order to find such young volcanoes. The area, off Valparaiso, Chile, is characterized by trench-parallel normal faults (horsts and graben) resulting from extensional bending of the subducting Nazca Plate. An important difference between the area with trench-parallel normal faults and other parts of the subducting plate is the presence of tiny knolls. Dredged rocks at the knoll are highly vesicular, and fresh specimens with quench features are associated with lava lobes and breccias within the pelagic sediments. The rock and bathymetry are similar to the petit-spot volcanoes on the NW Pacific Plate. Therefore, the widespread occurrence of petit-spot is indicated by the discovery of petit-spots at the Nazca Plate. The most important process to occur the petit-spot volcanoes could be the plate flexures and their tectonic forces.

  5. Slip to the Trench for Great Subduction Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mori, J. J.

    2015-12-01

    The 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake had the largest ever recorded fault slip (40 to 60 meters) on the shallow portion of the subduction zone close to the trench. This large displacement was largely unexpected for this region and was mainly responsible for the very large and damaging tsunami along the northeast coast of Honshu. We investigate the possibility of large slip to the trench in great earthquakes for other subduction zones around the world. Since the trench region is generally far offshore, it is often difficult to resolve the amount of slip from onshore geodetic and strong-motion data. We use a variety of observations, including slip distribution models, aftershock locations, local coastal deformation, and tsunami heights to determine which events likely had large amounts of slip close to the trench. Tsunami earthquakes, such as 1992 Nicaragua and 2006 Java likely had large shallow slip. Some typical subduction earthquakes, such as 1968 Tokachi-oki and 2003 Tokachi-oki (located in regions north of the source area of the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake) likely did not.We will discuss possible factors that influence the slip distribution on the shallow area of subduction megathrusts. Using results from the Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST) which sampled the fault in the region of large slip, we can begin to understand the conditions of very large fault slip, such as the characteristic fault zone material and level of friction on the fault.

  6. Structural characters of the Japan Trench subduction zone over the March 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake rupture, based on seafloor geomorphology and reprocessed multichannel seismic reflection data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishiyama, T.; Sato, H.; Kasaya, T.; Kodaira, S.; Abe, S.

    2012-12-01

    We collected and interpreted newly obtained bathymetric data and reprocessed, offshore multichannel seismic reflection data across the Japan Trench subduction zone to continental slope over the March 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake rupture. Bathymetric data gridded at 300 m (average) obtained after the 2011 event covers the 2011 rupture between 37.5N and 40N. Seafloor morphology illuminated by this topographic dataset shows that continental slope west of the subduction deformation front is deformed by (1) en echelon fold and fault scarps on a gently tapered accretionary wedge, (2) > 1500 m high east-facing escarpment that extends for at least 150 km along and subparallel to the trench axis, and (3) pairs of north-trending active normal faults that cut anticlinal crest of (1), each of which extends for about 20 km. Structural interpretation of reprocessed seismic data near the rupture area coupled with geomorphic interpretation shows that fault and fold scarps in accretionary wedge is underlain by shallowly dipping, emergent thrust faults that appear to sole into thin (~500 m thick) hemi-pelagic sediments on the subducting oceanic crust. Large escarpment is also underlain by a moderately dipping thrust fault, where Cretaceous and older rocks are thrust over Neogene sedimentary units comprising accretionary wedges; younger units onlapping onto the folded Neogene sediments at the base of the escarpment appear to be subtly folded upward, suggesting recent activity of the underlying thrust fault. Styles of deformation on the accretionary wedge and thrust trajectories may reflect bends of subducting oceanic crust, marked by reflectors of both overlying hemi-pelagic sediments and the oceanic moho, that is strongly deformed by normal faults presumably caused by extension of the outer-rise to form structural ramp on the basal decollement.

  7. Wide-angle seismic survey in the trench-outer rise region of the central Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujie, G.; Kodaira, S.; Iwamaru, H.; Shirai, T.; Dannowski, A.; Thorwart, M.; Grevemeyer, I.; Morgan, J. P.

    2015-12-01

    Dehydration process within the subducting oceanic plate and expelled water from there affect various subduction-zone processes, including arc volcanism and generation of earthquakes. This implies that the degree of hydration within the incoming oceanic plate just prior to subduction might be a key control factor on the regional variations in subduction zone processes like interplate earthquakes and arc volcanism. Recent advances in seismic structure studies in the trench-outer rise region of the Japan Trench have revealed that seismic velocities within the incoming oceanic plate become lower owing to the plate bending-related faulting, suggesting the hydration of the oceanic plate. If the degree of the oceanic plate hydration is one of key factors controlling the regional variations of the interplate earthquakes, the degree of the oceanic plate hydration just prior to subduction is expected to show the along-trench variation because the interplate seismicity in the forearc region of the Japan Trench show along-trench variations. However, we cannot discuss the along-trench variation of the incoming plate structure because seismic structure studies have been confined only to the northern Japan Trench so far.In 2014 and 2015, JAMSTEC and GEOMAR conducted wide-angle seismic surveys in the trench-outer rise region of the central Japan Trench to reveal the detailed seismic structure of the incoming oceanic plate. The western extension of our survey line corresponds to the epicenter of the 2011 M9 Tohoku earthquakes. We deployed 88 Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBSs) at intervals of 6 km and shot a tuned air-gun array of R/V Kairei at 200 m spacing. In this presentation, we will show the overview of our seismic survey and present seismic structure models obtained by the data of mainly 2014 seismic survey together with the several OBS data from 2015 survey. The preliminary results show P-wave velocity (Vp) within the oceanic crust and mantle decreases toward the trench axis

  8. The Japan Trench and its juncture with the Kuril Trench: cruise results of the Kaiko project, Leg 3

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cadet, J.-P.; Kobayashi, K.; Aubouin, J.; Boulegue, J.; Deplus, C.; Dubois, J.; von, Huene R.; Jolivet, L.; Kanazawa, T.; Kasahara, J.; Koizumi, K.; Lallemand, S.; Nakamura, Y.; Pautot, G.; Suyehiro, K.; Tani, S.; Tokuyama, H.; Yamazaki, T.

    1987-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a detailed survey combining Seabeam mapping, gravity and geomagnetic measurements as well as single-channel seismic reflection observations in the Japan Trench and the juncture with the Kuril Trench during the French-Japanese Kaiko project (northern sector of the Leg 3) on the R/V "Jean Charcot". The main data acquired during the cruise, such as the Seabeam maps, magnetic anomalies pattern, and preliminary interpretations are discussed. These new data cover an area of 18,000 km2 and provide for the first time a detailed three-dimensional image of the Japan Trench. Combined with the previous results, the data indicate new structural interpretations. A comparative study of Seabeam morphology, single-channel and reprocessed multichannel records lead to the conclusion that along the northern Japan Trench there is little evidence of accretion but, instead, a tectonic erosion of the overriding plate. The tectonic pattern on the oceanic side of the trench is controlled by the creation of new normal faults parallel to the Japan Trench axis, which is a direct consequence of the downward flexure of the Pacific plate. In addition to these new faults, ancient normal faults trending parallel to the N65?? oceanic magnetic anomalies and oblique to the Japan trench axis are reactivated, so that two directions of normal faulting are observed seaward of the Japan Trench. Only one direction of faulting is observed seaward of the Kuril Trench because of the parallelism between the trench axis and the magnetic anomalies. The convergent front of the Kuril Trench is offset left-laterally by 20 km relative to those of the Japan Trench. This transform fault and the lower slope of the southernmost Kuril Trench are represented by very steep scarps more than 2 km high. Slightly south of the juncture, the Erimo Seamount riding on the Pacific plate, is now entering the subduction zone. It has been preceded by at least another seamount as revealed by magnetic

  9. Seismic heterogeneity and anisotropy of the Honshu arc from the Japan Trench to the Japan Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Zhouchuan; Zhao, Dapeng; Wang, Liangshu

    2011-03-01

    We determined P- and S-wave tomography and P-wave anisotropic structure under the Honshu arc from the Japan Trench to the backarc area under the Japan Sea using 310 749 P- and 150 563 S-wave arrivals from 4655 local earthquakes recorded by 982 seismograph stations. Arrival times from 1451 suboceanic earthquakes relocated with sP depth phases enable us to determine the structures under the Pacific Ocean and Japan Sea, which expand the study region from the land area to the whole arc from the Japan Trench to the Japan Sea with a width of more than 500 km. The results show strong heterogeneities above the subducting Pacific slab under the Pacific Ocean and most large thrust-type earthquakes occurred in the high-velocity areas where the Pacific slab and the overriding continental plate may be strongly coupled. Low-velocity (low-V) zones are imaged in the mantle wedge with significant along-arc variations under the volcanic front. The mantle-wedge low-V zone extends westwards under the Japan Sea and it is connected with the subducting Pacific slab at depths of 150-200 km under the backarc. The results indicate that the H2O and fluids brought downwards by the subducting Pacific slab are released into the mantle wedge by dehydration and are subsequently transported to the surface by the upwelling flow in the mantle wedge. Significant P-wave anisotropic anomalies are revealed under the Honshu arc. The predominant fast velocity direction (FVD) is E-W in the mantle wedge while it is N-S in the subducting Pacific slab. The anisotropy in the mantle wedge is the result of deformation caused by the subduction of the Pacific plate and the induced mantle-wedge convection, while the FVD pattern in the middle of the mantle wedge argues for the 3-D mantle flow or the specific alignment of the olivine in the partial-melting mantle. The N-S (trench-parallel) FVD in the subducting Pacific slab represents either the original fossil anisotropy when the Pacific plate formed or the trench

  10. Oblique convergence and deformation along the Kuril and Japan trenches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Demets, Charles

    1992-01-01

    The hypothesis that present-day deformation within the southern Kuril forearc is driven by oblique subduction of the Pacific plate is tested using 397 horizontal slip directions derived from shallow-thrust earthquakes from the Kuril and Japan trenches for the period 1963-1991. A simple two-plate model fits the 397 slip vectors significantly worse than a model that permits strike-slip motion of the southern Kuril forearc relative to the overlying plate. Weighted, mean slip directions along the southern Kuril trench are systematically rotated toward the direction orthogonal to the trench, which implies that the net convergence is partitioned into less oblique subduction and trench-parallel displacement of the southern Kuril forearc. The angular discrepancy between the observed slip direction and the direction predicted by the NUVEL-1 Pacific-North America Euler vector implies that the southern Kuril forearc translates 6-11 mm/yr to the southwest relative to the overlying North American plate. These results are consistent with geologically, geodetically, and seismologically observed convergence at the leading edge of the forearc sliver in southern Kokkaido and with previously inferred extension at the trailing edge of the sliver, which is located at the Bussol Strait at 46 deg N.

  11. Dehydration of incoming sediments at the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimizu, M.; Kameda, J.; Hamada, Y.; Kimura, G.

    2013-12-01

    In the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake, the seismic fault slip propagated close to the axis of the Japan Trench and caused an extremely large tsunami (Ide et al., 2011). It is generally considered that ductile deformation of unconsolidated sediments is commonly prominent in the aseismic shallow parts of the subduction zone. Therefore, it is unknown how the seismic rupture reached the nearby trench axis. The plate-boundary megathrust of the Japan Trench is characterized by a prominent seismic reflector, suggesting that the megathrust may host highly pressurized fluids (Kimura et al., 2012). Based on the result of Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) Leg 56 at site 436 (reference, 1977), it is expected that the subducting sediments at the Japan Trench mainly consist of vitric diatomaceous and radiolarian ooze with pelagic clay intervals. Opal-A in the pelagic sediments transforms into quartz, and smectite transforms into illite. Kinetic modeling demonstrated that these reactions will progress with active dehydration at 50-60 km horizontally away from the deformation front and with a temperature of 100-120°C. This region coincides with the plate-boundary marked by a prominent seismic reflector, and suggests that the main source of highly pressured fluids is the dehydration of pelagic sediments (Kimura et al., 2012). However, detailed dehydration processes are still unclear mainly due to lack of quantitative sediment composition data. Therefore, in this study, we examined whole rock composition including amorphous silica of the core samples recovered at site 436 as well as those from the Japan Trench by the IODP 343 Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST). Analysis of amorphous silica at site 436 documents that dehydration of the sediments is able to contribute to excess pressure at the shallow part of the megathrust if they underthrust as the same composition. At the drilling site of JFAST, a plate-boundary shear zone was identified around 820 mbsf, which was supposed to

  12. Ocean bottom seismic and tsunami network along the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uehira, K.; Kanazawa, T.; Noguchi, S.; Aoi, S.; Kunugi, T.; Matsumoto, T.; Okada, Y.; Sekiguchi, S.; Shiomi, K.; Shinohara, M.; Yamada, T.

    2012-12-01

    Huge tsunami, which was generated by the 2011 off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake of M9 subduction zone earthquake, attacked the coastal areas in the north-eastern Japan and gave severe casualties (about 20,000 people) and property damages in the areas. The present tsunami warning system, based on land seismic observation data, did not work effectively in the case of the M9 earthquake. For example, real tsunami height was higher than that of forecast by this system. It is strongly acknowledged that marine observation data is necessary to make tsunami height estimation more accurately. Therefore, new ocean bottom observation project has started in 2011 that advances the countermeasures against earthquake and tsunami disaster related to subduction zone earthquake and outer rise earthquake around Japan Trench and Kuril Trench. A large scale ocean bottom cabled observation network is scheduled to be deployed around Japan Trench and Kuril Trench by 2015. The network is consisted of 154 ocean bottom observation stations. Ocean bottom fiber optic cables, about 5100 km in total length, connect the stations to land. Observation stations with tsunami meters and seismometers will be placed on the seafloor off Hokkaido, off Tohoku and off Kanto, in a spacing of about 30 km almost in the direction of East-West (perpendicular to the trench axis) and in a spacing of about 50 - 60 km almost in the direction of North-South (parallel to the trench axis). Two or more sets of tsunami meters and seismometers will be installed in one station for redundancy. Two sets of three component servo accelerometers, a set of three component quartz type accelerometers (frequency outputs), a set of three component velocity seismometers will be installed, and two sets of quartz type depth sensors (frequency outputs) will be installed as tsunami meters. Tsunami data and seismometer data will be digitized at sampling frequency of 10 Hz and 100 Hz, respectively, and will be added clock

  13. Flexural bending of the oceanic plates near the Mariana, Japan, and Philippines trenches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, M.; Lin, J.; Zhang, F.

    2013-12-01

    We conducted a detailed analysis of flexural bending of oceanic plates near the Mariana, Japan, and Philippines trenches to better understand the similarities and differences among these major subduction systems in the western Pacific Ocean. For each of the systems, we first obtained a 3-D deformation surface of the subducting plate by removing from the seafloor bathymetry the estimated topographic effects of sediment thickness, seamounts, and age-related thermal subsidence. We then calculated theoretical models of plate deformation along a series of trench-perpendicular profiles and inverted for the vertical force (Vo) and bending moment (Mo) at the trench axis, as well as variations in the elastic plate thickness (Te) that can best explain the observed plate deformation. From analysis of profiles across all trenches, we found that Te is reduced significantly from a value seaward of the outer rise (TeMax) to a value near the trench (TeMin), with the transition at distance Xr from the trench axis. Results of analysis reveal that the Mariana trench has the greatest amplitude of flexural bending (i.e., the greatest trench depth) in the range of 1.39 - 5.67 km and an average of 2.91 km, comparing to the Japan trench (range of 1.0 - 4.08 km, average of 2.59 km) and the Philippines trench (range of 0.48 - 4.04 km, average of 2.41 km). In contrast, the Philippines trench has the relatively narrow trench width (Xr range of 36 - 107 km, average of 68 km), in comparison to the Japan trench (Xr range of 47 - 122 km, average of 83 km) and the Mariana trench (Xr range of 60 - 125 km, average of 92 km). The best-fitting models reveal that for the Mariana trench, the effective elastic thickness is reduced significantly from a value seaward of the outer rise (TeMax = 45 - 55 km) to a value trench-ward of the outer rise region (TeMin = 19 - 40 km), with a corresponding reduction in Te in the range of 20 - 60%. In comparison, for the Japan trench, TeMax = 35 - 55 km, TeMin = 14

  14. Dehydration of incoming sediments at the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimizu, M.; Kameda, J.; Hamada, Y.; Tanikawa, W.; Kimura, G.

    2014-12-01

    In the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake, the seismic fault slip propagated to the trench axis and caused an extremely large tsunami (Ide et al., 2011). Ductile deformation of unconsolidated sediments is commonly prominent in the aseismic shallow parts of the subduction zone. It is unknown how the seismic rupture reached the nearby trench axis. Based on the result of Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) Leg 56 at site 436 (reference, 1977), it is expected that the subducting sediments at the Japan Trench mainly consist of vitric diatomaceous and radiolarian ooze with pelagic clay intervals. Opal and smectite in the pelagic sediments transform respectively into quartz and illite. Kinetic modeling demonstrated that these reactions will progress with active dehydration at 50-60 km horizontally away from the trench axis and with a temperature of 100-120°C. This region coincides with the plate-boundary marked by a prominent seismic reflector. It suggests that the main source of highly pressured fluids is the dehydration of pelagic sediments (Kimura et al., 2012). However, detailed dehydration processes are still unclear mainly due to lack of quantitative sediment composition data. Therefore, in this study, we examined whole rock composition including amorphous silica of the core samples recovered at site 436 as well as those from the Japan Trench by the IODP 343 Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST). Analysis of amorphous silica at the drilling site of J-FAST documents that dehydration of the sediments is able to contribute to excess pressure at the shallow part of the megathrust if they underthrust as the same composition. At the drilling site of JFAST, a plate-boundary shear zone was identified around 820 mbsf (Chester et al., 2012). Our analysis showed that the shear zone is characterized by extremely high concentration of smectite (~70 wt%).These results suggest that the abundant smectite may have possibly fostered localized rupture and slip during the earthquake

  15. Aftershocks of the December 7, 2012 intraplate doublet near the Japan Trench axis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obana, Koichiro; Kodaira, Shuichi; Nakamura, Yasuyuki; Sato, Takeshi; Fujie, Gou; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Yamamoto, Yojiro

    2014-12-01

    On December 7, 2012, a pair of large Mw 7.2 intraplate earthquakes occurred near the Japan Trench axis off Miyagi, northeast Japan. This doublet consisted of a deep reverse-faulting event followed by a shallow normal-faulting event. Aftershock observations using conventional and newly developed ultra-deep ocean bottom seismographs in the trench axis area showed that the shallow normal-faulting event occurred in the subducting Pacific plate just landward of the trench axis. The shallow normal-faulting aftershock activity indicated that in-plate tension in the incoming/subducting Pacific plate extends to a depth of at least 30 km, which is deeper than before the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake, whereas in-plate compression occurs at depths of more than 50 km. Hence, we concluded that the neutral plane of the in-plate stress is located between depths of 30 and 50 km near the trench axis.

  16. Precision evaluation for intensive GPS acoustic measurements along Japan trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kido, M.; Fujimoto, H.; Osada, Y.; Ohta, Y.; Tadokoro, K.; Watanabe, T.; Nagai, S.; Yasuda, K.; Okuda, T.; Yamamoto, J.

    2013-12-01

    After the Tohoku-oki earthquake in 2011, researchers recognized the importance of the state of inter-plate coupling close to the trench for giant earthquakes, in where seafloor geodetic surveys were few or not available. To overcome this limitation, we have developed GPS/acoustic instrument for greater depth up to 6000m, which can cover the region close to the trench for most subduction zones. MEXT, Japan promotes to construct a network of GPS/acoustic survey sites along the Japan trench to elucidate post-seismic behavior after the giant earthquake. In 2012, research group in Tohoku and Nagoya Universities constructed 20 new survey sites along the Japan trench and started their initial positioning. Three to six transponders were installed for each site, which were 86 transponders in total. The network covers large portion of the Japan trench, mainly along the deep land-side of the trench, covering the region of expected significant afterslip as well as of the large coseismic slip. In this year second phase surveys are planned to detect displacement of roughly 1-yesr since the last survey. These are the first intensive surveys that we have never been experienced, and with new survey style. Therefore, in advance to the second phase survey, we summarize the first phase survey in 2012 in the presentation. As one of the most important key to obtain precise positioning of seafloor transponders is how to estimate horizontal variation of sound speed in ocean, which are neglected in the past analysis. For this purpose, some of the sites consist of six transponders, with which such variation can be potentially estimated. For this context, in the second phase surveys, we are going to introduce automatic surface vehicle to enable simultaneous measurement from two points from sea surface, which will provide information of the horizontal variation in sound speed even for three or four transponders. In addition we have made both moving and stationary surveys, in which we can

  17. Paleoseismology off northern Japan: Sediments in the Japan Trench record earthquake activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fink, H. G.; Ikehara, K.; Kanamatsu, T.; Nagahashi, Y.; Koelling, M.; Strasser, M.; Wefer, G.

    2013-12-01

    The Japan Trench subduction zone has repeatedly been affected by large earthquakes as most recently in 2011 by the giant magnitude 9 Tohoku-Oki earthquake. Several studies indicate that the 2011 earthquake has induced large seafloor displacements and triggered submarine landslides and gravity flows. The depression of the Japan Trench floor acts as sediment trap, where earthquake triggered mass flows originating from the landward slope are deposited. Thus, the deep Trench floor (>7500 m water depth) is a suitable area to trace the paleoseismicity in the region. During the R/V SONNE cruise (SO219A) in 2012, sediment cores have been collected east of the 2011 earthquake epicenter in a 60 km north-south transect along the Japan Trench floor axis, as well as from a small basin on the upper mid slope. The sediment cores contain several turbidite sequences (few cm to m thick), mainly revealing a coarse sand layer on an erosive base and a gradually fining upward to hemipelagic diatomaceous mud. Tephrochronological analyses on intercalated ash layers within the records provide an age control and show that the cores cover the past ~15 ka. Detailed analyses of these records, by using their sedimentological and lithological characteristics, their physical properties (Multi Sensor Core Logging, MSCL) as well as their elemental composition (X-ray Fluorescence, XRF) allow to characterize and to identify specific turbidite units. We observe particular turbidite units with the same characteristics in different cores along the trench axis and on the mid slope. Besides the top-unit turbidite, being related to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, we detect a widespread unique calcareous nanno fossil bearing turbidite mud as well as some sand turbidite units of similar elemental composition within the records. Their large spatial extent suggests earthquake related trigger mechanisms. Thus, these event deposits sampled from the deep Japan Trench provide important information on the paleoseismic

  18. Subduction of the Ogasawara Plateau in the Southern Izu-Ogasawara (Bonin) Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miura, R.; Nakamura, Y.; Tokuyama, H.; Tamaki, K.; Koda, K.

    2002-12-01

    The Ogasawara Plateau is a topographic high located on the Pacific plate at the junction of the Izu-Ogasawara Trench and the Mariana Trench. The plateau has 2000 to 3000 m of relief above the ocean floor, and several guyots rest on it. This plateau is the largest subducting seamount in the Western Pacific area. In November 2000, multi-channel seismic reflection data of 3 EW and 4 NS survey lines were collected by M/V Geco Emerald, chartered by Metal Mining Agency of Japan and Japan National Oil Company, in the southern Izu-Ogasawara (Bonin) Trench area,. Seismic reflection data were acquired using a 240-channel streamer of 6000 m length and 134.4 l air gun seismic source. The seismic source was fired every 50 m, except for the line D00-1, which was fired every 100 m due to depth constraints. We processed 3 EW lines (D00-1, "typical" subduction of oceanic plate; D00-2, central part of subducting Ogasawara Plateau; D00-3, southern part of subducting Ogasawara Plateau). Processing included f-k filtering to suppress multiple, followed by common mid-point (CMP) stacking. Post-stack time migration was applied after CMP stacking. These three seismic profiles clarify the geologic structure of the subducting Ogasawara Plateau and the adjacent area. There is no evidence for compressional features such as thrusts or folds in the plateau and the adjacent ocean floor. Normal faults, probably formed during bending of the subducting oceanic plate, are commonly observed in the seaward (Pacific) plate. In contrast, several thrusts are observed in the frontal part of the landward (Philippine Sea) plate, and a very small and accretionary prism is also observed. The top of the subducting plateau is located beneath a fore-arc serpentinite seamount on the Philippine Sea Plate. This observation indicates that the Ogasawara Plateau has been subducting beneath the landward plate, and is not accreting to the overriding plate. The structural features of the plateau and the deformed landward

  19. Trench Advance By the Subduction of Buoyant Features - Application to the Izu-Bonin-Marianas Arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goes, S. D. B.; Fourel, L.; Morra, G.

    2014-12-01

    Most subduction trenches retreat, not only today but throughout the Cenozoic. However, a few trenches clearly advance during part of the evolution, including Izu-Bonin Marianas (IBM) and Kermadec. Trench retreat is well understood as a basic consequence of slab pull, but it is debated what causes trench advance. The IBM trench underwent a complex evolution: right after its initiation, it rotated clockwise, leading to very fast retreat in the north and slow retreat in the south. But since 10-15 Ma, IBM trench motions have switched to advance at the southern end, and since 5 Ma also the northern end is advancing. Based on 2-D subduction models, it has been proposed proposed that the change in age of the subducting plate at the IBM trench (from 40-70 m.y. at the initiation of the trench 45 m.y. ago to 100-140 m.y. lithosphere subducting at the trench today) and its effect on plate strength could explain the transition from trench retreat to trench advance, and that the age gradient (younger in the north and older in the south) could explain the rotation of the trench. However, with new 3-D coupled fluid-solid subduction model where we can include such lateral age gradients, we find that this does not yield the observed behaviour. Instead, we propose an alternative mechanism, involving the subduction of the buoyant Caroline Island Ridge at the southern edge of the Mariana trench and show that it can explain both trench motion history and the current morphology of the IBM slab as imaged by seismic tomography.

  20. Seismic Tomography for the Crust and Upper Mantle behind the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Z.

    2014-12-01

    The Pacific plate subducts WNW under the Eurasian plates with a ~30° angle of dip and a rate of ~8 cm/yr from the Japan-Kuril Trench. The Kuril-NE Japan arc of the uppermost mantle, overlying the subducting Pacific slab, is the locus of important processes, including serpentinization of the forearc mantle wedge, repeated genesis of megathrust earthquakes, slab dehydration, arc magmatism and interplate coupling. To improve our knowledge of crustal and upper mantle structures through tomographic imaging, we determined the three-dimensional (3-D) velocity (Vp, Vs) and Vp/Vs structures under the Kuril-NE Japan subduction zone. The Vp, Vs and Vp/Vs models provide compelling evidence for a highly hydrated and serpentinized forearc mantle and the fluids related to low-velocity and high-Vp/Vs anomalies associated with the slab dehydration. Significant slow anomalous Vp and Vs with a high-Vp/Vs ratio are clearly imaged along the volcanic front with an extended depth of ~100 km under the Kuril-NE Japan arc, showing good consistency with the results of previous studies. This is caused mainly by the fluids associated with the extensive dehydration of the subducting Pacific slab. Fluid-related anomalies under the Kuril-NE Japan arc system, attributed to various processes such as slab dehydration and serpentinization of the forearc mantle wedge, are contributed mainly by arc magmatism, interplate coupling and the repeated generation of megathrust earthquakes. The characteristic distribution of high and low Vp/Vs in the forearc continental crust along the trench-parallel direction may reflects the spatial heterogeneity of the amount of the subducted water which related to the difference of the sedimentary unit and seismic activity in the oceanic crust. Our study demonstrates that the directly optimization of Vp/Vs tomographic procedure provides more stable and reliable Vp/Vs image than previous method.

  1. Mechanism for Normal Faulting in the Subducting Plate at the Mariana Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Z.; Lin, J.; Behn, M. D.; Olive, J. A. L.

    2014-12-01

    We investigate the characteristics of normal faulting between the trench and outer rise in the subducting Pacific plate through analysis of high-resolution multi-beam bathymetry and geophysical data and geodynamic modeling. Analysis of multi-beam bathymetry data reveals significant variations in normal faulting characteristics along the Mariana trench: (1) The vast majority of the observed surface normal faulting scarps are observed to be sub-parallel to the local strike of the Mariana trench axis, indicating that the orientation of normal faults is predominantly controlled by subduction-related stresses rather than by pre-existing abyssal hill fabrics. (2) Trench-parallel normal fault scarps become apparant as the subducting plate approaches the outer rise of the Mariana trench, indicating that normal faulting initiates in this region. (3) Along the Mariana trench, the Challenger Deep region is associated with the greatest trench depth and largest average values of normal fault throw, while regions with seamounts near the trench axis show the smallest average values of fault throw. To explore the mechanisms that control normal faulting in a subducting plate, we perform numerical simulations of elasto-plastic plate subjected to tectonic loading, bending, and horizontal forces from slab pull. Modeling results suggest that bending-induced extensional stresses in the upper plate reaches maximum values near the outer rise, consistent with the onset of normal faulting in this region. However, bending alone does not predict the continued growth of normal faults toward the trench. We hypothesize that this additional fault growth could be related to (1) tectonic stresses induced by steep topographic slopes; and/or (2) slab pulling forces that are originated in the upper mantle due to the negative buoyancy of a subducted slab but are transmitted to the shallower part of the lithospheric plate prior to its subduction.

  2. Along-trench variations in the seismic structure of the incoming Pacific plate at the outer rise of the northern Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujie, Gou; Kodaira, Shuichi; Sato, Takeshi; Takahashi, Tsutomu

    2016-01-01

    To investigate along-trench variations in the seismic structure of the incoming oceanic plate and their effect on water transportation by the oceanic plate, we conducted a wide-angle seismic survey of a trench-parallel transect 270 km long on the outer rise of the northern Japan Trench. The resulting seismic structure models show that the central part of the transect is characterized by rough topography, thick oceanic crust, low seismic velocities, and high Vp/Vs ratios, suggesting pervasive fracturing and high water content (hydration) there. These observations are consistent with the presence of an ancient fracture zone associated with ridge propagation. The trenchward extension of this fracture zone corresponds to an area of low interplate seismicity, low seismic velocities, and high Vp/Vs ratio around the depth of the subduction interface. Our results suggest that this ancient scar on the oceanic plate influences along-trench variations in interplate seismic coupling through its effect on water transportation.

  3. Heat-flow determination in three DSDP boreholes near the Japan trench

    SciTech Connect

    Burch, T.K.; Langseth, M.G.

    1981-10-10

    The first deep borehole determinations of temperature gradients and heat flow of the landward wall of the Japan Trench and forearc were made on IPOD DSDP leg 57. These heat flow values are based on temperature logs corrected to equilibrium, using a detailed model of the drilling disturbance. Heat flow values on a deeply submerged terrace, landward of the trench slope break are 28 and 32 mW m/sup -2/. A measurement in the midslope terrace basin on the landward wall of the trench yielded a value of 22 mW m/sup -2/. The results are in good agreement with earlier seafloor measurements and indicate that most of the forearc area is characterized by heat flow about one half of that over oceanic lithosphere seaward of the trench. Our observations indicate only a small increase of heat flow from the trench to the volcanic arc, in agreement with thermal models, which suggests that the subduction of the relatively cold oceanic plate continues to dominate the temperature structure for distances of up to 250 km landward of the trench. The temperature profile in the borehole on the midslope terrace indicates possible vertical flow of pore waters. Hundreds of conductivity determinations were made using a new technique.

  4. Low Intensity Characteristic of Plate-Boundary S-S Reflections Within a Region of Strong Plate-Boundary P-P Reflections and low Seismicity Along the Japan Trench Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mochizuki, K.; Kasahara, J.; Hino, R.; Nishino, M.; Yamada, T.; Shinohara, M.; Kanazawa, T.

    2003-12-01

    It has been pointed out that the epicenters of the microearthquakes along the forearc slope of the Japan Trench are not uniformly distributed but clustered in seismically active zones that are oriented perpendicular to the trench axis. One of the clear seismic-aseismic boundaries of such seismic clusters can be identified in latitude 39° N. A seismic survey was conducted in 1996 with one profile running across the boundary and parallel to the trench axis, and a P-wave velocity structure model was obtained by travel-time inversion (Fujie, 1999). A strong anti-correlation between the seismicity and the intensity of the plate-boundary P-P reflected waves was found: strong plate-boundary P-P reflected waves were observed in a region where seismicity is quite low, and vice versa (Fujie et al., 2002). They discussed that a thin layer of low P-wave velocities (3~4 km/s) with its thickness up to a few hundred meters along the plate boundary could explain the intensity of the reflections. Results of finite-difference waveform calculations support this estimation (Moghaddam, 2002). Another seismic survey was carried out in 2001 with 7 trench-parallel profiles in the same region as the 1996 survey in order to map and verify the strong anti-correlation. The strong anti-correlation was observed over the seismic-aseismic boundary region, and it was inferred that a thin layer with low P-wave velocities along the plate boundary exists beneath the aseismic zone in the region. Understanding the characteristics of plate-boundary S-S reflections in addition to those of P-P reflections would greatly help put better constraints on the physical properties along the plate boundary. Substantial P-to-S conversion at the base of the sedimentary layers was observed. S-wave velocities, especially those of the sedimentary layers, should be precisely determined in order to have good estimates of the arrival times of the plate-boundary S-S reflected waves. The S-wave velocities of the

  5. Subduction of a buoyant plateau at the Manila Trench: Tomographic evidence and geodynamic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Jianke; Zhao, Dapeng; Dong, Dongdong

    2016-02-01

    We determined P-wave tomographic images by inverting a large number of arrival-time data from 2749 local earthquakes and 1462 teleseismic events, which are used to depict the three-dimensional morphology of the subducted Eurasian Plate along the northern segment of the Manila Trench. Dramatic changes in the dip angle of the subducted Eurasian Plate are revealed from the north to the south, being consistent with the partial subduction of a buoyant plateau beneath the Luzon Arc. Slab tears may exist along the edges of the buoyant plateau within the subducted plate induced by the plateau subduction, and the subducted lithosphere may be absent at depths greater than 250 km at ˜19°N and ˜21°N. The subducted buoyant plateau is possibly oriented toward NW-SE, and the subducted plate at ˜21°N is slightly steeper than that at ˜19°N. These results may explain why the western and eastern volcanic chains in the Luzon Arc are separated by ˜50 km at ˜18°N, whereas they converge into a single volcanic chain northward, which may be related to the oblique subduction along the Manila Trench caused by the northwestern movement of the Philippine Sea Plate. A low-velocity zone is revealed at depths of 20-200 km beneath the Manila Accretionary Prism at ˜22°N, suggesting that the subduction along the Manila Trench may stop there and the collision develops northward. The Taiwan Orogeny may originate directly from the subduction of the buoyant plateau, because the initial time of the Taiwan Orogeny is coincident with that of the buoyant plateau subduction.

  6. Incoming sediments and its deformation observed on high resolution seismic profiles in the northern Japan Trench axis region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Y.; Kodaira, S.; Yamashita, M.; Miura, S.; Fujie, G.; Strasser, M.; Ikehara, K.; Kanamatsu, T.; Usami, K.

    2014-12-01

    The Japan Trench axis area has been intensively investigated since the 2011 Tohoku earthquake because the large slip reached to the vicinity of the trench axis. We have conducted three high resolution seismic cruises in the northern part of the Japan Trench axis region. The trench area between 38 - 40 N was covered by 81 E-W seismic lines with 2 - 4 km line interval. A 1200 m-long, 192 channel streamer cable and a cluster gun array with volume of 320 - 380 inch3 were used for these surveys. Post-stack time migrated sections provide detailed image of sediments above the subducting Pacific plate and its deformation by the bending-related normal faults on the outer trench slope, thrust faults and possible slope failures in the trench axis and inner trench slope. The deformation style of the sediments in the trench axis shows variation along the trench strike. To the south of the survey area in 38 - 39 N, the trench axis shows imbricate thrust-and-fold packages, which could be related to the interaction between the frontal prism toe and horst-graben structure. To the north around 40 N, the trench axis is located on a horst, and frontal thrust and imbricate structure are clearly observed on the seismic profiles. Around 39.5 N, the trench inner slope is very steep. It is suggested that slope failures as rotational slumps have occurred in this area. The trench axis is filled by slump deposits and debris with chaotic acoustic characteristics, which is similar with that in the seaward portion of the frontal prism. Seismic profiles on the outer trench slope show the variation on the thickness of the incoming sediments along the trench strike. It is thick, ~ 500 ms, in the northern part of the survey area around 40 N, and it is ~ 250 ms in the southern part around 38 N. The thickness is varied in the area between 38.5 - 39.5 N, and is very thin at 39.5 N. Sediments on the trench outer slope basically conformably cover the igneous basement of the Pacific plate and they were

  7. Seismo-turbidites in the Japan Trench inner slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Usami, K.; Ikehara, K.; Kanamatsu, T.; McHugh, C. M.

    2014-12-01

    The Japan Trench is a part of the Pacific-North America plate boundary, and is a seismically active region where the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake occurred. We collected 24 piston cores from small basins of the Japan Trench inner slope (37.5-40 N, 143.5-144.16 E, 4000-6000 m in water depth) during the cruise NT13-19 with R/V Natsushima, to investigate recurrence intervals of earthquakes in this area, based on the analysis of the turbidite record. Many fine-grained turbidites are observed in the cores. High sedimentation rates in this area preserve the turbidites well. Turbidites are more frequently intercalated in the cores recovered from the southern part of the area. On the other hand, several turbidite layers can be correlated widely in the northern part of the area, assisted by tephrostratigraphy and matching of paleomagnetic secular variations. Moreover, some of these turbidites are considered to be correlative to the reported onshore tsunami deposits along the Sanriku-Sendai coast. We will report the occurrence, characteristics and correlation of seismo-turbidites in the Japan Trench inner slope. The evidence suggests that the Japan Trench area is an ideal site for application of turbidite paleoseismology.

  8. Deformation structures in the frontal prism near the Japan Trench: Insights from sandbox models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saha, Puspendu; Bose, Santanu

    2016-04-01

    Subduction of bathymetric features in the oceanic plate, e.g., seamounts, aseismic ridges, volcanic plateaus has a strong influence on the development of morphological features and deformation structures in the overriding plate. For example, the subduction of seamounts correlates to a steeper surface slope in the inner wedge than that in the outer wedge. Conversely, the subduction of aseismic ridges causes the development of a steep outer wedge slope and with almost flat inner wedge. Despite the dominance of horst-and-graben structure at many trenches, its influence on frontal wedge growth remains relatively unexplored. We have used sandbox experiments to explore the mechanics of the frontal prism structures near the Japan Trench documented by seismic reflection data and new borehole from IODP Expedition 343 (JFAST). This study investigated the effects of down-dip (normal to trench axis) variations in frictional resistance along a decollement on the structural development of the frontal wedges near subduction zones. Interpretation of seismic reflection images indicates that the wedge has been affected by trench-parallel horst-and-graben structures in the subducting plate. We performed sandbox experiments with down-dip patches of relatively high and low friction on the basal decollement to simulate the effect of variable coupling over subducting oceanic plate topography. Our experiments suggest that high frictional resistance on the basal fault can produce the internal deformation and fault-and-fold structures observed in the frontal wedge by the JFAST expedition. Subduction of patches of varying friction cause a temporal change in the style of internal deformation within the wedge and gave rise to two distinctive structural domains, separated by a break in the surface slope of the wedge: (i) complexly deformed inner wedge with steep surface slope, and (ii) shallow taper outer wedge with a sequence of imbricate thrusts. Our experiments further demonstrate that the

  9. Structure and Kinematic History of the Japan Trench toe off Tohoku

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boston, B.; Moore, G. F.; Nakamura, Y.; Kodaira, S.

    2012-12-01

    Recent slip models show that the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake (Mw 9.0) ruptured to the trench. Differential bathymetric analysis from before and after the event confirms ~ 50 m of seaward displacement near the toe, which is predominantly responsible for the destructive tsunami. Interpretation of high-resolution depth migrated seismic reflection data across the Japan Trench near the 2011 earthquake epicentral region provide the structural context for subduction-related deformation. To constrain possible structural interpretations, we conducted fault restorations using Landmark's LithoTect software. The subducting Pacific plate is covered by ~400 m of pelagic and hemipelagic sediment. The outer trench slope margin is characterized largely by basement-displacing flexural related normal faults that generate horsts and graben. The morphologic trench in this area is a graben, conjugate to a subducted landward horst and an incoming seaward horst block. Seismic correlation across the seaward margin horst reveals displacement of ~140 m and shows that a small amount, less than ~50 m, of trench fill, likely deposited by slumping. The incoming sediment section in the trench is cut by landward-dipping thrusts that sole into a basal décollement, which ascends over the landward horst block, appearing to connect with the surface identified as the décollement at the J-FAST drill site. This décollement step down of ~200 m into the graben sediments is clearly imaged as a strong reflector with up to a ~20 degree seaward dip. Restoration along this fault plane step down creates an original steep inclination for the local seafloor, a potential driving force for slumping. Furthermore, this rupture pathway of down stepping into a graben may be a mechanism for the farther landward slumps and wedge morphology. Uplift at the toe is recorded by deformed offset horizons that coincide with local topographic highs of the seafloor. These compressional structures are interpreted to consist of

  10. Along-trench variation in water contents within the incoming Pacific plate offshore northeastern Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujie, G.; Kodaira, S.; Sato, T.; Takahashi, T.

    2012-12-01

    In the northern Japan trench subduction zone, a number of great interplate earthquakes, such as the 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku-oki earthquakes, have repeatedly occurred. It has been pointed out that the seafloor roughness of the incoming Pacific plate is well correlated with the distribution of large interplate earthquakes in this subduction zone; The region where the seafloor is rough (well-developed horst and graben structure) is correlated with relatively weak interplate coupling, and the region where the seafloor is relatively smooth is correlated with large interplate earthquakes. In 2010, to clarify the regional variation in the seismic structure within the incoming Pacific plate, we conducted an extensive wide-angle seismic reflection and refraction survey in the outer trench region along the northern Japan trench. We established two along-trench seismic experimental lines (about 250 km long) and deployed Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBSs) at intervals of 6 km and fired a large airgun array (total volume 200 L) of the R/V Kairei at 200 m intervals. During the airgun shooting, we towed a 444-channel hydrophone streamer (6km long) and obtained MCS reflection data. We modeled both P-wave and S-wave velocity structures by the traveltime inversion, and calculated the Vp/Vs ratio directly from the Vp and Vs models. Obtained seismic structure models, Vp, Vs and Vp/Vs ratio show significant along-trench variations. As expected, in the region where the seafloor of the incoming plate is rough, seismic velocities within the oceanic crust and oceanic uppermost mantle are low and the Vp/Vs ratio is high. In contrast, in the region where the seafloor is relatively smooth, seismic velocities are relatively high and the Vp/Vs ratio stays normal value. This observation suggests that water contents of the incoming oceanic plate is high in the region where the seafloor is rough, and that the amount of water that is being subducted within the incoming plate is correlated with the

  11. Trench-parallel flow and seismic anisotropy in the Mariana and Andean subduction systems.

    PubMed

    Kneller, Erik A; van Keken, Peter E

    2007-12-20

    Shear-wave splitting measurements above the mantle wedge of the Mariana and southern Andean subduction zones show trench-parallel seismically fast directions close to the trench and abrupt rotations to trench-perpendicular anisotropy in the back arc. These patterns of seismic anisotropy may be caused by three-dimensional flow associated with along-strike variations in slab geometry. The Mariana and Andean subduction systems are associated with the largest along-strike variations of slab geometry observed on Earth and are ideal for testing the link between slab geometry and solid-state creep processes in the mantle. Here we show, with fully three-dimensional non-newtonian subduction zone models, that the strong curvature of the Mariana slab and the transition to shallow slab dip in the Southern Andes give rise to strong trench-parallel stretching in the warm-arc and warm-back-arc mantle and to abrupt rotations in stretching directions that are accompanied by strong trench-parallel stretching. These models show that the patterns of shear-wave splitting observed in the Mariana and southern Andean systems may be caused by significant three-dimensional flow induced by along-strike variations in slab geometry. PMID:18097407

  12. Development of Observatories for the Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kyo, N.; Namba, Y.; Saruhashi, T.; Sawada, I.; Eguchi, N.; Toczko, S.; Kano, Y.; Yamano, M.; Muraki, H.; Fulton, P. M.; Brodsky, E. E.; Davis, E. E.; Sun, T.; Mori, J. J.; Chester, F. M.

    2012-12-01

    The Mw 9.0 Tohoku earthquake and accompanying tsunami produced the largest slip ever recorded in an earthquake and devastated much of northern Japan on March 11, 2011. The IODP proposal for JFAST (Japan Trench Fast Drilling project) planned to drill into the Tohoku subduction zone using the research ship Chikyu, measure the fault zone physical properties, recover fault zone material, and install an observatory to directly record the temperature anomaly caused by frictional slip during the earthquake. Considering the significant technical and operational challenges related to the great water depth of ~7,000 meters, and timing constraints, the observatory needed to be both robust and simple. After frequent discussions among scientists, engineers and operators, we decided to prepare two different types of observatories. 1. Autonomous MTL (Miniature Temperature Logger) observatory. The important temperature monitoring is accomplished by 55 MTLs attached to a string (Vectran rope) which is suspended inside a 4.5" casing in the borehole. The string latches at the top of the casing to allow retrieval using the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Kaiko operated by JAMSTEC. This observatory avoids risks associated with a thermistor cable and wellhead data logger, and increases reliability by applying proven technologies. Perhaps most importantly, this configuration allows flexibility in defining the final depth distribution of the temperature sensors. This is advantageous since information of the exact depth of the fault zone will be known only after drilling and logging. Also, the judicious placement of weak links along the string helps to minimize possible loss of the entire sensor string if it is clamped by post-seismic movements that deform the casing. 2. Telemetered PT (Pressure and Temperature) observatory. Based on the previous deployment experience of the NanTroSEIZE C0010 observatory, we prepared another system that enables long term monitoring and repeated ROV data

  13. Slow slip near the trench at the Hikurangi subduction zone, New Zealand.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    The range of fault slip behaviors near the trench at subduction plate boundaries is critical to know, as this is where the world's largest, most damaging tsunamis are generated. Our knowledge of these behaviors has remained largely incomplete, partially due to the challenging nature of crustal deformation measurements at offshore plate boundaries. Here we present detailed seafloor deformation observations made during an offshore slow-slip event (SSE) in September and October 2014, using a network of absolute pressure gauges deployed at the Hikurangi subduction margin offshore New Zealand. These data show the distribution of vertical seafloor deformation during the SSE and reveal direct evidence for SSEs occurring close to the trench (within 2 kilometers of the seafloor), where very low temperatures and pressures exist. PMID:27151867

  14. Slow slip near the trench at the Hikurangi subduction zone, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  15. Trench-parallel variations in Pacific and Indo-Australian crustal velocity structure due to Louisville Ridge seamount subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stratford, W. R.; Knight, T. P.; Peirce, C.; Watts, A. B.; Grevemeyer, I.; Paulatto, M.; Bassett, D.; Hunter, J.; Kalnins, L. M.

    2012-12-01

    Variations in trench and forearc morphology, and lithospheric velocity structure are observed where the Louisville Ridge seamount chain subducts at the Tonga-Kermadec Trench. Subduction of these seamounts has affected arc and back-arc processes along the trench for the last 5 Myr. High subduction rates (80 mm/yr in the north, 55 mm/yr in the south), a fast southwards migrating collision zone (~180 km/myr), and the obliquity of the subducting plate and the seamount chain to the trench, make this an ideal location to study the effects of seamount subduction on lithospheric structure. The "before and after" subduction regions have been targeted by several large-scale geophysical projects in recent years; the most recent being the R/V Sonne cruise SO215 in 2011. The crust and upper mantle velocity structure observed in profiles along strike of the seamount chain and perpendicular to the trench from this study, are compared to a similar profile from SO195, recorded ~100 km to the north. The affects of the passage of the seamounts through the subduction system are indicated by velocity anomalies in the crust and mantle of the overriding plate. Preliminary results indicate that in the present collision zone, mantle velocities (Pn) are reduced by ~5%. Around 100 km to the north, where seamounts are inferred to have subducted ~1 Myr ago, a reduction of 7% in mantle P-wave velocity is observed. The width of the trench slope and elevation of the forearc also vary along strike. At the collision zone a >100 km wide collapse region of kilometre-scale block faults comprise the trench slope, while the forearc is elevated. The elevated forearc has a 5 km think upper crust with a Vp of 2.5-5.5 km/s and the collapse zone also has upper crustal velocities as low as 2.5 km/s. To the east in the Pacific Plate, lower P-wave velocities are also observed and attributed to serpentinization due to deep fracturing in the outer trench high. Large bending faults permeate the crust and the

  16. Quantitative Study of Seismogenic Potential Along Manila Trench: Effects of Scaborough Seamount Chain Subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, H.; Liu, Y.; Li, D.; Ning, J.; Matsuzawa, T.; Shibazaki, B.; Hsu, Y. J.

    2014-12-01

    Modern seismicity record along the Manila Trench shows only infrequent Mw7 earthquakes, the lack of great earthquakes may indicate the subduction fault is either aseismically slipping or is accumulating strain energy toward rapid release in a megathrust earthquake. We conduct numerical simulations of the plate coupling, earthquake nucleation and dynamic rupture propagation processes along the Manila subduction fault (15-19.5ºN), taking into consideration the effects of plate geometry (including subducted seamounts), fault strength, rate-state frictional properties and pore pressure variations. Specifically, we use the bathymetry to depict the outline of Manila trench along its strike, 2681 background seismicity (1970/02/13 to 2013/09/06) from Chinese Earthquake Network Center and 540 focal mechanism solutions (1976/01/01 to 2013/01/27) from Global CMT project to constrain the geometry of the subducting Sunda/Eurasian slab. The compilation of seismicity and focal mechanism indicates the plate dipping angle gradually changes from 28º (south of the Scaborough Seamount Chain) to 12º (north of it). This geometric anomaly may due to the subducted part of the seamount chain. Preliminary modeling results using gabbro gouge friction data show that the Scaborough Seamount Chain could be a barrier to earthquake rupture propagation. Only earthquakes larger than Mw7 can overcome the barrier to rupture the entire Manila trench. Smaller earthquakes would cease rupturing when it encounters the seamount chain. Moreover, we propose that Manila trench subduction zone has the potential of rupturing in a Mw8 megathrust earthquake, if the simulation period is long enough for an Mw8 earthquake cycle and dynamic rupture overcomes the subducted Scaborough Seamount Chain. Our model parameters will be further constrained by laboratory rock mechanics experiments conducted on IODP Expedition 349, South China Sea (SCS), drilling samples (work in progress at China Earthquake Administration

  17. Development of precision acoustic transponders for GPS/Acoustic observation on the deep seafloor near the Japan Trench axis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujimoto, H.; Kido, M.

    2012-12-01

    The 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake has let most of researchers recognize the importance of seafloor geodetic observation, especially near the trench axis. Iinuma et al. (2012a) estimated the coseismic slip distribution combining onshore GPS data with the seafloor geodetic data. Their results reveal that a huge (> 50 m) slip occurred in a small area (about 40 km in width and 120 km in length) near the Japan Trench and generated the huge tsunami. After the Tohoku-oki earthquake, seismic coupling near the trench axis has become a key to understand giant earthquakes in subduction zones, and it is GPS/Acoustic (GPS/A) repeated seafloor positioning that can give an observational constraint to it. Observation of postseimic deformation is another and urgent task required in the Japan Trench. Seafloor geodetic observation indicates posteseimic deformation near the Japan Trench axis in the north and south of the huge slip area (Iinuma et al., 2012b). The result is clearly different from that of onshore GPS observation. Postseismic deformation is estimated to be a key observation that can discriminate proper models from several ones that can explain the occurrence of the mega thrust. Tohoku University plans to deploy extensive GPS/A observation array along the Japan Trench in 2012 with a fund from MEXT, Japan, to cope with these requests (Kido et al., in this meeting). Precision acoustic transponders have newly been developed for the array to enable the following three requests: (1) observation on the deep seafloor, (2) compatibility among three institutions in Japan, and (3) observation for ten years. The first is the observation on the deep seafloor near the trench. While the Japan Trench axis is deeper than 7000 m, the existing GPS/A sites along the Japan Trench have remained on the seafloor shallower than 2500 m except the one nearest to the trench, where we observed coseismic slip of 31 m (Kido et al., 2011). We deployed 4 units of the new transponders supplied by Kaiyo

  18. Complex submarine landsliding processes caused by subduction of large seamounts along the Middle America Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harders, Rieka; Ranero, Cesar R.; Weinrebe, Wilhelm; von Huene, Roland

    2014-05-01

    Subduction of kms-tall and tens-of-km wide seamounts cause important landsliding events at subduction zones around the word. Along the Middle America Trench, previous work based on regional swath bathymetry maps (with 100 m grids) and multichannel seismic images have shown that seamount subduction produces large-scale slumping and sliding. Some of the mass wasting event may have been catastrophic and numerical modeling has indicated that they may have produced important local tsunamis. We have re-evaluated the structure of several active submarine landlide complexes caused by large seamount subduction using side scan sonar data. The comparison of the side scan sonar data to local high-resolution bathymetry grids indicates that the backscatter data has a resolution that is somewhat similar to that produced by a 10 m bathymetry grid. Although this is an arbitrary comparison, the side scan sonar data provides comparatively much higher resolution information than the previously used regional multibeam bathymetry. We have mapped the geometry and relief of the head and side walls of the complexes, the distribution of scars and the different sediment deposits to produce a new interpretation of the modes of landsliding during subduction of large seamounts. The new higher resolution information shows that landsliding processes are considerably more complex than formerly assumed. Landslides are of notably smaller dimensions that the lower resolution data had previously appear to indicate. However, significantly large events may have occur far more often than earlier interpretations had inferred representing a more common threat that previously assumed.

  19. P wave anisotropic tomography of the Nankai subduction zone in Southwest Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jian; Zhao, Dapeng

    2012-05-01

    The active subduction of the young Philippine Sea (PHS) plate and the old Pacific plate has resulted in significant seismic heterogeneity and anisotropy in Southwest (SW) Japan. In this work we determined a detailed 3-D P wave anisotropic tomography of the crust and upper mantle beneath SW Japan using ˜540,000 P wave arrival times from 5,249 local earthquakes recorded by 1095 stations. The PHS slab is imaged clearly as a high-velocity (high-V) anomaly which exhibits considerable lateral variations. Significant low-velocity (low-V) anomalies are revealed above and below the PHS slab. The low-V anomalies above the PHS slab may reflect the upwelling flow in the mantle wedge and the PHS slab dehydration, and they form the source zone of the arc volcanoes in SW Japan. The low-V zones under the PHS slab may reflect the upwelling flow in the big mantle wedge above the Pacific slab. The anisotropy in the crust and upper mantle is complex. In Kyushu, the P wave fast velocity direction (FVD) is generally trench-normal in the mantle wedge under the back-arc, which is consistent with the corner flow driven by the PHS slab subduction. The FVD is trench-parallel in the subducting PHS slab under Kyushu. We think that the intraslab seismicity is a potential indicator to the slab anisotropy. That is, the PHS slab with seismicity has kept its original fossil anisotropy formed at the mid-ocean ridge, while the aseismic PHS slab has reproduced the anisotropy according to its current deformation.

  20. Three-dimensional Distribution of Azimuthal and Radial Anisotropy in the Japan Subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishise, M.; Kawakatsu, H.; Shiomi, K.

    2014-12-01

    Seismic anisotropy has close relationships with past and present tectonic and dynamic processes. Therefore, detailed description of seismic anisotropy of subduction zones provides important information for our understanding of the subduction system. The most common method of detecting anisotropy is the S-wave splitting measurement. However, conventional S-wave splitting analysis is not an appropriate way to investigate anisotropy in the mantle and slab because the technique has no vertical resolution. Thus, we have improved common traveltime tomography to estimate three-dimensional anisotropic structures of P-wave, assuming that the modeling space is composed of weakly anisotropic medium with a hexagonal symmetry about a horizontal axis (Ishise & Oda, 2005, JGR; Ishise & Oda, 2008, PEPI). Recently, we extended the anisotropic tomography for P-wave radial anisotropy with vertical hexagonal symmetry axis (Ishise & Kawakatsu, 2012 JpGU). In this study, we expand the study area of our previous regional analyses of P-wave azimuthal and radial anisotropic tomography (Ishise & Oda, 2005; Ishise & Kawakatsu, 2012, JpGU; Ishise et al., 2012, SSJ) using Hi-net arrival time data and examine the subduction system around the Japan islands, where two trenches with different strike directions and plate junction are included. Here are some of the remarkable results associated with the PAC slab and mantle structure. (1) N-S-trending fast axis of P-wave anisotropy is dominant in the PAC slab. (2) the mantle wedge shows trench-normal anisotropy across the trench-trench junction. (3) horizontal velocity (PH) tends to be faster than vertical velocity (PV) in the slab. (4) PV tends to be faster than PH in the mantle wedge. The characteristics of the obtained azimuthal and radial anisotropy of the PAC slab and the mantle wedge qualitatively consistent with heterogeneous plate models (e.g., Furumura & Kennet, 2005) and numerical simulations of mantle flow (Morishige & Honda, 2011; 2013

  1. Fundamental structure model of island arcs and subducted plates in and around Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwasaki, T.; Sato, H.; Ishiyama, T.; Shinohara, M.; Hashima, A.

    2015-12-01

    The eastern margin of the Asian continent is a well-known subduction zone, where the Pacific (PAC) and Philippine Sea (PHS) plates are being subducted. In this region, several island arcs (Kuril, Northeast Japan, Southwest Japan, Izu-Bonin and Ryukyu arcs) meet one another to form a very complicated tectonic environment. At 2014, we started to construct fundamental structure models for island arcs and subducted plates in and around Japan. Our research is composed of 6 items of (1) topography, (2) plate geometry, (3) fault models, (4) the Moho and brittle-ductile transition zone, (5) the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary, and (6) petrological/rheological models. Such information is basic but inevitably important in qualitative understanding not only for short-term crustal activities in the subduction zone (particularly caused by megathrust earthquakes) but also for long-term cumulative deformation of the arcs as a result of strong plate-arc/arc-arc interactions. This paper is the first presentation of our research, mainly presenting the results of items (1) and (2). The area of our modelling is 12o-54o N and 118o-164o E to cover almost the entire part of Japanese Islands together with Kuril, Ryukyu and Izu-Bonin trenches. The topography model was constructed from the 500-m mesh data provided from GSJ, JODC, GINA and Alaska University. Plate geometry models are being constructed through the two steps. In the first step, we modelled very smooth plate boundaries of the Pacific and Philippine Sea plates in our whole model area using 42,000 earthquake data from JMA, USGS and ISC. For 7,800 cross sections taken with several directions to the trench axes, 2D plate boundaries were defined by fitting to the earthquake distribution (the Wadati-Benioff zone), from which we obtained equi-depth points of the plate boundary. These equi-depth points were then approximated by spline interpolation technique to eliminate shorter wave length undulation (<50-100 km). The obtained

  2. 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.

  3. Constraints of subducted slab geometries on trench migration and subduction velocities: flat slabs and slab curtains in the mantle under Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, J. E.; Suppe, J.; Renqi, L.; Lin, C.; Kanda, R. V.

    2013-12-01

    The past locations, shapes and polarity of subduction trenches provide first-order constraints for plate tectonic reconstructions. Analogue and numerical models of subduction zones suggest that relative subducting (Vs) and overriding (Vor) plate velocities may strongly influence final subducted slab geometries. Here we have mapped the 3D geometries of subducted slabs in the upper and lower mantle of Asia from global seismic tomography. We have incorporated these slabs into plate tectonic models, which allows us to infer the subducting and overriding plate velocities. We describe two distinct slab geometry styles, ';flat slabs' and ';slab curtains', and show their implications for paleo-trench positions and subduction geometries in plate tectonic reconstructions. When compared to analogue and numerical models, the mapped slab styles show similarities to modeled slabs that occupy very different locations within Vs:Vor parameter space. ';Flat slabs' include large swaths of sub-horizontal slabs in the lower mantle that underlie the well-known northward paths of India and Australia from Eastern Gondwana, viewed in a moving hotspot reference. At India the flat slabs account for a significant proportion of the predicted lost Ceno-Tethys Ocean since ~100 Ma, whereas at Australia they record the existence of a major 8000km by 2500-3000km ocean that existed at ~43 Ma between East Asia, the Pacific and Australia. Plate reconstructions incorporating the slab constraints imply these flat slab geometries were generated when continent overran oceanic lithosphere to produce rapid trench retreat, or in other words, when subducting and overriding velocities were equal (i.e. Vs ~ Vor). ';Slab curtains' include subvertical Pacific slabs near the Izu-Bonin and Marianas trenches that extend from the surface down to 1500 km in the lower mantle and are 400 to 500 km thick. Reconstructed slab lengths were assessed from tomographic volumes calculated at serial cross-sections. The ';slab

  4. Development of GPS/A Seafloor Geodetic Network Along Japan Trench and Onset of Its Operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kido, M.; Fujimoto, H.; Osada, Y.; Ohta, Y.; Yamamoto, J.; Tadokoro, K.; Okuda, T.; Watanabe, T.; Nagai, S.; Kenji, Y.

    2012-12-01

    The Tohoku-oki earthquake in 2011 revealed that an M9-class giant earthquake could occur even in the old subduction zone and that coseismic slip can reach its frontal wedge, where we considered no significant stress had been accumulated in. One of the leading figure of such finding is in situ seafloor geodetic measurement, such as GPS/A technique for horizontal displacement and pressure gauge for vertical displacement. Japan Coast Guard and Japanese university group had developed several GPS/A sites near the source region of the Tohoku-oki earthquake and detected quite large coseismic movements over 20 m in there. Displacement vectors observed these sites showed systematic variation, i.e., mainly confined in the off-Miyagi area and getting larger near the trench. However, subsequent post-seismic deformation shows inexplicable distribution. In order to elucidate this complex feature, MEXT Japan has decided to construct dense and widely-extended GPS/A network along Japan trench, including deep area (~6000m). We, Tohoku and Nagoya universities, have firstly developed high-powered seafloor transponders with an omnidirectional acoustic unit that works at 6000 m deep ocean and enable acoustic ranging over 13 km slant length. In addition, using high-energy density battery, its lifetime is expected 10 years with normal operation. Secondly, we examined the optimal distribution of GPS/A sites forming a network, taken pre-existing sites into consideration. The new network consists of 20 sites (roughly four transponders at a single site and 86 transponders in total). The distribution is dense near the area of complex post-seismic deformation and extended over 400 km to cover the adjacent area of the source region, in where induced earthquake may be expected. The largest obstacle to draw network plan is seafloor topography. Because a GPS/A site is a seafloor benchmark, its installation must be on flat and locally stable spot. Since a single GPS/A site consists of three or more

  5. Results of trench perpendicular wide angle seismic transects across the Manila subduction zone offshore southern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eakin, D. H.; McIntosh, K. D.; Van Avendonk, H. J.

    2011-12-01

    Multi-channel seismic reflection and wide-angle seismic data collected in 2009 aboard the R/V Marcus Langseth as part of the TAIGER program delineate the crustal structure of the Manila subduction zone in the northern South China Sea. As part of that project, we recorded marine seismic data using a deployment of ocean-bottom-seismometers (OBS) from the U.S. instrument pool and National Taiwan Ocean University. The region between northern Luzon and southern Taiwan evolves from oceanic subduction to incipient arc-continent collision. This presentation focuses on results of 2 offshore transects across the Manila subduction zone offshore southern Taiwan. Our goal here is to document the transition from pure oceanic subuction in the south to incipient arc-continent collision in the north, an understanding of which is integral for future geodynamic modeling of the advanced arc-continent collision in the north. The northern transect, line T2 is located at 21.4° N and used 30 OBSs. Line T1 was located at 20.5° N and used 27 OBSs across the Manila subduction zone. Data quality is extremely variable due to the local geology and quality of seafloor coupling at each instrument. Preliminary travel-time tomography of transect T2 shows a 10-15 km thick Eurasian crust with crustal velocities of 5-7.5 km/sec entering the Manila trench suggesting thinned continental crust, serpentinized upper mantle, or both in this region. The model shows the accretionary prism to be cored by high velocity material (6-7 km/sec) that may be the result of accretion of crustal material from the subducting Eurasian slab. We also observe asymmetric crustal thickening beneath the Gagua Ridge that is potentially a result of failed subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate westward along the Gagua Ridge. The wide-angle data is complimented by MCS reflection data to constrain sediment thickness, top of the crystalline basement, and moho. Preliminary work is in progress with transect T1 which will be

  6. Hadal disturbance and radionuclide profiles at the deepest Japan Trench, northeastern Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oguri, Kazumasa; Kawamura, Kiichiro; Sakaguchi, Arito; Toyofuku, Takashi; Kasaya, Takafumi; Murayama, Masafumi; Glud, Ronnie; Fujikura, Katsunori; Kitazato, Hiroshi

    2013-04-01

    Four months after the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake, we carried out a video survey and collected sediment core collection from the hadal region (~7,600 m water depth) of the Japan Trench using an autonomous instrument. Fine material remained suspended at ~50 m above the seabed presumably induced by turbidities released during the central earthquake and the following aftershocks. Elevated levels of Cs-137 (T1/2=30 y) and excess Pb-210 (T1/2=22.3 y) concentrations suggested that 30 cm thick sediment layer had accumulated at the trench base (7,553 m) after the mainshock. However, no Cs-134 (T1/2=2 y) fallout from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster was detected. In contract, inspection of a nearby sediment site (7,261 m) 4.9 km away from the central trench site revealed fewer disturbances as reflected by a recent deposition of only 4 cm sediment, but here we encountered recent Cs-134 fallouts from the top 0-1 cm depth. We propose that the apparent lack of Cs-134 in the central trench is coursed by settlement of turbidites containing Cs-137 from past atmospheric fallout and higher excess Pb-210. The fast transport of the Cs-134 to the hadal slope sediment is presumably induced by enhanced scavenging and the vertical transport associated to an intensified diatom blooming occurring just at the time of the Fukushima disaster.

  7. Seismic Probing of the Base of a Tectonic Plate from Subduction Zone to Trench Outer Rise: Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Louie, J. N.; Kent, G. M.; Lamb, S. H.; Savage, M. K.; Stern, T. A.; Stratford, W. R.

    2015-12-01

    The nature of the base of a tectonic plate (LAB) is the 3rd dimension of plate tectonics. Recent seismic studies of the LAB have revealed planar features that show very different characteristics. In the oceans, the top of the S-wave low velocity zone shows a systematic deepening with plate age that fits plate-cooling models. However, the change in radial anisotropy has a markedly constant depth of ~70 km, regardless of plate age. A recent land-based study (SAHKE 2) of the subducted Pacific Plate in the southern Hikurangi margin has imaged a pair of distinct reflectors defining a ~10 km thick channel parallel to and ~70 km below the top of the ~15° dipping plate. Low velocities indicate that the channel is a zone of partial melt or high volatile content, acting as a weak base to the plate. Receiver function studies along the Japan margin have also imaged layers at these depths, parallel to the top of the plate and dipping up to 45°. We propose probing the base of the tectonic plate by tracing potential LAB seismic reflectors from their dipping portions in the subduction zone to where they bend in the trench outer rise. If the seismically identified boundary represents a 'frozen-in' feature, created at the mid ocean ridge, then it will remain parallel to the top of the plate, and its nature will remain unchanged as it is tracked over the outer rise. Alternatively, if the base of the plate is a thin channel of partial melt, then one would expect thickening of the channel beneath the outer rise due to melt ponding in the core of the flexure; this melt ponding may be the source of volcanic activity. A 500-km survey will trace the Pacific plate LAB from the subduction zone into the trench outer rise. The deeper part of the line coincides with the part of the plate where the ~10 km thick 'melt' channel was clearly imaged with the SAHKE 2 experiment. We show with synthetic experiments that given seismic energy scatter and attenuation comparable to that observed in the

  8. The December 7, 2012 Japan Trench intraplate doublet (Mw 7.2, 7.1) and interactions between near-trench intraplate thrust and normal faulting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lay, Thorne; Duputel, Zacharie; Ye, Lingling; Kanamori, Hiroo

    2013-07-01

    A pair of large earthquakes ruptured within the Pacific plate below the Japan Trench about 14 s apart on December 7, 2012. The doublet began with an Mw 7.2 thrust event 50-70 km deep, followed by an Mw 7.1-7.2 normal-faulting event in the range 10-30 km deep about 27 km to the south-southwest. The deep lithosphere thrust earthquake is the largest such event to be recorded seaward of the rupture zone of the great March 11, 2011 Tohoku Mw 9.0 earthquake. It follows an extensive intraplate normal-faulting aftershock sequence since 2011 extending up to 100 km east of the trench. Many small normal faulting aftershocks of the doublet occurred along a 60 km-long trench-parallel-trend beneath the inner trench slope. The complex overlapping signals produced by the doublet present challenges for routine long-period moment tensor inversion procedures, but the inadequacy of any single point-source inversion was readily evident from comparisons of different data sets and solutions using different frequency bands. We use a two double-couple inversion of W-phase signals to quantify the doublet characteristics, along with an iterative deconvolution of P-wave signals that extracts a compatible three sub-event sequence. The occurrence of a large deep compressional event near the trench several years subsequent to a great megathrust event is similar to a sequence that occurred in the central Kuril Islands between 2006 and 2009, and appears to be associated with stress changes caused by the preceding interplate thrusting and intraplate normal faulting. Recent large deep compressional events in the Philippine Trench and northern Kermadec Trench regions may be influenced by strain accumulation on adjacent locked interplate megathrusts. Regions having more pronounced curvature of the subducting plate may have unrelaxed bending stresses, facilitating occurrence of large deep thrust faulting in advance of future megathrust failures, as was observed in 1963 in the central Kuril Islands

  9. 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 Ω 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.

  10. Normal faulting of the Daiichi-Kashima Seamount in the Japan Trench revealed by the Kaiko I cruise, Leg 3

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kobayashi, K.; Cadet, J.-P.; Aubouin, J.; Boulegue, J.; Dubois, J.; von, Huene R.; Jolivet, L.; Kanazawa, T.; Kasahara, J.; Koizumi, K.-i.; Lallemand, S.; Nakamura, Y.; Pautot, G.; Suyehiro, K.; Tani, S.; Tokuyama, H.; Yamazaki, T.

    1987-01-01

    A detailed topographic and geophysical survey of the Daiichi-Kashima Seamount area in the southern Japan Trench, northwestern Pacific margin, clearly defines a high-angle normal fault which splits the seamount into two halves. A fan-shaped zone was investigated along 2-4 km spaced, 100 km long subparallel tracks using narrow multi-beam (Seabeam) echo-sounder with simultaneous measurements of gravity, magnetic total field and single-channel seismic reflection records. Vertical displacement of the inboard half was clearly mapped and its normal fault origin was supported. The northern and southern extensions of the normal fault beyond the flank of the seamount were delineated. Materials on the landward trench slope are displaced upward and to sideways away from the colliding seamount. Canyons observed in the upper landward slope terminate at the mid-slope terrace which has been uplifted since start of subduction of the seamount. Most of the landward slope except for the landward walls aside the seamount comprises only a landslide topography in a manner similar to the northern Japan Trench wall. This survey was conducted on R/V "Jean Charcot" as a part of the Kaiko I cruise, Leg 3, in July-August 1984 under the auspices of the French-Japanese scientific cooperative program. ?? 1987.

  11. Mapping P-wave anisotropy of the Honshu arc from Japan Trench to the back-arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jian; Zhao, Dapeng

    2010-10-01

    We determined a 3-D P-wave anisotropic tomography beneath the entire Honshu arc using about 448,000 high-quality P-wave arrival times from 18,335 local earthquakes that occurred beneath the Northeast (NE) Japan land area and the fore-arc area under the Pacific Ocean. Our results show that low-velocity (low-V) zones exist beneath the active arc volcanoes in the crust and in the central portion of the mantle wedge above the subducting Pacific slab. The low-V anomalies are related to the arc magmatism. Low-V zones are also revealed in the fore-arc area, which are probably caused by large volumes of water releasing upwards from dehydration of the subducting oceanic crust and sediments. The anisotropic amplitude in the upper crust is weaker than that in other portions under NE Japan. In the mantle wedge, the fast velocity direction (FVD) is generally trench-normal in back-arc area, which may reflect that the olivine a axis aligns with the transport direction induced by the slab-driven corner flow. The FVD becomes trench-parallel in the central portion of the fore-arc mantle wedge, which is possibly induced by the olivine of B-type fabric in the slab-driven corner flow. The FVD shows trench-parallel in the low-V zones in the fore-arc mantle wedge close to the upper boundary of the Pacific slab, which may reflect the B-type olivine fabric dominating in those areas, or it may be induced by the dextral shearing of the overlying crust. The trench-parallel FVD is also revealed beneath the volcanic front, indicating complex 3-D mantle flows in the mantle wedge. The FVD in the subducting Pacific slab is mostly trench-parallel, which may reflect one or more of the following possibilities: (1) the original fossil anisotropy of the Pacific plate formed at the mid-ocean ridge, (2) cracks within the slab, and (3) the olivine fabric transition due to the changes in water content, stress, and temperature.

  12. Subduction trench migration as a constraint on absolute plate motions since 130 Ma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Simon; Flament, Nicolas; Müller, Dietmar; Butterworth, Nathan

    2015-04-01

    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, a reference frame linking surface plate motions to subducted slab remnants mapped from seismic tomography has recently been proposed. Absolute plate motion (APM) 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 minimisation of trench migration rates 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Sediment hydraulic properties, consolidation state, and ambient pore pressure development are key parameters that affect fluid migration, deformation, and the slip behavior and mechanical strength of subduction zone megathrusts. In order to better understand the dynamics and mechanisms of large subduction earthquakes, Integrated Oceanic Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 343, drilled into the toe of the Japan Trench subduction zone in a region of large shallow slip in the M 9.0 Tohoku earthquake, as part of the Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (J-FAST). Here, we report on two constant rate of strain (CRS) uniaxial consolidation experiments and two triaxial deformation experiments on bedded claystone and clayey mudstone core samples collected from the frontal prism and subducted sediment section cored at Site C0019, 2.5 km landward of the Japan Trench, from depths of 697.18 and 831.45 mbsf. The goals of our experiments were: (1) to define the hydraulic and acoustic properties of sediments that host the subduction megathrust fault that slipped in the M 9.0 Tohoku earthquake; and (2) to constrain in-situ consolidation state and its implications for in-situ stress. The permeability-porosity trends are similar for the two samples, and both exhibit permeability that decreases systematically with increasing effective stress and decreasing porosity, and which varies log-linearly with porosity. Permeabilities of material from the frontal prism decrease from 5×10-18 m2 at 5 MPa effective stress, to 3.0×10-19 m2 at 70 MPa, and porosities decrease from 51% to 29%, while permeabilities of the subducted sediment sample decrease from 5×10-18 m2 at 5 MPa to 3.6×10-19 m2 at 90 MPa, and porosities decrease from 49% to 36%. In-situ permeabilities for the prism and underthrust sediment samples, estimated using laboratory defined permeability-porosity relationships, are 4.9×10-18 m2 and 3.7×10-18 m2, respectively. Elastic wavespeeds increase systematically with increasing

  14. Diving surveys of small seamounts on the outer rise of the Japan Trench, and replacement of benchmarks for seafloor geodesy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujimoto, H.; Kirby, S.; Abe, N.; Hino, R.; Kido, M.; Osada, Y.; Tsushima, H.

    2007-12-01

    Geodetic experiments and diving surveys of the outer rise of the Japan Trench off Northeastern Japan were carried out during the Kairei KR07-07 cruise in June 2007 using the ROV KAIKO 7000 II. The cruise aimed at three objectives. The first was diving surveys of small seamounts on the outer rise. A new type of seafloor volcanism called 'petit spot' was recently found near the Japan Trench (Hirano et al., 2006). Since each of diving surveys to three seamounts found fresh basalts, the survey area can be a potential locality for another petit spot volcanic field (Abe et al., this meeting). The second objective was diving surveys of the seafloor in the source region of the 2005 M7.1 outer rise earthquake. It was the largest outer rise earthquake recorded off the Japan Trench since the 1933 M8.4 Sanriku- oki tsunami earthquake. Although we could not find any indication of deformation on the seafloor during the survey, we are interested in the observation that the aftershock distribution (Hino et al., this meeting) was overlapped with the area of the small seamounts. The seamounts may have resulted from young volcanism like 'petit spot' caused by oceanic plate flexure (Hirano et al., 2006). Bathymetric maps show graben structures near the small seamounts sub-parallel to the trench axis suggesting normal faults in the outer rise region. We can suppose that the normal faults can be another mechanism for the young volcanism near the Japan Trench, or that the 'petit spot' volcanism may have induced the large intra-plate normal fault earthquake. Anyway the seamounts can be related to intra-plate earthquakes. The third objective was renewal of acoustic seafloor benchmarks deployed on the outer rise. Three precision acoustic transponders (PXPs) were deployed in 2002 to observe the motion of the pacific plate near the subduction plate boundary, and somehow exhausted the batteries after a few short observations. Each of two PXPs was replaced with a new one after cm

  15. Geometry of Pacific plate in Kuril-Japan trench zones estimated from earthquake distribution using LT-OBS network and seismic structures by marine surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shinohara, M.; Yamada, T.; Kuwano, A.; Nakahigashi, K.; Machida, Y.; Mochizuki, K.; Kanazawa, T.; Takanami, T.; Hino, R.

    2009-12-01

    The seismicity of the Japan arc region is as high as that observed in other areas of subduction of oceanic plates. The Japan Trench and Kuril Trench are plate convergent zones where the Pacific Plate is subducting below the Japan island. In addition, the trench is crooked off Erimo cape, Hokkaido. It is considered the bend of the trench causes complex shape of the plate boundary. There is a possibility that an asperity of a large earthquake is controlled by a shape of a plate boundary. Associated with the plate convergence, many earthquakes occur beneath landward slopes of the Japan Trench and the Kuril Trench. Such earthquakes are considered to occur mainly at plate boundary between the Pacific plate and the landward plate in landward slope of the Kuril trench and the Japan trench. Therefore, to obtain precise hypocenter distribution of earthquakes occurring in the regions is essential to estimate geometry of the plate boundary. For several years, we performed dense seafloor earthquake observation using Long-Term Ocean Bottom Seismometers (LT-OBSs) in this region, including the aftershock observation of the 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquakes which is a large interplate earthquake around the Japan island arc. In the region off Nemuro, dense seafloor observation was carried out from 2005 to 2006 for one year using LT-OBSs. In the region off Aomori, we performed the same type of a seafloor earthquake observation from 2004 to 2007 for two years in total. Ninety-two LT-OBSs were used for the observations, and an interval of the LT-OBS is approximately 20 km. The LT-OBS has three-component seismometer with a natural period of 1 Hz, and reaches a recoding period of 1 year. As a result, we obtained the precise hypocenter distribution from the region off Nemuro to the region off Aomori, and the hypocenter distribution of huge number of earthquakes enables us to estimate the geometry of the plate boundary. Additionally, seismic surveys using OBSs and controlled source were

  16. Detecting Seismic Signatures in the Rock Record at the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabinowitz, H. S.; Savage, H. M.; Polissar, P. J.; Plank, T. A.; Rowe, C. D.; Kirkpatrick, J. D.

    2014-12-01

    IODP Expedition 343 (JFAST) drilled through the plate boundary at the Japan Trench where potentially several megathrust earthquakes have occurred, most recently the 2011 Mw 9.1 Tohoku-oki earthquake. Here, we investigate structural features of the plate boundary at the JFAST site to determine their seismic history. Using trace element geochemistry as a tool to fingerprint sedimentary units, we develop a stratigraphy of the JFAST core that shows significant plate boundary complexity. To determine the seismic history of the faults identified in the core, we use a novel method to detect temperature rise along faults: the thermal destruction of organic molecules. We interpret the destruction of alkenones, a common biomarker found in marine sediments, along faults to be a result of coseismic heating. In order to constrain initial alkenone concentration, we use our trace element stratigraphy to correlate individual JFAST samples with their protolith in the DSDP Site 436 reference core. We find that at least three faults demonstrate significant destruction of alkenones, implying that these faults have experienced shallow seismic slip. In the past, frictional work has been difficult to measure on faults due to a paucity of available coseismic temperature proxies preserved in the rock record. By coupling experimentally determined reaction kinetics of alkenone destruction with models of temperature rise during earthquakes, we convert the alkenone destruction measurements into estimates of maximum temperature rise on faults in the JFAST core. This novel measurement allows us to explore energy budgets at the subduction interface.

  17. Nature and Architecture of the Sedimentary Deposits in the Trench of the Ecuadorian Subduction Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez, Miguel; Proust, Jean-Noel; Michaud, Francois; Pouderoux, Hugo; Ratzov, Gueorgui

    2016-04-01

    The active margin of Ecuador is characterized by strong tectonic erosion that contributes to the formation of a deep trench filled by a complex suite of sedimentary facies. Gravity flow sedimentation is ubiquitous along the margin and facies range from laterally continuous m-thick mass transport deposits to isolated cm-thick turbidites intercalated with hemipelagite and ash layers. However, the nature and architecture of those deposits remain equivocal. This study presents the interpretation of detailed bathymetry, high-resolution seismic profiles and sediment cores recently acquired along the 600 km-long Ecuadorian margin (ATACAMES campaign onboard the R/V L'Atalante, 2012). The margin comprises three morphological segments: (1) the central segment marked by the subduction of the Carnegie Ridge, which induced a narrow (10-30 km wide) and relatively shallow trench (3100-3700 m deep), a steep and gullied continental slope with no canyon and a 20-60 km wide shelf characterized by active subsidence, (2) the northern segment characterized by a wider (~100 km) and deeper (3800-4000 m) trench, a gentler gullied continental slope and similar shelf settings (10-50 km wide), (3) the southern segment presents a wide (20-60 km) and deep (4000-4700 m) trench, a starved continental slope with well-defined canyon systems and a wide subsiding shelf (50-100 km wide). The sedimentary dynamics along the margin is evaluated by the analysis of 15 sediment cores. High-resolution visual description of the cores, X-Ray imagery and the measurement of petrophysical properties (gamma density, magnetic susceptibility, P-wave velocity) led to the identification of 6 sedimentary facies that characterize 6 sedimentary processes: Turbidite beds (turbidity currents), Hemipelagites (continuous marine sedimentation), Tephras (airfall ash layers consecutive to volcanic eruptions), Debris flow deposits (cohesive debris flows), Megaturbidite/Homogenite (large-scale and/or hybrid gravity flows), Mass

  18. Abrupt strike-slip fault to subduction transition: The Alpine Fault-Puysegur Trench connection, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebrun, Jean-FréDéRic; Lamarche, Geoffroy; Collot, Jean-Yves; Delteil, Jean

    2000-08-01

    Swath bathymetry and other geophysical data collected over the Fiordland Margin, southwest of New Zealand are used to investigate the mechanism of transform-subduction transition between the Alpine Fault and the Puysegur Trench, two segments of the Pacific-Australian plate boundary. In this region the Cenozoic Southeast Tasman Basin, which obliquely underthrusts Fiordland at the Puysegur Trench, is separated from the Cretaceous Tasman Basin by the Resolution Ridge System, a major lithospheric discontinuity of the downgoing plate. Interpretation of seafloor morphology shows that the Alpine Fault extends offshore along the Fiordland coast and splits into West and East Branches. The West Branch cuts obliquely across the margin and connects sharply to the Puysegur subduction front at the northeastern tip of the Resolution Ridge System. Earthquake and seismic reflection data indicate that the West Branch is genetically controlled by downgoing plate structures associated with the Resolution Ridge System. Hence the West Branch is interpreted as the surface trace of the plate boundary segment extending between the Alpine Fault and the Puysegur Trench. We conclude that the development of the strike-slip segment of the plate boundary and its sharp transition to the Puysegur subduction are controlled by inherited structures of the Australian plate. Furthermore, according to geophysical data presented here, a tearing of the downgoing plate can be interpreted beneath the West Branch. A review of geophysical data along the region of the Alpine Fault-Hikurangi Trough, northeast New Zealand, shows a progressive transform-subduction transition that is accommodated by motion partitioning between the subduction interface and strike-slip faults. This transition is accounted for by an interplate coupling that progressively increases toward the Alpine Fault in relation with a gradual thickening of the downgoing crust. The comparison between the Fiordland and the Hikurangi strike-slip-subduction

  19. GPS/acoustic seafloor geodetic observation in the subduction zone around Japan (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, M.; Kido, M.; Tadokoro, K.; Fujimoto, H.

    2013-12-01

    GPS/acoustic (GPS/A) seafloor geodetic observation is a precise seafloor positioning technique and has made great progress over the last decade. GPS/A observation determines the positions of acoustic mirror-type transponders installed on the seafloor by combining the two techniques of kinematic GPS and acoustic ranging through a ship or a buoy. The original idea was proposed by Prof. Spiess at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1985 and its protocol and hardware were made through research and development of his group by the mid-1990s. In Japan, three research groups, Japan Coast Guard, Tohoku University and Nagoya University, began to develop the GPS/A observation system in the 1990s, established GPS/A observation sites mainly on the landward slope of the plate boundaries around Japan, such as the Japan Trench and the Nankai trough, and have been carrying out campaign observations since around 2000. The primary purpose of our observation is to detect and monitor the crustal deformation caused by the subduction of the oceanic plate near the plate boundary where large interplate earthquakes have repeatedly occurred. By continuous efforts for over a decade, the positioning precision has achieved a few centimeters and seafloor movements such as intraplate deformation and coseismic displacements have been successfully detected. In particular, regarding the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake (M9.0), which occurred off northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, east-southeastward coseismic displacements of up to 31 m were observed above the focal region, especially close to the epicenter, while those detected by on-land GPS measurements over 100 km away from the epicenter, conducted by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, was up to 5.3 m. Coseismic slip models on the plate boundary estimated from not only GPS data but also GPS/A results indicate that a huge slip of more than 50 m generated close to the trench axis, which was much larger than that estimated from GPS

  20. 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

  1. Hadal disturbance in the Japan Trench induced by the 2011 Tohoku–Oki Earthquake

    PubMed Central

    Oguri, Kazumasa; Kawamura, Kiichiro; Sakaguchi, Arito; Toyofuku, Takashi; Kasaya, Takafumi; Murayama, Masafumi; Fujikura, Katsunori; Glud, Ronnie N.; Kitazato, Hiroshi

    2013-01-01

    In situ video observations and sediment core samplings were performed at two hadal sites in the Japan Trench on July, 2011, four months after the Tohoku–Oki earthquake. Video recordings documented dense nepheloid layers extending ~30–50 m above the sea bed. At the trench axis, benthic macrofauna was absent and dead organisms along with turbid downslope current were observed. The top 31 cm of sediment in the trench axis revealed three recent depositions events characterized by elevated 137Cs levels and alternating sediment densities. At 4.9 km seaward from the trench axis, little deposition was observed but the surface sediment contained 134Cs from the Fukushima Dai–ichi nuclear disaster. We argue that diatom blooms observed by remote sensing facilitated rapid deposition of 134Cs to hadal environment and the aftershocks induced successive sediment disturbances and maintained dense nepheloid layers in the trench even four months after the mainshock. PMID:23715086

  2. Outline of Seafloor Observation Network for Earthquakes and Tsunamis along the Japan Trench (S-net)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uehira, Kenji; Kanazawa, Toshihiko; Mochizuki, Masashi; Fujimoto, Hiromi; Noguchi, Shin-ichi; Shinbo, Takashi; Shiomi, Katsuhiko; Kunugi, Takashi; Aoi, Shin; Matsumoto, Takumi; Sekiguchi, Shoji; Okada, Yoshimitsu; Shinohara, Masanao; Yamada, Tomoaki

    2016-04-01

    Seafloor Observation Network for Earthquakes and Tsunamis along the Japan Trench (S-net) project to construct a large-scale seafloor network of cable-linked observatories is in progress around Japan Trench and Kuril Trench in Japan. The main purpose of the S-net project is disaster prevention by providing ground motion and tsunami height data in real time. Such real-time data from the seafloor observatories make it possible to forecast the next-generation early tsunami warning which could precisely predict coastal tsunami height. Also the data may make it possible to forecast an earthquake warning much earlier than the present system. The network consists of 150 ocean bottom observation stations. Ocean bottom fiber optic cables, about 5,700 km in total length, connect the stations to land. Observation stations will be placed on the seafloor off Hokkaido, off Tohoku and off Kanto, in a spacing of about 30 km almost in the direction of East-West (perpendicular to the trench axis) and in a spacing of about 50 - 60 km almost in the direction of North-South (parallel to the trench axis). Each station is equipped with seismometers of three types and two hydro-pressure gauges (tsunami meters) of the same type for redundancy. The digitized data will be transmitted to the data centers, JMA (Japan Meteorological Agency), and so on, using IP network. S-net is supported by MEXT financially.

  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. The buoyancy variation of plate coupling from subduction to collision: an example across the northernmost Manila trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    The Manila trench is the boundary between the South China Sea (SCS) of Eurasian Plate (EU) and Philippine Sea Plate (PSP). The east subducting of SCS is a ceased rifting oceanic crust. To the north, the subduction is obscured and transits to collision extended to the Taiwan orogenesis. The Taiwan Integrated Geodynamics Research (TAIGER) project has implemented several offshore multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection and wide-angle seismic experiments to model the velocity structure of the incipient arc-continental collision. Amongst, along two trench perpendicular transects (MGL0905_23, 25) are associated with ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) deployed in the northern Manila trench. The transect MCS data and tomographic velocity structure provide well constraint on the recognition between the crust and mantle lithosphere that helps to reconstruct synthetic density structure to fit the observation gravity data. The synthetic gravity result along two transects also show that there exists an anomalous high density (~2.97 g/cm3) mass beneath the accretionary prism in the leading edge of overriding plate; however, unfortunately, the MCS and OBS data have no resolution there. Meanwhile, the buoyancies of crust (Hc) and mantle lithosphere (Hm) can be calculated associated with the residual topography based on the isostatic equilibrium. According to the contribution of Hm, the estimation of the plate coupling effect can be approached. Combining two transects data across the northern Manila trench and one profile across the Hengchun Peninsula in southern Taiwan (T29-33, TAICRUST project), a sequence from subduction to collision of plate coupling effect can therefore be evaluated, and also offers the opportunity to examine the lithospheric structure variation in the zone between Taiwan and northernmost Manila trench.

  5. Seismic consequences of warm versus cool subduction metamorphism: examples from southwest and northeast japan

    PubMed

    Peacock; Wang

    1999-10-29

    Warm and cool subduction zones exhibit differences in seismicity, seismic structure, and arc magmatism, which reflect differences in metamorphic reactions occurring in subducting oceanic crust. In southwest Japan, arc volcanism is sparse and intraslab earthquakes extend to 65 kilometers depth; in northeast Japan, arc volcanism is more common and intraslab earthquakes reach 200 kilometers depth. Thermal-petrologic models predict that oceanic crust subducting beneath southwest Japan is 300 degrees to 500 degrees C warmer than beneath northeast Japan, resulting in shallower eclogite transformation and slab dehydration reactions, and possible slab melting. PMID:10542143

  6. Estimation of seismic velocity in the subducting crust of the Pacific slab beneath Hokkaido, northern Japan by using guided waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiina, T.; Nakajima, J.; Toyokuni, G.; Kita, S.; Matsuzawa, T.

    2014-12-01

    A subducting crust contains a large amount of water as a form of hydrous minerals (e.g., Hacker et al., 2003), and the crust plays important roles for water transportation and seismogenesis in subduction zones at intermediate depths (e.g., Kirby et al., 1996; Iwamori, 2007). Therefore, the investigation of seismic structure in the crust is important to understand ongoing physical processes with subduction of oceanic lithosphere. A guided wave which propagates in the subducting crust is recorded in seismograms at Hokkaido, northern Japan (Shiina et al., 2014). Here, we estimated P- and S-wave velocity in the crust with guided waves, and obtained P-wave velocity of 6.6-7.3 km/s and S-wave velocity of 3.6-4.2 km/s at depths of 50-90 km. Moreover, Vp/Vs ratio in the crust is calculated to be 1.80-1.85 in that depth range. The obtained P-wave velocity about 6.6km/s at depths of 50-70 km is consistent with those estimated in Tohoku, northeast Japan (Shiina et al., 2013), and this the P-wave velocity is lower than those expected from models of subducting crustal compositions, such as metamorphosed MORB model (Hacker et al., 2003). In contrast, at greater depths (>80 km), the P-wave velocity marks higher velocity than the case of NE Japan and the velocity is roughly comparable to those of the MORB model. The obtained S-wave velocity distribution also shows characteristics similar to P waves. This regional variation may be caused by a small variation in thermal regime of the Pacific slab beneath the two regions as a result of the normal subduction in Tohoku and oblique subduction in Hokkaido. In addition, the effect of seismic anisotropy in the subducting crust would not be ruled out because rays used in the analysis in Hokkaido propagate mostly in the trench-parallel direction, while those in Tohoku are sufficiently criss-crossed.

  7. On the evolution of Subduction-Transform Edge Propagators (STEPs): application to the Pliny-Strabo 'trenches'

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nijholt, Nicolai; Govers, Rob

    2015-04-01

    At the eastern side of the Aegean slab, tomographic evidence shows that a slab edge is present. The subducting African plate needs to tear to permit continued subduction and rollback of the Hellenic trench. This vertical tear is named a Subduction-Transform Edge Propagator (STEP) and is defined as the region of active tearing. At the eastern side of the Hellenic trench, the active STEP is probably located along the Ptolemy 'trench'. The surface expression (deformation zone) of this propagating STEP is observed in bathymetry and seismology, where the Pliny-Strabo 'trenches' are referred to as the STEP fault zone, i.e. the deformation zone in the wake of the active STEP. Due to its immaturity, the plate boundary is a relatively wide zone as strain has not localized yet. A key question is the propagation direction of an active STEP. It is suspected that passive margins may play a critical role in steering a STEP as they represents first order strength contrasts between oceanic and continental lithosphere. Here, we seek to identify the preferred propagation direction for a STEP and also investigate the effect of passive margins on STEP propagation (direction) through mechanical, finite element models. Our model results show that propagation of a STEP along a passive margin-ocean interface is likely for a range of models which show a passive margin-trench orientation within 15 degrees from a perpendicular setup. Passive margins are rarely straight features and with the inclusion of a change in strike of the passive margin ahead of the active STEP, model results show that propagation will occur along the passive margin-ocean interface if this change is less than 25 degrees from a perpendicular setup. Surprisingly, the subduction history and magnitude of the strength(/effective viscosity) contrast across the passive margin are less relevant. The STEP system seems relatively insensitive to small scale details, e.g. so that small, gradual changes in passive margin

  8. Along-Trench Structural Variations, Seamount Subduction, and Inter-Seismic Coupling at the Central Ecuador Convergent Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanclemente, E.; Collot, J. Y.; Ribodetti, A.

    2014-12-01

    The structural interpretation of 2D-Pre-stack Depth Migrated Multichannel Seismic Reflection sections collected during the SISTEUR cruise across the Central Ecuadorian convergent margin was combined with multibeam bathymetry, OBS wide-angle tomographic models, a GPS inversion model, and relocated micro-seismicity to decipher the causes of the along-trench variability of the Inter-Seismic Coupling (ISC). Our study shows that the Central Ecuador margin divides in two contrasting segments, the northern "Manta-Puerto López" and southern "Puerto López-Salinas" segments showing dissimilar long-lived physical properties. The northern segment coincides with a shallow ISC locked zone, and shows a smooth outer-wedge slope scalloped by a gentle, 50 km-wide morphologic re-entrant. No subduction channel is detected across this segment that reveals a large subducted seamount and a 2-4° landward dipping shallow inter-plate contact. In the locked zone, the seamount is in contact with strong (Vp= 5 km/s) oceanic rocks of the margin basement, suggesting that elastic strain can store and trigger a large earthquake. In contrast, the southern margin segment is rather decoupled and shows a highly disrupted outer-wedge seafloor with deep re-entrants and large Mass Transport Deposits. The interplate contact dips landward ~6-7°, and is spotted by isolated seamounts separated by a ~0.5-1 km-thick subduction channel that may act as a lubricant favoring inter-plate creeping. In this segment, subducted seamounts collide against low velocity (Vp=3.5 km/s) margin rocks of a thrust sheet complex deformed by normal faults, so that sufficient elastic strain may not accumulate to trigger a large earthquake. Our study supports that ISC variations along the trench are mainly controlled by the thickness of the SC, the roughness of the subducting plate and stiffness variations of margin basement rocks against which subducted seamounts collide.

  9. Deep biological communities in the subduction zone of Japan from bottom photographs taken during ``nautile'' dives in the Kaiko project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohta, Suguru; Laubier, Lucien

    1987-05-01

    Twenty-seven dives of the submersible "Nautile" in the subduction zone around Japan conducted in the French-Japanese Project Kaiko proved that fairly luxuriant benthic communities dominated by deep-sea giant clams of the genus Calyptogena (family Vesicomyidae) were consistently present on the accretionary prism at abyssal depths. Benthic communities characterized by three hitherto undescribed bivalves of the genus Calyptogena were found between depths of about 3800 and 4020 m at the mouth of Tenryu Canyon and at the top of basement swell of the Zenisu Ridge, both situated in the eastern Nankai subduction zone. Sporadic but discrete patches of organisms characterized by one more undescribed bivalve belonging to the genus Calyptogena were observed and collected between depths of 5130 and 5960 m on the landward wall of the Japan and Kouriles Trenches. Photographic inventories were prepared semiquantitatively using each series of bottom photographs taken in these areas with bow cameras of the submersible "Nautile". Observations on the sporadic but dense distribution of the clams and other characteristic associated organisms match well with the scheme that communities sustained by chemosynthetic energy sources can be present at connate water seepages in subduction zones. These are to date the deepest record of benthic communities supposedly associated with chemosynthetic processes.

  10. Seismic structure related to the Philippine Sea plate subduction beneath the southwestern Nansei-Shoto (Ryukyu) Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishizawa, A.; Kaneda, K.; Oikawa, M.; Horiuchi, D.; Fujioka, Y.

    2013-12-01

    The northwestern part of the Philippine Sea plate (PSP) is subducting beneath the Nansei-Shoto (Ryukyu) Trench. Earthquakes larger than M8 have not been recorded instrumentally in the southwestern part of the Ryukyu Trench. However, there was a large tsunami killed around 12,000 people in 1771 and the position of the source area has not been established. The direction of the PSP subduction is almost perpendicular to the Ryukyu Trench to the northeast of 126.5 E and changes to oblique to the southwest. Seismicity varies along the trench axis and lower seismicity seems to correspond to the free-air gravity anomaly high region in the forearc at around 126 E. On the other hand, the Okinawa-Luzon fracture zone extending from southwest to northeast on the PSP subducts beneath Ryukyu Trench to the northeast of 126 E and seems to relate to the high gravity anomaly. We carried out seismic experiments to elucidate these inhomogeneous crustal structures along the southwestern part of the trench and provide valuable information on potential source areas for large earthquakes and/or tsunamis. We conducted five seismic lines across southwestern Ryukyu Trench region. Multichannel reflection seismic (MCS) data using 240 ch. and 3000 m long hydrophone streamer were collected for airgun shots at an interval of 50 m. We also deployed ocean bottom seismographs (OBSs) as a receiver at an average interval of 5 km along each line. A tri-gun cluster with a volume of 1,050 (350 * 3) cubic inches (17.2 liters) was used for the reflection surveys and a non-tuned airgun array with a volume of 6,000 (1500 * 4) cubic inches (98 liters) was shot at an interval of 200 m (90 sec) for the wide-angle seismic survey. Depth conversion from the MCS time section was carried out using the refraction results. In this paper, we present the seismic structure related to the PSP subduction in the forearc region of the Nansei-Shoto island arc. The subducting Okinawa-Luzon fracture zone was able to be clearly

  11. GPS/Acoustic Observations Along the Japan Trench for Postseismic Deformation After the 2011 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kido, M.; Tomita, F.; Osada, Y.; Fujimoto, H.; Hino, R.; Ohta, Y.; Iinuma, T.; Azuma, R.; Wada, I.

    2014-12-01

    After the 2011 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake, we realized that the interplate coupling can be extended to the trench even for subducting slab of great age. Monitoring the recovering process of the coupling after the earthquake may provide important knowledge on the total perspective of this great earthquake. For this purpose, Japanese government decided to strengthen the monitoring systems by means of seafloor geodesy. Constructing a GPS/Acoustic network along the trench is one of these projects. Before the earthquake, only five (Japan Coast Guard) and three (Tohoku Univ.) benchmarks were working off-Tohoku area, however, in 2012, we have newly installed up to 20 benchmarks along the trench, especially close to the trench. We took place GPS/Acoustic surveys after the installation and have carried out four times of campaign surveys until 2013 (FY). Not all the benchmarks were measured in each campaign, however, three times of campaigns were made for most of the benchmarks ranging 1 or 1.5 years. Because of such a short period of data accumulation and hard conditions on the accuracy due to great depth (>5000 m) than before, the estimated errors in the obtained displacement vectors are typically 5-10 cm for most of the benchmarks, which are not enough to clearly address the postseismic deformation. Nevertheless, some benchmarks, one is at relatively close to the coast and the other is on the incoming Pacific plate off-Miyagi, show significant WNW-ward movements up to 17 cm/yr, which is much larger than interseismic subducting rate. This gives a strong constraint to evaluate the viscoelastic relaxation process after the earthquake. More campaign surveys are planned in the next year to accumulate the data for improvement of the total accuracy in the displacement vectors for all the benchmarks. In addition, we are dedicated in improving the analytic technique to reduce error sources, such as acoustic signal processing and sound speed correction to lessen the uncertainty in each

  12. Paleoseismic evidence of earthquakes and tsunamis along the southern part of the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pilarczyk, Jessica; Sawai, Yuki; Horton, Ben; Namegaya, Yuichi; Shinozaki, Tetsuya; Tanigawa, Koichiro; Matsumoto, Dan; Dura, Tina; Fujiwara, Osamu; Shishikura, Masanobu

    2016-04-01

    The northern part of the Japan Trench has frequently generated tsunamigenic-earthquakes with magnitudes up to ~M 8.0. In contrast, the middle and southern parts of the Japan Trench were considered relatively inactive until the 2011 Tohoku (M 9.0) event generated one of the largest tsunamis in recorded history. Geologic evidence from the Sendai plain revealed an event in CE 869 that could have forecast the severity of the Tohoku tsunami in 2011. Seismic models indicate that the Tohoku earthquake may have transferred stress southwards down the fault to the potentially locked southern part of the Japan Trench. This transfer of stress towards a locked section of the trench could produce an earthquake in the near future that would be comparable in magnitude to the Tohoku event. Reconstructing the history of individual great earthquakes and accompanying tsunamis using geological records from the coastal zone adjacent to the southern part of the Japan Trench provides an assessment of the seismic hazard for metropolitan areas in east-central Japan. We have found two anomalous marine sand layers intercalated with muddy peat, which can be traced 3.8 km inland and 5.5 km along the present Kujukuri coastline, approximately 50 km east of Tokyo. Both sand layers have features consistent with tsunami deposits, such as a distinct erosional base, rip-up clasts, normal grading, a mud drape, and marine foraminifera. Results of radiocarbon dating constrain the age of the upper sand to 337 - 299 cal. yrs. BP, which likely corresponds to the only known southern Japan Trench rupture ever recorded, the Empo tsunami of CE 1677. The age of the lower sand is 979 - 903 cal. yrs. BP; marking an event for which there is no historical documentation at present. Preliminary tsunami simulation models indicate that a middle trench (Tohoku-style) rupture is not responsible for significant inundation of the Kujukuri coastline and would likely not have been capable of depositing either sand layer

  13. Variations of short-term slow slip events along the Nankai Trough to the Ryukyu Trench, southwest Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishimura, T.

    2013-12-01

    ETSs (Episodic Tremor and Slips) occur at a depth of 30-40 km on the plate interface of the subducting Philippine Sea plate along the Nankai trough, southwest Japan (e.g., Obara, 2010). Low-frequency tremors along the Nankai Trough suddenly disappeared southwest of the Bungo Channel between Shikoku and Kyushu, which is a junction between the southwest Honshu arc along the Nankai Trough and the Ryukyu arc along the Ryukyu Trench. Any short-term SSEs (slow slip events) have never been reported southwest of the Bungo Chanel, though Mw~7 long-term SSEs repeated in the Bungo Channel every ~6 years (e.g., Ozawa et al., 2013). Here, we apply a SSE detection method using continuous GNSS data (Nishimura et al., 2013) to find out SSEs in a region along the Nankai Trough to the Ryukyu Trench. We also compare the detected SSEs with epicenters of low-frequency tremors, very-low-frequency earthquakes (VLFEs), and regular earthquakes and discuss along-trench variations on short-term SSE characteristics. Daily coordinates of ~800 GEONET GNSS stations in southwest Japan were used to detect displacements caused by short-term SSEs. We divided a whole region into three regions for spatial filtering to reduce a noise of GNSS data. We fitted a step function with a linear trend to spatial-filtered daily coordinates to detect significant displacements in a direction opposite to the relative plate motion between the Philippine Sea plate and southwest Japan. If Akaike's information criterion expressing data fits exceeds a threshold, three-dimensional displacements were inverted to estimate a rectangular fault along the plate interface. We found more than 200 probable short-term SSEs in the region over 16 years. In western Shikoku, we detected 49 Mw ~6.0 ETSs. SSEs with a similar magnitude are found at the same depth range in northeast Kyushu without tremors although the number of detected SSEs is only 10. In the further southwest region, we found several shallow SSEs at a depth of 10-40 km

  14. Multiple-scale hydrothermal circulation in 135 Ma oceanic crust of the Japan Trench outer rise: Numerical models constrained with heat flow observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, Labani; Kawada, Yoshifumi; Hamamoto, Hideki; Yamano, Makoto

    2015-09-01

    Anomalous high heat flow is observed within 150 km seaward of the trench axis at the Japan Trench offshore of Sanriku, where the old Pacific Plate (˜135 Ma) is subducting. Individual heat flow values range between 42 and 114 mW m-2, with an average of ˜70 mW m-2. These values are higher than those expected from the seafloor age based on thermal models of the oceanic plate, i.e., ˜50 mW m-2. The heat flow exhibits spatial variations at multiple scales: regional high average heat flow (˜100 km) and smaller-scale heat flow peaks (˜1 km). We found that hydrothermal mining of heat from depth due to gradual thickening of an aquifer in the oceanic crust toward the trench axis can yield elevated heat flow of the spatial scale of ˜100 km. Topographic effects combined with hydrothermal circulation may account for the observed smaller-scale heat flow variations. Hydrothermal circulation in high-permeability faults may result in heat flow peaks of a subkilometer spatial scale. Volcanic intrusions are unlikely to be a major source of heat flow variations at any scale because of limited occurrence of young volcanoes in the study area. Hydrothermal heat transport may work at various scales on outer rises of other subduction zones as well, since fractures and faults have been well developed due to bending of the incoming plate.

  15. Sediment Accretion During Horst and Graben Subduction associated with the Tohoku Oki M9 Earthquake, Northern Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, J. C.; Chester, F. M.

    2015-12-01

    The stratigraphic sequence within the frontal accretionary prism of the Japan Trench, the site of large slip during the Tohoku earthquake, is unique due to horst and graben subduction. Boreholes at IODP Site C0019, penetrating the toe of the Tohoku accretionary prism, document a younger over older intraprism thrust contact with a 9 Ma age gap across the basal plate boundary fault. The anomalously young (Quaternary to Pliocene), fault-bounded sediment package is 130 m thick, of a total of 820 m of sediment above the plate boundary fault. In contrast, typical accretionary prism structure consists of stacked sediment packages on imbricate faults above the basal decollement resulting in an overall increase in age downward. Site C0019 penetrates the prism directly above a horst of the subducting Pacific oceanic crust. Here the plate-boundary fault consists of a thin, weak smectitic pelagic clay that is probably the principal slip surface of ~50 m offset in the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. The fault continues seaward deepening off the seaward edge of the horst and beneath the sediment fill of the adjacent graben, dying out at the landward base of the next incoming horst. The plate boundary fault and its splays in the graben form a narrow-taper protoprism and a small sedimentary basin of trench fill marking the seaward edge of the upper plate. The modern fault and sediment distributions within the graben are used to motivate a viable model for the presence of anomalously young sediments directly above the plate boundary fault. In this model sediments in the trench are thrust over the incoming horst by propagation of the plate boundary thrust up the landward-dipping fault of the incoming horst and along the smectitic clay layer to emplace Quaternary and Pliocene trench deposits directly on top of the incoming horst. These young deposits are in turn overlain by sediments 9 Ma or older that have been transported out of the graben along imbricate faults associated with the

  16. Flat Slab Subduction, Trench Suction, and Craton Destruction: Comparison of the North China, Wyoming, and Brazilian Cratons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusky, Timothy; Windley, Brian; Wang, Lu; Wang, Zhensheng; Li, Xiaoyong; Zhu, Peimin

    2015-04-01

    We define and test a unifying plate tectonic driving mechanism that explains the characteristics of the destruction of cratonic lithospheric roots. We document and model the relationships between flat slab subduction, trench suction, and craton destruction, using examples from the North China and Wyoming cratons, each of which locally lost approximately 100 km of their lithospheric roots in the Cretaceous and which show spatio-temporal relationships with episodes of flat slab subduction in the mantle transition zone associated with deep mantle hydration, coupled with slab rollback and concomitant influx of fertile mantle material to accommodate the space created by slab rollback. A similar process has more recently operated along the western side of the Brazilian craton where it is thrust beneath the thickened crust of the Andes in an area of trench rollback. The importance of the mutual interaction between these processes for destruction of cratonic roots may be greater than currently perceived. Together with the other processes of subduction erosion and arc subduction, larger amounts of continental lithosphere may have been subducted or otherwise returned to the sub-lithospheric mantle than previously appreciated. When oceanic lithosphere subducts, it hydrates the upper mantle beneath an arc from well-known dehydration reactions. However, some hydrous phases (e.g., Phase A, Phase E, and -γt and β-phase olivine) are stable to much greater depths and dehydrate even when a slab is in the mantle transition zone. It is estimated that 40% of the water subducted in hydrated oceanic crust, mantle, sediments, and subducted continental material reaches the mantle transition zone between 410 and 660 km. For instance lawsonite may contain up to 11% water, and is stable up to 11 GPa or about 300 km and serpentinites can contain up to 13% water and are stable up to 7 GPa, and after conversion to denser hydrous phases such as β-phase olivine they can be stable up to 50 GPa

  17. Effects of "Hot Fingers" on the Thermal Structure and Mantle Wedge Flow Pattern in Subduction Zones: Implications for Seismic Anisotropy and Volcanic Spacing in Northeast Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, C.; Wada, I.

    2015-12-01

    Geophysical observations in Northeast Japan indicate its complex mantle wedge dynamics: in particular, 1) narrow low-seismic-velocity regions extending from the back-arc into the sub-arc mantle, so called "hot fingers" [Tamura et al., 2002], and 2) abrupt rotation of the seismically fast polarization direction from trench-normal to trench-parallel beneath the arc [Nakajima and Hasegawa, 2004]. Although the origin of hot fingers is not well understood, its strong spatial correlation with volcanic clustering at surface indicates that they play an important role in controlling arc volcanism. The cause of trench-parallel fast direction in the fore-arc mantle is also unclear; it has been attributed to a range of mechanisms, such as trench-normal mantle wedge flow, the presence of B-type olivine and trench-parallel alignment of melt pockets in the mantle wedge, and hydration along trench-parallel deep-cutting faults in the subducting slab. In this study, we examine the effects of hot fingers on the mantle wedge flow pattern and thermal structure beneath the arc and forearc through three-dimensional numerical experiments and investigate its implications for volcanic spacing and seismic anisotropy in Northeast Japan. In the model, the effects of hot fingers are implemented by imposing thermal anomalies on the back-arc-side vertical boundary. We found that the presence of hot fingers results in 3-D dynamic pressure gradients, which induce local along-arc mantle flow between hot fingers beneath the fore-arc, consistent with the observed pattern of seismic anisotropy in the mantle wedge. Between hot fingers, the along-arc mantle flow in the fore-arc suppresses corner flow, causing lower temperatures in the mantle wedge and in the upper portion of the subducting slab. The cooler condition is likely to hinder the dehydration of the subducting slab and flux melting in the mantle wedge, and this can explain the paucity of Quaternary arc volcanism between hot fingers in Northeast

  18. Variation in deformation of the South Panama Accretionary Prism: Response to oblique subduction and trench sediment variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackay, Mary E.; Moore, Gregory F.

    1990-08-01

    Migrated single-channel seismic lines and Sea-MARC II side scan and bathymetry data document an active accretionary prism along the obliquely convergent margin of south Panama, a region previously believed to be a transform margin. The eastern flank of the Coiba Ridge is being subducted in this region, creating the requisite geometry for along-strike variation in trench sediment thickness and type. The regional east dip of the downgoing plate causes the depth of the oceanic crust along the trench to drop approximately 1800 m from west to east. In the western region of the study area the incoming sedimentary section consists of approximately 600 m of pelagic and hemipelagic sediments. A wedge of trench turbidites that overlies the incoming hemipelagic sediments thickens from less than 100 m in the western region to more than 900 m in the eastern region of the study area. The eastward increase in sediment thickness correlates with the following changes in the accretionary prism: (1) decrease in initial surface slope; (2) broadening of the inner trench slope; (3) increase in thrust spacing; (4) steepening of frontal thrusts; and (5) fold development. Each of the responses reflects, in varying degrees, the increase in volume and changing physical properties of the accreted material, as well as the changing shear strength of the décollement. The increase in overburden pressure and compaction in the deeper sediments, together with the change in lithology from oceanic to trenchfill sediments, should produce an eastward increase in sediment shear strength both within the wedge and along its base. Because the décollement will tend to form where the pore fluid pressure-overburden ratio is at a maximum, the shear strength within the wedge should increase relative to basal shear strength. Decreased surface slopes will result from the increasing contrast in shear strength between the wedge and its base.

  19. Pore pressure evolution at the plate interface along the Cascadia subduction zone from the trench to the ETS transition zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skarbek, R. M.; Rempel, A. W.; Schmidt, D. A.

    2010-12-01

    Pore fluid pressures in subduction zones are a primary control on fault strength and slip dynamics. Numerous studies document elevated pore pressures in the outer wedge along several margins. Seismic observations and the occurrence of non-volcanic tremor provide additional evidence for the presence of near-lithostatic pore pressures at the plate interface far down-dip from the trench (~35 km depth). Here we use numerical models in one and two dimensions to evaluate the pore pressure and compaction state of sediments on the subducting Juan de Fuca plate in Cascadia from the trench to the ETS zone. 2-D models allow pressure to diffuse vertically and also laterally normal to strike of the megathrust; 1-D models simulate only vertical diffusion. Model parameters are chosen with reference to two strike-normal profiles: one through central Oregon and one through the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. We examine temporal variations in sediment input to the trench and consider implications for fault strength and permeability as well as the down-dip extent to which compactive dewatering can be considered a significant fluid source. In 1-D, we use a general and fully nonlinear model of sediment compaction derived without making any assumptions regarding stress-strain or porosity-permeability relations and allowing finite strains. In contrast, most previous models of fluid flow in subduction zones have used linear models of diffusion that rely on assumptions of constant sediment permeability and infinitesimal strains for their formulation. Our nonlinear finite-strain model remains valid at greater depths, where stresses and strains are large. Boundary conditions in 1-D are constrained by pore pressure estimates along the megathrust fault that are based on seismic velocities (e.g. Tobin and Saffer, 2010) and data from consolidation tests conducted on sediments gathered during ODP Leg 204 (Tan, 2001). Initial conditions rely on input sediment thickness; while sediment thickness

  20. Crustal structure and seismicity associated with seamount subduction: Preliminary results from the Tonga-Kermadec Trench - Louisville Ridge collision zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassett, D.; Watts, A. B.; Peirce, C.; Grevemeyer, I.; Paulatto, M.; Stratford, W. R.; Hunter, J.; Kalnins, L. M.

    2011-12-01

    The Tonga-Kermadec trench, which separates the subducting Pacific plate from the overthrusting Indo-Australian plate, is intersected at ~26° S by the Louisville Ridge seamount chain. The collision zone is characterized by a 3000 m reduction in trench depth, a 15° anticlockwise rotation of the trench axis, a 20 % reduction in the width of extensional bend faulting on the Pacific plate and a rough, hummocky, forearc on the Indo-Australian plate. These morphological characteristics are accompanied by a 40 % reduction in seismicity compared to regions immediately to the north and south. The influence of subducting seamounts on megathrust processes is not limited to their immediate vicinity and there is evidence of morphological and seismological manifestations in the forearc with wavelengths similar to the wavelengths of the flexural moats and bulges that flank these features. The Louisville Ridge collision zone has been the subject of three marine geophysical surveys conducted onboard R/V Sonne in 2004, 2007 and 2011. Swath bathymetry data were collected throughout all surveys and the collated dataset reveals a pronounced forearc high reaching a depth of 2700 m, located ~80 km and at an azimuth of 305° from Osbourn, the oldest known seamount within the Louisville chain. The bathymetric high correlates with a free-air gravity and magnetic anomaly high (50 mGal and 200 nT peaks respectively) and all three datasets reveal both a flanking depression, approximately one third of the amplitude of the peak, and an outer high. Within the region of reduced seismicity, a preliminary forward velocity model derived from strike-parallel wide-angle seismic data, suggest a north-south reduction in depth to the forearc Moho and a local crustal thickening in the vicinity of the high. We present here a preliminary analysis of new and existing seismic, swath and potential field datasets from the Louisville Ridge collision zone. In addition to the anomalous forearc structure introduced

  1. Direct-path acoustic ranging across the Japan Trench axis, Adjacent to the Large Shallow Thrusting in the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osada, Y.; Kido, M.; Ito, Y.; Iinuma, T.; Fujimoto, H.; Hino, R.

    2014-12-01

    Seafloor geodetic data, i.e. GPS/acoustic measurement and continuous seafloor pressure monitoring, brought important evidences showing that the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake (Mw 9.0) caused huge (> 50 m) coseismic slip near the Japan Trench. The postseismic behavior of the large slipped area is required to clarify to understand why large amount seismic slip could occur there. We started making direct-path acoustic ranging across the trench axis to reveal the convergence rate between the subducting Pacific and overriding continental plates. We expect the change of the baseline length across the trench axis, the plate boundary, reflects the slip rate at the shallow megathrust, which is difficult to estimate only from other geodetic observations largely affected by intraplate deformation caused by the postseismic viscoelastic relaxation process.  To this end, we developed an ultra-deep seafloor acoustic ranging system. Our previous ranging systems have been designed to measure baseline length ~ 1 km and to be deployed up to 7,000 m water-depth (Osada et al., 2008, 2012). In order to realize the measurement across the Japan Trench, we improved this system to enhance range of acoustic ranging as well as operational depth of instruments. The improved system was designed to allow acoustic ranging up to 3 km and to be durable under the high-pressure equivalent to water depth of 9,000 m. In May 2013, we carried out a test deployment of the new ranging system. The system is composed of three seafloor instruments equipped with precision transponder (PXPs). Two of the PXPs were set on the landward slope of the Japan Trench, where large coseismic slip happened in 2011. Another PXP was deployed on the seaward side of the trench so that the baseline change associated with the slip on the plate boundary fault, if any, can be detected. Continuous records of baseline lengths were successfully obtained for four months. The repeatability of the distance measurements was about 20 mm for

  2. Changes in the crust and upper mantle near the Japan-Bonin Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houtz, R.; Windisch, C.; Murauchi, S.

    1980-01-01

    Depths and reflection times to mantle have been computed in the west Pacific from 60 sonobuoy refraction solutions, many of which could be compared with observed mantle reflection depths from multi-channel data obtained at the same time. After repicking some of these sonobuoy records, all were eventually adjusted to agree within 0.05 s with the observed mantle reflection times. This added constraint produces solutions that are clearly more reliable. Crustal velocities (exclusive of water and sediment) from the study area are rather tightly distributed about a mean value of 6.53 km/s with a standard deviation of only 0.23 km/s (n = 47). Results show that the crust thickens in a westerly direction from the west Pacific basin, where mantle depths are 11-11.5 km to a belt 200 km east of the Japan trench, coinciding with the outer gravity high, where mantle is at an average depth of 14 km. Several sonobuoys in the zone of maximum crustal thickness just east of the outer slope of the Japan trench record two deep reflectors about 0.6 s apart in the vicinity of the upper mantle. Two values of interval velocity obtained from a reduced T2/X2 analysis of the layer bounded by these reflectors are 7.5 and 7.2 km/s. These sonobuoys and a few others with weaker double reflections are all located within the outer gravity high. To the south a well-observed mantle reflection and its strong 8.2-km/s refraction disappear from our records just as the crust begins its descent into the Bonin trench. Within the outer trench slope a 7.3-km/s refractor, which is a weak arrival elsewhere, becomes the dominant refractor. The peculiar double reflector near mantle and the marked change in velocity structure and upper mantle reflectivity at the edge of the outer slopes seem to confirm the changes in upper mantle refraction velocity reported by Talwani et al. (1977) in the Curacao trench, Caribbean Sea, but our evidence is not conclusive. In spite of the ambiguity it is clear that velocity

  3. Seismic imaging and velocity structure around the JFAST drill site in the Japan Trench: low Vp, high Vp/ Vs in the transparent frontal prism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Yasuyuki; Kodaira, Shuichi; Cook, Becky J.; Jeppson, Tamara; Kasaya, Takafumi; Yamamoto, Yojiro; Hashimoto, Yoshitaka; Yamaguchi, Mika; Obana, Koichiro; Fujie, Gou

    2014-12-01

    Seismic image and velocity models were obtained from a newly conducted seismic survey around the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST) drill site in the Japan Trench. Pre-stack depth migration (PSDM) analysis was applied to the multichannel seismic reflection data to produce an accurate depth seismic profile together with a P wave velocity model along a line that crosses the JFAST site location. The seismic profile images the subduction zone at a regional scale. The frontal prism where the drill site is located corresponds to a typically seismically transparent (or chaotic) zone with several landward-dipping semi-continuous reflections. The boundary between the Cretaceous backstop and the frontal prism is marked by a prominent landward-dipping reflection. The P wave velocity model derived from the PSDM analysis shows low velocity in the frontal prism and velocity reversal across the backstop interface. The PSDM velocity model around the drill site is similar to the P wave velocity model calculated from the ocean bottom seismograph (OBS) data and agrees with the P wave velocities measured from the core experiments. The average Vp/ Vs in the hanging wall sediments around the drill site, as derived from OBS data, is significantly larger than that obtained from core sample measurements.

  4. Major Existence of Very Low Frequency Earthquakes in Background Seismicity Along Subduction Zone of South-western Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishihara, Y.

    2003-12-01

    The condense, high quality and equalized broadband seismic network provided us to recognize the variety of seismic sources. The active volcanoes excite seismic waves with various frequency characteristics. Some cases show the long period seismic waves greater than 10 sec associates with volcanic activities. The tectonic seismic events originated at the close to trench zone are frequently lack of high frequency, greater than 1 Hz, seismic wave component. Meanwhile, the many low frequency earthquakes and tremors whose sources are not explicated are occurred in lower crust and subcrustal region. The subduction zone of Philippine Sea plate in south-western Japan is actively genetic area of low frequency earthquake group. The broadband seismic array of Japan region observed unknown long period ground motions. The seismograms are higher amplitude between 10 and 30 sec period than ground noise level. The earthquake JMA and USGS catalogues don_ft list about these long period seismograms. The arrival order of wave packet means that these events locate subduction zone around Japan. The hypocenters of unknown events are estimated by arrival times of vertical peak amplitude using the assumption that the ground motion dominates Rayleigh wave. The more detailed determination of major events is performed by combined technique for moment tensor inversion and grid search. The moment magnitude of uncatalogued event is greater than 3.5 because of the detection limitation. The largest event is distributed to about 4.5 Mw level and special event is greater than 5.0. The frequency characteristics show that source time is 7 to 20 sec by comparison with synthetic seismograms. We call these uncatalogued events _gvery low frequency earthquake_h. The hypocenters are located to two kinds of zones along the Philippine Sea subducting plate in south-western Japan. The one zone is very close to the trough. The seismicity listed by earthquake catalogues is low level in the zone and hypocenters are

  5. Geochemical evidence in the northeast Lau Basin for subduction of the Cook-Austral volcanic chain in the Tonga Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, Allison A.; Jackson, Matthew G.; Blichert-Toft, Janne; Blusztajn, Jerzy; Conatser, Christopher S.; Konter, Jasper G.; Koppers, Anthony A. P.; Kurz, Mark D.

    2016-05-01

    Lau Basin basalts host an array of geochemical signatures that suggest incorporation of enriched mantle source material often associated with intraplate hotspots, but the origin of these signatures remain uncertain. Geochemical signatures associated with mantle material entrained from the nearby Samoan hotspot are present in northwest Lau Basin lavas, and subducted seamounts from the Louisville hotspot track may contribute geochemical signatures to the Tonga Arc. However, lavas in the northeast Lau Basin (NELB) have unique enriched geochemical signatures that cannot be related to these hotspots, but can be attributed to the subduction of seamounts associated with the Cook-Austral volcanic lineament. Here we present geochemical data on a new suite of NELB lavas—ranging in 40Ar/39Ar age from 1.3 Ma to 0.365 ka—that have extreme signatures of geochemical enrichment, including lavas with the highest 206Pb/204Pb (19.580) and among the lowest 143Nd/144Nd (0.512697) encountered in the Lau Basin to date. These signatures are linked to the canonical EM1 (enriched mantle 1) and HIMU (high-μ = 238U/204Pb) mantle end-members, respectively. Using a plate reconstruction model, we show that older portions of the traces of two of the Cook-Austral hotspots that contributed volcanism to the Cook-Austral volcanic lineament—the Rarotonga and Rurutu hotspots—were potentially subducted in the Tonga Trench beneath the NELB. The geochemical signatures of the Rarotonga, Rurutu, and Samoan hotspots provide a compelling match to the extreme geochemical components observed in the new NELB lavas.

  6. Poseseismic deformation following two thrust earthquakes at Kurile-Japan Trench: The 2003 Tokachi-oki and the 2005 Miyagi-oki earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyazaki, S.; Segall, P.; Fukuda, J.; Johnson, K. M.; Kato, T.

    2006-12-01

    We investigate postseismic crustal deformation following the 2003 Tokachi-oki and the 2005 Miyagi-oki earthquakes using data from the Japanese continuous GPS network. Both earthquakes ocurred on the plate interface at the Japan-Kurile Trench where the Pacific plate is subducting beneath the northeast Japan. The moment magnitudes of the main shocks are M_W ~ 8.0 for Tokachi-oki and M_W ~ 7.2 for Miyagi- oki. An interesting feature of these earthquakes is that afterslip is imaged along-strike from the coseismic rupture and at the same depth as coseismic rupture. One possible explanation for the along-strike variation in slip behavior is along-strike variations in frictional properties on the subduction plate interface with coseismic rupture occurring in areas of steady-state velocity strengthening and afterslip occurring in areas of velocity weakening. We calculate the evolution of shear stress change on the fault surface using the inverted slip history, and investigate the relation to the inverted slip-rate. The modeled phase space curves (in slip-rate, shear stress change space) are quasi-linear. Assuming this curve corresponds to the steady-state velocity strengthening line, we infer a value of ~ 0.2 MPa for the constitutive parameter (a-b) σeff for the part of the interface that slipped after the Tokachi-oki earthquake.

  7. Anaerobic methanotrophic community of a 5346-m-deep vesicomyid clam colony in the Japan Trench.

    PubMed

    Felden, J; Ruff, S E; Ertefai, T; Inagaki, F; Hinrichs, K-U; Wenzhöfer, F

    2014-05-01

    Vesicomyidae clams harbor sulfide-oxidizing endosymbionts and are typical members of cold seep communities where active venting of fluids and gases takes place. We investigated the central biogeochemical processes that supported a vesicomyid clam colony as part of a locally restricted seep community in the Japan Trench at 5346 m water depth, one of the deepest seep settings studied to date. An integrated approach of biogeochemical and molecular ecological techniques was used combining in situ and ex situ measurements. In sediment of the clam colony, low sulfate reduction rates (maximum 128 nmol mL(-1) day(-1)) were coupled to the anaerobic oxidation of methane. They were observed over a depth range of 15 cm, caused by active transport of sulfate due to bioturbation of the vesicomyid clams. A distinct separation between the seep and the surrounding seafloor was shown by steep horizontal geochemical gradients and pronounced microbial community shifts. The sediment below the clam colony was dominated by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME-2c) and sulfate-reducing Desulfobulbaceae (SEEP-SRB-3, SEEP-SRB-4). Aerobic methanotrophic bacteria were not detected in the sediment, and the oxidation of sulfide seemed to be carried out chemolithoautotrophically by Sulfurovum species. Thus, major redox processes were mediated by distinct subgroups of seep-related microorganisms that might have been selected by this specific abyssal seep environment. Fluid flow and microbial activity were low but sufficient to support the clam community over decades and to build up high biomasses. Hence, the clams and their microbial communities adapted successfully to a low-energy regime and may represent widespread chemosynthetic communities in the Japan Trench. In this regard, they contributed to the restricted deep-sea trench biodiversity as well as to the organic carbon availability, also for non-seep organisms, in such oligotrophic benthic environment of the dark deep ocean. PMID:24593671

  8. Anaerobic methanotrophic community of a 5346-m-deep vesicomyid clam colony in the Japan Trench

    PubMed Central

    Felden, J; Ruff, S E; Ertefai, T; Inagaki, F; Hinrichs, K-U; Wenzhöfer, F

    2014-01-01

    Vesicomyidae clams harbor sulfide-oxidizing endosymbionts and are typical members of cold seep communities where active venting of fluids and gases takes place. We investigated the central biogeochemical processes that supported a vesicomyid clam colony as part of a locally restricted seep community in the Japan Trench at 5346 m water depth, one of the deepest seep settings studied to date. An integrated approach of biogeochemical and molecular ecological techniques was used combining in situ and ex situ measurements. In sediment of the clam colony, low sulfate reduction rates (maximum 128 nmol mL−1 day−1) were coupled to the anaerobic oxidation of methane. They were observed over a depth range of 15 cm, caused by active transport of sulfate due to bioturbation of the vesicomyid clams. A distinct separation between the seep and the surrounding seafloor was shown by steep horizontal geochemical gradients and pronounced microbial community shifts. The sediment below the clam colony was dominated by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME-2c) and sulfate-reducing Desulfobulbaceae (SEEP-SRB-3, SEEP-SRB-4). Aerobic methanotrophic bacteria were not detected in the sediment, and the oxidation of sulfide seemed to be carried out chemolithoautotrophically by Sulfurovum species. Thus, major redox processes were mediated by distinct subgroups of seep-related microorganisms that might have been selected by this specific abyssal seep environment. Fluid flow and microbial activity were low but sufficient to support the clam community over decades and to build up high biomasses. Hence, the clams and their microbial communities adapted successfully to a low-energy regime and may represent widespread chemosynthetic communities in the Japan Trench. In this regard, they contributed to the restricted deep-sea trench biodiversity as well as to the organic carbon availability, also for non-seep organisms, in such oligotrophic benthic environment of the dark deep ocean. PMID

  9. Seismological detection of low-velocity anomalies surrounding the mantle transition zone in Japan subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zhen; Park, Jeffrey; Karato, Shun-ichiro

    2016-03-01

    In the Japan subduction zone, a locally depressed 660 discontinuity has been observed beneath northeast Asia, suggesting downwelling of materials from the mantle transition zone (MTZ). Vertical transport of water-rich MTZ materials across the major mineral phase changes could lead to water release and to partial melting in surrounding mantle regions, causing seismic low-velocity anomalies. Melt layers implied by low-velocity zones (LVZs) above the 410 discontinuity have been detected in many regions, but seismic evidence for partial melting below the 660 discontinuity has been limited. High-frequency migrated Ps receiver functions indicate LVZs below the depressed 660 discontinuity and above the 410 discontinuity in the deep Japan subduction zone, suggesting dehydration melting induced by water transport out of the MTZ. Our results provide insights into water circulation associated with dynamic interactions between the subducted slab and surrounding mantle.

  10. Earthquake generation cycles and tsunami simulations providing possible scenarios for Turkey (Marmara sea) and Japan (Nankai trough and Japan trench)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hori, Takane; Yalciner, Ahmet; Ozel, Nurcan; Kilic, Irfan; Miyazaki, Shin'ichi; Hyodo, Mamoru

    2015-04-01

    In order to obtain comprehensive earthquake and tsunami scenarios for disaster assessment, numerical simulations of earthquake generation cycles and resultant tsunami generations have been performed in Japan. The occurrence of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake has realized us the necessity to consider all the possible scenarios without preconceptions. We have performed large-scale numerical simulations using Earth Simulator and K-computer for earthquake generation cycles along the Nankai trough, southwest Japan, where megathrust earthquakes with some segments have sequentially occurred. We have succeeded to reproduce various rupture pattern seen in historical data and geological evidences (such as tsunami deposit) being consistent with GEONET data during interseismic period. Using the results of such earthquake generation cycle simulations, we performed tsunami generation, propagation and inundation simulation. In Turkey, tsunami simulation methods and tsunami scenario database have been developed. In the research project of SATREPS -Earthquake and tsunami disaster mitigation in the Marmara region and disaster education in Turkey, we are applying such earthquake generation cycle and tsunami simulations to the North Anatolian fault system to obtain possible earthquake scenarios and to improve tsunami scenario data base for Sea of Marmara. For the modeling of the fault system, we will use observation results by the earthquake source modeling group in this project to improve the existing models. The earthquake scenarios will be used also for strong motion predictions by the group of seismic characterization and damage prediction. We will visualize the simulation results for disaster education. Furthermore, we will contribute to improve semi-realtime earthquake analyses and tsunami forecasting. In the presentation, we will show some recent simulation results of earthquake generation cycles and tsunamis for Turkey (Marmara sea) and Japan (Nankai trough and Japan trench

  11. Friction properties of the plate boundary megathrust beneath the frontal wedge near the Japan Trench: an inference from topographic variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koge, Hiroaki; Fujiwara, Toshiya; Kodaira, Shuichi; Sasaki, Tomoyuki; Kameda, Jun; Kitamura, Yujin; Hamahashi, Mari; Fukuchi, Rina; Yamaguchi, Asuka; Hamada, Yohei; Ashi, Juichiro; Kimura, Gaku

    2014-12-01

    The 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake (Mw 9.0) produced a fault rupture that extended to the toe of the Japan Trench. The deformation and frictional properties beneath the forearc are keys that can help to elucidate this unusual event. In the present study, to investigate the frictional properties of the shallow part of the plate boundary, we applied the critically tapered Coulomb wedge theory to the Japan Trench and obtained the effective coefficient of basal friction and Hubbert-Rubey pore fluid pressure ratio (λ) of the wedge beneath the lower slope. We extracted the surface slope angle and décollement dip angle (which are the necessary topographic parameters for applying the critical taper theory) from seismic reflection and refraction survey data at 12 sites in the frontal wedges of the Japan Trench. We found that the angle between the décollement and back-stop interface generally decreases toward the north. The measured taper angle and inferred effective friction coefficient were remarkably high at three locations. The southernmost area, which had the highest coefficient of basal friction, coincides with the area where the seamount is colliding offshore of Fukushima. The second area with a high effective coefficient of basal friction coincides with the maximum slip location during the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake. The area of the 2011 earthquake rupture was topographically unique from other forearc regions in the Japan Trench. The strain energy accumulation near the trench axis may have proceeded because of the relatively high friction, and later this caused a large slip and collapse of the wedge. The location off Sanriku, where there are neither seamount collisions nor rupture propagation, also has a high coefficient of basal friction. The characteristics of the taper angle, effective coefficient of basal friction, and pore fluid pressure ratio along the Japan Trench presented herein may contribute to the understanding of the relationship between the geometry of

  12. Lateral variations in the structure of the overriding and down-going plates in response to subduction of the Louisville Ridge seamount chain at the Tonga-Kermadec Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stratford, W. R.; Peirce, C.; Watts, A. B.; Grevemeyer, I.; Paulatto, M.; Bassett, D.; Hunter, J.; Kalnins, L. M.

    2011-12-01

    Seamount subduction at the Tonga-Kermadec trench is investigated using ~1800 km of new geophysical data collected along four profiles acquired during April-June, 2011 aboard the R/V Sonne. This NERC funded multidisciplinary, multi-institutional project obtained wide-angle and normal incidence seismic, gravity, magnetic and swath bathymetry data in the region of the Louisville Ridge subduction. Subduction of seamounts can be associated with changes in subduction zone seismogenesis, crustal structure, and trench strike and depth. Subduction of the Louisville ridge seamounts has already occurred at the trench and is postulated to have caused accelerated tectonic erosion of the overlying plate, collapse of the overriding plate into the trench and a gap in seismicity. The Tonga-Kermadec subduction system is of particular interest as it has some of the highest convergence rates seen globally, and has produced fatal earthquakes and Tsunami in recent years. Due to the oblique collision of the seamount chain at the trench, there is southward migration of the collision zone of ~200 km/Ma. Thus to the north of the Louisville Ridge, the forearc has already undergone seamount subduction, whereas to the south, it is yet to be perturbed by this process. We investigate collision at the trench with three new trench perpendicular profiles, one along axis of the seamount chain, one to the north and one to the south. The profiles were designed to cross the main tectonic features of the subduction zone explicitly to elucidate differences in crustal structure in the overlying plate. In addition, magmatic alteration of the crust of the down-going plate by the Louisville hot spot is investigated for flexural loading studies of the seamount chain and its intersection with the trench outer rise. New models for the crustal velocity structure from wide-angle data are presented and results are discussed in the context of changes in structure of the overriding plate associated with varying

  13. Variable Holocene deformation above a shallow subduction zone extremely close to the trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  14. Crustal structure and seismicity associated with seamount subduction: A synthesis of results from the Tonga-Kermadec Trench - Louisville Ridge collision zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassett, D.; Watts, A. B.; Paulatto, M.; Stratford, W. R.; Peirce, C.; Grevemeyer, I.

    2013-12-01

    The Tonga-Kermadec plate boundary is the most linear, fastest converging and most seismically active subduction zone on Earth. The margin is intersected at ~26° S by the Louisville Ridge seamount chain. Crustal structure of both the overthrusting Indo-Australian and subducting Pacific plate are sufficiently uniform north and south of the contemporary collision zone to make this an ideal location to study the mechanics and seismological consequences of seamount subduction. We present here a synthesis and interpretation of structural observations from the Louisville collision zone made during three marine geophysical surveys onboard R/V Sonne in 2004, 2007-2008 and 2011. The Louisville collision zone is characterized by a 3000 m reduction in trench depth and a 15° anticlockwise rotation of the trench axis. Swath bathymetry data reveal a pronounced forearc high (~ 2000 m relative to adjacent regions), which is correlated with a free-air gravity and magnetic anomaly high (50 mGal and 200 nT peaks respectively). Morphological characteristics are accompanied by a 40 % reduction in seismicity compared to regions immediately to the north and south. Forward modeling of active source seismic travel-times constrain the subducting Pacific plate to ~30 km depth and suggests that it is ~6 km thick and has Vp 6.2-6.8 km/sec. The overthrusting Indo-Australian plate has Vp 4.5-6.8 km/sec and a Moho depth of 15 km. The mantle wedge has Vp ~8.0 km/sec. Beneath the forearc high, seismic wave-speeds within the upper-plate are 0.3-0.5 km/sec slower than regions to the north and south and a up to 3 km thick volume of anomalously low Vp (<4.5 km/sec at > 10 km depth) is inferred to overlie the subduction interface. This latter observation is interpreted as subducting and underplated volcaniclastic sediments, which reach up to 1-2 km in thickness within the flanking flexural moats of the Louisville Ridge. The projected width of the ridge and flanking moats are well correlated with the

  15. Variation of interplate fault zone properties with depth in the japan subduction zone

    PubMed

    Bilek; Lay

    1998-08-21

    The depth dependence of physical properties along the Japan subduction zone interface was explored using teleseismic recordings of earthquake signals. Broadband body waves were inverted to determine the duration of rupture and source depth for 40 interplate thrust earthquakes located offshore of Honshu between 1989 and 1995. After scaling for differences in seismic moment, there is a systematic decrease in rupture duration with increasing depth along the subducting plate interface. This indicates increases in rupture velocity or stress drop with depth, likely related to variation in rigidity of sediments on the megathrust. PMID:9712578

  16. Subduction components in Pleistocene to recent Kurile arc magmas in NE Hokkaido, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoang, Nguyen; Itoh, Jun'ichi; Miyagi, Isoji

    2011-03-01

    Samples of Kurile arc lavas erupted between 1.6 Ma and ca. 30,000 years were collected from the Kutcharo, Mashu and Akan caldera area in NE Hokkaido, about 150 km west of the Kurile trench. The samples include rhyolitic pumice, rhyolite, dacite, andesite and, rare, tholeiitic basalt, and show 'medium' potassic calc-alkaline affinity. Except for relatively high concentrations of large ionic lithophile elements (LILE), Th and especially Pb, other trace elements, including the rare earths (REE) and high field strength elements (HFSE), show relatively low abundances when compared with those of normal mid-ocean ridge basalts (N-MORB). Their Sr, Nd isotopic compositions are relatively depleted, with 87Sr/ 86Sr ranging from 0.7033 to 0.7034 and 143Nd/ 144Nd from 0.51295 to 0.51230. Pb isotopic compositions are also relatively unradiogenic, with 206Pb/ 204Pb at about 18.4 and 208Pb/ 204Pb ranging from 38.3 to 38.4, significantly more depleted than other Quaternary lavas in NE Japan. The Kurile lavas show typical subduction-type element distributions, with high ratios of fluid-mobile incompatible elements over fluid-immobile HFSE, Ba/Nb, for example, ranging between ca. 200 and 450. The lack of covariance between (e.g.) Ba/Nb and Ba/Th with 87Sr/ 86Sr, and Nd/Pb with Pb isotopic ratios suggests minimal involvement of sediment-derived metasomatism of the magmatic source. Geochemical character of the latter probably reflects contamination by hydrous fluids derived from altered oceanic crust (AOC). This is indicated by the coupling of relatively depleted, MORB-like Sr and Pb isotopic compositions and high Sr and Pb contents. Thus, given their N-MORB-type isotopic compositions, the LILE, and HFSE-like character, evidenced by high ratios of Ba/Nb, and variable Nd/Pb and Th/Nd, suggests NE Hokkaido arc magma genesis is best explained in terms of a binary mixing model involving: a dominantly N-MORB-like (i.e. depleted) convecting mantle 'wedge', contaminated by hydrous AOC

  17. Thermal Studies at the Middle America Trench Offshore Costa Rica and Nankai Trough, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, R. N.; Solomon, E. A.; Spinelli, G. A.; Scientific Team of IODP Drilling Expedition 334

    2011-12-01

    Knowledge of the temperature distribution at convergent margins is important to understanding physical and chemical processes such as fluid flow, diagenesis, and faulting mechanics in the forearc region. Seafloor probe measurements offer an economical method for obtaining transects of heat flow across the forearc and along strike. Because these measurements only prick the seafloor they are sensitive to near seafloor processes such as bottom water temperature variations, deformation, and shallow fluid circulation and, although important in their own right, can obfuscate thermal inferences at depth. Ocean drilling provides access to deeper environments where downhole tools, acoustic measurements, and logging technologies can provide important scientific insight. We review recent heat flow results from the Costa Rica and Nankai convergent margins emphasizing ocean drilling transects where measurements of heat flow are available from seafloor probe and ocean drilling. Heat flow measurements offshore the erosive Costa Rican margin show strong along strike variations that reflect different styles of fluid flow and have important impacts on forearc processes. Along both the Nicoya and CRISP drilling transects, heat flow from seafloor probes and ocean drilling are consistent and indicate hydrothermal circulation prior to and after subduction. Fluid flow advects heat from deeper along the subduction thrust and deposits it near the seafloor cooling and warming these regions, respectively. The accretionary Nankai trough also shows important along strike changes in heat flow related to the age of oceanic crust at the trench. Heat flow and geochemical results are consistent with basement fluid flow at the Muroto transect but are more ambiguous at the NanTroSEIZE transect.

  18. Variable Holocene deformation above a shallow subduction zone extremely close to the trench

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Histories of vertical crustal motions at convergent margins offer fundamental insights into the relationship between interplate slip and permanent deformation. Moreover, past abrupt motions are proxies for potential tsunamigenic earthquakes and benefit hazard assessment. Well-dated records are required to understand the relationship between past earthquakes and Holocene vertical deformation. Here we measure elevations and 230Th ages of in situ corals raised above the sea level in the western Solomon Islands to build an uplift event history overlying the seismogenic zone, extremely close to the trench (4–40 km). We find marked spatiotemporal heterogeneity in uplift from mid-Holocene to present: some areas accrue more permanent uplift than others. Thus, uplift imposed during the 1 April 2007 Mw 8.1 event may be retained in some locations but removed in others before the next megathrust rupture. This variability suggests significant changes in strain accumulation and the interplate thrust process from one event to the next. PMID:26123872

  19. Variable Holocene deformation above a shallow subduction zone extremely close to the trench.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Histories of vertical crustal motions at convergent margins offer fundamental insights into the relationship between interplate slip and permanent deformation. Moreover, past abrupt motions are proxies for potential tsunamigenic earthquakes and benefit hazard assessment. Well-dated records are required to understand the relationship between past earthquakes and Holocene vertical deformation. Here we measure elevations and (230)Th ages of in situ corals raised above the sea level in the western Solomon Islands to build an uplift event history overlying the seismogenic zone, extremely close to the trench (4-40 km). We find marked spatiotemporal heterogeneity in uplift from mid-Holocene to present: some areas accrue more permanent uplift than others. Thus, uplift imposed during the 1 April 2007 Mw 8.1 event may be retained in some locations but removed in others before the next megathrust rupture. This variability suggests significant changes in strain accumulation and the interplate thrust process from one event to the next. PMID:26123872

  20. Effect of subduction components on production of basalts from Tateshina volcano, central Japan: geochemical calculation of dehydration of subducting oceanic crust and partial melting of overlying sediments, and subsequent fluid-mantle interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katoh, Masayasu; Shuto, Kenji

    Effect of subduction components on production of basalts from Tateshina volcano, central Japan: geochemical calculation of dehydration of subducting oceanic crust and partial melting of overlying sediments, and subsequent fluid-mantle interaction

  1. The 2000 Nemuro-Hanto-Oki earthquake, off eastern Hokkaido, Japan, and the high intraslab seismic activity in the southwestern Kuril Trench

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Takahashi, H.; Hirata, K.

    2003-01-01

    The 2000 Nemuro-Hanto-Oki earthquake (Mw6.8) occurred in the southwestern part of the Kuril Trench. The hypocenter was located close to the aftershock region of the great 1994 Kuril earthquake (Mw8.3), named "the 1994 Hokkaido-Toho-Oki earthquake" by the Japan Meteorological Agency, for which the fault plane is still in debate. Analysis of the 2000 event provides a clue to resolve the fault plane issue for the 1994 event. The hypocenters of the 2000 main shock and aftershocks are determined using arrival times from a combination of nearby inland and submarine seismic networks with an improved azimuthal coverage. They clearly show that the 2000 event was an intraslab event occurring on a shallow-dipping fault plane between 55 and 65 km in depth. The well-focused aftershock distribution of the 2000 event, the relative location of the 1994 event with respect to the 2000 event, and the similarity between their focal mechanisms strongly suggest that the faulting of the great 1994 earthquake also occurred on a shallow-dipping fault plane in the subducting slab. The recent hypocenter distribution around the 1994 aftershock region also supports this result. Large intraslab earthquakes occuring to the southeast of Hokkaido may occur due to a strong coupling on the plate boundary, which generates relatively large stress field within the subducting Pacific plate.

  2. Diverse magmatic effects of subducting a hot slab in SW Japan: Results from forward modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, Jun-Ichi; Gill, James B.; Kunikiyo, Tomoyuki; Osaka, Isaku; Shimoshioiri, Yusuke; Katakuse, Maiko; Kakubuchi, Susumu; Nagao, Takashi; Furuyama, Katsuhiko; Kamei, Atsushi; Kawabata, Hiroshi; Nakajima, Junichi; van Keken, Peter E.; Stern, Robert J.

    2014-03-01

    response to the subduction of the young Shikoku Basin of the Philippine Sea Plate, arc magmas erupted in SW Japan throughout the late Cenozoic. Many magma types are present including ocean island basalt (OIB), shoshonite (SHO), arc-type alkali basalt (AB), typical subalkalic arc basalt (SAB), high-Mg andesite (HMA), and adakite (ADK). OIB erupted since the Japan Sea back-arc basin opened, whereas subsequent arc magmas accompanied subduction of the Shikoku Basin. However, there the origin of the magmas in relation to hot subduction is debated. Using new major and trace element and Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf isotope analyses of 324 lava samples from seven Quaternary volcanoes, we investigated the genetic conditions of the magma suites using a geochemical mass balance model, Arc Basalt Simulator version 4 (ABS4), that uses these data to solve for the parameters such as pressure/temperature of slab dehydration/melting and slab flux fraction, pressure, and temperature of mantle melting. The calculations suggest that those magmas originated from slab melts that induced flux melting of mantle peridotite. The suites differ mostly in the mass fraction of slab-melt flux, increasing from SHO through AB, SAB, HMA, to ADK. The pressure and temperature of mantle melting decreases in the same order. The suites differ secondarily in the ratio of altered oceanic crust to sediment in the source of the slab melt. The atypical suites associated with hot subduction result from unusually large mass fractions of slab melt and unusually cool mantle temperatures.

  3. Boron Isotope Constraints on Fluid-Rock Interactions in the Shallow Megathrust at the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishikawa, T.; Matsuoka, J.; Kameda, J.; Sample, J. C.; Mori, J. J.; Chester, F. M.

    2014-12-01

    IODP Expedition 343 (JFAST) drilled three holes through the plate boundary near the Japan Trench to investigate the cause of very large fault slip during the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake. Interstitial fluids and rocks within and around the plate-boundary fault were recovered from Hole C0019E. Chemical characteristics of these fluids and rocks provide useful information for understanding fluid-related processes that occurred in the shallow megathrust fault zone at the Japan Trench. In this paper, we report concentrations and isotope ratios of boron determined for JFAST fluids and rocks, as well as for sediments from DSDP site 436, which is a nearby input site. Depth profiles of B content and B isotope ratio (δ11B value) for the interstitial fluids show a clear minimum and a maximum, respectively, around the plate boundary fault. Fluids from the vicinity of the fault are characterized by lower B content and higher δ11B value compared with seawater. The B contents and δ11B values of the plate-boundary fault rocks are indistinguishable from those of smectite-rich sediments from DPDP site 436, which is consistent with observations for other trace element compositions. In the systems composed of seawater-like fluid and sediment, both B concentrations and δ11B values in the fluid and solid phases are temperature-sensitive, and higher temperatures result in higher B and lower δ11B in the fluid phase and lower B and lower δ11B in the solid phase. Actually, interstitial fluids from ODP site 808 (Nankai Trough) showed a clear increase and a decrease of B and δ11B, respectively, with increasing depth at temperatures higher than 50 deg. C (You et al., 1995). The ODP site 808 rocks also showed distinct decreases of B and δ11B at the depths with temperatures higher than 100 deg. C (You et al., 1995). The observed B and δ11B characteristics of the JFAST fluids and rocks thus indicate that fluids and rocks within and around the plate-boundary fault have no clear record for

  4. 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

  5. Paleotsunamis from the central Kuril Islands segment of the Japan-Kuril-Kamchatka subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacInnes, Breanyn; Kravchunovskaya, Ekaterina; Pinegina, Tatiana; Bourgeois, Joanne

    2016-07-01

    Paleotsunami records from the central Kuril Island segment of the Japan-Kuril-Kamchatka subduction zone indicate that the region has been frequently inundated by tsunamis. As many as 20-22 tsunami deposits are recognized on Matua Island for the past 3300 yr with an average tsunami recurrence interval of ∼150 yr, and 34-36 tsunami deposits are evident on Simushir Island for the past 2350 yr with an average recurrence of ∼65 yr. These intervals are short, but comparable to other segments of the Japan-Kuril-Kamchatka subduction zone. Results from all survey locations reveal shortening recurrence intervals toward the present, especially for the last 600 yr, indicating a possible preservation bias. On Simushir, tsunamis at least 11 m higher than the modern tsunamis in 2006 and 2007 occurred every ∼300 yr on average. On Matua, tsunamis with slightly farther inundation than the 2006 and 2007 tsunamis occurred every ∼215 yr while those with at least 100 m farther inland inundation occur every ∼750 yr. Our paleotsunami record almost certainly includes tsunamis that are not from great subduction zone earthquakes in the central Kuril segment: we expect the Matua record includes volcanic tsunamis and the Simushir record includes tsunamis from the southern Kuril segment.

  6. The Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST): Success in logging, sampling and instrumenting the megathrust in the region of large slip during the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chester, F. M.; Mori, J. J.; Eguchi, N.; Toczko, S.; Fulton, P. M.; Brodsky, E. E.

    2012-12-01

    The very large fault slip during the 11 March 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake, reaching a maximum of >50 m near the Japan Trench, is the largest ever observed for an earthquake and responsible for the peak tsunami heights of 20 to 40 meters that devastated a large portion of the coast of northeast Honshu. Although the cause of significant seismic slip at shallow depths is not entirely understood, a number of possible contributing factors have been identified. Key questions include how displacement was accommodated near the trench, and whether coseismic weakening of the shallow megathrust had a role in the mechanics of such large displacement. These and other questions are being addressed with data from the recently completed rapid-response expedition undertaken by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). Drilling the plate boundary interface was technically challenging because of the 6.9 km water depth and the need to penetrate > 800 m through the prism to reach the subducting plate. Nonetheless, three successful holes were drilled to the target depth. Logging and spot coring data from the first two boreholes indicate that the location of the plate-boundary décollement is tens of meters above bedded chert on the basaltic crust of the subducting plate. Notably, the décollement is considerably thinner than subduction thrusts drilled elsewhere. Distinguishing characteristics of the décollement that are compatible with coseismic weakening include the pronounced localization of shear to a meters-thick layer of scaly clay and to mesoscale slip surfaces within the layer. A one meter section of the scaly clay was retrieved, which provides ample material for characterization of structural, physical, chemical and mechanical properties of the plate interface, and post-cruise analyses of samples are already producing new results. The third hole was completed during the second leg of the expedition, and a temperature measurement string was successfully installed across the

  7. Three-dimensional electromagnetic imaging of upwelling fluids in the Kyushu subduction zone, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hata, Maki; Oshiman, Naoto; Yoshimura, Ryokei; Tanaka, Yoshikazu; Uyeshima, Makoto

    2015-01-01

    A three-dimensional (3-D) lithospheric-scale electrical resistivity model, developed using network-magnetotelluric (network-MT) data, contains structures associated with arc magmatism beneath Kyushu Island in the Southwest Japan arc. Kyushu Island, where the Philippine Sea Plate (PSP) subducts beneath the Eurasian plate, can be divided into northern and southern volcanic regions separated by a nonvolcanic region. Many active Quaternary volcanoes occur along the volcanic front (VF) associated with the PSP in the two volcanic regions. Our 3-D electrical resistivity model shows three different shapes of upwelling fluid-like conductive anomalies, indicative of either slab-derived aqueous fluid and/or partial melt beneath the volcanic and nonvolcanic regions. A conductive anomaly in the northern volcanic region, located at some distance from the subducting PSP, extends from the surface to depths of <100 km, whereas another conductive anomaly in the southern volcanic region, located along the subducting PSP at >70 km depth, extends from the surface to depths of >100 km. In the nonvolcanic region, the upper region of a relatively conductive anomaly extends upward to a depth of ~50 km along the subducting plate. The degrees of magmatism and the relative contribution of slab-derived fluids to the magmatism vary spatially in the one nonvolcanic and two volcanic regions.

  8. Middle Miocene near trench volcanism in northern Colombia: A record of slab tearing due to the simultaneous subduction of the Caribbean Plate under South and Central America?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lara, M.; Cardona, A.; Monsalve, G.; Yarce, J.; Montes, C.; Valencia, V.; Weber, M.; De La Parra, F.; Espitia, D.; López-Martínez, M.

    2013-08-01

    Field, geochemical, geochronological, biostratigraphical and sedimentary provenance results of basaltic and associated sediments northern Colombia reveal the existence of Middle Miocene (13-14 Ma) mafic volcanism within a continental margin setting usually considered as amagmatic. This basaltic volcanism is characterized by relatively high Al2O3 and Na2O values (>15%), a High-K calc-alkaline affinity, large ion lithophile enrichment and associated Nb, Ta and Ti negative anomalies which resemble High Al basalts formed by low degree of asthenospheric melting at shallow depths mixed with some additional slab input. The presence of pre-Cretaceous detrital zircons, tourmaline and rutile as well as biostratigraphic results suggest that the host sedimentary rocks were deposited in a platform setting within the South American margin. New results of P-wave residuals from northern Colombia reinforce the view of a Caribbean slab subducting under the South American margin. The absence of a mantle wedge, the upper plate setting, and proximity of this magmatism to the trench, together with geodynamic constraints suggest that the subducted Caribbean oceanic plate was fractured and a slab tear was formed within the oceanic plate. Oceanic plate fracturing is related to the splitting of the subducting Caribbean Plate due to simultaneous subduction under the Panama-Choco block and northwestern South America, and the fast overthrusting of the later onto the Caribbean oceanic plate.

  9. Fast Identification of Near-Trench Earthquakes Along the Mexican Subduction Zone Based on Characteristics of Ground Motion in Mexico City

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez-Campos, X.; Singh, S. K.; Arroyo, D.; Rodríguez, Q.; Iglesias, A.

    2015-12-01

    The disastrous 1985 Michoacan earthquake gave rise to a seismic alert system for Mexico City which became operational in 1991. Initially limited to earthquakes along the Guerrero coast, the system now has a much wider coverage. Also, the 2004 Sumatra earthquake exposed the need for a tsunami early warning along the Mexican subduction zone. A fast identification of near-trench earthquakes along this zone may be useful in issuing a reliable early tsunami alert. The confusion caused by low PGA for the magnitude of an earthquake, leading to "missed" seismic alert, would be averted if its near-trench origin can be quickly established. It may also help reveal the spatial extent and degree of seismic coupling on the near-trench portion of the plate interface. This would lead to a better understanding of tsunami potential and seismic hazard along the Mexican subduction zone. We explore three methods for quick detection of near-trench earthquakes, testing them on recordings of 65 earthquakes at station CU in Mexico City (4.8 ≤Mw≤8.0; 270≤R≤615 km). The first method is based on the ratio of total to high-frequency energy, ER (Shapiro et al., 1998). The second method is based on parameter Sa*(6) which is the pseudo-acceleration response spectrum with 5% damping, Sa, at 6 s normalized by the PGA. The third parameter is the PGA residual, RESN, at CU, with respect to a newly-derived ground motion prediction equation at CU for coastal shallow-dipping thrust earthquakes following a bayesian approach. Since the near-trench earthquakes are relatively deficient in high-frequency radiation, we expect ER and Sa*(6) to be relatively large and RESN to be negative for such events. Tests on CU recordings show that if ER ≥ 100 and/or Sa*(6) ≥ 0.70, then the earthquake is near trench; for these events RESN ≤ 0. Such an event has greater tsunami potential. Few misidentifications and missed events are most probably a consequence of poor location, although unusual depth and source

  10. Sedimentation Triggered by the 2011 Tohoku Megathrust Earthquake along the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McHugh, C. M.; Kanamatsu, T.; Cormier, M. H.; Seeber, L.; Bopp, R.; Ikehara, K.; Usami, K.

    2014-12-01

    Recent developments in the field of subaqueous paleoseismology have provided information about the sedimentation record of earthquakes and about the long-term seismicity of fault systems. In 2013, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology conducted expeditions NT13-02 and NT13-19 to the 2011 Tohoku Mw 9.0 megathrust earthquake and tsunami source, with R/V Natushima in 800-5,900 m water depth. The goal was identifying earthquake-triggered deposits and mapping their spatial and temporal distribution, as a strategy to recognize the sedimentary signature of Tohoku-like events and measure recurrence intervals for seismic hazard assessment. Twenty-four piston cores, 3 to 6 m long, were recovered during the NT13-19 expedition along a 300 km-long portion of the mid-slope terrace. This elongated structure is parallel to the strike of the Japan Trench, and located landward of the frontal prism where deformation is most intense. Faults, sometimes forming steep scarps, define small (5km long) confined basins that were targeted for coring. Radioisotopes 137Cs and xs210Pb measured in the cores mark the 2011 Tohoku earthquake-related sedimentation. Detection of 134Cs and enrichment of 137Cs provided a 2011 Fukushima reactor signature, which was found in the upper 5cm of several cores and was buried 10-15cm in others. Very high activities of xs210Pb were measured in the upper half-meter of the majority of the cores providing evidence of very recent depositional events that we are linking to the 2011 earthquake. We envision the shaking by the earthquake fluidized a layer of surface sediment, which then moved downslope and was deposited where surface slope decreased. These sediments also incorporated 137Cs derived from global fallout over the past half century. These deposits can be recognized in the cores because they are homogeneous and lack bioturbation. The thickest ones (~1m) have soft sediment deformation features at their base. Along the mid-slope terrace, they

  11. Japan trench studies on earthquake, mass-wasting deposits and related tsunami based on most recent submarine survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawamura, K.; Kasaya, T.; Sasaki, T.; Kanamatsu, T.; Sakaguchi, A.; Tsuji, T.

    2011-12-01

    On 11 March 2011, Tohoku, northeast Japan, experienced a great earthquake (Mw 9.0, Mt 9.1). Seismic and tsunami inversion analyses have shown that tsunami waves with a maximum run-up height of 38 m were generated after the mainshock by topographic changes on the seafloor in the toe region of the Japan Trench slope off Sendai. These inversion analyses (Maeda et al., 2011) and bathymetric surveys (Fujiwara, JAMSTEC press release, 2011) indicate that the toe region slipped about 50 m along the thrust. If the thrust fault rapidly deformed the seafloor, as suggested by Ide et al. (2011), the basic theory of tsunamigenesis would predict the generation of tsunamis all along the axis of the Japan trench. The Japan Trench slope can be divided into an upper slope, a midslope terrace, and a lower slope. The average slope angle of the upper and lower slopes is 5°, but the angle of the midslope terrace is only a few degrees (von Huene and Lallemand, 1990). Some residual convex parts of the upper and lower slopes have slope angles of ~10°, particularly in the region from 39°10'N to 40°30'N. These include many large, convex upward, arcuate topographic features that indicate submarine sliding of sediment masses with widths and lengths of several kilometers (Sasaki, 2004). These submarine slides have been attributed to tectonic erosion (von Huene and Lallemand, 1990). Most of the slides on the upper slope are characterized by many normal faults (Tsuru et al., 2002; von Huene and Lallemand, 1990). In our study area, an active normal fault may have ruptured during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake as shown by Tsuji et al. (2011). Our deep-sea camera observations suggest that the sliding is still occurring, and also that sliding might have been triggered by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. We demonstrate a new scenario to excite the tsunami that the toe of the slope moves by the double effect of seismic slip and submarine sliding. This scenario has been proposed to have occurred in the Nankai

  12. Anomalously high porosity in subduction inputs to the Nankai Trough (SW Japan) potentially caused by volcanic ash and pumice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huepers, A.; Ikari, M.; Underwood, M.; Kopf, A.

    2013-12-01

    At convergent margins, the sedimentary section seaward of the trench on the subducting oceanic lithosphere provides the source material for accretionary prisms and eventually becomes the host rock of the plate boundary megathrust. The mechanical properties of the sediments seaward of the subduction zone have therefore a first order control on subduction zone forearc mechanics and hydrogeology. At the Nankai Trough (SW Japan) the majority of sediment approaching the subduction zone is clay-rich. Scientific drilling expeditions in the framework of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) and the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) have revealed an anomalous zone of high porosity in a major lithologic unit known as the Upper Shikoku Basin facies (USB), which is associated with elevated volcanic ash content and high amounts of silica in the interstitial water. The existence of the high porosity zone has previously been associated with advanced silica cementation, driven by the dual diagenetic transition of opal-A to opal-CT, and opal-CT to quartz. However, temperature estimates from recent drilling expeditions offshore the Kii peninsula reveal different in situ temperatures at the proposed diagenetic boundary in the Shikoku Basin. Furthermore, laboratory measurements using core samples from the USB show that cohesive strength is not elevated in the high porosity zone, suggesting that a process other than cementation may be responsible. The USB sediment is characterized by abundant volcanic ash and pumice, therefore the high porosity zone in the USB may be closely linked to the mechanical behavior of this phase. We conducted consolidation tests in the range 0.1 to 8 MPa effective vertical stress on artificial ash-smectite and pumice-smectite mixtures, as well as intact and remolded natural samples from the IODP Sites C0011 and C0012 to investigate the role of the volcanic constituent on porosity loss with progressive burial. Our results show that both remolded and intact

  13. Active intraplate deformation as geodynamic responses to oblique shallow subduction of a flat slab: example from central and southwest Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishiyama, Tatsuya; Sato, Hiroshi

    2015-04-01

    Subduction of a flat slab has been recognized as one of the primary driving mechanism of wide intracontinental subsidence farther away from the subduction leading edge in many subduction margins. In most cases, however, quantitative and qualitative limitations on chronological constraints prevent comprehensive understanding of these geodynamic linkages. In this study, we show distinct, geologic and seismic evidence for spatial and temporal correlation between plate subduction and intercontinental deformation, mainly driven by dynamic interaction between subducting Philippine Sea (PHS) plate and overriding continental crusts of central and southwest Japan (Eurasian plate) along the Nankai-Tonankai subduction zone since Pliocene. Based on analyses of Pliocene to Pleistocene tectonic histories by use of rich dataset of Neogene stratigraphy, drainage network evolution, and shallow to deep seismic reflection profiles, depocenters of wide sedimentary basins and active thrusting have migrated northward since ca. 5 Ma to present from forearc to backarc of the southwest Japan arc. Median tectonic line, active dextral strike-slip fault as a forearc sliver along the Nankai, is located north of the upward extension of the downdip limit of the interseismic locked zone. Southwest Japan north of the MTL, underlain by the subducting slab with steady state slip (Nakanishi et al., 2002; Kodaira et al., 2004), appears tectonically less inactive than central Japan and has behaved as a less deformed rigid block. Contrastingly, Quaternary active intraplate deformation has been prominent north of the inactive MTL above a shallow flat segment of the PHS plate along the Tonankai. Deep seismic reflection profile images upward corrugated very shallow PHS slab being contact with continental lower crust beneath actively deforming area. We interpreted temporal and spatial correlation of oblique subduction of the shallow and flat, corrugated PHS slab as an essential mechanical role to enhance

  14. Seismic structure along transitions from flat to normal subduction: central Mexico, southern Peru, and southwest Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dougherty, Sara L.

    The fine-scale seismic structure of the central Mexico, southern Peru, and southwest Japan subduction zones is studied using intraslab earthquakes recorded by temporary and permanent regional seismic arrays. The morphology of the transition from flat to normal subduction is explored in central Mexico and southern Peru, while in southwest Japan the spatial coincidence of a thin ultra-slow velocity layer (USL) atop the flat slab with locations of slow slip events (SSEs) is explored. This USL is also observed in central Mexico and southern Peru, where its lateral extent is used as one constraint on the nature of the flat-to-normal transitions. In western central Mexico, I find an edge to this USL which is coincident with the western boundary of the projected Orozco Fracture Zone (OFZ) region. Forward modeling of the 2D structure of the subducted Cocos plate using a finite-difference algorithm provides constraints on the velocity and geometry of the slab's seismic structure in this region and confirms the location of the USL edge. I propose that the Cocos slab is currently fragmenting into a North Cocos plate and a South Cocos plate along the projection of the OFZ, by a process analogous to that which occurred when the Rivera plate separated from the proto-Cocos plate 10 Ma. In eastern central Mexico, observations of a sharp transition in slab dip near the abrupt end of the Trans Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB) suggest a possible slab tear located within the subducted South Cocos plate. The eastern lateral extent of the USL is found to be coincident with these features and with the western boundary of a zone of decreased seismicity, indicating a change in structure which I interpret as evidence of a possible tear. Analysis of intraslab seismicity patterns and focal mechanism orientations and faulting types provides further support for a possible tear in the South Cocos slab. This potential tear, together with the tear along the projection of the OFZ to the northwest

  15. Preliminary geodetic strain measurement from the South Fiordland Region of New Zealand using repeat GPS surveys: Implications for subduction on the Puysegur Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearson, Chris

    Comparing 1996 GPS data and data collected only one year earlier demonstrates that 50% of the instantaneous relative plate motion is accommodated between the west coast of the South Island and the eastern side of the Waiau Basin, a distance of about 75 km. The observed relative velocity vectors are nearly parallel to the inferred orientation of the plate boundary and rotated more than 30° clockwise compared to the relative plate motion vector, a difference that is significant at the 95% level of confidence. Modeling shows that the observed deformation rates are consistent with a model where nearly all the relative plate motion occurs on the plate boundary thrust as defined by the Benioff Zone associated with subduction on the Puysegur Trench.

  16. Evolution of a trench-slope basin within the Cascadia subduction margin: the Neogene Humboldt Basin, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCrory, P.A.

    1995-01-01

    The Neogene Humboldt (Eel River) Basin is located along the north-eastern margin of the Pacific Ocean within the Cascadia subduction zone. This sedimentary basin originated near the base of the accretionary prism in post-Eocene time. Subduction processes since that time have elevated strata in the south-eastern portion of the basin above sea level. High-resolution chronostratigraphic data from the onshore portion of the Humboldt Basin enable correlation of time-equivalent lithofacies across the palaeomargin, reconstruction of slope-basin evolution, and preliminary delineation of climatic and tectonic influence on lithological variation. -from Author

  17. Documenting large earthquakes similar to the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake from sediments deposited in the Japan Trench over the past 1500 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikehara, Ken; Kanamatsu, Toshiya; Nagahashi, Yoshitaka; Strasser, Michael; Fink, Hiske; Usami, Kazuko; Irino, Tomohisa; Wefer, Gerold

    2016-07-01

    The 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake and tsunami was the most destructive geohazard in Japanese history. However, little is known of the past recurrence of large earthquakes along the Japan Trench. Deep-sea turbidites are potential candidates for understanding the history of such earthquakes. Core samples were collected from three thick turbidite units on the Japan Trench floor near the epicenter of the 2011 event. The uppermost unit (Unit TT1) consists of amalgamated diatomaceous mud (30-60 cm thick) that deposited from turbidity currents triggered by shallow subsurface instability on the lower trench slope associated with strong ground motion during the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake. Older thick turbidite units (Units TT2 and TT3) also consist of several amalgamated subunits that contain thick sand layers in their lower parts. Sedimentological characteristics and tectonic and bathymetric settings of the Japan Trench floor indicate that these turbidites also originated from two older large earthquakes of potentially similar to the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake. A thin tephra layer between Units TT2 and TT3 constrains the age of these earthquakes. Geochemical analysis of volcanic glass shards within the tephra layer indicates that it is correlative to the Towada-a tephra (AD 915) from the Towada volcano in northeastern Japan. The stratigraphy of the Japan Trench turbidites resembles that of onshore tsunami deposits on the Sendai and Ishinomaki plains, indicating that the cored uppermost succession of the Japan Trench comprises a 1500-yr-old record that includes the sedimentary fingerprint of the historical Jogan earthquake of AD 869.

  18. Reconstruction of ocean plate stratigraphy in the Gwna Group, NW Wales: Implications for the subduction-accretion process of a latest Proterozoic trench-forearc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asanuma, Hisashi; Okada, Yoshihiro; Fujisaki, Wataru; Suzuki, Kazue; Sato, Tomohiko; Sawaki, Yusuke; Sakata, Shuhei; Yamamoto, Shinji; Hirata, Takafumi; Maruyama, Shigenori; Windley, Brian F.

    2015-11-01

    The Gwna Group in Anglesey island and Lleyn peninsula, Wales consists of a latest Proterozoic volcano-sedimentary trench mélange, which has a complicated accretionary structure, and is poorly constrained by isotopic ages. The mélange contains oceanic-trench rocks including pillow basalts, cherts, mudstones and sandstones, which have not previously been interpreted as ocean plate stratigraphy (OPS). We reconstructed imbricated OPS at 5 localities in the coastal Lleyn peninsula. In order to constrain the depositional U-Pb age of the upper clastic sediments, detrital zircons, separated from 9 clastic sediments, were analyzed with a Nu AttoM single-collector inductively-coupled plasma-mass spectrometer. The ages indicate that there are two Gwna Groups (maximum depositional ages of: 1 at 608-601 Ma, and 2 at 564-539 Ma) that were deposited between the late Neoproterozoic and the Middle Cambrian contemporaneously with dated calc-alkaline arc magmatism and regional metamorphism in the Anglesey-Lleyn complex. The age spectra of the detrital zircons show a prominent peak at ca. 650-600 Ma, and several Proterozoic and Archean ages. To account for the older ages, we integrated our new isotopic data with published radiometric and fossil ages, and conclude that the clastic sediments at the top of the OPS were deposited in a trench on the western active margin of Avalonia when it was close to the Amazonian craton, and that the Gwna Group OPS began to be incorporated into an accretionary wedge in an active subduction zone in the latest Proterozoic.

  19. Subduction zone structures and slip behavior in megathrust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kodaira, S.; Nakanishi, A.; Nakamura, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Earthquake, tsunami and geodetic data show that co-seismic slips of a large megathrust earthquakes do not uniformly propagate along a plate boundary. For example, a clear segmentation of slip zones of magnitude-8 class megathrust earthquakes are well recognized in the Nankai Trough. Moreover, a lateral variation of the slips are revealed even in one segment. In the Japan Trench, the most characteristic slip behavior of the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake is an extremely large slip reaching to the trench axis, but geodetic, tsunami or teleseismic show the slip was heterogeneous near the trench. In order to examine whether those complex slip distributions are attributed by any distinct structural factor, we have been carried out active-source seismic surveys in the subduction seismogenic. In the Nankai Trough, large-scale subducted seamounts, ridges and doming structure intruded in an overriding accretion wedge are imaged. Comparing co-seismic slip distribution of the 1944 Tonankai and the 1946 Nankai earthquakes with the seismic images, we concluded that those structures are key factors to control the slip distributions. In the central part of the Japan Trench area, we fund a rough basement geometry is overprinted on the horst-and-graben structure. Those complex geometry of basement cause a strong lateral variation of the thickness of subducting pelagic/hemi-pelagic sediment. Many geological studies suggest that properties of the plate-boundary sediment attribute the large slip near the trench. We therefore plan to acquire additional high-resolution seismic data in the entire Japan Trench in order to examine a role of incoming sediment on the large slip to the trench axis. In this presentation we present an overview of the structural factors controlling slips in megathrust earthquakes, including new data acquired in the Nankai Trough and Japan Trench.

  20. Dual subduction tectonics and plate dynamics of central Japan shown by three-dimensional P-wave anisotropic structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishise, Motoko; Miyake, Hiroe; Koketsu, Kazuki

    2015-07-01

    The central Japanese subduction zone is characterized by a complex tectonic setting affected by the dual subduction of oceanic plates and collisions between the island arcs. To better understand of the subduction system, we performed an anisotropic tomography analysis using P-wave arrival times from local earthquakes to determine the three-dimensional structure of P-wave azimuthal anisotropy in the overriding plate and the Pacific and Philippine Sea (PHS) slabs. The principal characteristics of anisotropy in the subducted and subducting plates are (1) in the overriding plate, the distribution pattern of fast direction of crustal anisotropy coincides with that of the strike of geological structure, (2) in the two oceanic plates, fast propagation directions of P-wave were sub-parallel to the directions of seafloor spreading. Additionally, our tomographic images demonstrate that (1) the bottom of the Median Tectonic Line, the longest fault zone in Japan, reaches to the lower crust, and seems to link to the source region of an inter-plate earthquake along the PHS slab, (2) the segmentation of the PHS slab - the Izu Islands arc, the Nishi-Shichito ridge, and the Shikoku basin - due to the formation history, is reflected in the regional variation of anisotropy. The tomographic study further implies that there might be a fragment of the Pacific slab suggested by a previous study beneath the Tokyo metropolitan area. The overall findings strongly indicate that seismic anisotropy analysis provide potentially useful information to understand a subduction zone.

  1. Flat slab subduction, trench suction, and craton destruction: Comparison of the North China, Wyoming, and Brazilian cratons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusky, Timothy M.; Windley, Brian F.; Wang, Lu; Wang, Zhensheng; Li, Xiaoyong; Zhu, Peimin

    2014-09-01

    The mechanisms of growth and destruction of continental lithosphere have been long debated. We define and test a unifying plate tectonic driving mechanism that explains the numerous petrological, geophysical, and geological features that characterize the destruction of cratonic lithospheric roots. Data from three Archean cratons demonstrate that loss of their roots is related to rollback of subducted flat slabs, some along the mantle transition zone, beneath the cratons. During flat slab subduction dehydration reactions add water to the overlying mantle wedge. As the subducting slabs roll back, they suck in mantle material to infill the void space created by the slab roll back, and this fertile mantle becomes hydrated. The roll-back causes concomitant lithospheric thinning of the overlying craton so the flux of newly hydrated mantle material inevitably rises causing adiabatic melting, generating new magmas that gradually destroy the roots of the overlying craton through melt-peridotite reactions. Calculated fluxes of new mantle material beneath cratons that have lost their roots range from 2.7 trillion to 70 million cubic kilometers, which is sufficient to generate enough melt to completely replace the affected parts of the destroyed cratons. Cratonic lithosphere may be destroyed in massive quantities through this mechanism, warranting a re-evaluation of continental growth rates with time.

  2. Seismic attenuation tomography of the Southwest Japan arc: new insight into subduction dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xin; Zhao, Dapeng

    2015-04-01

    We determined the first high-resolution P- and S-wave attenuation (Qp and Qs) tomography of the crust and upper mantle under the entire Nankai subduction zone from the Nankai Trough to the Japan Sea using a large number of high-quality t* data measured from P- and S-wave spectra of local earthquakes. The suboceanic earthquakes used in this study were relocated precisely using sP depth phases and ocean-bottom-seismometer data. The overall pattern of the obtained Q models is similar to that of velocity models of the study region. Our present results show that high-Q (i.e. weak attenuation) anomalies in the upper crust generally correspond to plutonic rocks widely exposed in the Nankai arc. Some of the low-Q (i.e. strong attenuation) anomalies in the upper crust along the Pacific coast are associated with the Cretaceous-Cenozoic accretionary wedge. Obvious low-Q anomalies exist in the crust under the active arc volcanoes. Most of the large inland crustal earthquakes are located in or around the low-Q zones in the crust. The subducting Philippine Sea slab is imaged clearly as a landward dipping high-Q zone. Prominent low-Q anomalies are revealed in the mantle wedge under the volcanic front and backarc area, which reflect the source zone of arc magmatism caused by slab dehydration and corner flow in the mantle wedge. Significant low-Q anomalies exist in the forearc mantle wedge, which reflects a highly hydrated and serpentinized forearc mantle wedge due to abundant fluids released from dehydration of the young and warm Philippine Sea slab.

  3. The Mariana Trench: A new view based on multibeam echosounding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardner, J. V.; Armstrong, A. A.

    2011-12-01

    The entire Mariana Trench, from its northern end at Dutton Ridge to the southwestern terminus at the Yap Trench, was mapped in 2010 using a Kongsberg EM122 12-kHz multibeam echosounder. The region ranges in depths from the shoreline at Guam to almost 11,000 m at the Challenger Deep. The northern part of the trench is receiving seamounts and guyots of the Magellan Seamount chain, whereas the southern section is receiving seafloor that carries the Caroline Ridge to the trench. The area immediately seaward of the trench where the Pacific Plate has bent downward toward the subduction zone has been broken by a series of subparallel horst and graben structures generated by extension on the bending upper surface of the Pacific Plate. Four bathymetric "bridges" span across the trench axis and extend from the Pacific Plate to the inner wall of the trench. The bridges stand as much as 2500 m above the trench axis and are composed of Latest Jurassic to Early Cretaceous accreted seamounts and guyots of the Magellan Seamount chain that are in the process of breaking up and being subducted beneath the Philippine Plate. Only two seamounts of the Caroline Ridge are in the vicinity of the trench and they both presently reside on the outer trench wall. The faults of the horsts and grabens have fractured the seamounts and guyots within the trench depression seaward from the axis outward for about 80 km, but within ~5 km of the trench axis the faults have reactivated to compressional thrust faults. The faults tend to parallel the axis of the trench until the immediate vicinity of an accreting seamount or guyot where the faults bend inward toward the trench axis, as has been observed in many other trenches. Most of the accreted seamounts and guyots are not associated with embayments or reentrants on the inner trench wall, as has been documented in the Middle America and Japan Trenches, perhaps because there is not a large accretionary prism that extends seaward of the forearc. The one

  4. Deep seismic reflection profiling of the subduction megathrust across the Sagimi trough and Tokyo bay, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, Hiroshi; Iwasaki, Takaya; Abe, Susumu; Saito, Hideo; Kawanaka, Taku; Hirata, Naoshi

    2010-05-01

    Beneath the metropolitan Tokyo, the Philippine Sea plate, in particular the fore arc portion of the Izu-Bonin island arc, has been subducted. Subduction megathrust beneath Tokyo generated M-8 class earthquakes, such as the 1923 Kanto (M7.9) and 1703 Genroku (M8.0) earthquakes. Due to the buyant subduction of the Izu-Bonin arc, the megathrust lies very shallow part of the crust. The Kozu-Matsuda fault, probable spray fault from the megathrust, emerged at the surface. In 2009, we acquired the deep seismic reflection data across the toe of the thrust system to reveal the connectivity of the probable spray fault to the megathrust. Together with the deep seismic section acquired in 2003, we show a 120-km-long deep seismic reflection profile from the front to 30 km in depth and discuss the geometry and characteristics of the thrust system. We performed deep seismic profiling across the Sagami trough for a 70-km-long seismic line in September 2009, using two ships for offshore seismic data acquisition: a gun-ship with a 3020 cu. inch air-gun and a cable-ship with a 2-km-long, streamer cable and a 480 cu. inch air-gun. The seismic signals were recorded at Miura and Izu peninsulas located both ends of the seismic line. At both sides of the onshore line, off-line recorders were deployed along total 20-km-long seismic lines at a 50m interval. Seismic reflection data were acquired by different offset of ships making large-offset gathers. The northeast end of the seismic line connected with the 2003 Tokyo bay seismic line (Sato et al., 2005: Science). The obtained seismic sections portray the detailed geometry of the spray faults, suggesting an emergent thrust with 4 km thick landward dipping strata. It merges to the megathrust at 6-7 sec (TWT). Judging from the geometry of fault-related fold in the trough fill sediments, the tip of the megathrust is located at 3 sec (TWT) beneath the trough axis. According to the co-seismic crustal deformation, the slip of the 1923 Kanto

  5. Small-scale spatial variation in near-surface turbidites around the JFAST site near the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshikawa, Shuro; Kanamatsu, Toshiya; Kasaya, Takafumi

    2016-03-01

    This paper aims to improve our understanding of the depositional processes associated with turbidites related to recent earthquake events. A series of short sediment cores (ca. 20-30 cm long) were recovered from the landward slope of the Japan Trench around JFAST (Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project) site C0019 by a remotely operated vehicle, KAIKO 7000 II, and the sample sites were accurately located using an LBL (long base line) acoustic navigation system. The properties of the cores were analyzed using visual observations, soft X-ray radiographs, smear slides, measurement of anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility, and analysis of radioactive elements (134Cs, 137Cs, and excess 210Pb). For the first time, small-scale (ca. 200-1000 m) spatial variations in recent earthquake-triggered deep-sea turbidites, the formation of which was probably linked to the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake, are described. We also examine the submarine landslide that probably generated the sediment unit below the turbidites, which is thought to be an important process in the study area. The spatial distribution and characteristics of the near-surface seismoturbidite obtained immediately after the earthquake, presented here, will enable precise calibration of offshore evidence of recent earthquakes, and thus facilitate the use of the sedimentary archive for paleoseismic interpretations. Furthermore, although sampling for turbidite seismology on steep slopes has not been widely performed previously, our results suggest that the recent event deposits may be continuously tracked from the slope to the basin using a combination of the present sampling method and conventional large-scale investigation techniques.

  6. Mantle wedge flow pattern and thermal structure in Northeast Japan: Effects of oblique subduction and 3-D slab geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wada, Ikuko; He, Jiangheng; Hasegawa, Akira; Nakajima, Junichi

    2015-09-01

    We develop a 3-D thermal model for the Northeast Japan subduction margin, using a realistic slab geometry for the subducting Pacific plate, and investigate the effects of oblique subduction and 3-D slab geometry on the mantle wedge flow pattern and the thermal structure. In the Tohoku region, the mantle wedge flow pattern is nearly two-dimensional resulting in a thermal structure similar to those obtained by a 2-D model, owing to the simple slab geometry and subduction nearly perpendicular to the margin. However, in Hokkaido, oblique subduction leads to 3-D mantle wedge flow with northerly inflow and west-northwestward outflow and also results in lower temperatures in the shallow part of the mantle wedge than in Tohoku due to lower sinking rate of the slab. Between Hokkaido and Tohoku, the slab has a hinge-like shape due to a relatively sharp change in the dip direction. In this hinge zone, northerly mantle inflow from Hokkaido and westerly mantle inflow from Tohoku converge, discouraging inflow from northwest and resulting in a cooler mantle wedge. The model-predicted mantle wedge flow patterns are consistent with observed seismic anisotropy and may explain the orientations of volcanic cross-chains. The predicted 3-D thermal structure correlates well with the along-arc variations in the location of the frontal arc volcanoes and help to provide new insights into the surface heat flow pattern and the down-dip extent of interplate earthquakes.

  7. Small interseismic asperities and widespread aseismic creep on the northern Japan subduction interface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Kaj M.; Mavrommatis, Andreas; Segall, Paul

    2016-01-01

    The canonical model of fault coupling assumes that slip is partitioned into fixed asperities that display stick-slip behavior and regions that creep stably. We show that this simple asperity model is inconsistent with GPS-derived deformation in northern Japan associated with interseismic coupling on the subduction interface and the transient response to Mw 6.3-7.2 earthquakes during 2003-2011. Comparisons of GPS data with simulations of earthquakes on asperities and associated velocity-strengthening afterslip require that afterslip overlaps areas of the fault that ruptured in previous earthquakes, including the 2011 Mw 9 Tohoku-oki earthquake. Whereas about 55% of the plate interface ruptured in earthquakes during 2003-2011, we infer that only 9% of the plate interface was fully locked between earthquakes. Inferred locked asperities are roughly 25% the size of rupture areas determined by seismic source inversions. These smaller asperities are consistent with interseismic strain accumulation in 2009, although more extensive locking is required a decade earlier in 1998.

  8. A New View on the Space-Time Pattern of Great or Large Earthquakes along the Northern Japan to Southern Kurile Trenches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harada, T.; Satake, K.; Ishibashi, K.

    2010-12-01

    The northern Japan to southern Kurile trenches have been regarded as a typical subduction zone with spatially and temporally regular recurrence of great interplate earthquakes. The source regions had been divided into six segments, named A to F from SW to NE (Utsu, 1972; 1984), on the basis of great interplate events during an active period from 1952 to 1973. New active period seems to have started in 2003 with Tokachi-oki earthquake (M 8.2). However, some large interplate events (M>7.5) occurred in the 1990’s. The 1994 interplate earthquake (M 7.8) in A region re-ruptured one (southern) of the two asperities of the 1968 (M 8.2) event (Nagai et al., 2001). In addition, the 1994 intraslab event (M 8.3) occurred in D region. Harada and Ishibashi (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007) have pointed out several questions on the so-far believed regularities by examining relocated mainshock-aftershock distributions of great or large earthquakes after the 1950’s. One of the most important results is that the 1958 Etorofu earthquake (M 8.3) in E region was not an interplate event but an intraslab one. The Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion of Japanese government (2004) divided the southern Kurile subduction zone into four segments and evaluated future probabilities of great interplate earthquakes in this region. Satake et al. (2008) revealed that the B and C regions were ruptured simultaneously in the 17th century. In this study, we re-examine relocated mainshock-aftershock distribution of great or large earthquakes after 1918 and propose a new view on the space-time pattern of great or large earthquakes during the last 90 years. The procedure is useful for the examination of space-time pattern of great or large earthquakes over a long period because arrival-time data are continuously available before the 1960's when other data like waveforms are not enough. We relocate mainshocks and 1-month aftershocks by using the HYPOSAT (Schweitzer, 2003). The travel

  9. Activity of Small Repeating Earthquakes along Izu-Bonin and Ryukyu Trenches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hibino, K.; Matsuzawa, T.; Uchida, N.; Nakamura, W.; Matsushima, T.

    2014-12-01

    There are several subduction systems near the Japanese islands. The 2011 Mw9.0 Tohoku-oki megathrust earthquake occurred at the NE Japan (Tohoku) subduction zone. We have revealed a complementary relation between the slip areas for huge earthquakes and small repeating earthquakes (REs) in Tohoku. Investigations of REs in these subduction zones and the comparison with Tohoku area are important for revealing generation mechanism of megathrust earthquakes. Our target areas are Izu-Bonin and Ryukyu subduction zones, which appear to generate no large interplate earthquake. To investigate coupling of plate boundary in these regions, we estimated spatial distribution of slip rate by using REs. We use seismograms from the High Sensitivity Seismograph Network (Hi-net), Full Range Seismograph Network of Japan (F-net), and permanent seismic stations of Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Tohoku University, University of Tokyo, and Kagoshima University from 8 May 2003 (Izu-Bonin) and 14 July 2005 (Ryukyu) to 31 December 2012 to detect REs along the two trenches, by using similarity of seismograms. We mainly follow the procedure adopted in Uchida and Matsuzawa (2013) that studied REs in Tohoku area to compare our results with the REs in Tohoku. We find that the RE distribution along the Ryukyu trench shows two bands parallel to the trench axis. This feature is similar to the pattern in Tohoku where relatively large earthquakes occur between the bands. Along the Izu-Bonin trench, on the other hand, we find much fewer REs than in Tohoku or Ryukyu subduction zones and only one along-trench RE band, which corresponds to the area where the subducting Pacific plate contacts with the crust of the Philippine Sea plate. We also estimate average slip rate and coupling coefficient by using an empirical relationship between seismic moment and slip for REs (Nadeau and Johnson, 1998) and relative plate motion model. As a result, we find interplate slip rate in the deeper band is higher than

  10. Detection of the structure near the 410 km and 660 km discontinuities in Japan subduction zone from the waveform triplication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, H.; Zhou, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Slab subduction plays an important role in the mantle material circulation [Stern, 2002], and can also affect the feature of the 410 km and 660 km seismic discontinuities (410 and 660) [Lebedev et al., 2002]. Japan subduction zone is a natural laboratory for studying the mantle composition and velocity structure associated with the deep subduction of the Pacific plate. In this study, triplicated waveforms of an intermediate-depth earthquake at the Hokkaido of Japan (2011/10/21, 08:02:37.62, 142.5315°E, 43.8729°N, Mb6.0, relocated depth: 188 km) are retrieved from the dense Chinese Digital Seismic Network (CDSN). P and S waveforms are filtered with the band of 0.05-1.0 Hz and 0.02-0.5 Hz, respectively, and then integrated into the displacement data. The relative traveltime and synthetic waveform fitting is applied to mapping the deep structure. The best fitting models are obtained through the trial and error tests. We find a 15 km uplift of the 410 and a 25 km depression of the 660, indicating the cold environment caused by the subduction slab; both the 410 and 660 show the sharp discontinuity, but a smaller velocity contrast than the IASP91 model [Kennett and Engdahl, 1991]. Atop the 410 and 660, there are high-velocity layers associated with the subduction (or stagnant) slab. We also find a low-velocity anomaly with the thickness of ~65 km below the 660, which may relate to the slab dehydration or the hot upwelling at the top of the lower mantle. The seismic velocity ratio (VP/VS) shows a lower zone at the depth of ~210-395 km, showing the consistency with the low Poisson's ratio signature of the oceanic plate; a higher zone at the depth of ~560-685 km, implying the hydrous mantle transition zone.

  11. The huge shallow slip during the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake as a result of very low coseismic shear strength of the Japan Trench décollement material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ujiie, K.; Tanaka, H.; Saito, T.; Tsutsumi, A.; Mori, J. J.; Kameda, J.

    2013-12-01

    Megathrust earthquakes commonly occur in subduction zones at depths where there is strong coupling between the plates and long-term strain accumulation. Unconsolidated sediments in the shallow plate-boundary décollement were thought to slip aseismically and have low levels of coupling. However, the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake (Mw9.0) produced unprecedented slip of >50 m near the Japan Trench, resulting in the devastating tsunami. IODP Expedition 343, Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST) successfully drilled the décollement in the maximum slip area of the 2011 earthquake. The décollement mostly consists of highly sheared pelagic clays. To investigate the mechanisms of the huge shallow seismic slip, we conducted high-velocity (1.3 m/s) friction experiments on the Japan Trench décollement material at normal stresses of ~2.0 MPa and displacements of ~60 m. To simulate both permeable and impermeable conditions during high-velocity shearing, the water-saturated gouge was placed between a pair of solid cylinders of porous Berea sandstone and Indian gabbro, respectively. The results show rapid slip weakening properties with very low peak and steady-state shear strength. The steady-state values for the effective coefficient of friction at normal stress of 2 MPa are 0.2 and 0.1 for the permeable and impermeable tests, respectively. The steady-state shear stress is independent of normal stress, suggesting the fluid-like behavior of the gouge during high-velocity shearing. The fluid-like behaved gouge is also supported by microstructural observations showing the evidence of fluidization effects such as injection structures and mixing flow. The axial displacement data indicate that the specimen compacted and dilated during permeable and impermeable tests, respectively. For the same amount of displacement, the temperature in the gouge is always smaller for the impermeable tests compared to the permeable tests. These results indicate that high-velocity weakening is more

  12. Glacial-interglacial trench supply variation, spreading-ridge subduction, and feedback controls on the Andean margin development at the Chile triple junction area (45-48°S)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourgois, Jacques; Guivel, Christele; Lagabrielle, Yves; Calmus, Thierry; BoulèGue, Jacques; Daux, ValéRie

    2000-04-01

    During the Chile triple junction (CTJ) cruise (March-April 1997), EM12 bathymetry and seismic reflection data were collected in the vicinity of the Chile triple junction (45-480S), where an active spreading ridge is being subducted beneath the Andean continental margin. Results show a continental margin development shaped by tectonic processes spanning a spectrum from subduction-erosion to subduction-accretion. The Andean continental margin and the Chile trench exhibit a strong segmentation which reflects the slab segmentation and the Chile triple junction migration. Three segments were identified along the Andean continental margin: the presubduction, the synsubduction, and the postsubduction segments, from north to south. Both climate-induced variations of the sediment supply to the trench and the tectonic reorganization at the Nazca-Antarctica plate boundary involving postsubduction ridge jump are the two main factors that control the tectonic regime of this continental margin. Along the survey area we infer the succession of two different periods during the last glacial-interglacial cycle: a glacial period with ice-rafted detrital discharges restricted to the shoreline area and low river output and a warmer period during which the Andean ice cap retreat allowed the Andes to be drained off. During these warm periods, rapid increase in trench deposition caused the margin to switch from subductionerosion or nonaccretion to subduction-accretion: (1) along the presubduction segment after the last deglaciation and (2) along the postsubduction segment after the interglacial episode at 130-117 ka. Conversely, a nonaccretion or subduction-érosion mode characterized the presubduction and postsubduction segments during glacial maximums. The major effects of subduction of the buoyant Chile ridge include a shallow trench which diverts trench sediment supply and tectonic instabilities at the Nazca-Antarctica plate boundary. We suggest that a postsubduction westward jump of

  13. Seismic Constraints on the Japan Subduction Zone from Waveform Inversions of SS precursors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dokht, R.; Gu, Y. J.; Sacchi, M. D.

    2014-12-01

    Arrival times of long-period secondary mantle reflections such as SS and PP precursors have made significant contributions to the understanding of the mantle structure and slab dynamics beneath the Pacific Northwest. Due to strong sensitivities to discontinuity depths, the timing information is often correlated with P/S velocity models from high-resolution seismic tomography while stacked reflection amplitudes provide a measure of impedance contrast. A potential pitfall in the interpretations of SS-precursor measurements is velocity-discontinuity depth ambiguity, as the timing of secondary reflections is mainly 'corrected' based on existing smoothed velocity estimates. In this study we quantitatively investigate the amplitude information of a dense SS precursor data set sampling the northwestern Pacific region. We model the full waveforms of SS precursors using the Genetic Algorithm (GA), an effective nonlinear inversion technique, and properly account for the tradeoff between shear wave velocity and discontinuity depth perturbation. The inverted shear velocities clearly show a consistent high-velocity, dipping structure along the Wadati-Benioff zone, likely in connection with the descending Japan slab. The slab appears to stagnate and horizontally deflect within the upper mantle transition zone beneath northeastern China. The integrity of the deflected slab appears to be compromised beneath the Changbai hotspot where a low velocity anomaly interrupts the flat lying high velocity structure and extends upward to, at least, mid MTZ depths. This anomaly does not appear to reach the Changbai hotspot, though its connection with observed low velocities in the lithosphere and asthenosphere may not be ruled out. Our nonlinear waveform inversion results also show a 600-km wide low velocity zone (up to -4% relative to the Preliminary Reference Earth Model (PREM)) atop the 660-km discontinuity on the oceanic side of the subducting Japan slab. The cause of this anomaly remains

  14. Hydrodynamics of tsunamis in subduction zones. The differences between the Chile 2010 and Japan 2011 tsunamis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monardez, P.; Salinas, R.; Comte, D.

    2012-04-01

    Tsunamis due to large earthquakes in subduction zones have different hydrodynamic behaviors, depending on the location, the bathymetry and the geometry of the rupture associated to the large earthquake. When the width of the rupture (related to the length of the tsunami) is larger than its distance to the shore, the hydrodynamics in the near zone is completely different than the alternate case. In the first case, the earthquake triggers a tsunami composed by one or a group of a few waves with a few minutes in between propagating from the rupture, which reach the coast a few minutes after the earthquake. In the second case, the earthquake triggers a deformation in the water surface which cannot create a complete tsunami wave; there is not enough distance to complete it. Then, a succession of secondary effects are triggered, which are composed by several floods, up to seven or eight, separated several minutes (up to forty or more) and propagate parallel to the coast, which can be even perpendicular to the coast. This case is still poorly understood, even it has been observed and described in the literature over the past three centuries. The difference in hydrodynamic behavior was evidenced in the tsunamis of February of 2010 in Chile and March of 2011 in Japan. In this work we show a theory, which has been validated by field observations and numerical simulations based only on the hydrodynamics of the area, that explains the phenomena and it has been extended to other historical tsunamis in Chile. The effects of the Chile 2010 tsunami in the near field zone were complex. The small township of Cobquecura, located at 20 km from the epicenter, did not suffer major damage from the tsunami. The major port zone of Talcahuano at 100 km from the epicenter, received four destructive waves every forty minutes approximately, and lasted three hours after the occurrence of the earthquake, while the bay of San Vicente, adjacent to the above, only suffered a minor, but abrupt, rise

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  16. Upper Mantle Shear Wave Anisotropy for Stations in Mexico and its Relationship to Subduction at the Middle America Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Benthem, S. A.; Valenzuela, R. W.

    2007-05-01

    We have calculated the splitting parameters that describe upper mantle shear wave anisotropy under stations in continental Mexico located over the subducting Cocos Plate. SKS and SKKS arrivals recorded on both the radial and transverse horizontal components were used. The splitting parameters which quantify anisotropy are the delay time (δt) and the fast polarization direction (φ). The anisotropy is calculated using the approach by Silver and Chan [1991]. A time segment containing the SKS arrival is selected from both horizontal components. The space of possible solutions is then searched in one-degree intervals with φ ranging between 0 and 180°. Specifically, the coordinate axes are rotated every 1 degree increment and the autocorrelation and crosscorrelation between the components is calculated. For each value of φ, the solution space is also searched in 0.05 s increments. Next the eigenvalues corresponding to each δt and φ combination are calculated. In the presence of noise, the desired solution will be given by the matrix which is most nearly singular. In order to check our results, we apply a correction in the amount of the measured δt and φ to the original records and then rotate them to make sure that the anisotropy disappears. The shapes and the difference in the arrival times of the fast and slow waves are compared to make sure that the result is robust. As a further check, the polarization of the particle motion for the radial and transverse components before and after correction is plotted. The records used were taken from Mexico's Servicio Sismológico Nacional broadband network [Singh et al., 1997]. The orientation of the fast polarization direction, φ, can be explained by the absolute motion of the North American plate for some of the stations. Most of the stations, however, require a different explanation for the orientation of φ. For example, the orientation of φ for stations Platanillo (PLIG), Yautepec (YAIG), and Popocatépetl (PPIG

  17. Distribution and Niche Separation of Planktonic Microbial Communities in the Water Columns from the Surface to the Hadal Waters of the Japan Trench under the Eutrophic Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Nunoura, Takuro; Hirai, Miho; Yoshida-Takashima, Yukari; Nishizawa, Manabu; Kawagucci, Shinsuke; Yokokawa, Taichi; Miyazaki, Junichi; Koide, Osamu; Makita, Hiroko; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Sunamura, Michinari; Takai, Ken

    2016-01-01

    The Japan Trench is located under the eutrophic Northwestern Pacific while the Mariana Trench that harbors the unique hadal planktonic biosphere is located under the oligotrophic Pacific. Water samples from the sea surface to just above the seafloor at a total of 11 stations including a trench axis station, were investigated several months after the Tohoku Earthquake in March 2011. High turbidity zones in deep waters were observed at most of the sampling stations. The small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene community structures in the hadal waters (water depths below 6000 m) at the trench axis station were distinct from those in the overlying meso-, bathy and abyssopelagic waters (water depths between 200 and 1000 m, 1000 and 4000 m, and 4000 and 6000 m, respectively), although the SSU rRNA gene sequences suggested that potential heterotrophic bacteria dominated in all of the waters. Potential niche separation of nitrifiers, including ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), was revealed by quantitative PCR analyses. It seems likely that Nitrosopumilus-like AOAs respond to a high flux of electron donors and dominate in several zones of water columns including shallow and very deep waters. This study highlights the effects of suspended organic matter, as induced by seafloor deformation, on microbial communities in deep waters and confirm the occurrence of the distinctive hadal biosphere in global trench environments hypothesized in the previous study. PMID:27559333

  18. Distribution and Niche Separation of Planktonic Microbial Communities in the Water Columns from the Surface to the Hadal Waters of the Japan Trench under the Eutrophic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Nunoura, Takuro; Hirai, Miho; Yoshida-Takashima, Yukari; Nishizawa, Manabu; Kawagucci, Shinsuke; Yokokawa, Taichi; Miyazaki, Junichi; Koide, Osamu; Makita, Hiroko; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Sunamura, Michinari; Takai, Ken

    2016-01-01

    The Japan Trench is located under the eutrophic Northwestern Pacific while the Mariana Trench that harbors the unique hadal planktonic biosphere is located under the oligotrophic Pacific. Water samples from the sea surface to just above the seafloor at a total of 11 stations including a trench axis station, were investigated several months after the Tohoku Earthquake in March 2011. High turbidity zones in deep waters were observed at most of the sampling stations. The small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene community structures in the hadal waters (water depths below 6000 m) at the trench axis station were distinct from those in the overlying meso-, bathy and abyssopelagic waters (water depths between 200 and 1000 m, 1000 and 4000 m, and 4000 and 6000 m, respectively), although the SSU rRNA gene sequences suggested that potential heterotrophic bacteria dominated in all of the waters. Potential niche separation of nitrifiers, including ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), was revealed by quantitative PCR analyses. It seems likely that Nitrosopumilus-like AOAs respond to a high flux of electron donors and dominate in several zones of water columns including shallow and very deep waters. This study highlights the effects of suspended organic matter, as induced by seafloor deformation, on microbial communities in deep waters and confirm the occurrence of the distinctive hadal biosphere in global trench environments hypothesized in the previous study. PMID:27559333

  19. Psychromonas kaikoae sp. nov., a novel from the deepest piezophilic bacterium cold-seep sediments in the Japan Trench.

    PubMed

    Nogi, Yuichi; Kato, Chiaki; Horikoshi, Koki

    2002-09-01

    Two strains of obligately piezophilic bacteria were isolated from sediment collected from the deepest cold-seep environment with chemosynthesis-based animal communities within the Japan Trench, at a depth of 7434 m. The isolated strains, JT7301 and JT7304T, were closely affiliated with members of the genus Psychromonas on the basis of 16S rDNA sequence analysis. Hybridization values for DNA-DNA relatedness between these strains and the Psychromonas antarctica reference strain were significantly lower than that accepted as the phylogenetic definition of a species. The optimal temperature and pressure for growth of the isolates were 10 degrees C and 50 MPa and they produced both eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5omega3) and docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6) in the membrane layer. Based on the taxonomic differences observed, the isolated strains appear to represent a novel obligately piezophilic Psychromonas species. The name Psychromonas kaikoae sp. nov. (type strain JT7304T = JCM 11054T = ATCC BAA-363T) is proposed. This is the first proposed obligately piezophilic species of the genus Psychromonas. PMID:12361254

  20. Manganese formations in the accretionary belts of Japan: Implications for subduction-accretion process in an active convergent margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakagawa, M.; Santosh, M.; Maruyama, S.

    2011-08-01

    In the accretionary complexes of Japan, many bedded manganese and iron-manganese ore deposits occur, especially in the Jurassic complexes such as the Chichibu, Tamba, Mino, Ashio and Northern Kitakami belts. The manganese ores in these Jurassic accretionary complexes probably formed from manganese nodule/crust-bearing siliceous sediments on deep-sea floor and were subsequently converted to the manganese ores by metamorphism during the subduction-accretion process. Some of the deposits also show the signatures of younger granitic intrusions. The manganese formations now incorporated within these belts are marker beds of accretionary tectonics associated with plate tectonic processes in convergent margins.

  1. Upper boundary of the Pacific plate subducting beneath Hokkaido, Japan, estimated from ScSp phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osada, Kinue; Yoshizawa, Kazunori; Yomogida, Kiyoshi; Suetsugu, Daisuke; Bina, Craig; Inoue, Toru; Wiens, Douglas; Jellinek, Mark

    2010-11-01

    Three-dimensional geometry of the upper boundary of the Pacific plate subducting beneath Hokkaido, Japan, was obtained using the ScSp phase: the phase converted from ScS (S wave reflected at the core•mantle boundary) to P wave at the plate boundary. Taking the advantage of a dense seismic network, "Hi-net", recently deployed across the Japanese islands, we applied several seismic array analyses to the recorded waveform data for a large nearby deep earthquake, in order to enhance very weak ScSp signals in the original records. At first, we set up five blocks for the region in plate dip directions. After aligning the travel times of ScS and stacking seismograms among stations in a given sub-block perpendicular to each dip direction, we searched for the optimal plate model (i.e., two-dimensional geometry of the upper boundary) for each block. The model was parameterized by seven depth grids, and seismograms were stacked based on the travel time of ScSp as a time lag of each sub-block, so that the optimal model would yield the maximum spectral energy of ScSp after stacking. This model parameter search was conducted, using ray tracings of ScSp with a reference velocity model and a non-linear inversion scheme (Neighbourhood Algorithm). The optimal model of each block was combined each other by cubic spline interpolation, in order to construct an overall three-dimensional geometry of the upper boundary of the plate. Next, we performed the frequency•wavenumber (f•k) spectral analysis to refine the above result. Assuming each station as a reference point, we made beam output from records of its adjacent stations as a function of wavenumber vector (kx,ky) and frequency. The peak of its power spectrum was considered to represent the wavenumber vector of ScSp, that is, azimuth of arrival and slowness, so that we can estimate the position and depth of the corresponding ScS•ScSp conversion. In the frequency range from 0.5 to 1.5 Hz, we could estimate the conversion

  2. Invited review paper: Fault creep caused by subduction of rough seafloor relief

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Kelin; Bilek, Susan L.

    2014-01-01

    Among the wide range of thermal, petrologic, hydrological, and structural factors that potentially affect subduction earthquakes, the roughness of the subducting seafloor is among the most important. By reviewing seismic and geodetic studies of megathrust locking/creeping state, we find that creeping is the predominant mode of subduction in areas of extremely rugged subducting seafloor such as the Kyushu margin, Manila Trench, northern Hikurangi, and southeastern Costa Rica. In Java and Mariana, megathrust creeping state is not yet constrained by geodetic observations, but the very rugged subducting seafloor and lack of large earthquakes also suggest aseismic creep. Large topographic features on otherwise relatively smooth subducting seafloor such as the Nazca Ridge off Peru, the Investigator Fracture Zone off Sumatra, and the Joban seamount chain in southern Japan Trench also cause creep and often stop the propagation of large ruptures. Similar to all other known giant earthquakes, the Tohoku earthquake of March 2011 occurred in an area of relatively smooth subducting seafloor. The Tohoku event also offers an example of subducting seamounts stopping rupture propagation. Very rugged subducting seafloor not only retards the process of shear localization, but also gives rise to heterogeneous stresses. In this situation, the fault zone creeps because of distributed deformation of fractured rocks, and the creep may take place as transient events of various spatial and temporal scales accompanied with small and medium-size earthquakes. This process cannot be described as stable or unstable friction along a single contact surface. The association of large earthquakes with relatively smooth subducting seafloor and creep with very rugged subducting seafloor calls for further investigation. Seafloor near-trench geodetic monitoring, high-resolution imaging of subduction fault structure, studies of exhumed ancient subduction zones, and laboratory studies of low

  3. Development of Real-time Tsunami Inundation Forecast Using Ocean Bottom Tsunami Networks along the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aoi, S.; Yamamoto, N.; Suzuki, W.; Hirata, K.; Nakamura, H.; Kunugi, T.; Kubo, T.; Maeda, T.

    2015-12-01

    In the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, in which huge tsunami claimed a great deal of lives, the initial tsunami forecast based on hypocenter information estimated using seismic data on land were greatly underestimated. From this lesson, NIED is now constructing S-net (Seafloor Observation Network for Earthquakes and Tsunamis along the Japan Trench) which consists of 150 ocean bottom observatories with seismometers and pressure gauges (tsunamimeters) linked by fiber optic cables. To take full advantage of S-net, we develop a new methodology of real-time tsunami inundation forecast using ocean bottom observation data and construct a prototype system that implements the developed forecasting method for the Pacific coast of Chiba prefecture (Sotobo area). We employ a database-based approach because inundation is a strongly non-linear phenomenon and its calculation costs are rather heavy. We prepare tsunami scenario bank in advance, by constructing the possible tsunami sources, and calculating the tsunami waveforms at S-net stations, coastal tsunami heights and tsunami inundation on land. To calculate the inundation for target Sotobo area, we construct the 10-m-mesh precise elevation model with coastal structures. Based on the sensitivities analyses, we construct the tsunami scenario bank that efficiently covers possible tsunami scenarios affecting the Sotobo area. A real-time forecast is carried out by selecting several possible scenarios which can well explain real-time tsunami data observed at S-net from tsunami scenario bank. An advantage of our method is that tsunami inundations are estimated directly from the actual tsunami data without any source information, which may have large estimation errors. In addition to the forecast system, we develop Web services, APIs, and smartphone applications and brush them up through social experiments to provide the real-time tsunami observation and forecast information in easy way to understand toward urging people to evacuate.

  4. A Paleozoic Japan-type subduction-accretion system in the Beishan orogenic collage, southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Dongfang; Xiao, Wenjiao; Windley, Brian F.; Han, Chunming; Tian, Zhonghua

    2015-05-01

    Magmatic arcs ascribed to oceanic lithosphere subduction played a dominant role in the construction of the accretionary Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB). The Beishan orogenic collage, situated between the Tianshan Orogen to the west and the Inner Mongolia Orogen to the east, is a key area to understanding the subduction and accretionary processes of the southern CAOB. However, the nature of magmatic arcs in the Beishan and the correlation among different tectonic units along the southern CAOB are highly ambiguous. In order to investigate the subduction-accretion history of the Beishan and put a better spatial and temporal relationship among the tectonic belts along the southern CAOB, we carried out detailed field-based structural geology and LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb geochronological as well as geochemical studies along four cross-sections across crucial litho-tectonic units in the central segment of the Beishan, mainly focusing on the metamorphic assemblages and associated plutons and volcanic rocks. The results show that both the plutonic and volcanic rocks have geochemical characteristics similar to those of subduction-related rocks, which favors a volcanic arc setting. Zircons from all the plutonic rocks yield Phanerozoic ages and the plutons have crystallization ages ranging from 464 ± 2 Ma to 398 ± 3 Ma. Two volcanic-sedimentary rocks yield zircons with a wide age range from Phanerozoic to Precambrian with the youngest age peaks at 441 Ma and 446 Ma, estimated to be the time of formation of the volcanic rocks. These new results, combined with published data on ophiolitic mélanges from the central segment of the Beishan, favor a Japan-type subduction-accretion system in the Cambrian to Carboniferous in this part of the Paleo-Asian Ocean. The Xichangjing-Niujuanzi ophiolite probably represents a major suture zone separating different tectonic units across the Beishan orogenic collage, while the Xiaohuangshan-Jijitaizi ophiolitic mélange may represent a

  5. Diagnoses of simulated water-mass subduction/formation/transformation in the Japan/East Sea (JES)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, HeeSook; Mooers, Christopher N. K.

    2005-06-01

    The impacts of surface atmospheric forcing of different time-space scales on the simulation of water-mass formation and spreading of formed water are investigated by quantifying water-mass subduction/formation/transformation for the Japan/East Sea (JES). The Princeton Ocean Model (POM) was implemented for the JES (JES-POM) to simulate interannual, seasonal, and mesoscale variations in velocity and mass fields. Three sets of atmospheric flux data were used; (1) 6-h fluxes calculated from 6-h atmospheric variables (syn), (2) monthly means of 6-h fluxes (empm), and (3) fluxes calculated from monthly averaged atmospheric variables (mont). The mass exchange between the mixed layer and interior in the JES was diagnosed in terms of annual subduction rate ( Sann). Three areas of local maximum Sann (>500 m/yr) occurred: area V (41-43°N west of 137°E), K (36-39°N west of 132°E), and KB (near Korea Bay). Area V corresponds to the "flux center" (i.e., maximum heat and momentum fluxes) described by Kawamura and Wu [1998. Formation mechanism of Japan Sea Proper Water in the flux center off Vladivostok. J. Geophys. Res. 103 (C10), 21611-21622] the subduction region suggested by Senjyu and Sudo [1994. The upper portion of the Japan Sea proper water: its source and circulation as deduced from isopycnal analysis. J. Oceanogr. 50, 663-690; 1996. Interannual variation of the upper portion of the Japan proper water and its probable cause. J. Oceanogr. 52, 72-42] and Yoshikawa et al. [1999. Formation and circulation processes of intermediate water in the Japan Sea. J. Phys. Oceanogr. 29 (8), 1701-1722], and the wintertime convection location identified by Seung and Yoon [1995. Some features of winter convection in the Japan Sea. J. Oceanogr. 51, 61-73]. With monthly forcing (mont), there is no localized maximum value off Vladivostok, while with forcing influenced by synoptic events (monthly; empm and 6-h; syn), either one or two localized areas with a high subduction rate occur with

  6. P and S Waves Traversing Beneath Western Japan and the Shape of the Subducting Philippine Sea Plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuge, K.; Fukuda, T.

    2011-12-01

    We show the characteristics of P and S waves traversing beneath western Japan, which can provide constraints on the shape of the subducting Philippine Sea plate. The subduction of the Philippine Sea plate causes megathrust earthquakes along the Nankai trough in western Japan. The complicated shape of the subducting plate can affect the spatial variation of the plate coupling as well as the recurrence of great interplate earthquakes. For slab earthquakes at depths of about 45 km in northwestern Shikoku, we observe two arrivals of P wave at the NIED Hi-net stations in the azimuth range from the north to the east. The apparent velocities are about 8 and 6.7 km/s, corresponding to P velocities in the mantle and crust, respectively. Dominant S waves propagate by apparent velocity of about 3.8 km/s, being S velocity in the crust. These observations are in agreement with those of Oda et al. (1990) and Ohkura (2000) using a smaller number of local stations. The P and S waves propagating at the slow apparent velocities can be modeled by horizontally layered structure if the earthquakes are located within a low-velocity layer spanning the stations. The thick low-velocity layer can be a stack of the continental crust of the Eurasian plate and the oceanic crust of the Philippine Sea plate subducting nearly subhorizontally (Oda et al., 1990; Ohkura, 2000). The P and S waves with the slow apparent velocities are observable at distances up to about 300 km. On the other hand, they are not observed or observable only at small distances in the western side of the epicenters. The spatial characteristics can be used to constrain the geometry of the low-velocity layer associated with the shape of the oceanic crust of the Philippine Sea plate. We observe two arrivals of P wave in the eastern side of the Kii Peninsula for slab earthquakes beneath Shikoku. Both apparent velocities are in a range of P velocity in the mantle. There appear two ray paths of P wave propagating in the mantle

  7. Non-elastic Plate Weakening at Tonga, Costa Rica and Japanese Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arredondo, K.; Billen, M. I.

    2010-12-01

    Traditionally studies of plate bending in subduction zones have utilized elastic, viscous or elastic-plastic rheologies to model the deformation of subducting plates, yet they are based on averaged plate properties and do not take into account variations in plate strength. Direct measurements of plate strength at subduction zones could permit more detailed models of how plates deform during subduction and may allow differentiation between the elastic and viscous or plastic rheologies. Additionally, weakening of the subducting plate is important for understanding the degree of coupling of the surface plate to the negative buoyancy of descending slabs. To obtain quantitative measurements of changes in plate strength along profiles parallel to the trench, we use analysis of the gravity-topography admittance in three subduction zones: Tonga, Costa Rica and Japan. We show that the plate flexural rigidity decreases near and inside the trench of the Tonga and Japan subduction zones, in agreement with previous results for the Kermadec subduction zone (1). Near the trench the flexural rigidity values are consistently smaller than those predicted by an elastic rheology and the plate age (2). This degree of weakening, by up to 3 orders magnitude, suggests that the plate does not act elastically as it is subducted, possibly due to lithospheric-scale weakening by extensional faulting and plastic yielding at depth. In contrast lithospheric-scale weakening in the Costa Rica subduction zone is less clear. This may be due to the younger age of the subducting plate and the small age difference between the seamounts and surrounding plate, which limits the sensitivity of the gravity field to changes in the non-isostatic support of topographic feature. These results suggest that this technique is only applicable to older plates with large seamounts that are appreciably younger than the subducting plate. Comparison of the flexural rigidity results to the tectonic characteristics of all

  8. In-Situ Observations of Earthquake-Driven Fluid Pulses within the Japan Trench Plate Boundary Fault Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fulton, P. M.; Brodsky, E. E.

    2014-12-01

    Fault valving and transient fluid flow has long been suspected to be an important process in the earthquake cycle, but has not previously been captured by direct measurements during an episode. In particular, earthquakes are thought to drive fluids in fault zones, but again, evidence has been limited to the geologic record. Here we report on the signature of fluid pumping events inside the Tohoku Fault associated with individual earthquakes. As part of the Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST), a sub-seafloor temperature observatory was installed across the plate boundary fault zone that ruptured during the 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku-oki earthquake. The observatory consisted of 55 autonomous temperature sensing dataloggers extending up to 820 m below sea floor at a water depth of ~7 km. The temporary deployment recorded data from July 2012 through April 2013. In addition to measuring the frictional heat signal from the megathrust earthquake, the high-resolution temperature time series data reveal spatially coherent temperature transients following regional earthquakes. Temperature increases vertically upwards from a fracture zone and decreases downwards, which is consistent with the expected signature of a pulse entering the annulus from the fracture zone. The anomalies are a few hundredths of degree Celsius and occur repeatedly at depths that are independently interpreted to have higher fracture permeability. High-pass filtered data are spatially correlated in areas disturbed by transient fluid advection. Fluid pulses occur in response to over a dozen local earthquakes, including a Mw 5.4 on 14 October 2012, a Mw 5.5 on 11 November 2012, and a doublet of two very local Mw 7.2 intraplate earthquakes on 7 December 2012, along with its associated aftershocks. There does not appear to be a response to large far-field earthquakes such as the 28 October 2012 Mw 7.8 Haida Gwaii or 6 February 2013 Mw 8.0 Santa Cruz Islands earthquakes. These measurements provide the first in

  9. The 3-D distribution of random velocity inhomogeneities in southwestern Japan and the western part of the Nankai subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

    waves at high frequencies (>1 Hz) show collapsed and broadened wave trains caused by multiple scattering in the lithosphere. This study analyzed the envelopes of direct S waves in southwestern Japan and on the western side of the Nankai trough and estimated the spatial distribution of random inhomogeneities by assuming a von Kármán type power spectral density function (PSDF). Strongly inhomogeneous media have been mostly imaged at shallow depth (0-20 km depth) in the onshore area of southwestern Japan, and their PSDF is represented as P(m) ≈ 0.05m-3.7 km3, with m being the spatial wave number, whereas most of the other area shows weak inhomogeneities of which PSDF is P(m) ≈ 0.005m-4.5 km3. At Hyuga-nada in Nankai trough, there is an anomaly of inhomogeneity of which PSDF is estimated as P(m) ≈ 0.01m-4.5 km3. This PSDF has the similar spectral gradient with the weakly inhomogeneous media, but has larger power spectral density than other offshore areas. This anomalous region is broadly located in the subducted Kyushu Palau ridge, which was identified by using velocity structures and bathymetry, and it shows no clear correlation with the fault zones of large earthquakes in past decades. These spatial correlations suggest that possible origins of inhomogeneities at Hyuga-nada are ancient volcanic activity in the oceanic plate or deformed structures due to the subduction of the Kyushu Palau ridge.

  10. Deep recycling of oceanic asthenosphere material during subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Lijun; Zhou, Quan

    2015-04-01

    Uncertainties in the origin and composition of oceanic asthenosphere lead to different views on its temporal evolution upon subduction. We investigate the evolution of asthenosphere material during subduction using high-resolution geodynamic models. In contrast to some earlier models suggesting that limited amount of asthenosphere material can be entrained during subduction, we find that much of the subslab mantle (>100 km thick) could recycle into the deep mantle following the slab, even if this mantle layer remains buoyant and less viscous during entrainment. Our results support the hypothesis that observed trench-parallel subslab seismic anisotropy is a downward continuation of the anisotropic asthenosphere. The entrainment of sometimes buoyant asthenosphere material provides a new mechanism for reducing slab dip angle which is consistent the shallower Pacific slab underneath Japan than that farther south. Episodic release of entrained buoyant materials during subduction can also explain enigmatic intraplate volcanism, such as the Changbaishan volcano in Northeast China.

  11. Using meteoric 10Be to constrain the age and structure of the frontal wedge at the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regalla, C.; Bierman, P. R.; Rood, D.; Motoyama, I.; Fisher, D. M.

    2013-12-01

    We present new meteoric 10Be concentration data from marine sediments recovered during International Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Exp. 343 that help constrain the age and internal structure of the frontal prism at the Japan trench in the vicinity of the 2011 Tohoku-oki M9 earthquake rupture. Exp. 343 recovered sediments from an ~200 m interval of the frontal wedge at site C0019. Core and log observations identify the plate boundary décollement at ~820 mbsf, which separates a deformed sedimentary wedge from relatively undeformed underthrust sediments. However, reconstructions of the structural evolution of the wedge are difficult because of similarity in lithology between sediments from the incoming and overriding plate, and the chaotic character of seismic reflectors in the frontal wedge. We utilize the radiogenic decay of 10Be (t1/2 =1.36 Ma) in marine sediments to constrain variations in sediment age with depth in core C0019. Meteoric 10Be was isolated from marine sediments at the University of Vermont using total fusion and 10Be/9Be ratios were measured at the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre. Concentrations of meteoric 10Be in core C0019 range from 1.7x107 to 2.1x109 atm/g and are consistent with 10Be concentrations at nearby DSDP sites 436 and 434. We calculate 10Be sediment ages for analyzed samples assuming a range of initial 10Be concentrations from 1.6 to 2.1x109 atm/g. These concentrations are constrained by a 10Be sample co-located with a radiolarian micropaleontology sample at 780 mbsf that yields a Quaternary age, and from previously reported 10Be concentrations for Quaternary sediments in nearby DSDP cores. 10Be and radiolarian micropaleontology samples from similar depths yield consistent ages for late Miocene to Quaternary sediments (R2 = 0.89). Calculated 10Be ages range from 0-10 Ma, with ~50% of analyzed samples yielding ages <2 Ma. Repetition and inversion of high (109 atm/g) and low (107 atm/g) concentration sediments with

  12. Circum-Pacific modes of subduction, collision, and metallogenesis

    SciTech Connect

    Nishiwaki, C.; Uyeda, S.

    1986-07-01

    Tectonic processes in trench-arc-back-arc regions, as depicted on the Plate-Tectonic Map of the Circum-Pacific Region, are controlled by different modes of subduction. In one end member, the Chilean or high-stress subduction zone, the stress regime in the overriding lithosphere is compressive; whereas in the other end member, the Mariana or low-stress subduction zone, extensional tectonics prevails. The two modes are characterized by porphyry copper and massive sulfide metallogenesis, respectively. In both modes, sediment that fills grabens on the subducting plate may be subducted. When a large buoyant feature such as drifting continental crust arrives at the trench, collision-accretion tectonics with a strong compressive stress ensues. In such a collision zone, however, buoyant subduction of the light crust continues to a considerable extent, such as in the doubling of crust under Tibet and the subduction of the Izu block under central Japan. When continental crust and oceanic sediments subduct, they can begin melting at low temperature and shallow depth, generating more felsic granitoids than those that originate at greater depth under andesitic volcanic arcs. In the northwest Pacific, felsic granitic arcs are extensive, mostly S type, and ilmenite bearing, and they are accompanied by the world's largest tin and tungsten belt. They contrast with, but are parallel to many andesitic volcanic arcs characterized by rich copper-zinc-gold metallogenesis. The authors speculate that the extensive tin-tungsten granitic arcs have their genesis in the buoyant subduction, remelting, and large-scale anataxis of sediment-dominated crust as a result of collision-accretion tectonism.

  13. Mega-thrust and Intra-slab Earthquakes beneath Tokyo Metropolitan Area around subduction and collision zones in JAPAN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirata, N.; Kasahara, K.; Hagiwara, H.; Satow, H.; Shimazaki, K.; Koketsu, K.; Wu, F.; Okaya, D.

    2004-12-01

    In central Japan the Philippine Sea plate (PSP) subducts beneath the Tokyo Metropolitan area, the Kanto region, where it causes mega-thrust earthquakes, such as the 1703 Genroku earthquake (M8.0) and the 1923 Kanto earthquake (M7.9). The vertical proximity of this down going lithospheric plate is of concern because the greater Tokyo urban region has a population of 42 million and is the center of approximately 40 % of the nation's economic activities. A M7+ earthquake in this region at present has high potential to produce devastating loss of life and property with even greater global economic repercussions.The M7+ earthquake is evaluated to occur with a probability of 70 % in 30 years by the Earthquake Research Committee of Japan.We started the Special Project for Earthquake Disaster Mitigation in Tokyo metropolitan areas, a project to improve information needed for seismic hazards analyses of the largest urban centers. Under the project we will deploy a 400-sation dense seismic array in metropolitan Tokyo and Kanto, referred to as the Metropolitan Seismic Observation network (MeSO-net) in next 4 years. The target area of the present project is unique in tectonic setting because two oceanic plates, Philippine Sea plate (PSP) and Pacific plate (PAC), are subducting beneath the Kanto and also a volcanic arc, Izu-Bonin arc, is colliding with Honshu arc. The situation makes the tectonics complicated: there are both zones of smooth subduction and collision of the oceanic plate with the landward plate, either the Eurasian plate or the North American plate. Furthermore, the PSP encounters the PAC at shallow depth in the eastern Kanto region. The newly developing MeSO-net will contribute to understand the generation mechanism associated with the plate subduction and collision. Assessment in Kanto of the seismic hazard requires identification of all significant faults and possible earthquake scenarios and rupture behavior, regional characterizations of the PSP geometry and

  14. Mega-thrust and Intra-slab Earthquakes beneath Tokyo Metropolitan Area around subduction and collision zones in JAPAN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirata, N.; Kasahara, K.; Hagiwara, H.; Satow, H.; Shimazaki, K.; Koketsu, K.; Wu, F.; Okaya, D.

    2007-12-01

    In central Japan the Philippine Sea plate (PSP) subducts beneath the Tokyo Metropolitan area, the Kanto region, where it causes mega-thrust earthquakes, such as the 1703 Genroku earthquake (M8.0) and the 1923 Kanto earthquake (M7.9). The vertical proximity of this down going lithospheric plate is of concern because the greater Tokyo urban region has a population of 42 million and is the center of approximately 40 % of the nation's economic activities. A M7+ earthquake in this region at present has high potential to produce devastating loss of life and property with even greater global economic repercussions.The M7+ earthquake is evaluated to occur with a probability of 70 % in 30 years by the Earthquake Research Committee of Japan.We started the Special Project for Earthquake Disaster Mitigation in Tokyo metropolitan areas, a project to improve information needed for seismic hazards analyses of the largest urban centers. Under the project we will deploy a 400-sation dense seismic array in metropolitan Tokyo and Kanto, referred to as the Metropolitan Seismic Observation network (MeSO-net) in next 4 years. The target area of the present project is unique in tectonic setting because two oceanic plates, Philippine Sea plate (PSP) and Pacific plate (PAC), are subducting beneath the Kanto and also a volcanic arc, Izu-Bonin arc, is colliding with Honshu arc. The situation makes the tectonics complicated: there are both zones of smooth subduction and collision of the oceanic plate with the landward plate, either the Eurasian plate or the North American plate. Furthermore, the PSP encounters the PAC at shallow depth in the eastern Kanto region. The newly developing MeSO-net will contribute to understand the generation mechanism associated with the plate subduction and collision. Assessment in Kanto of the seismic hazard requires identification of all significant faults and possible earthquake scenarios and rupture behavior, regional characterizations of the PSP geometry and

  15. Micro-seismicity survey of a seismic gap caused by the subduction of the Louisville seamount chain in the Tonga trench, 25°30’S to 28°S

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grevemeyer, I.; Dannowski, A.; Flueh, E. R.; Moeller, S.

    2009-12-01

    The distribution of teleseismically recorded earthquakes in the Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone reveals a major seismic gap centered roughly at 26°S. The gap parallels the trench axis and stretches for approximately 250 km. The seismic gap coincides with the area, where the Louisville hotspot chain enters the Tonga trench. Subducting seamounts may therefore control seismic coupling and hence define seismogenic asperities in subduction zones. Louisville seamounts rise 3 to 4 km above the regional seafloor. Seamounts and guyots are between 10 to 40 km in diameter and hence smaller than the width of the seismic gap, suggesting that other features - like the hotspot swell, crustal underplating or the flexural may contribute or control seismic locking. We deployed a network of 21 ocean-bottom-seismometers (OBS) and 2 ocean-bottom-hydrophones (OBH), including 9 broadband OBS with Guralp CMG-40T sensors. The network covered the southern portion of the seismic gap and the transition zone to “normal” seismic behavior. The ocean bottom seismic stations provided data from July 9, 2007 to December 31, 2007. For the earthquake location procedure we derived a minimum 1-D velocity model from active seismic wide-angle profiling in the uppermost 6 km of the fore-arc crust and earthquake arrival time data at greater depths. In total 1523 local and regional earthquake could be located. Within the network, 383 events have been recorded with a gap of <230 degree at 4 stations, and 160 events with a gap of <180 degree at 6 stations. It is interesting to note that local earthquakes (M < 4) did not mimic the teleseismic gap. Overall, seismicity seems to be randomly distributed within the network. Furthermore, in contrast to other subduction zones, where earthquakes occur predominantly along the subduction megathrust fault, we observed only a few events along the plate boundary. Thus, most local earthquakes occur in the uppermost mantle, perhaps caused by extension related to the slab

  16. Three-dimensional numerical modeling of temperature and mantle flow fields associated with subduction of the Philippine Sea plate, southwest Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Yingfeng; Yoshioka, Shoichi; Matsumoto, Takumi

    2016-06-01

    We investigated temperature and mantle flow distributions associated with subduction of the Philippine Sea (PHS) plate beneath southwest Japan, by constructing a three-dimensional parallelepiped model incorporating a past clockwise rotation, the bathymetry of the Philippine Sea plate, and distribution of the subducting velocity within its slab. The geometry of the subducting plate was inferred from contemporary seismic studies and was used as a slab guide integrated with historical plate rotation into the 3-D simulation. Using the model, we estimated a realistic and high-resolution temperature field on the subduction plate interface, which was constrained by a large number of heat flow data, and attempted to clarify its relationship with occurrences of megathrust earthquakes, long-term slow slip events (L-SSEs), and nonvolcanic low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs). Results showed that the oblique subduction coupled with the 3-D geometry of subducting PHS plate was a key factor affecting the interplate and intraplate temperature distributions, leading to a cold anomaly in the plate interface beneath western Shikoku, the Bungo Channel, and the Kii Peninsula. Temperatures in the slab core in these regions at a depth near the continental Moho were nearly 200°C lower than that in eastern Shikoku, indicating a high thermal lateral heterogeneity within the subducting plate. The geothermal control of the LFEs beneath western Shikoku was estimated to be within a range from 400 to 700°C, and the interplate temperature for the L-SSEs with a slip larger than 15 cm beneath the Bungo Channel was estimated to be approximately 350-500°C. A large horizontal temperature gradient of 2.5 ~ °C/km was present where the LFEs occurred repeatedly. The steep temperature change was likely to be related to the metamorphic phase transformation from lawsonite or blueschist to amphibolite of hydrous minerals of the mid-ocean ridge basalt of the subducting PHS plate.

  17. Subduction influence of Philippine Sea plate on the mantle beneath northern Kyushu, SW Japan: An examination of boron contents in basaltic rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyoshi, Masaya; Fukuoka, Takaaki; Sano, Takashi; Hasenaka, Toshiaki

    2008-03-01

    Northern Kyushu, characterized by the subduction of two oceanic slabs (a hot Shikoku basin and a cold Philippine Sea plate) beneath the Eurasian plate, forms a complex portion of Southwestern Japan arc. In order to evaluate the effect of slab-derived fluids from these two contrasting oceanic plates, we determined the boron (B) contents in basaltic rocks from ten volcanoes and three old volcanic fields which erupted since 11 Ma. Since B is distinctly concentrated into slab-derived fluids among the earth's materials, we attempted to estimate the influences of subduction on the sub-arc mantle composition from the interpretation of the B data in basaltic rocks. Old (11-6 Ma) basaltic rocks contain low ratios of B/Sm (0.5-1.3), B/Zr (0.02-0.05) and B/Nb (0.2-0.5), suggesting little influence of subduction. Similarly, backarc basaltic rocks occurring throughout the observed period show little influence of subduction. In contrast, volcanic products from young Aso volcano, located at the volcanic front, show a strong influence of subduction, as indicated by the high B/Sm (1.6-4.3), B/Zr (0.07-0.16) and B/Nb (1.4-3.7) ratios. After 6 Ma, the volcanic arc segment containing Aso volcano is associated with the subduction of the cold Philippine Sea plate; hence a B-rich fluid was probably added to the sub-arc mantle. However, Yufu, Tsurumi and Kuju volcanoes, which are located at the same volcanic front, show small B/Sm (0.9-1.9), B/Zr (0.04-0.07) and B/Nb (0.5-0.9) ratios. This implies that the subduction of the hot Shikoku basin released fluids from the slab at shallow depths; therefore it is depleted of B and other subduction components by the time it reaches the volcanic front.

  18. 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 (

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishii, T.

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Shear Veins Under High Pore Pressure Condition Along Subduction Interface: Yokonami Mélange, Cretaceous Shimanto Belt, Shikoku, Southwest Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hashimoto, Y.; Eida, M.

    2013-12-01

    Fluid pressure along subdcution interface is a key parameter to understand the fault strength, wedge geometry and seismogenic behavior. In this study, we focused on shear veins pervasively observed in exhumed accretionary complex, Yokonami mélange, Cretaceous Shiamanto Belt, Southwest Japan to examine paleo-stress, effective friction coefficient, fluid pressure ratio and fluid pressure along subduction interface. Lithology of the Yokonami mélange is mainly sandstones surrounded by foliated black shales with minor components of basalts, cherts, tuffs, and limestones, representing tectonic mélange textures. Shear veins cutting mélange foliations are pervasively observed. Shear veins are composed of quartz and calcite. Slicken lines and slicken steps are always observed on the surfaces of shear veins. Pressure-temperature conditions for shear veins are about 180MPa and about 200 degree C on the basis of fluid inclusion analysis. Since the distribution of shear veins are related to packages of ocean floor stratigraphy, formation of shear vein can be before underplating and after mélange formation along subduction interface. We conducted multiple inversion method using slip data of shear veins to examine paleo-stress. In the result, we obtained maximum shear stress horizontal to foliations with 0.3 of stress ratio that is defined as (sigma2-sigma3)/(sigma1-sigma3). Effective friction coefficient was estimated as about 0.10-0.22 by the lowest value of ratio of normal and shear stresses in the normalized Mohr's circle on each plane of shear vein. If we put friction coefficient under dry condition as 0.7 because shear veins cut lithified mélange through out, fluid pressure ratio is equivalent to 0.68-0.86. This is very high fluid pressure ratio along subduction plate interface. On the basis of this fluid pressure ratio and P-T conditions of shear veins from fluid inclusion analysis, 7-12km of depth and 20-30 degree C of geothermal gradient were estimated. The age of

  1. 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

  2. The damage is done: Low fault friction recorded in the damage zone of the shallow Japan Trench décollement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keren, Tucker T.; Kirkpatrick, James D.

    2016-05-01

    Fault damage zones record the integrated deformation caused by repeated slip on faults and reflect the conditions that control slip behavior. To investigate the Japan Trench décollement, we characterized the damage zone close to the fault from drill core recovered during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 343 (Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST)). Core-scale and microscale structures include phyllosilicate bands, shear fractures, and joints. They are most abundant near the décollement and decrease in density sharply above and below the fault. Power law fits describing the change in structure density with distance from the fault result in decay exponents (n) of 1.57 in the footwall and 0.73 in the hanging wall. Microstructure decay exponents are 1.09 in the footwall and 0.50 in the hanging wall. Observed damage zone thickness is on the order of a few tens of meters. Core-scale structures dip between ~10° and ~70° and are mutually crosscutting. Compared to similar offset faults, the décollement has large decay exponents and a relatively narrow damage zone. Motivated by independent constraints demonstrating that the plate boundary is weak, we tested if the observed damage zone characteristics could be consistent with low-friction fault. Quasi-static models of off-fault stresses and deformation due to slip on a wavy, frictional fault under conditions similar to the JFAST site predict that low-friction fault produces narrow damage zones with no preferred orientations of structures. These results are consistent with long-term frictional weakness on the décollement at the JFAST site.

  3. 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

  4. Identification of subducting plate structure within seismogenic zones and relationships with seismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassett, D.; Watts, A. B.

    2014-12-01

    The roughness of subducting plates is one of the most important parameters controlling the seismogenic behavior of subduction megathrusts, but in most regions the distribution of subducting relief is inferred from structure seaward of trenches. Spectral averaging techniques developed to remove the steep topographic gradients across forearcs are shown to improve resolution of local trench-slope uplift, that may be diagnostic of subducting relief. This interpretation is locally calibrated where the Louisville Ridge subducts at the Tonga trench. From a global extension of these techniques, >200 residual bathymetric anomalies are identified, enabling links between subducting relief, slip behavior and seismicity to be reconsidered. We interpret >150 potential subducting seamounts, 36 of which have height ≥1 km and area ≥500 km2. These anomalies are similar in wavelength, amplitude and morphology with unsubducted seamounts, are associated with aseismic regions in Tonga and Mariana, and prevented along strike rupture propagation in large recent earthquakes in Java (2006) and Japan (2011). Subducting aseismic ridges in Peru, Ecuador and Costa-Rica are associated with uplift and steepening of the outer-forearc and a local increase in the width and elevation of the volcanic-arc. Associations with complex large earthquakes, higher frequencies of small events, and creep suggest aseismic ridges may also subduct via the development and evolution of an adjacent fracture network. Megathrust complexity is expected to be greatest on subducting ridge flanks. The bathymetric expression of subducting relief is strongest near the trench (<70 km) and above shallow slab depths (<~17 km). Dip-parallel transitions in the surface expression of aseismic ridges may reflect physical transitions in megathrust slip-behavior and/or material properties in the overthrusting wedge. Aseismic ridges and seamounts represent seafloor roughness over different wavelengths and are associated with

  5. P and S wave tomography of Japan subduction zone from joint inversions of local and teleseismic travel times and surface-wave data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xin; Zhao, Dapeng

    2016-03-01

    We determined P and S wave velocity tomography of the Japan subduction zone down to a depth of 700 km by conducting joint inversions of a large number of high-quality arrival-time data of local earthquakes and teleseismic events which are newly collected for this study. We also determined 2-D phase-velocity images of fundamental mode Rayleigh waves at periods of 20-150 s beneath Japan and the surrounding oceanic regions using amplitude and phase data of teleseismic Rayleigh waves. A detailed 3-D S-wave tomography of the study region is obtained by jointly inverting S-wave arrival times of local and teleseismic events and the Rayleigh-wave phase-velocity data. Our inversion results reveal the subducting Pacific and Philippine Sea slabs clearly as dipping high-velocity zones from a 1-D starting velocity model. Prominent low-velocity (low-V) anomalies are revealed in the mantle wedge above the slabs and in the mantle below the Pacific slab. The distinct velocity contrasts between the subducting slabs and the surrounding mantle reflect significant lateral variations in temperature as well as water content and/or the degree of partial melting. The low-V anomalies in the mantle wedge are attributed to slab dehydration and corner flows in the mantle wedge. A sheet-like low-V zone is revealed under the Pacific slab beneath NE Japan, which may reflect hot upwelling from the deeper mantle and subduction of a plume-fed asthenosphere as well. Our present results indicate that joint inversions of different seismic data are very effective and important for obtaining robust tomographic images of the crust and mantle.

  6. 3D Seismic Velocity Structure Around Philippine Sea Slab Subducting Beneath Kii Peninsula, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shibutani, T.; Imai, M.; Hirahara, K.; Nakao, S.

    2013-12-01

    Kii Peninsula is a part of the source area of Nankai Trough megaquakes and the region through which the strong seismic waves propagate to big cities in Kansai such as Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, and so on. Moreover, the rupture starting point is thought to be possibly at off the peninsula. Therefore, it is important for simulations of the megaquakes and the strong motions to estimate accurately the configuration of the Philippine Sea slab and the seismic velocity structure around the slab and to investigate properties and conditions of the plate boundary surface. Deep low frequency events (DLFEs) are widely distributed from western Shikoku to central Tokai at 30 - 40 km depths on the plate boundary (Obara, 2002). Results from seismic tomography and receiver function analyses revealed that the oceanic crust of the Philippine Sea plate had a low velocity and a high Vp/Vs ratio (Hirose et al., 2007; Ueno et al., 2008). Hot springs with high 3He/4He ratios are found in an area between central Kinki and Kii Peninsula despite in the forearc region (Sano and Wakita, 1985). These phenomena suggest the process that H2O subducting with the oceanic crust dehydrates at the depths, causes the DLFEs, and moves to shallower depths. We carried out linear array seismic observations in the Kii Peninsula since 2004 in order to estimate the structure of the Philippine Sea slab and the surrounding area. We have performed receiver function analyses for four profile lines in the dipping direction of the slab and two lines in the perpendicular direction so far. We estimated three dimensional shapes of seismic velocity discontinuities such as the continental Moho, the upper surface of the oceanic crust and the oceanic Moho (Imai et al., 2013, this session). In addition, we performed seismic tomography with a velocity model embedded the discontinuities and observed travel times at stations in the linear arrays, and successfully estimated 3D seismic velocity structure around the Philippine Sea

  7. 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

  8. Seismic reflection imaging of the Juan de Fuca plate from ridge to trench: New constraints on the distribution of faulting and evolution of the crust prior to subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Shuoshuo; Carbotte, Suzanne M.; Canales, Juan Pablo; Nedimović, Mladen R.; Carton, Hélène; Gibson, James C.; Horning, Greg W.

    2016-03-01

    We present prestack time-migrated multichannel seismic images along two cross-plate transects from the Juan de Fuca (JdF) Ridge to the Cascadia deformation front (DF) offshore Oregon and Washington from which we characterize crustal structure, distribution and extent of faults across the plate interior as the crust ages and near the DF in response to subduction bending. Within the plate interior, we observe numerous small offset faults in the sediment section beginning 50-70 km from the ridge axis with sparse fault plane reflections confined to the upper crust. Plate bending due to sediment loading and subduction initiates at ~120-150 km and ~65-80 km seaward of the DF, respectively, and is accompanied by increase in sediment fault offsets and enhancement of deeper fault plane reflectivity. Most bend faulting deformation occurs within 40 km from the DF; on the Oregon transect, bright fault plane reflections that extend through the crust and 6-7 km into the mantle are observed. If attributed to serpentinization, ~0.12-0.92 wt % water within the uppermost 6 km of the mantle is estimated. On the Washington transect, bending faults are confined to the sediment section and upper-middle crust. The regional difference in subduction bend-faulting and potential hydration of the JdF plate is inconsistent with the spatial distribution of intermediate-depth intraslab seismicity at Cascadia. A series of distinctive, ridgeward dipping (20°-40°) lower crustal reflections are imaged in ~6-8 Ma crust along both transects and are interpreted as ductile shear zones formed within the ridge's accretionary zone in response to temporal variations in mantle upwelling, possibly associated with previously recognized plate reorganizations at 8.5 Ma and 5.9 Ma.

  9. Limits on great earthquake size at subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCaffrey, R.

    2012-12-01

    Subduction zones are where the world's greatest earthquakes occur due to the large fault area available to slip. Yet some subduction zones are thought to be immune from these massive events, where quake size is limited by some physical processes or properties. Accordingly, the size of the 2011 Tohoku-oki Mw 9.0 earthquake caught some in the earthquake research community by surprise. The expectations of these massive quakes have been driven in the past by reliance on our short, incomplete history of earthquakes and causal relationships derived from it. The logic applied is that if a great earthquake has not happened in the past, that we know of, one cannot happen in the future. Using the ~100-year global earthquake seismological history, and in some cases extended with geologic observations, relationships between maximum earthquake sizes and other properties of subduction zones are suggested, leading to the notion that some subduction zones, like the Japan Trench, would never produce a magnitude ~9 event. Empirical correlations of earthquake behavior with other subduction parameters can give false positive results when the data are incomplete or incorrect, of small numbers and numerous attributes are examined. Given multi-century return times of the greatest earthquakes, ignorance of those return times and our relatively limited temporal observation span (in most places), I suggest that we cannot yet rule out great earthquakes at any subduction zones. Alternatively, using the length of a subduction zone that is available for slip as the predominant factor in determining maximum earthquake size, we cannot rule out that any subduction zone of a few hundred kilometers or more in length may be capable of producing a magnitude 9 or larger earthquake. Based on this method, the expected maximum size for the Japan Trench was 9.0 (McCaffrey, Geology, p. 263, 2008). The same approach indicates that a M > 9 off Java, with twice the population density as Honshu and much lower

  10. Paleomagnetic records of core samples of the plate-boundary thrust drilled during the IODP Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishima, T.; Yang, T.; Ujiie, K.; Kirkpatrick, J. D.; Chester, F. M.; Moore, J. C.; Rowe, C. D.; Regalla, C.; Remitti, F.; Kameda, J.; Wolfson-Schwehr, M.; Bose, S.; Ishikawa, T.; Toy, V. G.

    2013-12-01

    IODP Expedition 343, Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST), drilled across the plate-boundary décollement zone near the Japan Trench where large slip occurred during the March 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake. We conducted paleomagnetic measurements of the core sample retrieved from the highly-deformed sediments comprising the plate-boundary décollement zone. Whole-round samples for structural analyses from five depth intervals of the core (0-12 cm, 12-30 cm, 43-48 cm, 48-58 cm, and 87.5-105 cm), were trimmed into oriented slabs with typical dimensions of 3x3x5 cm that are now being used to make petrographic sections for microstructural and chemical study. The remainder of the core sample was split into working and archive halves. We measured remanent magnetization of 16 trimmed slabs and the archive half of the core sample. The slabs were subjected to natural remanent magnetization (NRM) measurements in 0.5-1 cm intervals and progressive alternating field demagnetization (AFD) up to 80 mT with a 2G755 pass-through superconducting rock magnetometer at Kochi University. The archive half of the core sample was subjected to NRM measurement and AFD up to 20 mT with a 2G760 superconducting rock magnetometer installed on R/V Chikyu. Typically, two or three paleomagnetic components were isolated during the AFD of slab samples up to 80 mT. One ';soft' component was demagnetized below 20-30 mT, and another ';hard' component was not demagnetized even with AFD in 80 mT. A third component may be separated during AFD at the intermediate demagnetizing field, and may overlap the soft and hard components. The multiple slab samples cut from an identical whole-round sample have generally consistent paleomagnetic direction of the hard component. Contrastingly, the direction of the soft component is less consistent between adjacent slabs, and even varies within a single slab. The direction variation of the soft component possibly reflects the cm-scale strain and rotation of the

  11. Detailed structure of the Philippine Sea plate subducting along the Nankai Trough, western Japan, inferred from high-frequency seismic wave analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furumura, T.; Padhy, S.; Maeda, T.

    2012-12-01

    A detailed structure of the subducting Philippine Sea plate (PHP) along the Nankai trough in western Japan was studied by analyzing waveforms recorded at dense Hi-net stations in Japan. It is well recognized that the waveforms from intraplate earthquakes dominate in high-frequency (f >1 Hz) signals due to the waveguide effect of the subducting slab (Furumura and Kennett, 2005; 2008). This results in distorted pattern of intensity and peak ground acceleration (PGA) above the hypocenter with a substantial elongation of isoseismic contours correlated with the configuration of the isodepth contours of the subducting PHP beneath western Japan. A detailed analysis of the dense Hi-net waveform data from the intermediate-depth PHP event shows that the high-frequency S-wave signals suddenly disappear as the waves propagate the zone away from the Kii Channel to the boundary of Hyogo and Okayama prefectures and large S-to-P conversion occurs before the arrival of S-wave. Such anomalies do not occur for shallow and deep earthquakes occurring outside the PHP. These observations support the recent debate on the complexities of the configuration of the PHP subducting beneath western Japan such as that shown by Shiomi et al. (2008) based on receiver function images and the PHP-split model beneath the Kii channel shown by Ide et al.(2010) based on the analysis of comprehensive geophysical data. In order to explain the observations associated with sudden lateral change in the PHP structure, we conducted finite difference method (FDM) simulations of seismic wave propagation taking the detailed PHP model into account. It is confirmed that high-frequency guided wave energy decouple from waveguide where the shape of the PHP is suddenly deformed, which results in dramatic attenuation of high-frequency signals associating with large S-to-P conversions developed at sharp plate boundary. The present results also support the recently proposed complicated PHP-split model, however, further

  12. Substrate-specific pressure-dependence of microbial sulfate reduction in deep-sea cold seep sediments of the Japan Trench

    PubMed Central

    Vossmeyer, Antje; Deusner, Christian; Kato, Chiaki; Inagaki, Fumio; Ferdelman, Timothy G.

    2012-01-01

    The influence of hydrostatic pressure on microbial sulfate reduction (SR) was studied using sediments obtained at cold seep sites from 5500 to 6200 m water depth of the Japan Trench. Sediment samples were stored under anoxic conditions for 17 months in slurries at 4°C and at in situ pressure (50 MPa), at atmospheric pressure (0.1 MPa), or under methanic conditions with a methane partial pressure of 0.2 MPa. Samples without methane amendment stored at in situ pressure retained higher levels of sulfate reducing activity than samples stored at 0.1 MPa. Piezophilic SR showed distinct substrate specificity after hydrogen and acetate addition. SR activity in samples stored under methanic conditions was one order of magnitude higher than in non-amended samples. Methanic samples stored under low hydrostatic pressure exhibited no increased SR activity at high pressure even with the amendment of methane. These new insights into the effects of pressure on substrate specific sulfate reducing activity in anaerobic environmental samples indicate that hydrostatic pressure must be considered to be a relevant parameter in ecological studies of anaerobic deep-sea microbial processes and long-term storage of environmental samples. PMID:22822404

  13. Three-dimensional Thermal Model of the Mexican Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Non-volcanic seismic swarm and fluid transportation driven by subduction of the Philippine Sea slab beneath the Kii Peninsula, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kato, Aitaro; Saiga, Atsushi; Takeda, Tetsuya; Iwasaki, Takaya; Matsuzawa, Toru

    2014-12-01

    To understand the mechanism of an intensive non-volcanic seismic swarm in the Kii Peninsula, Japan, we used a dense seismic linear array to measure fine-scale variations of seismic velocities and converted teleseismic waves. A low-velocity anomaly confined to just beneath the seismic swarm area is clearly imaged, which correlates spatially with an uplifted surface area and a highly conductive and strong attenuative body. These results suggest that fluids such as partial melt or water are present beneath this non-volcanic seismic swarm area. It is notable that the island arc Moho below the seismic swarm area is at a depth of approximately 32 km in the northern part of the seismic swarm area and shallows to approximately 20 km towards the south, due to the raised structure of the serpentinized mantle wedge. In addition, we show that the hydrated oceanic crust of the subducting Philippine Sea slab is characterized by low velocities with a high Poisson's ratio at depths of less than 40 km. In contrast, dehydration conversion from oceanic basalt to eclogite takes place at depths greater than 50 km. Water released from the subducting oceanic crust could cause serpentinization of the mantle wedge and infiltration into the forearc base of the overlying plate. The interaction between dehydration of the subducting oceanic crust and hydration of the mantle wedge and overlying plate exerts an important role in driving the non-volcanic seismic swarm activity in the Kii Peninsula.

  15. Three-dimensional Seismic Structure of the Locked-Sliding Transition on the Subducting Plate Boundary beneath the Southern Part of Kii Peninsula, Southwestern Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurashimo, E.; Kato, A.; Hirata, N.; Iwasaki, T.; Iidaka, T.; Ito, K.; Yamazaki, F.; Miyashita, K.; Obara, K.

    2007-12-01

    The Nankai trough region, where the Philippine Sea Plate is subducted beneath the SW Japan arc, is a well- known zone of interplate earthquakes. The most recent great earthquakes occurred in 1944 (Tonankai Earthquake, M=7.9) and 1946 (Nankai Earthquake, M=8.0). Detailed crustal and upper mantle structure of the subducting Philippine Sea Plate and the overlying SW Japan arc are important to constrain the process of earthquake occurrence. Recent seismic experiments reveal the relation between the crustal structure and the seismogenic zone. However, little is known about the deeper part of the plate boundary, especially the transition zone on the subducting plate. To reveal the detailed structure of the transition zone on the subducting plate, we conducted seismic array observations in the southern part of Kii Peninsula, southwestern Japan. We deployed a temporary seismic array in the southern part of Kii Peninsula. Thirteen 3-component portable seismographs were deployed from January to February 2004. Waveforms were continuously recorded. We also conducted a deep seismic reflection profile to image the deeper part of the plate boundary in the southern Kii Peninsula. Two hundred eighty seismometers were deployed on a 60-km-long line in the east-west direction with about 200 m spacing, and waveforms were continuously recorded during a four-day period in November 2004. Three explosive shots were fired on EW-line. Our seismic experiment was designed in conjunction with the 2004 Daidai-toku seismic experiment (NS-line) across Kii Peninsula (Ito et al., 2006). We recorded the explosive shots fired on the NS-line as well as local earthquakes. Arrival times of local earthquakes and explosive shots were used in a joint inversion for earthquake locations and 3-D Vp and Vp/Vs structures. To obtain the detailed structure image of the transition zone on the subducting plate, the data recorded on the EW-line and NS-line were processed using the seismic reflection technique

  16. Mechanisms Behind Aseismic Slip Pulsing on the Northeast Japan Subduction Zone: Insights from Time-Dependent Modelling of GPS and Repeating Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weston, J. M.; Shirzaei, M.

    2014-12-01

    Aseismic slip is a key component of the moment budget of subduction zones, in some cases it accounts for more than half the total slip. It has been suggested that the propagation of aseismic slip as slow slip sequences precedes large megathrust events, such as the Tohoku-oki earthquake, Mw 9.0, 11th March 2011. Complex patterns of aseismic slip in space and time have been observed using either GPS data or repeating earthquakes, yet the physical mechanisms driving this behaviour are still poorly understood and have implications for seismic hazard assessment. Therefore, in this study both these datasets are combined in a time-dependent inversion, to investigate the spatiotemporal distribution of aseismic slip in northeast Japan, during the interseismic period of 21st March 1996 to 29th October 2003. Daily displacements recorded by ~800 GEONET stations are associated with slip on the subducting plate interface using a time-dependent inverse modelling scheme. The bounds on slip are defined by the location and slip of repeating earthquakes. Initial results show significant slip heterogeneity along-strike and down-dip. The majority of the upper part of the plate, at depths of 5 - 30 km, is locked except for two patches at 37° and 40° latitude. At 30 - 70 km depth there are three regions of aseismic slip, which exhibit periodic acceleration and deceleration throughout the interseismic period; in the south near Tokyo, offshore Sendai, and the northernmost part of Honshu at 41.5° latitude. Within these regions, patches with an average velocity of 7 to 8 cm/yr show large fluctuations in velocity, which in some cases precede the smaller variations observed for patches with an average velocity of 2 to 4 cm/yr. These observations are discussed in terms of the changes in effective normal stress, and the heterogeneous frictional properties of the northeast Japan subduction zone.

  17. Texture development in naturally compacted and experimentally deformed silty clay sediments from the Nankai Trench and Forearc, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schumann, Kai; Stipp, Michael; Leiss, Bernd; Behrmann, Jan H.

    2014-12-01

    The petrophysical properties of fine-grained marine sediments to a large extent depend on the microstructure and crystallographic preferred orientations (CPOs). In this contribution we show that Rietveld-based synchrotron texture analysis is a new and valuable tool to quantify textures of water-saturated fine-grained phyllosilicate-rich sediments, and assess the effects of compaction and tectonic deformation. We studied the CPO of compositionally almost homogeneous silty clay drillcore samples from the Nankai Accretionary Prism slope and the incoming Philippine Sea plate, offshore SW Japan. Basal planes of phyllosilicates show bedding-parallel alignment increasing with drillhole depth, thus reflecting progressive burial and compaction. In some samples calcite and albite display a CPO due to crystallographically controlled non-isometric grain shapes, or nannofossil tests. Consolidated-undrained experimental deformation of a suite of thirteen samples from the prism slope shows that the CPOs of phyllosilicate and calcite basal planes develop normal to the experimental shortening axis. There is at least a qualitative relation between CPO intensity and strain magnitude. Scanning electron micrographs show concurrent evolution of preferred orientations of micropores and detrital illite flakes normal to axial shortening. This indicates that the microfabrics are sensitive strain gauges, and contribute to anisotropic physical properties along with the CPO.

  18. Salty Trench

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This image taken by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows a trench dug by the rover on its way toward the 'Columbia Hills.' Measurements taken of the soil contained in the trench by Spirit's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer showed the presence of sulfur and magnesium. Concentrations of those two elements varied in parallel at different locations in the trench, suggesting that they may be paired as a magnesium-sulfate salt. One possible explanation for these findings is that water percolated through underground material and dissolved out minerals, then as the water evaporated near the surface, it left concentrated salts behind.

  19. Relationship between temperatures and fault slips on the upper surface of the subducting Philippine Sea plate beneath the Kanto district, central Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshioka, Shoichi; Takagi, Rumi; Matsumoto, Takumi

    2015-05-01

    To elucidate the relationship between interplate temperatures and generation mechanisms for megathrust earthquakes and slow slip events (SSEs) in the Kanto district, central Japan, we performed numerical simulations on the thermal state. For this purpose, we newly developed a 2-D box-type thermal convection model that is able to handle the subduction of two oceanic plates: the young oceanic Philippine Sea (PHS) plate subducts following subduction of the old oceanic Pacific (PAC) plate beneath it. To constrain temperatures on the upper surface of the PHS plate, we used high-density Hi-net heat flow data on land. We found that low heat flow in the Kanto district was caused mostly by subduction of the cold PHS plate. To explain the heat flow distribution in the Kanto district in more detail, we needed to incorporate frictional heating at the plate interface on the seaward side of the corner of the mantle wedge, and temperature changes due to surface erosion and sedimentation associated with crustal deformation during the Quaternary on land into the models. The most suitable pore pressure ratio to explain the heat flow data was 0.98. The thermally estimated seismogenic zone corresponded well to the fault planes of the 1923 Taisho Kanto earthquake and the western half of the 1707 Genroku Kanto earthquake. The eastern half of the fault plane of the 1707 Genroku Kanto earthquake could be divided into two areas; the northwestern fault plane corresponded to the thermally estimated seismogenic zone, whereas the relationship between the southeastern fault plane and interplate temperatures was ambiguous. The off-Boso SSEs occurred on the plate interface at temperatures lower than approximately 250 °C, and the slipped region passed through the 150 °C isotherm, corresponding to the clay mineral phase transformation from smectite to illite. This might suggest that the SSEs occurred in relation to a dehydration process.

  20. Seismicity of the Earth 1900-2007, Japan and Vicinity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rhea, Susan; Tarr, Arthur C.; Hayes, Gavin P.; Villaseñor, Antonio; Benz, Harley

    2010-01-01

    This map shows details of Japan and vicinity not visible in an earlier publication, U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3064. Japan and its island possessions lie across four major tectonic plates: Pacific plate, North America plate; Eurasia plate; and Philippine Sea plate. The Pacific plate is subducted into the mantle, beneath Hokkaido and northern Honshu, along the eastern margin of the Okhotsk microplate, a proposed subdivision of the North America plate (Bird, 2003). Farther south, the pacific plate is subducted beneath volcanic islands along the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea plate. This 2,200 km-long zone of subduction of the Pacific plate is responsible for the creation of the deep offshore Ogasawara and Japan trenches as well as parallel chains of islands and volcanoes, typical of the Circumpacific island arcs. Similarly, the Philippine Sea plate is itself subducting under the Eurasia plate along a zone, extending from Taiwan to southern Honshu, that comprises the Ryuku Islands and the Nansei-Shonto trench.

  1. Trench mouth

    MedlinePlus

    ... gingivitis ). The term "trench mouth" comes from World War I, when the disorder was common among soldiers. ... preferably after each meal and at bedtime. Salt water rinses (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 1 ...

  2. Segmentation of the Subducting Philippine Sea Slab Beneath the Southwestern Part of Japan: Relationship With the Local Seismicity and Slip Distribution of Megathrust Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiomi, K.; Park, J.

    2008-12-01

    In southwestern part of Japan, the Philippine Sea plate (PHS) is subducting beneath the Eurasia (or Amurian) plate at the Nankai Trough. This subduction causes recurrent megathrust earthquakes with M=8 or greater in the Nankai region. One clear rupture-segment boundary exists at the southern tip of the Kii Peninsula, where the source regions of the so-called "Tonankai" and "Nankai" earthquakes are divided. Structural features of the subducting plate (slab) beneath southwestern Japan may relate to rupture segmentation of the megathrusts. We applied an improved receiver function (RF) stacking analysis method to teleseismic data observed at 64 high-sensitivity (NIED Hi-net) and 9 broad-band (NIED F-net) seismometer stations in the Kii Peninsula and Shikoku Island, which span both historical rupture segments. Stacking both radial and transverse RFs with the assumption of a dipping slab, we found that PHS megathrust segmentation correlates with the location of intraslab seismicity. In western Shikoku Island and the eastern Kii Peninsula, down-dip direction of the slab Moho is aligned to the northwest, and is almost parallel to the direction of recent plate motion. The intraslab seismicity distributes just above the slab Moho beneath both regions. This means that seismic activity locates within the oceanic crust beneath these regions. The down-dip azimuth changes behavior beneath the southern Kii Peninsula and the northeastern part of Shikoku. Within these regions, the apparent slab-Moho dip azimuths deviate greatly from underlying plate motion and intraslab earthquakes are located below the slab Moho. The slab Moho appears to dip to the west or west-northwest in the central part of Shikoku. In this region, intraslab seismicity is relatively sparse and the slab Moho lies within the seismicity. This feature is very similar to the central Kii Peninsula [Shiomi and Park, 2008; JGR], i.e. the relationship between seismicity and PHS geometry in the Nankai region shows a

  3. Near-trench slip potential of megaquakes evaluated from fault properties and conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirono, Tetsuro; Tsuda, Kenichi; Tanikawa, Wataru; Ampuero, Jean-Paul; Shibazaki, Bunichiro; Kinoshita, Masataka; Mori, James J.

    2016-06-01

    Near-trench slip during large megathrust earthquakes (megaquakes) is an important factor in the generation of destructive tsunamis. We proposed a new approach to assessing the near-trench slip potential quantitatively by integrating laboratory-derived properties of fault materials and simulations of fault weakening and rupture propagation. Although the permeability of the sandy Nankai Trough materials are higher than that of the clayey materials from the Japan Trench, dynamic weakening by thermally pressurized fluid is greater at the Nankai Trough owing to higher friction, although initially overpressured fluid at the Nankai Trough restrains the fault weakening. Dynamic rupture simulations reproduced the large slip near the trench observed in the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake and predicted the possibility of a large slip of over 30 m for the impending megaquake at the Nankai Trough. Our integrative approach is applicable globally to subduction zones as a novel tool for the prediction of extreme tsunami-producing near-trench slip.

  4. Near-trench slip potential of megaquakes evaluated from fault properties and conditions

    PubMed Central

    Hirono, Tetsuro; Tsuda, Kenichi; Tanikawa, Wataru; Ampuero, Jean-Paul; Shibazaki, Bunichiro; Kinoshita, Masataka; Mori, James J.

    2016-01-01

    Near-trench slip during large megathrust earthquakes (megaquakes) is an important factor in the generation of destructive tsunamis. We proposed a new approach to assessing the near-trench slip potential quantitatively by integrating laboratory-derived properties of fault materials and simulations of fault weakening and rupture propagation. Although the permeability of the sandy Nankai Trough materials are higher than that of the clayey materials from the Japan Trench, dynamic weakening by thermally pressurized fluid is greater at the Nankai Trough owing to higher friction, although initially overpressured fluid at the Nankai Trough restrains the fault weakening. Dynamic rupture simulations reproduced the large slip near the trench observed in the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake and predicted the possibility of a large slip of over 30 m for the impending megaquake at the Nankai Trough. Our integrative approach is applicable globally to subduction zones as a novel tool for the prediction of extreme tsunami-producing near-trench slip. PMID:27321861

  5. Near-trench slip potential of megaquakes evaluated from fault properties and conditions.

    PubMed

    Hirono, Tetsuro; Tsuda, Kenichi; Tanikawa, Wataru; Ampuero, Jean-Paul; Shibazaki, Bunichiro; Kinoshita, Masataka; Mori, James J

    2016-01-01

    Near-trench slip during large megathrust earthquakes (megaquakes) is an important factor in the generation of destructive tsunamis. We proposed a new approach to assessing the near-trench slip potential quantitatively by integrating laboratory-derived properties of fault materials and simulations of fault weakening and rupture propagation. Although the permeability of the sandy Nankai Trough materials are higher than that of the clayey materials from the Japan Trench, dynamic weakening by thermally pressurized fluid is greater at the Nankai Trough owing to higher friction, although initially overpressured fluid at the Nankai Trough restrains the fault weakening. Dynamic rupture simulations reproduced the large slip near the trench observed in the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake and predicted the possibility of a large slip of over 30 m for the impending megaquake at the Nankai Trough. Our integrative approach is applicable globally to subduction zones as a novel tool for the prediction of extreme tsunami-producing near-trench slip. PMID:27321861

  6. The reasons why the M9 earthquake in the northeastern Japan subduction zone could not be anticipated and why it really occurred

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuzawa, T.; Iio, Y.

    2011-12-01

    The M9 Tohoku earthquake on 11 March 2011 had a great impact on the seismologists all over the world. This is because the northeastern Japan subduction zone was one of the most investigated subduction zones and the interplate coupling there was thought to be too weak to generate M9 earthquakes. The bases of the judgment of weak coupling are as follows: (1) The portion of the Pacific plate subducting beneath the subduction zone is older than 100 my, which is older than most of the other ocean floors in the world. Note that although some researchers have casted doubt on the relationship between the M9 potential and plate convergence rate and back-arc spreading proposed by Ruff and Kanamori (1980) after the 2004 M9 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake (e.g., McCaffrey, 2007, 2008; Stein and Okal, 2007), the dependency on the age of the oceanic plate had not been rejected. (2) Around 100 year geodetic survey shows dilatational areal strain is dominant in Tohoku (northeastern Honshu, Japan) (Hashimoto, 1990; Ishikawa and Hashimoto, 1999), indicating all the 'locked' areas on the plate boundary might be loosened by M7 earthquakes occurring with repeating intervals of several tens of years. (3) Although the analyses of GPS (e.g., Suwa et al., 2006) and small repeating earthquake data (Uchida and Matsuzawa, 2011) indicate a large 'locked' area off southern Tohoku, the data in the late 2000s show large portions of the locked area seemed to be released by large earthquakes of M6-7 and their afterslip. (4) The activity of moderate-sized earthquakes there is the highest in Japan. (5) Large interplate earthquakes with M6 or larger are usually followed by large afterslip whose scalar moment is sometimes as large as that of the seismic slip of the main shock. Moreover, Hasegawa et al. (2011) shows that the stress on the plate boundary was not large according to the stress rotation after the M9 earthquake. All of these observations indicate that the plate boundary was not strongly locked

  7. Japan.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geiger, Rita; And Others

    The document offers practical and motivating techniques for studying Japan. Dedicated to promoting global awareness, separate sections discuss Japan's geography, history, culture, education, government, economics, energy, transportation, and communication. Each section presents a topical overview; suggested classroom activities; and easily…

  8. 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.

  9. The Genesis of the Abukuma Adakites, Northeast Japan Resulting From the Interaction Between Hot Asthenospheric Mantle and Subducting Slab: A Numerical Model Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, C.; Lim, C.

    2013-12-01

    The geochemistry of the transient Miocene adakites (~16 Ma) in the Abukuma Mountains, Northeast Japan shows that the adakites were generated by the partial melting of the subducted oceanic crust. However, the very old age of the converging oceanic plate which cannot yield high slab temperatures enough for the partial melting poses a problem for the genesis of the adakites. Other possible geneses such as the partial melting of the lower crust, flat subduction and/or transient cold plume are not relevant to the genesis of the adakites. Instead, it is thought that the injection of the upwelling hot asthenospheric mantle to the mantle wedge caused by the East Sea (Japan Sea) opening heats the cold subducting slab hotter enough for the partial melting of the oceanic crust. Although the hypothesis is promising, quantitative evaluation of the interaction between the cold Pacific slab and hot asthenospheric mantle has not been carried out. Thus, we conducted a series of 2-dimensional kinematic-dynamic subduction model experiments to evaluate the thermal structures of the subducting slab, essential for the partial melting of the oceanic crust. Since time-dependence is crucial for the transient adakites, the time-evolving convergence rate and slab age of the incoming Pacific plate for the last 65 Ma constrained from a recent plate reconstruction model are implemented in the numerical models with the transient hot asthenospheric mantle. The convergence rate and slab age are implemented along the oceanward wall boundary and updated each time step. The mantle potential temperature of 1350 °C and the mantle adiabat of 0.35 °C/km are used. The transient injection of the hot asthenospheric mantle to the mantle wedge is implemented as a function of depth- and time-dependent normal temperature distribution along the arcward wall boundary and updated each time step. The peak temperature of the hot asthenospheric mantle is assumed as 1550 °C at 100 km depth and the standard

  10. A Detailed 3D Seismic Velocity Structure of the Subducting Pacific Slab Beneath Hokkaido, Tohoku and Kanto, Japan, by Double-Difference Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsuji, Y.; Nakajima, J.; Kita, S.; Okada, T.; Matsuzawa, T.; Hasegawa, A.

    2007-12-01

    Three-dimensional heterogeneous structure beneath northeastern (NE) Japan has been investigated by previous studies and an inclined seismic low-velocity zone is imaged in the mantle wedge sub-parallel to the down-dip direction of the subducting slab (Zhao et al., 1992, Nakajima et al., 2001). However, the heterogeneous structure within the slab has not been well studied even though it is very important to understand the whole process of water transportation from the slab to the surface. Here we show a detailed 3D seismic velocity structure within the subducted Pacific slab around Japan and propose a water-transportation path from the slab to the mantle wedge. In this study, we estimated 3D velocity structure within the Pacific slab by the double-difference tomography (Zhang and Thurber, 2003). We divided the study area, from Hokkaido to Kanto, into 6 areas due to the limitation of memory and computation time. In each area, arrival-time data of 7,500-17,000 events recorded at 70-170 stations were used in the analysis. The total number of absolute travel-time data was about 140,000-312,000 for P wave and 123,000-268,000 for S wave, and differential data were about 736,000-1,920,000 for P wave and 644,000-1,488,000 for S wave. Horizontal and vertical grid separations are 10-25 km and 6.5 km, respectively. RMS residuals of travel times for P wave decreased from 0.23s to 0.09s and for S wave from 0.35s to 0.13s. The obtained results are as follows: (1) a remarkable low-Vs zone exists in the uppermost part of the subducting slab, (2) it extends down to a depth of about 80 km, (3) the termination of this low-Vs zone almost corresponds to the "seismic belt" recently detected in the upper plane of the double seismic zone (Kita et al.,2006; Hasegawa et al., 2007), (4) at depths deeper than 80 km, a low-Vs and high-Vp/Vs zone is apparently distributed in the mantle wedge, immediately above the slab crust. We consider that these features reflect water-transportation processes

  11. 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.

  12. Generation of adakites in a cold subduction zone due to double subducting plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, H.; Iwamori, H.

    2012-12-01

    Adakites have been found in various tectonic settings, since the first report for the distinct lavas as a product of slab melting in Adak Island by Kay (1978). In this study, we present geochemical data for an 'adakite' and 'adakitic rock' suite in central Japan with a cold subduction environment due to the two overlapping subudcting plates, the Pacific Plate and the Philippine Sea Plate. Based on the major, trace and isotopic compositions of the rocks, elemental transport from initial slab inventory at the trench to the volcanic rocks as a final product is quantitatively analyzed, considering the thermal structure, slab dehydration, elemental mobility, slab-fluid migration and melting of fluid-added mantle. The analysis demonstrates a large compositional impact of slab-fluid in the arc magma generation in central Japan. The melting conditions have been also estimated inversely by optimizing the predicted magma composition to the observed composition of volcanic rock, with the two parameters: the degree of melting and the proportion of spinel- and garnet-lherzolites involved in melting. Consequently, a low degree of melting of dominantly garnet-lherzolite with a high fluid flux from the two overlapping slabs beneath the region has been argued to be responsible for the compositional characteristics, including the adakitic signatures, of the studied rocks. These results imply that the geochemical approach may provide useful constraints on the P-T condition of melting in the mantle wedge and the thermal structure in subduction zones, being complementary to the geophysical approach. We have also applied this geochemical approach to the adjacent NE Japan where the Pacific plate subducts, which revealed the thermal regime in the mantle beneath the arc-arc transition.

  13. Japan.

    PubMed

    1989-02-01

    Japan consists of 3900 islands and lies off the east coast of Asia. Even though Japan is one of the most densely populated nations in the world, its growth rate has stabilized at .5%. 94% of all children go to senior high school and almost 90% finish. Responsibility for the sick, aged, and infirmed is changing from the family and private sector to government. Japan was founded in 600 BC and its 1st capital was in Nara (710-1867). The Portuguese, the 1st Westerners to make contact with Japan in 1542, opened trade which lasted until the mid 17th century. US Navy Commodore Matthew Perry forced Japan to reopen in 1854. Following wars with China and Russia in the late 1800s and early 1900s respectively, Japan took part in World Wars I and II. In between these wars Japan invaded Manchuria and China. The US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Japanese surrendered in September, 1945 ending World War II (WWII). Following, WWII, the Allied Powers guided Japan's establishment as a nonthreatening nation and a democratic parliamentary government (a constitutional monarchy) with a limited defense force. Japan remains one of the most politically stable of all postwar democracies. The Liberal Democratic Party's Noboru Takeshita became prime minister in 1987. Japan has limited natural resources and only 19% of the land is arable. Japanese ingenuity and skill combine to produce one of the highest per hectare crop yields in the world. Japan is a major economic power, and its and the US economies are becoming more interdependent. Its exports, making up only 13% of the gross national product, mainly go to Canada and the US. Many in the US are concerned, however, with the trade deficit with Japan and are seeking ways to make trade more equitable. Japan wishes to maintain good relations with its Asian neighbors and other nations. The US and Japan enjoy a strong, productive relationship. PMID:12178004

  14. Tomography, Dynamical Modeling and the Geologic History of the Subduction Zone Around the Japanese Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Honda, S.

    2014-12-01

    Since the subduction zone is one of the most geologically active regions in the world, it has attracted much attention from the various fields of the earth science. In this presentation, we try to combine the results and knowledge of seismic tomography, geodynamic modeling and the geologic history of the subduction zone around the Japanese Islands to constrain the nature of the subduction zone there. For this purpose, first, we estimate the cold temperature anomaly by converting the fast velocity anomaly of GAP_P4 model [Fukao & Obayashi, 2013] to the cold temperature anomaly using the recent estimate of d(ln Vp)/dT by Karato [2008]. The magnitude of the anomaly is constrained by the work on the relation between the theoretical estimate of temperature and the seismicity in the subducting slab [Emmerson & McKenzie, 2007]. We find that, although the velocity anomaly itself does not show a significant high velocity anomaly just below the stagnated slab, the estimated temperature shows rather continuous cold anomaly from the upper to the lower mantle. This continuous feature is consistent with the recent results of geodynamic modeling of the subduction zone. However, we still see a significant thinning or an absence of the slab just below the stagnated slab in the transition zone. This is more evident in other tomographic models. Geodynamical modeling of subduction, especially, the stagnation of the slab in the transition zone shows that the slab behavior strongly depends on the geological settings of subduction zone such as the rollback of trench. To understand the present feature of the slab revealed by the seismic tomography, we construct a simple half-kinematic model of subduction zone by taking into account the geological settings, that is, the opening of the Japan Sea. We find that the slab similar to the present image is obtained in terms of disruption of the slab suggesting that it occurred during the opening of the Japan Sea.

  15. A new source of water in seismogenic subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kameda, Jun; Yamaguchi, Asuka; Saito, Saneatsu; Sakuma, Hiroshi; Kawamura, Katsuyuki; Kimura, Gaku

    2011-11-01

    Seismogenic plate-boundary faults at accretionary margins (e.g., the Nankai margin, southwest Japan) may occur where the uppermost part of subducting oceanic crust, composed of basaltic rocks, is in contact with the overriding plate of a lithified accretionary prism. The plate-boundary faults in ancient accretionary complexes typically record high-velocity slip under fluid-rich conditions. Although previous studies have emphasized the mechanical significance of fluids in terms of dynamic slip-weakening, the source of fluid in seismogenic subduction zones remains poorly constrained. In this work, we focus on the hydrous smectite in the uppermost oceanic crust, an alteration product of intact basalt before arrival at the trench axis. A comparison between (1) new mineralogical data on basalt drillcore recovered by Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 322 at site C0012, a reference site for subduction input to the Nankai Trough, and (2) mineralogical data on basalt within ancient oceanic crust embedded in a fossil accretionary complex of the Shimanto Belt, southwest Japan, suggests that progressive smectite-chlorite conversion would liberate bound fluids at a rate of 0.34 to 0.65 × 10-14 s-1 along the plate interface. This rate of fluid production appears to be more than an order of magnitude greater than that from other possible sources, including from overlying sediments via smectite-illite conversion and the expulsion of pore fluids, and may facilitate seismic slip along plate-boundary faults.

  16. Approximate General Coulomb Model for Accretionary Prisms: An Integrated Study of the Kumano Transect, Nankai Subduction Zone, Southwest Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skarbek, Rob; Ikari, Matt; Hüpers, Andre; Rempel, Alan; Wilson, Dean; Kitajima, Hiroko

    2014-05-01

    In accretionary wedges, the mechanical and hydrologic properties along splay faults and the plate boundary fault at the base of the wedge are intimately related to properties within the wedge itself, as well as to sedimentation and/or mass wasting at the wedge surface, and accretionary flux at the wedge toe; Coulomb wedge theories tie these processes together and have been successful in their application to convergent margins. Most such theories assume for the sake of simplicity that mechanical parameters (e.g. bulk density, compressibility, frictional strength) and pore pressure are constant throughout the overlying wedge. However, the values of these parameters must necessarily change with depth and distance from the trench. Here, we derive a model for a fully general Coulomb wedge, parameterized using data specific to the Kumano transect at Nankai, to better understand the location of the basal plate interface and the properties of material composing an actively accretionary prism. We use shear strength data collected for incoming sediments at Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Site C0011 of the NanTroSEIZE project to parameterize the wedge's coefficient of friction. Preliminary results of models where the friction coefficient of the wedge decreases with depth, with other parameters constant and zero cohesion, indicate that including depth dependent frictional strength in the wedge decreases the taper angle of the wedge, with the effect becoming more pronounced with distance from the trench. This model will be further refined by including seismically and numerically determined spatial variations in fluid pressure within the wedge, as well as detailed locations of the upper and basal wedge surfaces along the Kumano transect determined from 3-D seismic data.

  17. Potential Fields Illuminate Earthquake Sources in Subduction-Margin Settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blakely, R. J.; Wells, R. E.

    2008-05-01

    sources at mantle depths, show evidence for hydrated mantle at many subduction margins of the world, including Cascadia, northeast Japan, the Aleutians, southern Mexico, and central America. All of these subduction zones have thermal characteristics believed to be conducive for intraslab earthquakes. On the other hand, the Peru, Chile, and Nankai subduction margins, also known to be susceptible to intraslab earthquakes, have only minor forearc magnetic anomalies, indicating complexities in the relationship between hydrated mantle and intraslab seismogenesis. In the shallow crust of the forearc, magnetic fields illuminate seismically active crustal faults activated by stresses induced by the subducting plate. The Seattle fault, source of a MW 7 earthquake 1100 ka, and the Nojima Fault, source of the MW 6.9 Kobe earthquake in 1995, are well-known examples. In Cascadia, where bedrock often is concealed by vegetation and young glacial deposits, a three-pronged approach has proven useful in mapping and characterizing crustal faults: (1) Laser terrain mapping (lidar) reveals scarps cutting late- Pleistocene glacial surfaces. (2) In almost every case, these lidar scarps correspond with short-wavelength, low- amplitude magnetic anomalies in high-resolution aeromagnetic surveys, which in turn facilitate geologic mapping of the faults away from scarps and help to characterize faults at depth. (3) The lidar and aeromagnetic data together provide targets for follow-on trench excavations that yield temporal information on past earthquakes needed to assess earthquake hazards.

  18. Structure of a paleo subduction décollement, Suzume Fault, Okitsu Mélange, Shimanto Accretionary Complex, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanaya, T.; Chester, F. M.; Sakaguchi, A.

    2011-12-01

    The Suzume fault is an internal thrust of an exhumed duplex of underplated rock in the Shimanto accretionary complex. On the basis of structure, age, and paleo-temperature of rock in the duplex, the thrust is a subduction décollement exhumed from the shallow region of the seismogenic zone. Mesoscale structure of the thrust was characterized to investigate slip processes and structural evolution of the décollement. The thrust exhibits an asymmetric structure characterized by a decimeter-thick ultracataclasite bounded by a several-meter-thick zone of fractured basalt in the hanging wall and a 20-meter-thick zone of ductily sheared sedimentary rock in the footwall. The structure of the thrust is similar to that of active décollements drilled at the frontal portions of prisms, but differs in the greater intensity of ductile deformation and the occurrence of ultracataclasite. Hence, the footwall of the Suzume fault records aseismic, distributed shear in poorly consolidated sediment during shallow underthrusting followed by coseismic, localized-slip in lithified sedimentary rock during underplating at depth. The hanging wall, in contrast, records only the later stage of coseismic, localized-slip associated with underplating. The ultracataclasite layers in the Suzume fault exhibit shear localization onto a through-going fracture surface and fabrics indicative of distributed flow, which are likely associated with the seismic cycle, i.e., alternating co- and inter-seismic slip. Off-fault fracture fabric in the hanging wall, related to thrusting at depth, records predominantly up-dip propagation of fault slip events. /// A synthesis of observations of ~20 subduction megathrusts representing the 0-15 km depth range, combined with the findings from the Suzume fault and modern Nankai megathrusts, documents a systematic decrease in the thickness of the slip zone, changes in deformation mechanisms and fluid-rock reactions, and an increase in shear heating, with depth. These

  19. Japan.

    PubMed

    1987-02-01

    Japan is composed of 4 main islands and more than 3900 smaller islands and has 317.7 persons/square kilometer. This makes it one of the most densely populated nations in the world. Religion is an important force in the life of the Japanese and most consider themselves Buddhists. Schooling is free through junior high but 90% of Japanese students complete high school. In fact, Japan enjoys one of the highest literacy rates in the world. There are over 178 newspapers and 3500 magazines published in Japan and the number of new book titles issued each year is greater than that in the US. Since WW1, Japan expanded its influence in Asia and its holdings in the Pacific. However, as a direct result of WW2, Japan lost all of its overseas possessions and was able to retain only its own islands. Since 1952, Japan has been ruled by conservative governments which cooperate closely with the West. Great economic growth has come since the post-treaty period. Japan as a constitutional monarchy operates within the framework of a constitution which became effective in May 1947. Executive power is vested in a cabinet which includes the prime minister and the ministers of state. Japan is one of the most politically stable of the postwar democracies and the Liberal Democratic Party is representative of Japanese moderate conservatism. The economy of Japan is strong and growing. With few resources, there is only 19% of Japanese land suitable for cultivation. Its exports earn only about 19% of the country's gross national product. More than 59 million workers comprise Japan's labor force, 40% of whom are women. Japan and the US are strongly linked trading partners and after Canada, Japan is the largest trading partner of the US. Foreign policy since 1952 has fostered close cooperation with the West and Japan is vitally interested in good relations with its neighbors. Relations with the Soviet Union are not close although Japan is attempting to improve the situation. US policy is based on

  20. Phoenix Trenches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Annotated Version

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Left-eye view of a stereo pair [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Right-eye view of a stereo pair

    This image is a stereo, panoramic view of various trenches dug by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. The images that make up this panorama were taken by Phoenix's Surface Stereo Imager at about 4 p.m., local solar time at the landing site, on the 131st, Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Oct. 7, 2008).

    In figure 1, the trenches are labeled in orange and other features are labeled in blue. Figures 2 and 3 are the left- and right-eye members of a stereo pair.

    For scale, the 'Pet Donkey' trench just to the right of center is approximately 38 centimeters (15 inches) long and 31 to 34 centimeters (12 to 13 inches) wide. In addition, the rock in front of it, 'Headless,' is about 11.5 by 8.5 centimeters (4.5 by 3.3 inches), and about 5 centimeters (2 inches) tall.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  1. Building a Subduction Zone Observatory

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Contrasting velocity-porosity relationships in differing tectonic regimes, Nankai Trough subduction zone, Japan: implications for pore pressure and effective stress estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tudge, J.; Webb, S. I.; Tobin, H. J.

    2012-12-01

    The identification of areas of anomalously high porosity in subduction zones can have implications for fluid pressure, flow paths and the calculation of vertical effective stress in and under accretionary wedges. The relationship between p-wave velocity (Vp) and porosity is particularly useful for the estimation of fluid and solid material budgets in the subduction process because Vp is detectable with seismic reflection and refraction imaging. Data from cores and borehole logging can be used to develop quantitative Vp to porosity transforms, which in turn permit estimation of porosity from seismic reflection and refraction interval velocity. The relationship between Vp and porosity in sediments, however, is intrinsically linked to their burial history and tectonic evolution. Focusing on data from recent IODP drilling for the Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment (NanTroSEIZE) offshore Japan, we investigate the relationship between Vp and porosity for the different tectonic regions of a subduction zone accretionary complex, since universal transforms are shown to fit the data poorly. We demonstrate that each of the tectonic domains, Kumano forearc basin, accretionary wedge, and incoming Shikoku Basin sediments, exhibit very different Vp-porosity relationships. In addition, we show for sediments of the incoming plate (Shikoku Basin) section that correction of the core porosity data for smectite content results in a substantially modified Vp-porosity relationship. We use these new tectonic domain-specific Vp-porosity relationships to calculate estimated porosity from p-wave velocity models derived from seismic reflection data and OBS studies. By applying the specific Vp-porosity relationship in each tectonic region, a better-constrained estimate of distribution of porosity within the subduction zone accretionary prism complex, particularly across the main fault zones and décollement can be made. For example, when this approach is applied to the velocity reversal

  3. Global overview of subduction seismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funiciello, F.; Presti, D.; Heuret, A.; Piromallo, C.

    2013-12-01

    In the framework of the EURYI Project ';Convergent margins and seismogenesis: defining the risk of great earthquakes by using statistical data and modelling', we propose the first global overview of subduction seismicity. Previous studies have been focused on interplate seismicity, intraslab seismicity, upper plate deformation, or relation between interplate and intraslab seismicity, but the three components of subduction seismicity have been never approached in an systematic and exhaustive study. To allow such a study, nodal planes and seismic moments of worldwide subduction-related earthquakes heve been extracted by EHB hypocenter and CMT Harvard catalogues for the period 1976 - 2007. Data were collected for centroid depths between sea level and 700 km and for magnitude Mw 5.5. For each subduction zone, a set of trench-normal transects were constructed choosing a 120km width of the cross-section on each side of a vertical plane and a spacing of 1 degree along the trench. For each of the 505 resulting transects, the whole subduction seismogenic zone was mapped as focal mechanisms projected on to a vertical plane after their faulting type classification according to the Aki-Richards convention. Transect by transect, fist the seismicity that can be considered not related to the subduction process under investigation was removed, then was selected the upper plate seismicity (i.e. earthquakes generated within the upper plate as a result of the subduction process). After deletion from the so obtained event subset of the interplate seismicity as identified in the framework of this project by Heuret et al. (2011), we can be reasonably confident that the remaining seismicity can be related to the subducting plate. Among these earthquakes we then selected the shallow (0-70 km), intermediate (70-300 km) and deep (300-660 km) depth seismicity. Following Heuret et al. (2011), the 505 transects were merged into 62 larger segments that were ideally homogeneous in terms of their

  4. Japan.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Savannah C.

    Materials for a secondary level, interdisciplinary social studies course on Japan are divided into introductory information, 14 classroom units, and study and evaluation materials. Introductory material includes lists of objectives and skills, an outline of Japanese history, and an explanation of Japan's name and flag. The units cover the…

  5. Japan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawkins, John N.

    1986-01-01

    Analyzes the intergroup relations in Japanese society and Japan's educational system. Challenges the view that Japan is a homogeneous society by presenting the various forms of discrimination against Koreans, Ainu, and the burakumin. Suggests that despite ostracism and isolation, groups can affect public policy and achieve social advancement. (SA)

  6. A Hybrid Tsunami Risk Model for Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haseemkunju, A. V.; Smith, D. F.; Khater, M.; Khemici, O.; Betov, B.; Scott, J.

    2014-12-01

    Around the margins of the Pacific Ocean, denser oceanic plates slipping under continental plates cause subduction earthquakes generating large tsunami waves. The subducting Pacific and Philippine Sea plates create damaging interplate earthquakes followed by huge tsunami waves. It was a rupture of the Japan Trench subduction zone (JTSZ) and the resultant M9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake that caused the unprecedented tsunami along the Pacific coast of Japan on March 11, 2011. EQECAT's Japan Earthquake model is a fully probabilistic model which includes a seismo-tectonic model describing the geometries, magnitudes, and frequencies of all potential earthquake events; a ground motion model; and a tsunami model. Within the much larger set of all modeled earthquake events, fault rupture parameters for about 24000 stochastic and 25 historical tsunamigenic earthquake events are defined to simulate tsunami footprints using the numerical tsunami model COMCOT. A hybrid approach using COMCOT simulated tsunami waves is used to generate inundation footprints, including the impact of tides and flood defenses. Modeled tsunami waves of major historical events are validated against observed data. Modeled tsunami flood depths on 30 m grids together with tsunami vulnerability and financial models are then used to estimate insured loss in Japan from the 2011 tsunami. The primary direct report of damage from the 2011 tsunami is in terms of the number of buildings damaged by municipality in the tsunami affected area. Modeled loss in Japan from the 2011 tsunami is proportional to the number of buildings damaged. A 1000-year return period map of tsunami waves shows high hazard along the west coast of southern Honshu, on the Pacific coast of Shikoku, and on the east coast of Kyushu, primarily associated with major earthquake events on the Nankai Trough subduction zone (NTSZ). The highest tsunami hazard of more than 20m is seen on the Sanriku coast in northern Honshu, associated with the JTSZ.

  7. A discussion of numerical subduction initiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buiter, Susanne; Ellis, Susan

    2016-04-01

    In nature, subduction can initiate in various ways: Shortening can localise at oceanic transform faults, extinct spreading centres, or inherited passive margin faults; or, alternatively, subduction can be triggered from existing subduction systems by along-strike trench propagation, polarity reversals, or trench jumps. Numerical studies that specifically address subduction initiation have highlighted the roles of sediment loading, rheological strength contrasts, strain softening, and continental topographic gradients, among others. Usually, however, numerical models that aim to investigate subduction dynamics prefer to bypass the subduction initiation phase and its complexities, and focus instead on the stages during which the slab is descending into the mantle. However, even in these models, subduction still needs to begin. It is disturbingly easy to define initial model geometries that do not result in subduction. The specific combination of initial model geometries and values for rheological parameters that successfully initiates subduction has even been referred to as 'the sweet spot' in model space. One cause of subduction initiation failure is when the subducting and overriding plates lock, resulting in either indentation or severe dragging downwards of the overriding plate. This may point to a difficulty in maintaining a weak subduction interface during model evolution. A second factor that may cause difficulties is that initial model geometry and stresses need to balance, as otherwise the first model stages may show spurious deformation associated with reaching equilibrium. A third requirement that may cause problems is that the surface needs to have sufficient displacement freedom to allow the overriding plate to overthrust the subducting plate. That also implies an exclusion of sharp corners in the subduction interface near the surface. It is the interplay of subduction interface geometry, interface strength and subducting plate rheology that determines

  8. Middle Miocene swift migration of the TTT triple junction and rapid crustal growth in southwest Japan: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, Gaku; Hashimoto, Yoshitaka; Kitamura, Yujin; Yamaguchi, Asuka; Koge, Hiroaki

    2014-07-01

    We review recent progress in geological and geophysical investigation in SW Japan, Nankai Trough, and Philippine Sea Plate (PSP), and propose a hypothesis for the Miocene tectonics in SW Japan driven by middle Miocene swift migration of the TTT (trench-trench-trench) triple junction. The new hypothesis is based on the new interpretations as follows. Near-trench magmatism in the outer zone of SW Japan is ascribed to a collision of proto-Izu arc in addition to the previous model of an oceanic ridge of the Shikoku Basin and hot PSP subduction. The indentation structures at Capes Ashizuri, Muroto in Shikoku, and Shiono on the Kii Peninsula were previously explained by "kink folding" due to recent E-W compression. We alternatively suppose the collision of the active arc or topographic peaks such as seamounts inferred from geological and experimental observations. The main crustal component in SW Japan is suggested to be of igneous plutonic rocks rather than the previous interpretation of Cretaceous to Tertiary accretionary complexes. This is typically illustrated in the outer zone to the north of Capes Ashizuri, Muroto, and Shiono from geophysical observation of gravity anomalies, velocity and resistivity, together with geological estimations of caldera age and the size of its root pluton. Episodic crustal growth due to intrusion of igneous rock and subduction of the PSP may have stopped after approximately 12 Ma and restarted at approximately 6 Ma. Our emphasis for this gap is a cessation and resurgence of subduction rather than the previous interpretation, i.e., decreasing of subduction rate.

  9. Trench Connection

    PubMed Central

    Jamieson, Alan J.; Fujii, Toyonobu

    2011-01-01

    Trench Connection’ was the first international symposium focusing primarily on the hadal zone (depths greater than 6000 m). It was held at the University of Tokyo's Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute in November 2010. The symposium was successful in having attracted an international collective of scientists and engineers to discuss the latest developments in the exploration and understanding of the deepest environments on Earth. The symposium sessions were categorized into three themes: (i) new deep-submergence technology; (ii) trench ecology and evolution; and (iii) the physical environment. Recent technological developments have overcome the challenges of accessing the extreme depths, which have in turn prompted an international renewed interest in researching physical and biological aspects of the hadal ecosystems. This bringing together of international participants from different disciplines led to healthy discussions throughout the symposium, providing potential opportunities and realizations of where the future of unravelling hadal ecology lies. Hadal science is still at relatively rudimentary levels compared with those of shallower marine environments; however, it became apparent at the symposium that it is now an ever-expanding scientific field. PMID:21450723

  10. Brucite as an important phase of the shallow mantle wedge: Evidence from the Shiraga unit of the Sanbagawa subduction zone, SW Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawahara, Hirokazu; Endo, Shunsuke; Wallis, Simon R.; Nagaya, Takayoshi; Mori, Hiroshi; Asahara, Yoshihiro

    2016-06-01

    Large parts of the shallow mantle wedge are thought to be hydrated due to release of fluids from the subducting slab and serpentinization of the overlying mantle rocks. If serpentinization proceeds under low SiO2 activity, brucite can be a major phase in the low-temperature (< 450 °C) part of the serpentinized mantle wedge, but only very few natural examples have been documented. A combined petrological, geochemical, and geological study shows that brucite is widely distributed in the wedge mantle-derived Shiraga metaserpentinite body in the Sanbagawa metamorphic belt of SW Japan. Thermodynamic modeling combined with bulk rock composition and point counting indicates that the original fully hydrated shallow parts of the Sanbagawa mantle wedge contained ~ 10-15 vol.% brucite before the onset of exhumation of the Shiraga body and before peak metamorphic conditions. A distinct zone of brucite-free essentially monomineralic antigorite serpentinite occurs limited to a 100-m-thick marginal zone of the body. This indicates a limited degree of Si-metasomatism by slab-derived fluids in the shallow mantle wedge. The presence of brucite may strongly affect the H2O budget and mechanical properties of serpentinite; these should be taken into consideration when examining the behavior of the shallow mantle wedge.

  11. Generation of adakites in a cold subduction zone due to double subducting plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Hitomi; Iwamori, Hikaru

    2013-06-01

    Adakites have been found in various tectonic settings, since the first report for the distinct lavas as a product of slab melting in Adak Island by Kay (J Volcanol Geotherm Res 4:117-132, 1978). In this study, we present geochemical data for an `adakite' and `adakitic rock' suite in central Japan with a cold subduction environment due to the two overlapping subducting plates: the Pacific plate and the Philippine sea plate. Based on the major, trace and isotopic compositions of the rocks, elemental transport from initial slab inventory at the trench to the volcanic rocks as a final product is quantitatively analyzed, considering the thermal structure, slab dehydration, elemental mobility, slab-fluid migration and melting of fluid-added mantle. The analysis demonstrates a large compositional impact of slab-fluid in the arc magma generation in central Japan. The melting conditions have been also estimated inversely by optimizing the predicted magma composition to the observed composition of volcanic rock, with the two parameters: the degree of melting and the proportion of spinel and garnet lherzolites involved in melting. Consequently, a moderately low degree of near-solidus melting of dominantly garnet lherzolite with a high fluid flux from the two overlapping slabs beneath the region has been argued to be responsible for the compositional characteristics, including the adakitic signatures, of the studied rocks. These results imply that the geochemical approach may provide useful constraints on the P- T condition of melting in the mantle wedge and the thermal structure in subduction zones, being complementary to the geophysical approach.

  12. Subduction Initiation in Eastern Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, R.

    2014-12-01

    Subduction is often reported to be difficult to initiate, yet in the West Pacific and Eastern Indonesia there are many young subduction zones. Few theoretical or modelling studies consider such settings in which subduction commonly began close to boundaries between ocean crust and thickened crust of arc or continental origin. In Eastern Indonesia there are subduction zones at different stages of development. Some young examples such as the Banda Arc developed by propagation of an existing trench into a new area by tearing, probably along an ocean-continent boundary. This 'solves' the problem since the older subducted slab provides the driving force to drag down unsubducted ocean lithosphere. However, similar explanations cannot account for other subduction zones, such as North Sulawesi, nearby examples in which the subducted slab is not yet at 100 km depth, or troughs where subduction appears to be beginning. These examples show that subduction initiated at a point, such as a corner in an ocean basin, where there were very great differences in elevation between land and adjacent ocean floor. Depression of ocean crust by flow of arc/continent crust is associated with granitic magmatism and detachments within the upper crust. Once the oceanic corner reaches depths of c.100 km, eclogite formation may lead to slab pull that causes the new subduction zone to grow in both directions along strike; arc magmatism may or may not begin. The close relationship between subduction and extension in Eastern Indonesia links dramatic elevation of land, exhumation of deep crust, and spectacular subsidence of basins imaged by oil exploration seismic and multibeam data. Exhumed granites and high-grade metamorphic rocks at elevations up to 3 km, separated by Neogene alluvial sediments from carbonate reefs now at depths of 2 kilometres, imply vertical movements of several kilometres in a few million years. These observations raise the question of whether subduction is driving extension

  13. Carbonate mineralogy and Illite crystallinity in the Nobeoka thrust fault zone SW Japan, ancient megaspray fault in a subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukuchi, R.; Fujimoto, K.; Hamahashi, M.; Yamaguchi, A.; Kimura, G.; Kameda, J.; Hamada, Y.; Hina, S.; Hashimoto, Y.; Eida, M.; Kitamura, Y.; Saito, S.; Mizuochi, Y.; Hase, K.; Akashi, T.

    2012-12-01

    The Nobeka thrust is a fossilized OOST in the Shimanto belts, Cretaceous and Paleogene accretionary complex in SW Japan. A bore hole penetrating the Nobeoka thrust was drilled at Nobeoka city, SW Japan as analogue of NanTroSEIZE project. Total drilling length was 255 m and continuous core samples were recovered. The borehole runs through the Nobeoka thrust at the depth of 41.3m. The hangingwall is mainly phyllite of Kitagawa group and the footwall is melange of Hyuga group (Kondo et al., 2005). The depth interval between 29m and 78.4m is suffered intense cataclasis due to Nobeoka thrust. Quartz and carbonate veins are enriched in this interval except 41.3-52 m depth interval. We identified from 41.31m to 41.8 m to be a main thrust zone. We also recognize fault breccia at 115m depth. We collected fragmented core samples from every three meters and analyzed constituent minerals by powder X-ray diffraction. Quartz, plagioclase, illite, chlorite, calcite are main constituent minerals from the top to the bottom. Ankerite sometimes occurs as a vein mineral. Here, we focus on the carbonate and illite with special reference to fault activity and paleotemperature. In the borehole, calcite occurs from the top to the bottom, whereas, ankerite is densely distributed above 126m depth. Ankerite often fills veins trending NNW-SSE to NE-SW. At the outcrop near the borehole cite, ankerite occurs as a fault vein mineral in the footwall of Nobeoka thurst (Yamaguchi et al., 2011). The orientation of the fault vein is concordant with the ankerite vein in the borehole. Illite crystallinity (IC) is considered to indicate paleotemperature. ICvalues (FWHM of illite 001 peak) in the hangingwall range from 0.143 to 0.205 Δo2 θ, those in the main thrust zone range from 0.485 to 0.580Δo2 θ, and those in the footwall ranges from 0.379 to 0.578Δo2 θ. The IC values show clear difference among the hangingwall, the main thrust zone and footwall. The paleotemperatures, calculated after the

  14. Collision and subduction structure of the Izu-Bonin arc, central Japan: Recent studies from refraction/wide-angle reflection analysis and seismic tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arai, R.; Iwasaki, T.; Sato, H.; Abe, S.; Hirata, N.

    2009-12-01

    Since the middle Miocene, the Izu-Bonin arc has been colliding from south with the Honshu arc in central Japan associated with subduction of the Philippine Sea plate. This process is responsible for forming a complex crustal structure called the Izu collision zone. Geological studies indicate the several geological blocks derived from the Izu-Bonin arc, such as the Misaka Mountains (MM), the Tanzawa Mountains (TM) and the Izu Peninsula (IP), were accreted onto the Honshu crust in the course of the collision, forming several tectonic boundaries in and around this collision zone (e.g. Amano, 1991). Recent seismic experiments succeeded in revealing the deep crustal structure in the eastern part of the Izu collision zone by reflection analysis (Sato et al., 2005) and refraction/wide-angle reflection analysis (Arai et al., 2009). Although these studies delineate the collision boundary between the Honshu crust and TM, and the upper surface of the subducting Philippine Sea plate, the southern part of the profile including the Kozu-Matsuda Fault (KMF, the tectonic boundary between TM and IP) is not well constrained due to the poor ray coverage. Moreover, clear images of tectonic boundaries are not obtained for the central or western part of the collision zone. In order to construct the structure model dominated by collision and subduction for the whole part of the collision zone, we carried out the following two analyses: (1) refraction tomography of active source data including another profile line in the western part of the collision zone (Sato et al., 2006), and (2) seismic tomography combining active and passive source data. In the analysis (1), we applied first arrival seismic tomography (Zelt and Barton, 1998) to the refraction data .We inverted over 39,000 travel times to construct a P wave velocity model for the 75-km-long transect, and a fine-scale structure with strong lateral heterogeneity was recovered. We conducted checkerboard resolution test to evaluate a

  15. Aeromagnetic legacy of early Paleozoic subduction along the Pacific margin of Gondwana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Finn, C.; Moore, D.; Damaske, D.; Mackey, T.

    1999-01-01

    Comparison of the aeromagnetic signatures and geology of southeastern Australia and northern Victoria Land, Antarctica, with similar data from ancient subduction zones in California and Japan, provides a framework for reinterpretation of the plate tectonic setting of the Pacific margin of early Paleozoic Gondwana. In our model, the plutons in the Glenelg (south-eastern Australia) and Wilson (northern Victoria Land) zones formed the roots of continental-margin magmatic arcs. Eastward shifting of arc magmatism resulted in the Stavely (south-eastern Australia) and Bowers (northern Victoria Land) volcanic eruptions onto oceanic forearc crust. The turbidites in the Stawell (southeastern Australia) and Robertson Bay (northern Victoria Land zones) shed from the Glenelg and Wilson zones, respectively, were deposited along the trench and onto the subducting oceanic plate. The margin was subsequently truncated by thrust faults and uplifted during the Delamerian and Ross orogenies, leading to the present-day aeromagnetic signatures.

  16. Geophysics. Migrating tremor off southern Kyushu as evidence for slow slip of a shallow subduction interface.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Y; Yakiwara, H; Asano, Y; Shimizu, H; Uchida, K; Hirano, S; Umakoshi, K; Miyamachi, H; Nakamoto, M; Fukui, M; Kamizono, M; Kanehara, H; Yamada, T; Shinohara, M; Obara, K

    2015-05-01

    Detection of shallow slow earthquakes offers insight into the near-trench part of the subduction interface, an important region in the development of great earthquake ruptures and tsunami generation. Ocean-bottom monitoring of offshore seismicity off southern Kyushu, Japan, recorded a complete episode of low-frequency tremor, lasting for 1 month, that was associated with very-low-frequency earthquake (VLFE) activity in the shallow plate interface. The shallow tremor episode exhibited two migration modes reminiscent of deep tremor down-dip of the seismogenic zone in some other subduction zones: a large-scale slower propagation mode and a rapid reversal mode. These similarities in migration properties and the association with VLFEs strongly suggest that both the shallow and deep tremor and VLFE may be triggered by the migration of episodic slow slip events. PMID:25954006

  17. Waveform through the subducted plate under the Tokyo region in Japan observed by a ultra-dense seismic network (MeSO-net) and seismic activity around mega-thrust earthquakes area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakai, S.; Kasahara, K.; Nanjo, K.; Nakagawa, S.; Tsuruoka, H.; Morita, Y.; Kato, A.; Iidaka, T.; Hirata, N.; Tanada, T.; Obara, K.; Sekine, S.; Kurashimo, E.

    2009-12-01

    In central Japan, the Philippine Sea plate (PSP) subducts beneath the Tokyo Metropolitan area, the Kanto region, where it causes mega-thrust earthquakes, such as the 1703 Genroku earthquake (M8.0) and the 1923 Kanto earthquake (M7.9) which had 105,000 fatalities. A M7 or greater earthquake in this region at present has high potential to produce devastating loss of life and property with even greater global economic repercussions. The Central Disaster Management Council of Japan estimates the next great earthquake will cause 11,000 fatalities and 112 trillion yen (1 trillion US$) economic loss. This great earthquake is evaluated to occur with a probability of 70 % in 30 years by the Earthquake Research Committee of Japan. We had started the Special Project for Earthquake Disaster Mitigation in Tokyo Metropolitan area (2007-2012). Under this project, the construction of the Metropolitan Seismic Observation network (MeSO-net) that consists of about 400 observation sites was started [Kasahara et al., 2008; Nakagawa et al., 2008]. Now, we had 178 observation sites. The correlation of the wave is high because the observation point is deployed at about 2 km intervals, and the identification of the later phase is recognized easily thought artificial noise is very large. We also discuss the relation between a deformation of PSP and intra-plate M7+ earthquakes: the PSP is subducting beneath the Honshu arc and also colliding with the Pacific plate. The subduction and collision both contribute active seismicity in the Kanto region. We are going to present a high resolution tomographic image to show low velocity zone which suggests a possible internal failure of the plate; a source region of the M7+ intra-plate earthquake. Our study will contribute a new assessment of the seismic hazard at the Metropolitan area in Japan. Acknowledgement: This study was supported by the Earthquake Research Institute cooperative research program.

  18. Flexural Mechanics of Subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribe, N. M.; Li, Z. H.

    2014-12-01

    Deformation of subducting lithosphere is controlled by a balance of four forces: the negative buoyancy of the slab, its internal viscous resistance to stretching and bending, and the drag of the ambient mantle. To elucidate the complex dynamics of this system, we study a model in which a 3-D sheet of viscous fluid with thickness hh and viscosity γη1gammaeta_1 subducts in an ambient fluid with viscosity η1eta_1 and depth DD. Numerical solutions for the sheet's evolution are obtained using a boundary element method, starting from an initial configuration comprising a short protoslab attached to a longer horizontal plate that is free to move laterally. The dynamics of the sheet are controlled by its dimensionless `stiffness' S≡γ(h/ℓb)3Sequiv gamma (h/ell_b)^3, where the `bending length' ℓbell_b is the sum of the lengths of the slab and of the flexural bulge. The slab's sinking speed is controlled by its own viscosity if S≫1Sgg 1, and by that of the ambient fluid if S≤1Sleq 1. Time-dependent solutions with passive tracers demonstrate a partial return flow around the leading edge of a retreating slab and return flow around its sides. A systematic investigation of the slab's interaction with the bottom boundary as a function of η2/η1eta_2/eta_1 and D/hD/h delineates a rich regime diagram of subduction modes (trench retreating, slab folding, trench advancing, etc.) that agrees well with laboratory observations. The solutions show that mode selection is controlled by the dip of the slab's leading edge at the time when it first encounters the bottom boundary. We will discuss several geophysical applications of the model, including seismic evidence for slab folding, the radius-of-curvature constraint on the slab/mantle viscosity ratio η2/η1eta_2/eta_1, and the distribution of seismic anisotropy around subducting slabs.

  19. Analysis of past recurrent methane seep activity using radiocarbon dating of Calyptogena spp. shells in the eastern Nankai subduction zone, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yagasaki, Kazuhiro; Ashi, Juichiro; Yokoyama, Yusuke; Miyairi, Yosuke; Kuramoto, Shin'ichi

    2016-04-01

    Fault activity around subduction zones have been widely studied and monitored through drilling of oceanic plates, studying piston cores, use of monitoring equipment or through visual analysis using submersible vehicles. Yet the understanding of how small scale faults near shallow regions of the seabed behave in relation to cold seep vent activity is still vague, especially determining when they were active in the past. In tectonically active margins such as the Nankai and Tokai regions off Japan, dense methane hydrate reservoirs have been identified. Cold seeps releasing methane rich hydrocarbon fluids are common here, supporting a wide variety of biological species that hold a symbiotic relationship with the chemosynthetic bacteria. In 1998 a large dead Calyptogena spp. bivalve colony (over 400m2 in size) was discovered off Tokai, Japan. It is unusual for a bivalve colony this size to mostly be dead, raising questions as to what caused their death. In this study we document the radiocarbon 14C age of these bivalve shells to attempt analysing the possible methane seep bahaviour in the past. The measured 14C age ranged in three age groups of 1396±36-1448±34, 1912±31-1938±35 and 5975±34. The 14C age of shells that were alive upon collection and the dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in seawater show little difference (˜100 14C age) indicating that shells are not heavily affected by the dead carbon effect from cold seeps that is of biogenic or thermogenic origin, which can make the age to become considerably older than the actual age. Thus the novel calibration model used was based on the seawater DIC collected above the Calyptogena spp. colony site (1133±31), which resulted in the dead shells to be clustered around 1900 Cal AD. This proves to be interesting as the predicted epicenter of the Ansei-Tokai earthquake (M 8.4) in 1854 is extremely close to the bibalve colony site. Using geological data obtained using visual analysis and sub-seafloor structural

  20. Seismic attenuation structure associated with episodic tremor and slip zone beneath Shikoku and the Kii peninsula, southwestern Japan, in the Nankai subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kita, Saeko; Matsubara, Makoto

    2016-03-01

    The three-dimensional seismic attenuation structure (frequency-independent Q) beneath southwestern Japan was analyzed using t* estimated by applying the S coda wave spectral ratio method to the waveform data from a dense permanent seismic network. The seismic attenuation (Qp-1) structure is clearly imaged for the region beneath Shikoku, the Kii peninsula, and eastern Kyushu at depths down to approximately 50 km. At depths of 5 to 35 km, the seismic attenuation structure changes at the Median tectonic line and other geological boundaries beneath Shikoku and the southwestern Kii peninsula. High-Qp zones within the lower crust of the overlying plate are found just above the slip regions at the centers of the long-term slow-slip events (SSEs) beneath the Bungo and Kii channels and central Shikoku. Beneath central Shikoku, within the overlying plate, a high-Qp zone bounded by low-Qp zones is located from the land surface to the plate interface of the subducting plate. The high-Qp zone and low-Qp zones correspond to high-Vp and low-Vp zones of previous study, respectively. The boundaries of the high- and low-Qp zones are consistent with the segment boundaries of tremors (segment boundaries of short-term SSEs). These results indicated that the locations of the long- and short-term SSEs could be limited by the inhomogeneous distribution of the materials and/or condition of the overlying plate, which is formed due to geological and geographical process. The heterogeneity of materials and/or condition within the fore-arc crust possibly makes an effect on inhomogeneous rheological strength distribution on the interface.

  1. Hot spot and trench volcano separations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lingenfelter, R. E.; Schubert, G.

    1974-01-01

    It is suggested that the distribution of separations between trench volcanos located along subduction zones reflects the depth of partial melting, and that the separation distribution for hot spot volcanoes near spreading centers provides a measure of the depth of mantle convection cells. It is further proposed that the lateral dimensions of mantle convection cells are also represented by the hot-spot separations (rather than by ridge-trench distances) and that a break in the distribution of hot spot separations at 3000 km is evidence for both whole mantle convection and a deep thermal plume origin of hot spots.

  2. A critical assessment of viscous models of trench topography and corner flow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhang, J.; Hager, B. H.; Raefsky, A.

    1984-01-01

    Stresses for Newtonian viscous flow in a simple geometry (e.g., corner flow, bending flow) are obtained in order to study the effect of imposed velocity boundary conditions. Stress for a delta function velocity boundary condition decays as 1/R(2); for a step function velocity, stress goes as 1/R; for a discontinuity in curvature, the stress singularity is logarithmic. For corner flow, which has a discontinuity of velocity at a certain point, the corresponding stress has a 1/R singularity. However, for a more realistic circular-slab model, the stress singularity becomes logarithmic. Thus the stress distribution is very sensitive to the boundary conditions, and in evaluating the applicability of viscous models of trench topography it is essential to use realistic geometries. Topography and seismicity data from northern Hoshu, Japan, were used to construct a finite element model, with flow assumed tangent to the top of the grid, for both Newtonian and non-Newtonian flow (power law 3 rheology). Normal stresses at the top of the grid are compared to the observed trench topography and gravity anomalies. There is poor agreement. Purely viscous models of subducting slables with specified velocity boundary conditions do not predict normal stress patterns compatible with observed topography and gravity. Elasticity and plasticity appear to be important for the subduction process.

  3. Origin of back-arc basins and effects of western Pacific subduction systems on eastern China geology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niu, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Assuming that subduction initiation is a consequence of lateral compositional buoyancy contrast within the lithosphere [1], and recognizing that subduction initiation within normal oceanic lithosphere is unlikely [1], we can assert that passive continental margins that are locations of the largest compositional buoyancy contrast within the lithosphere are the loci of future subduction zones [1]. We hypothesize that western Pacific back-arc basins were developed as and evolved from rifting at passive continental margins in response to initiation and continuation of subduction zones. This hypothesis can be tested by demonstrating that intra-oceanic island arcs must have basement of continental origin. The geology of the Islands of Japan supports this. The highly depleted forearc peridotites (sub-continental lithosphere material) from Tonga and Mariana offer independent lines of evidence for the hypothesis [1]. The origin and evolution of the Okinawa Trough (back-arc basin) and Ryukyu Arc/Trench systems represents the modern example of subduction initiation and back-arc basin formation along a (Chinese) continental margin. The observation why back-arc basins exit behind some subduction zones (e.g., western Pacific) but not others (e.g., in South America) depends on how the overlying plate responds to subduction, slab-rollback and trench retreat. In the western Pacific, trench retreat towards east results in the development of extension in the upper Eurasian plate and formation of back-arc basins. In the case of South America, where no back-arc basins form because trench retreat related extension is focused at the 'weakest' South Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It is thus conceptually correct that the South Atlantic is equivalent to a huge 'back-arc basin' although its origin may be different. Given the negative Clayperon slope of the Perovskite-ringwoodite phase transition at the 660 km mantle seismic discontinuity (660-D), slab penetration across the 660-D is difficult and

  4. Observations of Repeated Seafloor Tilt Events atop the Inward Steep Slope of the Japan Trench Using New High-Resolution Accelerometers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukao, Y.; Sugioka, H.; Ito, A.; Shiobara, H.; Paros, J. M.

    2014-12-01

    Continuous observations of seismic events and seafloor movements were made from May 2013 to March 2014 atop the steeply rising morphological unit (often called the lower trench slope) located about 50 km landward of the trench axis and 50 km seaward of the epicenter of the great 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake, where the seafloor is locally dipping to the southeast at 14-15° . Measurements were made with a new Acceleration Ocean Bottom Seismometer (AOBS) system using a triaxial array of nano-resolution accelerometers having ranges of 20 m/sec2, parts-per-billion sensitivity and good long-term stability. Observations were compared to a nearby system that included a broadband seismometer, differential pressure gauge and ocean bottom tiltmeter. The AOBS measures seafloor tilting as a change of acceleration in the absolute gravity field and the records show repeated occurrences of approximately unidirectional tilting either to the northwest or southeast. Rapid (tens of second) tilting was always triggered by strong seismic shaking, including a tilt of 0.0016 radians triggered by an Mw7.1 earthquake 145 km distant from the station. Slow (hours) tilting occurs with much smaller amplitude but in a similar dip direction and is most often recovered by opposite tilting at a slower rate. Records of the nearby tiltmeter in their unsaturated cases showed consistent tilt motions. Traditional broadband seismometers and tiltmeters do not have the range to measure strong seismic events and traditional strong motion sensors do not have the sensitivity or stability to make good long-term geodetic measurements. The AOBS can measure both the statically invariant 1g Earth's gravity vector and the higher frequency components associated with strong seismic shaking. This invariance, in spite of large offsets in each component axis due to tilts, indicates that the observed offsets are real signals of trench slope-related processes. These observations demonstrate the usefulness of AOBS for high

  5. Geodynamics of trench advance: Insights from a Philippine-Sea-style geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Čížková, Hana; Bina, Craig R.

    2015-11-01

    For terrestrial parameter sets, trench retreat is found to be nearly ubiquitous and trench advance quite rare, largely due to rheological and ridge-push effects. Recently updated analyses of global plate motions indicate that significant trench advance is also rare on Earth, being largely restricted to the Marianas-Izu-Bonin arc. Thus, we explore conditions necessary for terrestrial trench advance through dynamical models involving the unusual geometry of the Philippine Sea region. In this subduction system, a slab-pull force from distal subduction is transmitted to the overriding plate at the Pacific trench. Our 2D modeling demonstrates that trench advance can occur for terrestrial rheologies in such special geometries. We observe persistent trench advance punctuated by two episodes of back-arc extension. Characteristic features of the model, such as time interval between extensional episodes, high back-arc heat flow, and stress state of Philippine plate correspond to processes recorded in the region.

  6. Microstructures, Chemical Composition, and Viscosities of Fault-generated Friction Melts in the Shimanto Accretionary Complex, Southwest Japan: Implication for Dynamics of Earthquake Faulting in Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ujiie, K.; Yamaguchi, H.

    2004-12-01

    The pseudotachylytes (PT) were recently found in the Cretaceous Shimanto accretionary complex of eastern and western Shikoku, southwest Japan, but their microstructures under a backscattered electron image, chemical composition, and effects of frictional melting on co-seismic slip in the accretionary prism remains poorly understood. The PT bearing fault is the 1-2 m thick roof thrust of a duplex structure, which bounds the off-scraped coherent turbidites above from the imbricated melange below without a thermal inversion across the fault. The fault zone consists of foliated cataclasite of sandstone-shale melange in origin and dark veins. The PT commonly occurs as brecciated fragments in dark veins. The PT matrix is transparent under plane-polarized light and is optically homogeneous under cross-polarized light, similar to glass matrix. Under a backscattered electron image, the PT clearly shows the evidences for frictional melting and subsequent rapid cooling: rounded and irregularly shaped grains and vesicles in matrix and fracturing associated with grain margins. These textural features of the PT are very similar to those of experimentally generated PT. The EPMA analysis indicates that chemical composition of the PT matrix corresponds to illite with 5.7-9.9 wt% H2O and that partially melted grains are dominated by orthoclase and quartz. This indicates that the temperatures of the PT melt could reach the breakdown temperatures of orthoclase (1150 C) and quartz (1730 C), greater than the maximum temperature recorded in host rocks (170-200 C). We calculated the viscosity of friction melt, based on the chemical composition of the PT matrix and the volume fraction and aspect ratio of grains in the PT. We considered both Arrhenian and non-Arrhenian models for viscosity calculation. Our result demonstrates that the melt viscosity is much lower than PT in continental plutonic and metamorphic rocks: 10^3 Pa s (Arrhenian model) and 10^2 Pa s (non-Arrhenian model) even at

  7. Studying Near-Trench Characteristics of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki Megathrust Rupture Using Differential Multi-Beam Bathymetry before and after the Earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, T.; Fujiwara, T.; Kodaira, S.; Wang, K.; He, J.

    2014-12-01

    Large coseismic motion (up to ~ 31 m) of seafloor GPS sites during the 2011 M 9 Tohoku earthquake suggests large rupture at shallow depths of the megathrust. However, compilation of all published rupture models, constrained by the near-field seafloor geodetic observation and also various other datasets, shows large uncertainties in the slip of the most near-trench (within ~ 50 km from the trench) part of the megathrust. Repeated multi-beam bathymetry surveys that cover the trench axis, carried out by Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, for the first time recorded coseismic deformation in a megathrust earthquake at the trench. In previous studies of the differential bathymetry (DB) before and after the earthquake to determine coseismic fault slip, only the rigid-body translation component of the upper plate deformation was considered. In this work, we construct Synthetic Differential Bathymetry (SDB) using an elastic deformation model and make comparisons with the observed DB. We use a 3-D elastic Finite Element model with actual fault geometry of the Japan trench subduction zone and allowing the rupture to breach the trench. The SDB can well predict short-wavelength variations in the observed DB. Our tests using different coseismic slip models show that the internal elastic deformation of the hanging wall plays an important role in generating DB. Comparing the SDB with the observed DB suggests that the largest slip is located within ~ 50 km from the trench. The SDB proves to be the most effective tool to evaluate the performance of different rupture models in predicting near-trench slip. Our SDB work will further explore the updip slip variation. The SDB may help to constrain the slip gradient in the updip direction and may help to determine whether the large shallow slip in the Tohoku earthquake plateaued at the trench or before reaching the trench. Resolving these issues will provide some of the key tests for various competing models that were

  8. 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

  9. GPS Monitoring of Subduction Zone Deformation in Costa Rica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lundgren, Paul

    1997-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Island-Arc Collision Dominates Japan's Sediment Flux to the Pacific Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Codilean, A. T.; Korup, O.; Hayakawa, Y. S.; Matsushi, Y.; Saito, H.; Matsuzaki, H.

    2013-12-01

    Quantifying volumes and rates of delivery of terrestrial sediment to subduction zones is indispensable for refining estimates of the thickness of trench fills that may eventually control the location and timing of submarine landslides and tsunami-generating mega-earthquakes. Despite these motivating insights, knowledge about the rates of erosion and sediment export from the Japanese islands to their Pacific subduction zones has somewhat stagnated despite the increasing availability of highly resolved data on surface deformation, climate, geology, and topography. Traditionally, natural erosion rates across the island arc have been estimated from catchment topographic predictors of reservoir sedimentation rates that were recorded over several years to decades. We correct for a systematic bias in these predictions, and present new estimates of decadal to millennial-scale erosion rates of the Japanese terrestrial inner forearc, drawing on several unprecedented inventories of mass wasting, reservoir sedimentation, and concentrations of cosmogenic 10Be in river sands. Our data reveal that catchments draining Japan's eastern seaboard have distinctly different tectonic, lithological, topographic, and climatic characteristics, underscored by a marked asymmetric pattern of erosion rates along and across the island arc. Erosion rates are highest in the Japanese Alps that mark the collision of two subduction zones, where high topographic relief, hillslope and bedrock-channel steepness foster rapid denudation by mass wasting. Comparable, if slightly lower, rates characterize southwest Japan, most likely due to higher typhoon-driven rainfall totals and variability rather than the similarly high relief and contemporary uplift rates that are linked to subduction earthquake cycles, and outpace long-term Quaternary uplift. In contrast, our estimated erosion and flux rates are lowest in the inner forearc catchments that feed sediment into the Japan Trench. We conclude that

  12. Post-seismic deformation of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kyriakopoulos, C.; Masterlark, T.; Chini, M.; Bignami, C.; Stramondo, S.

    2012-04-01

    The Mw 9.0 Tohoku earthquake on March 11, 2011 occurred near the northeast coast of Honshu, Japan. The earthquake resulted from a thrust faulting on the subduction zone boundary between the Pacific and North America plates. Surface displacements due to the Tohoku-Oki earthquake were observed by more than 1200 continuously recording Global Positioning System (GPS) sites, installed and operated by the Geodetic Survey of Japan (GSI). For the first time, in a megathrust event, the displacement above the hypocenter is detected from 5 GPS installed in the seafloor (Sato et., al 2011), giving new insights into the megathrust mechanism. The link, i.e. Green's Functions, between the surface displacement and the model parameters is obtained from a 3D Finite Element (FE) model for the 11 March earthquake. Several geophysical features of the Japan trench are implemented into the FE model. The Subducting slab geometry is implemented from USGS and Gavin Hayes Slab 1.0 project. Bathymetry and topography from the ETOPO Global Relief Project (NOAA) are implemented as well. Moreover, the model is designed to simulate coseismic and postseismic (poroelastic) deformation while simultaneously account for the known geologic structure and geophysical context (Zhao et al., 1992 ) of the Japanese subduction zone. The postseismic deformation is explored using the postseismic GPS vectors available in the literature. Furthermore, we applied DInSAR (Differential SAR interferometry) to infer the post-seismic deformation field by exploiting the available SAR images acquired by the ENVISAT satellite.

  13. Subduction erosion processes with application to southern Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keppie, Duncan Fraser

    Finite-element numerical models of ocean-continent subduction are used to investigate the roles of crustal frictional strength, subduction angle, and convergence rate in subduction erosion processes. These models exhibit two distinct modes of subduction erosion: (1) slow and steady, removing small blocks of material continually, and (2) fast and non-steady, removing a large forearc block in a single event. The slow mode, called edge-weakening subduction erosion, is enhanced by steeper subduction angles but acts to shallow the subduction angle at crustal depths. The fast mode, called internal-weakening subduction erosion, is enhanced by shallow subduction angles but acts to steepen the subduction angle at crustal depths. The two modes may alternate cyclically in nature and may account, in part, for the variation in subduction angle observed at the modern western American subduction zones. The slow, edge-weakening subduction erosion mode correlates well to subduction erosion processes widely reported for natural subduction zones. The fast, internal-weakening subduction erosion mode has previously been described only for subduction zones involving continental lithosphere on the lower plate. The removal of a 150--250 km wide forearc block from southern Mexico between 27--25 Ma and 21--19 Ma may be a first type example of internal-weakening subduction erosion at an ocean-continent subduction zone. The numerical models showing internal-weakening subduction erosion and the geological record of southern Mexico share the following geological features synchronous with forearc removal: (1) rapid trench migration rates approaching orthogonal plate convergence rates, (2) a step-wise shift in the locus of arc magmatism towards the upper plate, (3) forearc subsidence at the new margin of the upper plate, (4) a zone of crustal unroofing within the upper plate's new forearc region, and (5) a zone of subduction-antithetic thrust-sense shearing inboard of the crustal unroofing. These

  14. P-wave tomography for 3-D radial and azimuthal anisotropy of Tohoku and Kyushu subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jian; Zhao, Dapeng

    2013-06-01

    We determined high-resolution P-wave tomography for 3-D radial and azimuthal anisotropy of the Tohoku and Kyushu subduction zones using a large number of high-quality arrival-time data of local earthquakes recorded by the dense seismic network on the Japan Islands. Trench-normal P-wave fast-velocity directions (FVDs) are revealed in the backarc mantle wedge in both Tohoku and Kyushu, which are consistent with the model of slab-driven corner flow. Trench-parallel FVDs with amplitude <4 per cent appear in the forearc mantle wedge under Tohoku and Kyushu, suggesting the existence of B-type olivine fabric there. Trench-parallel FVDs are also visible in the mantle wedge under the volcanic front in Tohoku but not in Kyushu, suggesting that 3-D flow may exist in the mantle wedge under Tohoku and the 3-D flow is affected by the subduction rate of the oceanic plate. Negative radial anisotropy (i.e. vertical velocity being faster than horizontal velocity) is revealed in the low-velocity zones in the mantle wedge under the arc volcanoes in Tohoku and Kyushu as well as in the low-velocity zones below the Philippine Sea slab under Kyushu, which may reflect hot upwelling flows and transitions of olivine fabrics with the presence of water in the upper mantle. Trench-parallel FVDs and positive radial anisotropy (i.e. horizontal velocity being faster than vertical velocity) are revealed in the subducting Pacific slab under Tohoku and the Philippine Sea slab under Kyushu, suggesting that the slabs keep their frozen-in anisotropy formed at the mid-ocean ridge or that the slab anisotropy is induced by the lattice-preferred orientation of the B-type olivine.

  15. 3D dynamics of hydrous thermal-chemical plumes in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, G.; Gerya, T.; Yuen, D.; Connolly, J. A. D.

    2009-04-01

    Mantle wedges are identified as sites of intense thermal convection and thermal-chemical Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities ("cold plumes") controlling distribution and intensity of magmatic activity in subduction zones. To investigate 3D hydrous partially molten cold plumes forming in the mantle wedge in response to slab dehydration, we perform 3D petrological-thermomechanical numerical simulations of the intraoceanic one-sided subduction with spontaneously bending retreating slab characterized by weak hydrated upper interface. I3ELVIS code is used which is developed based on multigrid approach combined with marker-in-cell method with conservative finite-difference schemes. We investigated regional 800 km wide and 200 km deep 3D subduction models with variable 200 to 800 km lateral dimension along the trench using uniform numerical staggered grid with 405x101x101 nodal points and up to 50 million markers. Our results show three patterns (roll(sheet)-, zig-zag- and finger-like) of Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities can develop above the subducting slab, which are controlled by effective viscosity of partially molten rocks. Spatial and temporal periodicity of plumes correlate well with that of volcanic activity in natural intraoceanic arcs such as Japan. High laterally variable surface heat flow predicted in the arc region in response to thermal-chemical plumes activity is also consistent with natural observations.

  16. Scenarios of tsunamigenic earthquakes generated along the Hellenic subduction zone and impact along the French coastlines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gailler, Audrey; Hébert, Hélène; Schindelé, François

    2016-04-01

    The Hellenic subduction is an active deformation zone characterized by a sustained day-to-day seismicity (magnitude < 4.5) among the strongest in Europe. The last significant earthquake along the Hellenic subduction zone detected and characterized by the French tsunami warning center (CENALT) occurred on 16th April 2015 (Mw = 6.0) along the southeastern coasts of Crete, without any tsunami risk for the French coastlines. Even if great subduction earthquakes (magnitude > 7.5) are less frequent than in Chile or Japan, the Hellenic area experienced several strong events by the past, the biggest being associated with major tsunamis (e.g., in 551, in 1303). The last known sequence dates the end of the 19th beginning of the 20th century with a seismic gap located along the South Peloponnese - West Crete segment. The legendary 365 AD great earthquake (magnitude 8 to 8.5) is assumed to have ruptured along a major inverse fault parallel to the trench in this area, generating a large tsunami observed up to the Adriatic. In this work we investigate the tsunami potential of earthquakes localized along the Hellenic subduction zone, especially the minimum magnitude required to generate a tsunami that would be able to cross from Eastern to Western Mediterranean. The impact along Corsica coastlines is discussed through the modeling of a set of tsunami scenarios (magnitude ranging from 8.0 to 8.5) established from historical events parameters.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hilde, T.W.C.

    1984-08-01

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

  18. Subduction obliquity as a prime indicator for geotherm in subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plunder, Alexis; Thieulot, Cédric; van Hinsbergen, Douwe

    2016-04-01

    The geotherm of a subduction zone is thought to vary as a function of subduction rate and the age of the subducting lithosphere. Along a single subduction zone the rate of subduction can strongly vary due to changes in the angle between the trench and the plate convergence vector, namely the subduction obliquity. This phenomenon is observed all around the Pacific (i.e., Marianna, South America, Aleutian…). However due to observed differences in subducting lithosphere age or lateral convergence rate in nature, the quantification of temperature variation due to obliquity is not obvious. In order to investigate this effect, 3D generic numerical models were carried out using the finite element code ELEFANT. We designed a simplified setup to avoid interaction with other parameters. An ocean/ocean subduction setting was chosen and the domain is represented by a 800 × 300 × 200 km Cartesian box. The trench geometry is prescribed by means of a simple arc-tangent function. Velocity of the subducting lithosphere is prescribed using the analytical solution for corner flow and only the energy conservation equation is solved in the domain. Results are analysed after steady state is reached. First results show that the effect of the trench curvature on the geotherm with respect to the convergence direction is not negligible. A small obliquity yields isotherms which are very slightly deflected upwards where the obliquity is maximum. With an angle of ˜30°, the isotherms are deflected upwards of about 10 kilometres. Strong obliquity (i.e., angles from 60° to almost 90°) reveal extreme effects of the position of the isotherms. Further model will include other parameter as the dip of the slab and convergence rate to highlight their relative influence on the geotherm of subduction zone.

  19. Estimation of coupling factor in the northern part of Ryukyu trench by using 2D FEM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakao, S.; Maeno, S.; Goto, K.

    2009-12-01

    Philippine Sea plate (PH) subducts beneath Ryukyu Arc, where Nansei Islands are located, at the Ryukyu trench. Coupling factor has been studied in the subduction zones around the Japan Island since GEONET GPS network of GSI, Japan were deployed. The coupling factors of zero and 13 % in this subduction zone were estimated. The northern part of Okinawa trough spreads in the direction of East-West. It is difficult to make a model of subduction zone that spreading of Okinawa trough is taken into account. We make 2-dimensional Finite Element (FEM) model to calculate the displacement pattern on the plate. The 2-D model is taken into account for the subduction of PH plate and spreading of Okinawa trough. GeoFEST FEM program (Parker et al, 2008) is used in this calculation. We also try to estimate coupling factor by trial and error mothod. We make two cross sections which are perpendicular to the trench axis of Ryukyu trench. One is located on Tanegashima Island and the other is Amami-Oshima Island. The boundary of subducted PH plate is determined based on the hypocenter distribution by Goto et al. (2008). The thickness of Ryukyu Arc is 25km based on the structure of seismic velocity by Iwasaki et al. (1990). Elastic constants of crust and mantle are adopted by Suito et al. (2002). The direction of movement of PH plate with respect to the Ryukuy Arc is derived from Euler vectors: one is Amur plate with respect to PH plate (Miyazaki and Heki, 2001) and the other is the direction of Ryukyu Arc with respect to Amur plate (Nishimura et al., 2004). The direction of subduction of PH plate with respect to Ryukyu Arc is calculated by using Euler vectors which estimated by Nishimura et al. (2004). Spreading rate of Okinawa trough is given at upper part of the western edge of the 2-D model. Amount of spreading of Okinawa trough is calculate at the western potion of Ryukyu Arc by the Euler vector of Nishimura et al. (2004). The depth of coupling region of plates is from 20 to 30km

  20. Shallow very-low-frequency earthquakes around Japan: Recent studies and observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, Y.; Obara, K.; Asano, Y.; Fujimoto, H.; Hino, R.; Ashi, J.; Tsuji, T.

    2008-12-01

    Very-low-frequency (VLF) earthquakes have been observed in three regions around Japan. (1) Deep VLF earthquakes have occurred in the down-dip part of the Nankai subduction zone [Ito et al., 2007]. (2) Shallow VLF earthquakes have occurred within the accretionary prism in the up-dip portion of the Nankai subduction zone [Obara and Ito, 2005; Ito and Obara, 2006]. The stress drops of these shallow VLF events were very low, in the range 0.1--10kPa; this corresponds to 0.1--1% of the range for ordinary earthquakes [Ito and Obara, 2006]. Ito and Obara [2006] suggested that the largest shallow VLF earthquake (MW 4.0) occurred on a circular fault of radius ~5--10 km. They proposed that the shallow VLF events were related to numerous reverse fault systems located in areas of high fluid pressure within the accretionary prism. (3) Shallow VLF earthquakes have occurred in the region off Tokachi, northern Japan, along the Japan Trench [Asano et al., 2008], where the Pacific Plate subducts beneath the Japanese land area. The occurrence of these shallow VLF earthquakes suggests that VLF events can occur on the plate boundary at depths shallower than that of the main seismogenic zone [Asano et al., EPS, 2008]. The megasplay faults in the Nankai subduction zone are observed to generate a reverse-polarity reflection on seismic reflection profiles [Park et al.,2002]; this may indicate the existence of an elevated fluid process in the fault zones [Shipley et al., 1994]. Hydrodynamics phenomena responsible for the seismic signals detected by ocean bottom seismometers were first reported by Brown et al. (2005) using osmotically-driven fluid flow meters (CAT meters); these meters were used to detect temporal changes in the rate of cold seepage of a shallow subduction system in the regions of the Costa Rica subduction zone. The Pacific plate is subducting beneath Tohoku, northeastern Japan, at the Japan Trench. An aseismic slip has been observed to occur as a post- seismic slip following

  1. Deformation fabrics of natural blueschists and implications for seismic anisotropy in subducting oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Daeyeong; Katayama, Ikuo; Michibayashi, Katsuyoshi; Tsujimori, Tatsuki

    2013-09-01

    Investigations of microstructures are crucial if we are to understand the seismic anisotropy of subducting oceanic crust, and here we report on our systematic fabric analyses of glaucophane, lawsonite, and epidote in naturally deformed blueschists from the Diablo Range and Franciscan Complex in California, and the Hida Mountains in Japan. Glaucophanes in the analyzed samples consist of very fine grains that are well aligned along the foliation and have high aspect ratios and strong crystal preferred orientations (CPOs) characterized by a (1 0 0)[0 0 1] pattern. These characteristics, together with a bimodal distribution of grain sizes from some samples, possibly indicate the occurrence of dynamic recrystallization for glaucophane. Although lawsonite and epidote display high aspect ratios and a strong CPO of (0 0 1)[0 1 0], the occurrence of straight grain boundaries and euhedral crystals indicates that rigid body rotation was the dominant deformation mechanism. The P-wave (AVP) and S-wave (AVS) seismic anisotropies of glaucophane (AVP = 20.4%, AVS = 11.5%) and epidote (AVP = 9.0%, AVS = 8.0%) are typical of the crust; consequently, the fastest propagation of P-waves is parallel to the [0 0 1] maxima, and the polarization of S-waves parallel to the foliation can form a trench-parallel seismic anisotropy owing to the slowest VS polarization being normal to the subducting slab. The seismic anisotropy of lawsonite (AVP = 9.6%, AVS = 19.9%) is characterized by the fast propagation of P-waves subnormal to the lawsonite [0 0 1] maxima and polarization of S-waves perpendicular to the foliation and lineation, which can generate a trench-normal anisotropy. The AVS of lawsonite blueschist (5.6-9.2%) is weak compared with that of epidote blueschist (8.4-11.1%). Calculations of the thickness of the anisotropic layer indicate that glaucophane and lawsonite contribute to the trench-parallel and trench-normal seismic anisotropy beneath NE Japan, but not to that beneath the Ryukyu

  2. Counter-intuitive Behavior of Subduction Zones: Weak Faults Rupture, Strong Faults Creep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  3. Geodynamic models of deep subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, Ulrich

    2001-12-01

    Numerical and laboratory models that highlight the mechanisms leading to a complex morphology of subducted lithospheric slabs in the mantle transition zone are reviewed. An increase of intrinsic density with depth, an increase of viscosity, or phase transitions with negative Clapeyron slope have an inhibiting influence on deep subduction. The impingement of slabs on a viscosity and density interface has been studied in laboratory tanks using corn syrup. Slab interaction with equilibrium and non-equilibrium phase transitions has been modelled numerically in two dimensions. Both the laboratory and the numerical experiments can reproduce the variety of slab behaviour that is found in tomographic images of subduction zones, including cases of straight penetration into the lower mantle, flattening at the 660-km discontinuity, folding and thickening of slabs, and sinking of slabs into the lower mantle at the endpoint of a flat-lying segment. Aside from the material and phase transition properties, the tectonic conditions play an important role. In particular, the retrograde motion of the point of subduction (trench-rollback) has an influence on slab penetration into the lower mantle. A question that still needs to be clarified is the mutual interaction between plate kinematics and the subduction process through the transition zone.

  4. Earthquake hazards on the cascadia subduction zone

    SciTech Connect

    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/sub 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/sub w/ 8) or a giant earthquake (M/sub w/ 9) would be necessary to fill this 1200-kilometer gap. The nature of strong ground motions recorded during subduction earthquakes of M/sub w/ less than 8.2 is discussed. Strong ground motions from even larger earthquakes (M/sub 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. 35 references, 6 figures.

  5. 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

  6. Flexural ridges, trenches, and outer rises around coronae on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandwell, David T.; Schubert, Gerald

    1992-01-01

    Flexural signatures outboard of Venusian coronal rims are examined with the purpose of inferring the thickness of the planet's elastic lithosphere. Topographic profiles of several prominent coronae which display clear trench and outer rise signatures are presented. Via a thin elastic plate flexure model to characterize the shape of the trench and outer rise, Venusian flexures are found to be similar in both amplitude and wavelength to lithospheric flexures seaward of subduction zones on earth. It is shown that circumferential fractures are concentrated in areas where the topography is curved downward, in good agreement with the high tensile stress predicted by the flexure models. Two scenarios for the development of the ridge-trench-outer rise flexural topography and circumferential fractures of coronae are presented. The first scenario involves reheating and thermal subsidence of the lithosphere interior to the corona, while the second involves expansion of the corona interior and roll back of the subducting lithosphere exterior to the corona.

  7. Arc Evolution in Response to the Subduction of Buoyant Features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, Luke; Fourel, Loic; Goes, Saskia; Morra, Gabriele

    2015-04-01

    The subduction of buoyant features such as aseismic ridges or oceanic plateaux has been invoked to explain arc deformation, flat subduction and increase in seismic coupling. Other studies have challenged these ideas, attributing a larger role to the overriding plate. However, many open questions remain about the dynamics of the relative simple case of a single freely subducting plate. How big does a plateau need to be to change the arc shape? What is the control of plate's strength on the impact of buoyant features? How do the velocities adapt to the subduction of less dense material? In the present study, we propose a systematic approach in order to tackle these questions. We use a new 3-D coupled fluid-solid subduction model where the interaction between the slab and the isoviscous mantle is only calculated on the slab surface, significantly increasing computational efficiency. The oceanic plate rheology is visco-elasto-plastic and its top surface is free. We find that arc shape is significantly altered by the subduction of buoyant plateaux. Along the subduction plane through the plateau and depending on its size, the dip angle and the retreat velocity significantly decrease. Flat subduction is obtained in the case of large and strongly buoyant plateau/ridge. An interesting feature is that retreat velocity increases right after the plateau or ridge has finished subducting in order to catch up with the rest of the plate. The gradient in retreat velocity obtained along the trench may cause the slab to have a heterogeneous response to ridge push, eventually leading to slab advance where buoyant material is present. We apply our models to the Izu-Bonin-Marianas (IBM) trench and propose that subduction of the buoyant Caroline Island Ridge at the southern edge of the Mariana trench can explain both trench motion history and the current morphology of the IBM slab as imaged by seismic tomography.

  8. Simulation of tectonic evolution of the Kanto Basin of Japan since 1 Ma due to subduction of the Pacific and Philippine Sea plates and the collision of the Izu-Bonin arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hashima, Akinori; Sato, Toshinori; Sato, Hiroshi; Asao, Kazumi; Furuya, Hiroshi; Yamamoto, Shuji; Kameo, Koji; Miyauchi, Takahiro; Ito, Tanio; Tsumura, Noriko; Kaneda, Heitaro

    2016-06-01

    The Kanto Basin, the largest lowland in Japan, developed by flexure as a result of (1) the subduction of the Philippine Sea (PHS) and the Pacific (PAC) plates and (2) the repeated collision of the Izu-Bonin arc fragments with the Japanese island arc. Geomorphological, geological, and thermochronological data on vertical movements over the last 1 My suggest that subsidence initially affected the entire basin after which the area of subsidence gradually narrowed until, finally, the basin began to experience uplift. In this study, we modeled the tectonic evolution of the Kanto Basin following the method of Matsu'ura and Sato (1989) for a kinematic subduction model with dislocations, in order to quantitatively assess the effects of PHS and PAC subduction. We include the steady slip-rate deficit (permanent locking rate at the plate interface) in our model to account for collision process. We explore how the latest collision of the Izu Peninsula block has been affected by a westerly shift in the PHS plate motion vector with respect to the Eurasian plate, thought to have occurred between 1.0-0.5 Ma, using long-term vertical deformation data to constrain extent of the locked zone on the plate interface. We evaluated the change in vertical deformation rate for two scenarios: (1) a synchronous shift in the orientation of the locked zone as PHS plate motion shifts and (2) a delayed shift in the orientation of the locked zone following the shift in plate motion. Observed changes in the uplift/subsidence pattern are better explained by scenario (2), suggesting that recent (< 1 My) deformation in the Kanto Basin shows a lag in crustal response to the plate motion shift. We also calculated stress accumulation rates and found a good match with observed earthquake mechanisms, which shows that intraplate earthquakes serve to release stress accumulated through long-term plate interactions.

  9. Real feature of seismicity around Palau trench region, western Pacific: Is Palau trench aseismic silent plate boundary?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishihara, Y.; Shito, A.; Tanaka, S.; Suetsugu, D.

    2012-12-01

    Palau islands locate around plate converging zone in the western Pacific region. In the east off the Palau islands, obvious trench topography is developed whose bathymetry reaches about 6000 meters. Palau trench locates at the west side of Yap trench. However tectonic activity is quite different in the both trenches. Yap trench has active seismic activity associate with subduction process. Plate motion model shows clear convergent relative motion between Pacific plate and Philippine Sea plate at Yap trench. On the other hand, Palau trench doesn't have active seismicity according to ISC catalogue. In ten years in 2000's, only three small earthquakes are reported in ISC catalogue. Historically any great earthquake also is not reported. Recent plate motion model shows very low convergent motion at Palau trench though developed trench structure. Our group operates broadband seismic station at Palau (station code: PALU) for about 15 years. In our instant monitoring, local earthquakes sometime are recognized. We operated additional stations in Palau islands for six months to detect local earthquake and to locate hypocenters. Our objective of the research is evaluation of real seismicity of Palau region and final major interest is to understand tectonic activity of Palau trench. We install minimum network for hypocenter locating in Koror and Babeldaob islands, Palau that its array dimension is about 20 km. We use broadband seismographs and high resolution data loggers with GPS clock and solar power generators. We succeeded continuous recording without any troubles and clips of mass position. By careful motoring, we pick up greater than 70 local earthquakes in only six months. And we also tried to read the P and S wave arrival times. We succeeded to locate 27 hypocenters. The number of seismic events is much higher than initial estimation. The hypocenters locate east coast side of Palau islands where is trench side. The overview of distribution is parallel to trench

  10. Temperature and melt fraction distributions in a mantle wedge determined from the electrical conductivity structure: Application to one nonvolcanic and two volcanic regions in the Kyushu subduction zone, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hata, Maki; Uyeshima, Makoto

    2015-04-01

    We propose a new method for estimating the temperatures and melt fractions of the upper mantle. Our method is based on connecting the electrical conductivity structure from geophysical observations with laboratory-determined relationships between the electrical conductivity and temperature of four nominally anhydrous minerals (olivine, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, and garnet) and basaltic melt. The temperatures are expressed as the upper limit temperatures using the Hashin-Shtrikman lower bound in solid phases and using the Hashin-Shtrikman upper bound in solid-liquid mixed phases. We apply the method to a nonvolcanic and two volcanic regions in the Kyushu subduction zone, southwest Japan. Our results suggest that the temperatures of the upper mantle are 1100-1450°C for dry mantle and 900-1350°C for wet mantle and that the melt fractions of the upper mantle are <20% beneath the two volcanic regions and <5% beneath the nonvolcanic region for both dry and wet mantle.

  11. Scattering of trapped P and S waves in the hydrated subducting crust of the Philippine Sea plate at shallow depths beneath the Kanto region, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takemura, Shunsuke; Yoshimoto, Kazuo; Tonegawa, Takashi

    2015-12-01

    We performed a detailed analysis of seismograms obtained during intraslab earthquakes beneath the Kanto region and revealed a strong lateral variation in the waveforms of high-frequency trapped P and S waves propagating through the subducting crust of the Philippine Sea plate. Significantly distorted spindle-shaped trapped P and S waves with large peak delays were observed in areas where the Philippine Sea plate is at shallow depths beneath the Kanto region. In order to interpret these seismic observations, in relation to the structural properties of the crust of the Philippine Sea plate, we conducted finite difference method simulations of high-frequency seismic wave propagation using various possible heterogeneous velocity structure models. Our simulation successfully reproduced the observed characteristics of the trapped waves and demonstrated that the propagation of high-frequency P and S waves is significantly affected by small-scale velocity heterogeneities in the subducting crust. These heterogeneities can be traced to a depth of approximately 40 km, before disappearing at greater depths, a phenomenon that may be related to dehydration in the subducting crust at shallower depths.

  12. Ryukyu Subduction Zone: 3D Geodynamic Simulations of the Effects of Slab Shape and Depth on Lattice-Preferred Orientation (LPO) and Seismic Anisotropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarlow, S.; Tan, E.; Billen, M. I.

    2015-12-01

    At the Ryukyu subduction zone, seismic anisotropy observations suggest that there may be strong trench-parallel flow within the mantle wedge driven by complex 3D slab geometry. However, previous simulations have either failed to account for 3D flow or used the infinite strain axis (ISA) approximation for LPO, which is known to be inaccurate in complex flow fields. Additionally, both the slab depth and shape of the Ryukyu slab are contentious. Development of strong trench-parallel flow requires low viscosity to decouple the mantle wedge from entrainment by the sinking slab. Therefore, understanding the relationship between seismic anisotropy and the accompanying flow field will better constrain the material and dynamic properties of the mantle near subduction zones. In this study, we integrate a kinematic model for calculation of LPO (D-Rex) into a buoyancy-driven, instantaneous 3D flow simulation (ASPECT), using composite non-Newtonian rheology to investigate the dependence of LPO on slab geometry and depth at the Ryukyu Trench. To incorporate the 3D flow effects, the trench and slab extends from the southern tip of Japan to the western edge of Taiwan and the model region is approximately 1/4 of a spherical shell extending from the surface to the core-mantle boundary. In the southern-most region we vary the slab depth and shape to test for the effects of the uncertainties in the observations. We also investigate the effect of adding locally hydrated regions above the slab that affect both the mantle rheology and development of LPO through the consequent changes in mantle flow and dominate (weakest) slip system. We characterize how changes in the simulation conditions affect the LPO within the mantle wedge, subducting slab and sub-slab mantle and relate these to surface observations of seismic anisotropy.

  13. Great (≥Mw8.0) megathrust earthquakes and the subduction of excess sediment and bathymetrically smooth seafloor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scholl, David W.; Kirby, Stephe H.; von Huene, Roland; Ryan, Holly F.; Wells, Ray E.; Geist, Eric L.

    2015-01-01

    However, large Mw8.0–9.0 IPTs commonly (n = 23) nucleated at thin-sediment trenches. These earthquakes are associated with the subduction of low-relief ocean floor and where the debris of subduction erosion thickens the plate-separating subduction channel. The combination of low bathymetric relief and subduction erosion is inferred to also produce a smooth trench-parallel distribution of coupling posited to favor the characteristic lengthy rupturing of high-magnitude IPT earthquakes. In these areas subduction of a weak sedimentary sequence further enables rupture continuation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassett, Dan; Watts, Anthony B.

    2015-05-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Osmium Recycling in Subduction Zones

    PubMed

    Brandon; Creaser; Shirey; Carlson

    1996-05-10

    Peridotite xenoliths from the Cascade arc in the United States and in the Japan arc have neodymium and osmium isotopic compositions that are consistent with addition of 5 to 15 percent of subducted material to the present-day depleted mantle. These observations suggest that osmium can be partitioned into oxidized and chlorine-rich slab-derived fluids or melts. These results place new constraints on the behavior of osmium (and possibly other platinum group elements) during subduction of oceanic crust by showing that osmium can be transported into the mantle wedge. PMID:8662577

  17. Saline Fluids in Subduction Channels and Mantle Wedge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawamoto, T.; Hertwig, A.; Schertl, H. P.; Maresch, W. V.; Shigeno, M.; Mori, Y.; Nishiyama, T.

    2015-12-01

    Saline fluids can transport large-ion-lithophile elements and carbonate. Subduction-zone fluids contain salts with various amounts of NaCl equivalent similar to that of the present and/or Phanerozoic seawater (about 3.5 wt% NaCl). The salinity of aqueous fluids in the mantle wedge decreases from trench side to back-arc side, although available data have been limited. Such saline fluids from mantle peridotite underneath Pinatubo, a frontal volcano of the Luzon arc, contain 5.1 wt% NaCl equivalent and CO2 [Kawamoto et al., 2013 Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] and in Ichinomegeta, a rear-arc volcano of the Northeast Japan arc, contain 3.7 wt% NaCl equivalent and CO2 [Kumagai et al., Contrib Mineral Petrol 2014]. Abundances of chlorine and H2O in olivine-hosted melt inclusions also suggest that aqueous fluids to produce frontal basalts have higher salinity than rear-arc basalts in Guatemala arc [Walker et al., Contrib Mineral Petrol 2003]. In addition to these data, quartz-free jadeitites contain fluid inclusions composed of aqueous fluids with 7 wt% NaCl equivalent and quartz-bearing jadeitite with 4.6 wt% NaCl equivalent in supra-subduction zones in Southwest Japan [Mori et al., 2015, International Eclogite Conference] and quartz-bearing jadeitite and jadeite-rich rocks contain fluid inclusions composed of aqueous fluids with 4.2 wt% NaCl equivalent in Rio San Juan Complex, Dominica Republic [Kawamoto et al., 2015, Goldschmidt Conference]. Aqueous fluids generated at pressures lower than conditions for albite=jadeite+quartz occurring at 1.5 GPa, 500 °C may contain aqueous fluids with higher salinity than at higher pressures.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  20. Andean flat subduction maintained by slab tunneling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schepers, Gerben; van Hinsbergen, Douwe; Kosters, Martha; Boschman, Lydian; McQuarrie, Nadine; Spakman, Wim

    2016-04-01

    In two segments below the Andean mountain belt, the Nazca Plate is currently subducting sub-horizontally below South America over a distance of 200-300 km before the plate bends into the mantle. Such flat slab segments have pronounced effects on orogenesis and magmatism and are widely believed to be caused by the downgoing plate resisting subduction due to its local positive buoyancy. In contrast, here we show that flat slabs primarily result from a local resistance against rollback rather than against subduction. From a kinematic reconstruction of the Andean fold-thrust belt we determine up to ~390 km of shortening since ~50 Ma. During this time the South American Plate moved ~1400 km westward relative to the mantle, thus forcing ~1000 km of trench retreat. Importantly, since the 11-12 Ma onset of flat slab formation, ~1000 km of Nazca Plate subduction occurred, much more than the flat slab lengths, which leads to our main finding that the flat slabs, while being initiated by arrival of buoyant material at the trench, are primarily maintained by locally impeded rollback. We suggest that dynamic support of flat subduction comes from the formation of slab tunnels below segments with the most buoyant material. These tunnels trap mantle material until tearing of the tunnel wall provides an escape route. Fast subduction of this tear is followed by a continuous slab and the process can recur during ongoing rollback of the 7000 km wide Nazca slab at segments with the most buoyant subducting material, explaining the regional and transient character of flat slabs. Our study highlights the importance of studying subduction dynamics in absolute plate motion context.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Zhihao; Schellart, Wouter; Duarte, Joao

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Y.; Lee, S.

    2008-12-01

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

  3. Does subduction-induced mantle flow drive backarc extension?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Zhihao; Schellart, Wouter P.; Strak, Vincent; Duarte, João C.

    2016-05-01

    Backarc extension is a characteristic feature of many narrow subduction zones. Seismological and geochemical studies imply the occurrence of mantle flow around the narrow subducting slabs. Previous 3D models suggested that backarc extension is related to subduction-induced toroidal mantle flow. The physical viability of this mechanism, however, has never been tested using laboratory-based geodynamic models. In this work, we present dynamic laboratory models of progressive subduction in three-dimensional (3D) space that were carried out to test this mechanism. To achieve this, we have used a stereoscopic Particle Image Velocimetry (sPIV) technique to map simultaneously overriding plate deformation and 3D subduction-induced mantle flow underneath and around an overriding plate. The results show that the strain field of the overriding plate is characterized by the localization of an area of maximum extension within its interior (at 300-500 km from the trench). The position of maximum extension closely coincides (within ∼2 cm, scaling to 100 km) with that of the maximum trench-normal horizontal mantle velocity and velocity gradient measured at a scaled depth of 15-25 km below the base of the overriding plate, and the maximum horizontal gradient of the vertical mantle velocity gradient. We propound that in narrow subduction zones backarc extension in the overriding plate is mainly a consequence of the trench-normal horizontal gradients of basal drag force at the base of the overriding plate. Such shear force gradients result from a horizontal gradient in velocity in the mantle below the base of the lithosphere induced by slab rollback. Calculations based on our models indicate a tensional horizontal trench-normal deviatoric stress in the backarc region scaling to ∼28.8 MPa, while the overriding plate trench-normal stress resulting from the horizontal component of the trench suction force is about an order of magnitude smaller, scaling to ∼2.4-3.6 MPa.

  4. Tsunami Numerical Simulation for Hypothetical Giant or Great Earthquakes along the Izu-Bonin Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harada, T.; Ishibashi, K.; Satake, K.

    2013-12-01

    We performed tsunami numerical simulations from various giant/great fault models along the Izu-Bonin trench in order to see the behavior of tsunamis originated in this region and to examine the recurrence pattern of great interplate earthquakes along the Nankai trough off southwest Japan. As a result, large tsunami heights are expected in the Ryukyu Islands and on the Pacific coasts of Kyushu, Shikoku and western Honshu. The computed large tsunami heights support the hypothesis that the 1605 Keicho Nankai earthquake was not a tsunami earthquake along the Nankai trough but a giant or great earthquake along the Izu-Bonin trench (Ishibashi and Harada, 2013, SSJ Fall Meeting abstract). The Izu-Bonin subduction zone has been regarded as so-called 'Mariana-type subduction zone' where M>7 interplate earthquakes do not occur inherently. However, since several M>7 outer-rise earthquakes have occurred in this region and the largest slip of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake (M9.0) took place on the shallow plate interface where the strain accumulation had considered to be a little, a possibility of M>8.5 earthquakes in this region may not be negligible. The latest M 7.4 outer-rise earthquake off the Bonin Islands on Dec. 22, 2010 produced small tsunamis on the Pacific coast of Japan except for the Tohoku and Hokkaido districts and a zone of abnormal seismic intensity in the Kanto and Tohoku districts. Ishibashi and Harada (2013) proposed a working hypothesis that the 1605 Keicho earthquake which is considered a great tsunami earthquake along the Nankai trough was a giant/great earthquake along the Izu-Bonin trench based on the similarity of the distributions of ground shaking and tsunami of this event and the 2010 Bonin earthquake. In this study, in order to examine the behavior of tsunamis from giant/great earthquakes along the Izu-Bonin trench and check the Ishibashi and Harada's hypothesis, we performed tsunami numerical simulations from fault models along the Izu-Bonin trench

  5. Overriding plate deformation and variability of fore-arc deformation during subduction: Insight from geodynamic models and application to the Calabria subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Zhihao; Schellart, Wouter P.; Duarte, João. C.

    2015-10-01

    In nature, subducting slabs and overriding plate segments bordering subduction zones are generally embedded within larger plates. Such large plates can impose far-field boundary conditions that influence the style of subduction and overriding plate deformation. Here we present dynamic laboratory models of progressive subduction in three-dimensional space, in which the far-field boundary conditions at the trailing edges of the subducting plate (SP) and overriding plate (OP) are varied. Four configurations are presented: Free (both plates free), SP-Fixed, OP-Fixed, and SP-OP-Fixed. We investigate their impact on the kinematics and dynamics of subduction, particularly focusing on overriding plate deformation. The results indicate that the variation in far-field boundary conditions has an influence on the slab geometry, subduction partitioning, and trench migration partitioning. Our models also indicate that in natural (narrow) subduction zones, assuming a homogeneous overriding plate, the formation of back-arc basins (e.g., Tyrrhenian Sea, Aegean Sea, and Scotia Sea) is generally expected to occur at a comparable location (250-700 km from the trench), irrespective of the boundary condition. In addition, our models indicate that the style of fore-arc deformation (shortening or extension) is influenced by the mobility of the overriding plate through controlling the force normal to the subduction zone interface (trench suction). Our geodynamic model that uses the SP-OP-Fixed setup is comparable to the Calabria subduction zone with respect to subduction kinematics, slab geometry, trench curvature, and accretionary configuration. Furthermore, the model can explain back-arc and fore-arc extension at the Calabria subduction zone since the latest middle Miocene as a consequence of subduction of the narrow Calabrian slab and the immobility of the subducting African plate and overriding Eurasian plate. This setting induced strong trench suction, driving fore-arc extension, and

  6. Generating Single-sided Subduction with Parameterized Mantle Wedge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, C. J.; Tan, E.; Ma, K. F.

    2015-12-01

    Subduction on Earth is one-sided, where one oceanic plate sinks beneath the overriding plate. However, subduction zones in most numerical models tends to develop two-sided subduction, where both plates sink to the mantle. In this study, we use numerical model to find out how the existence of low viscosity wedge (LVW) can enable single-sided subduction and affects the flow in the subduction system.At the mantle wedge, water released from dehydrated oceanic crust serpentinized the mantle, which forms the LVW. LVW is an important part of the subduction system and provides efficient lubricant between the subducting slab and overriding lithosphere. Single-sided subduction can be generated in numerical models by different techniques, including prescribed plate velocity, non-Newtonian rheology, and free surface. These techniques either requires kinematic boundary condition, which produce mantle flow inconsistent with the buoyancy, or costs great amount of computational resources when solving nonlinear equations. In this study, we tried to generating single-sided subduction with Newtonian viscosity and free slip surface. A set of tracers representing hydrated oceanic crust are placed near the surface. As the tracers subducted with the lithosphere, we assume that the oceanic crust becomes dehydrated and serpentinizes the mantle wedge above. A parameterized LVW is placed above the subducted tracers in the models. We test with different upper/lower depth limits of the LVW and the viscosity of the LVW. Both overriding plate and subducting plate's surface velocity relative to the trench is calculated in order to determine whether the subduction is one-sided.Results of our numerical models show that not only the low viscosity wedge above the slab is essential for the formation of one-side subduction, a low viscosity layer in between two tectonic plates is also needed to provide the slab efficient lubricant after the subduction started. On the other hand, the plate's age, which

  7. Subduction and exhumation of continental crust: insights from laboratory models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bialas, Robert W.; Funiciello, Francesca; Faccenna, Claudio

    2011-01-01

    When slivers of continental crust and sediment overlying oceanic lithosphere enter a subduction zone, they may be scraped off at shallow levels, subducted to depths of up to 100-200 km and then exhumed as high pressure (HP) and ultra-high pressure (UHP) rocks, or subducted and recycled in the mantle. To investigate the factors that influence the behaviour of subducting slivers of continental material, we use 3-D dynamically consistent laboratory models. A laboratory analogue of a slab-upper mantle system is set up with two linearly viscous layers of silicone putty and glucose syrup in a tank. A sliver of continental material, also composed of silicone putty, overlies the subducting lithosphere, separated by a syrup detachment. The density of the sliver, viscosity of the detachment, geometry of the subducting system (attached plate versus free ridge) and dimensions of the sliver are varied in 34 experiments. By varying the density of the sliver and viscosity of the detachment, we can reproduce a range of sliver behaviour, including subduction, subduction and exhumation from various depths and offscraping. Sliver subduction and exhumation requires sufficient sliver buoyancy and a detachment that is strong enough to hold the sliver during initial subduction, but weak enough to allow adequate sliver displacement or detachment for exhumation. Changes to the system geometry alter the slab dip, subduction velocity, pattern of mantle flow and amount of rollback. Shallower slab dips with more trench rollback produce a mantle flow pattern that aids exhumation. Steeper slab dips allow more buoyancy force to be directed in the up-dip direction of the plane of the plate, and aide exhumation of subducted slivers. Slower subduction can also aide exhumation, but if slab dip is too steep or subduction too slow, the sliver will subduct to only shallow levels and not exhume. Smaller slivers are most easily subducted and exhumed and influenced by the mantle flow.

  8. Subduction zone tectonic studies to develop concepts for the occurrence of sediment subduction (Phase 2): Volume 3

    SciTech Connect

    Payne, J.; Bandy, B.; Altis, S.; Lee, M.C.; Dwan, S.F.; Ku, K.; Hilde, T.W.C.

    1989-02-01

    The objectives of this study represent a continuation and refinement of the objectives addressed in Phase 1. This study focuses on trying to define the tectonics of sediment subduction at the trench axis through the use of accepted plate tectonic principles and the application of new subduction theory. The fundamental methods include: (1) compilation of all available bathymetric data from our Global Marine Geophysical Data Collection for all major ocean trenches, (2) generation of stacked bathymetric profiles and corresponding navigational maps, and structural maps, (3) selection and analysis of appropriate seismic reflection and refraction profiles and additional supporting data such as side-scan sonar, SEABEAM, magnetic, gravity and drilling data, and (4) detailed study of selected trench regions in which data quality and/or quantity is exceptional. Phase 2 of this project represents a unique compilation and synthesis of existing data for the world's deep ocean trenches. The analysis of data and discussion of results in the context of current literature aids our understanding of the sediment distribution and nature of sediment deformation through various stages of plate convergence, the determination of whether sediments are subducted or accreted, and the evaluation of the controlling factors for sediment subduction and/or accretion. A major emphasis in our analysis of the data was to try and map the seaward-of-the-trench distribution of faults and associated surface roughness. Illustrations and an extensive bibliography are included in the report.

  9. Provenance of Cretaceous trench slope sediments from the Mesozoic Wandashan Orogen, NE China: Implications for determining ancient drainage systems and tectonics of the Paleo-Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Ming-Dao; Xu, Yi-Gang; Wilde, Simon A.; Chen, Han-Lin

    2015-06-01

    The Wandashan Orogen of NE China is a typical accretionary orogen related to Paleo-Pacific subduction. The Raohe Complex, as a major part of the orogen, consists of mid-Triassic to mid-Jurassic radiolarian chert and intraoceanic igneous rocks in an accretionary prism overlain by weakly sheared terrestrial-sourced clastic trench slope sediments. Sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe U-Pb dating and LA-MC-ICPMS Hf isotopic analysis of detrital zircons from the terrestrial-sourced Yongfuqiao Formation sandstone show that most zircons are Phanerozoic (90%): 140-150 Ma (10%), 180-220 Ma (25%), 240-270 Ma (15%), 300-360 Ma (15%), 391-395 Ma (3%), and 450-540 Ma (20%), whereas 10% are Precambrian in age. About 90% of the zircons have ɛHf(t) values ranging from +11.1 to -12.8. This suggests that the major provenance of the trench slope sediments was from the adjacent eastern segment of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt and the Jiamusi Block. The age of the Yongfuqiao Formation is constrained to the earliest Cretaceous, which represents the accretion time of the mid-Triassic to mid-Jurassic oceanic complexes. When compared with the Mino Complex in Japan and the Tananao Complex in Taiwan, three different provenances are identified suggesting three ancient drainage systems which transported sediments from NE China, North China, and South China to the Paleo-Pacific subduction-accretion system.

  10. Structural Responses to the Chile Ridge Subduction, Southern South America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez, E. E.; Russo, R. M.; Mocanu, V. I.; Gallego, A.; Murdie, R.; Comte, D.

    2015-12-01

    The Nazca-Antarctic plate boundary, the Chile spreading ridge, subducts beneath South America, forming the northward-migrating Chile Triple Junction (CTJ), now at ~46.5°S, where an actively spreading segment is currently in the Nazca trench. Ridge subduction is associated with diachronously developed variable structure and magmatism of overriding South America. To assess the effects of ridge subduction, we deployed a network of 39 broadband seismometers in southern Chile between 43 - 49°S and 71 - 76°W from Dec. 2004 - Feb. 2007, recording 102 earthquakes suitable for receiver function analyses, i.e., M > 5.9, of various backazimuths, and at epicentral distances of 30 - 90°. The network encompassed onland portions of the current triple junction and ridge subduction, areas to the south of the CTJ where ridge segments subducted during the last 6 m.y., and regions north of the CTJ not yet affected by ridge subduction, allowing the assessment of the effects of ridge subduction on crustal structure of overriding South America. We constructed 551 teleseismic receiver functions to estimate crustal thicknesses, H, and average compressional to shear wave velocity ratios, Vp/Vs = k, using the iterative time deconvolution method of Ligorria and Ammon (1999). H and k were calculated using the grid search method of Zhu and Kanamori (2000). Beneath stations closest to the trench, where the Nazca plate subducts, we found Moho depths between 28 and 55 km, thickening northward. At the locus of current ridge subduction, in the Taitao Pennisula, thinner crust ranges from 27 - 36 km. H is 36-38 km where the Antarctic plate subducts and the Chile ridge recently subducted. The direct effect of the subducting ridge on South America can be seen in H differences between forearc regions that have sustained ridge subduction versus those that have not. South American forearc crust above the subducted Nazca plate is as much as 28 km thicker than forearc crust recently affected by ridge

  11. Heterogeneous interplate coupling along the Nankai Trough, Japan, detected by GPS-acoustic seafloor geodetic observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yokota, Yusuke; Ishikawa, Tadashi; Sato, Mariko; Watanabe, Shun-ichi; Saito, Hiroaki; Ujihara, Naoto; Matsumoto, Yoshihiro; Toyama, Shin-ichi; Fujita, Masayuki; Yabuki, Tetsuichiro; Mochizuki, Masashi; Asada, Akira

    2015-12-01

    The recurring devastating earthquake that occurs in the Nankai Trough subduction zone between the Philippine Sea plate and the Eurasian plate has the potential to cause an extremely dangerous natural disaster in the foreseeable future. Many previous studies have assumed interplate-coupling ratios for this region along the trench axis using onshore geodetic data in order to understand this recursive event. However, the offshore region that has the potential to drive a devastating tsunami cannot be resolved sufficiently because the observation network is biased to the land area. Therefore, the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department of Japan constructed a geodetic observation network on the seafloor along the Nankai Trough using a GPS-acoustic combination technique and has used it to observe seafloor crustal movements directly above the Nankai Trough subduction zone. We have set six seafloor sites and cumulated enough data to determine the displacement rate from 2006 to January 2011. Our seafloor geodetic observations at these sites revealed a heterogeneous interplate coupling that has three particular features. The fast displacement rates observed in the easternmost area indicate strong interplate coupling (>75%) around not only the future Tokai earthquake source region but also the Paleo-Zenisu ridge. The slow displacement rates near the trench axis in the Kumano-nada Sea, a shallow part of the 1944 Tonankai earthquake source region, show a lower coupling ratio (50% to 75%). The slow displacement rate observed in the area shallower than the 1946 Nankaido earthquake source region off Cape Muroto-zaki reflects weakening interplate coupling (about 50%) probably due to a subducting seamount. Our observations above the subducting ridge and seamount indicate that the effect of a subducting seamount on an interplate-coupling region depends on various conditions such as the geometry of the seamount and the friction parameters on the plate boundary.

  12. Sediment Pathways Across Trench Slopes: Results From Numerical Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cormier, M. H.; Seeber, L.; McHugh, C. M.; Fujiwara, T.; Kanamatsu, T.; King, J. W.

    2015-12-01

    Until the 2011 Mw9.0 Tohoku earthquake, the role of earthquakes as agents of sediment dispersal and deposition at erosional trenches was largely under-appreciated. A series of cruises carried out after the 2011 event has revealed a variety of unsuspected sediment transport mechanisms, such as tsunami-triggered sheet turbidites, suggesting that great earthquakes may in fact be important agents for dispersing sediments across trench slopes. To complement these observational data, we have modeled the pathways of sediments across the trench slope based on bathymetric grids. Our approach assumes that transport direction is controlled by slope azimuth only, and ignores obstacles smaller than 0.6-1 km; these constraints are meant to approximate the behavior of turbidites. Results indicate that (1) most pathways issued from the upper slope terminate near the top of the small frontal wedge, and thus do not reach the trench axis; (2) in turn, sediments transported to the trench axis are likely derived from the small frontal wedge or from the subducting Pacific plate. These results are consistent with the stratigraphy imaged in seismic profiles, which reveals that the slope apron does not extend as far as the frontal wedge, and that the thickness of sediments at the trench axis is similar to that of the incoming Pacific plate. We further applied this modeling technique to the Cascadia, Nankai, Middle-America, and Sumatra trenches. Where well-defined canyons carve the trench slopes, sediments from the upper slope may routinely reach the trench axis (e.g., off Costa Rica and Cascadia). In turn, slope basins that are isolated from the canyons drainage systems must mainly accumulate locally-derived sediments. Therefore, their turbiditic infill may be diagnostic of seismic activity only - and not from storm or flood activity. If correct, this would make isolated slope basins ideal targets for paleoseismological investigation.

  13. Upper mantle structure beneath the Japan Islands using single-scattering analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonegawa, T.; Hirahara, K.; Shibutani, T.; Shiomi, K.

    2006-12-01

    In the Japan subduction zone where the Pacific plate is subducting, we can investigate the dynamics of the upper mantle beneath the subduction zone, such as the structure of the descending slab, the undulation of the seismic discontinuities and its relation, by imaging the detailed structure beneath the Japan Islands. The high sensitivity accelerometer (hereafter tiltmeter) network has recently been deployed with high-density spacing (700 stations in Japan) by NIED, and these tiltmeters can be used as long-period seismometer. In this study, we used these recordings to image upper mantle discontinuities, including the subducting Pacific slab from the Japan trench and the 410 and 660 km discontinuities, beneath the Japanese Islands by calculating receiver functions with teleseismic waves. For deconvolution, since tiltmeter seismograms have just horizontal component, we obtained source-time function by stacking all of vertical components observed at F-net broadband stations, that is, we consider these stacked waveforms as source-time functions. We applied a low- pass filter of 0.16 Hz. Assuming all later phases of P-coda in receiver function are the P-to-S scattered phases, we migrated time-domain receiver functions to depth section using 1-D JMA velocity model. As a result, the seismic discontinuities correspoding to the oceanic Moho and lower boundary of the descending slab can be imaged down to 400 km and 500 km depth, respectively. The 410 km and 660 km discontinuities are clearly imaged, and our result also shows a depression of the 660 km discontinuity affected by the stagnant slab.

  14. Common Observables of Trench Migration and Plate Motion in Different Global Reference Frames

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schellart, W. P.; Stegman, D. A.; Freeman, J.; Moresi, L.

    2007-12-01

    Plate velocities and trench migration velocities are commonly described in some sort of global "absolute" reference frame. From calculating such motions for all plates and subduction zones on Earth, one might obtain insight into the importance of various driving and resistive forces of plate tectonics and plate boundary migration. Trench migration velocities and plate velocities have been calculated for all subduction zones on Earth in eight global reference frames. The calculations show that such velocities can differ substantially between different global reference frames (up to 4 cm/yr), in particular between one Pacific hotspot reference frame (HS3- NUVEL1A) and all the others. In addition, this reference frame shows a bimodal distribution of trench velocities, while all the others show a Gaussian distribution. Nevertheless, some common features are observed irrespective of the reference frame. First, trench retreat always dominates over trench advance, with 62-78% of the trench segments retreating, while the mean and median trench velocities are always positive (retreating). Second, trench retreat is always slow in the middle of wide subduction zones, i.e. far (>2000 km) from lateral slab edges (<2 cm/yr in seven reference frames). Third, fast trench retreat (>6 cm/yr) is only found close (<1500 km) to lateral slab edges. Fourth, plates with a substantial percentage of their circumference attached to a subducting slab (Pacific, Nazca, Cocos, Philippine, Australia) move trenchward. These calculations are predicted by three-dimensional geodynamic models of free subduction with a variable slab width (300-7000 km), in which the slab to upper mantle viscosity ratio is low (100-200). This suggests that trench velocities and plate velocities are indeed primarily controlled by the negative buoyancy and width of subducting slabs. It further suggests that slab/upper mantle viscosity ratios in nature are 100-200, as the models show trench motion dominated by retreat, and

  15. Elastic Properties of Subduction Zone Materials in the Large Shallow Slip Environment for the Tohoku 2011 Earthquake: Laboratory data from JFAST Core Samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeppson, T.; Tobin, H. J.

    2014-12-01

    The 11 March 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake (Mw=9.0) produced large displacements of ~50 meters near the Japan Trench. In order to understand earthquake propagation and slip stabilization in this environment, quantitative values of the real elastic properties of fault zones and their surrounding wall rock material is crucial. Because elastic and mechanical properties of faults and wallrocks are controlling factors in fault strength, earthquake generation and propagation, and slip stabilization, an understanding of these properties and their depth dependence is essential to understanding and accurately modeling earthquake rupture. In particular, quantitatively measured S-wave speeds, needed for estimation of elastic properties, are scarce in the literature. We report laboratory ultrasonic velocity measurements performed at elevated pressures, as well as the calculated dynamic elastic moduli, for samples of the rock surrounding the Tohoku earthquake principal fault zone recovered by drilling during IODP Expedition 343, Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST). We performed measurements on five samples of gray mudstone from the hanging wall and one sample of underthrust brown mudstone from the footwall. We find P- and S-wave velocities of 2.0 to 2.4 km/s and 0.7 to 1.0 km/s, respectively, at 5 MPa effective pressure. At the same effective pressure, the hanging wall samples have shear moduli ranging from 1.4 to 2.2 GPa and the footwall sample has a shear modulus of 1.0 GPa. While these values are perhaps not surprising for shallow, clay-rich subduction zone sediments, they are substantially lower than the 30 GPa commonly assumed for rigidity in earthquake rupture and propagation models [e.g., Ide et al., 1993; Liu and Rice, 2005; Loveless and Meade, 2011]. In order to better understand the elastic properties of shallow subduction zone sediments, our measurements from the Japan Trench are compared to similar shallow drill core samples from the Nankai Trough, Costa Rica

  16. Louisville seamount subduction and its implication on mantle flow beneath the central Tonga-Kermadec arc.

    PubMed

    Timm, Christian; Bassett, Daniel; Graham, Ian J; Leybourne, Matthew I; de Ronde, Cornel E J; Woodhead, Jon; Layton-Matthews, Daniel; Watts, Anthony B

    2013-01-01

    Subduction of intraplate seamounts beneath a geochemically depleted mantle wedge provides a seldom opportunity to trace element recycling and mantle flow in subduction zones. Here we present trace element and Sr, Nd and Pb isotopic compositions of lavas from the central Tonga-Kermadec arc, west of the contemporary Louisville-Tonga trench intersection, to provide new insights into the effects of Louisville seamount subduction. Elevated (206)Pb/(204)Pb, (208)Pb/(204)Pb, (86)Sr/(87)Sr in lavas from the central Tonga-Kermadec arc front are consistent with localized input of subducted alkaline Louisville material (lavas and volcaniclastics) into sub-arc partial melts. Furthermore, absolute Pacific Plate motion models indicate an anticlockwise rotation in the subducted Louisville seamount chain that, combined with estimates of the timing of fluid release from the subducting slab, suggests primarily trench-normal mantle flow beneath the central Tonga-Kermadec arc system. PMID:23591887

  17. 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

  18. From subduction to collision: results of French POP2 program on Taiwan-Philippine festoon

    SciTech Connect

    Blanchet, R.; Stephan, J.F.; Rangin, C.; Baladad, D.; Bouysse, Ph.; Chen, M.P.; Chotin, P.; Collot, J.Y.; Daniel, J.; Drouhot, J.M.; Marsset, B.; Pelletier, B.; Richard, M.; Tardy, M.

    1986-07-01

    A sea-beam, seismic, magnetic, and gravimetric survey was conducted with the R/V Jean-Charcot in three key regions off the Taiwan-Philippine festoon in the western Pacific: (1) Ryukyu active margin and its junction with Taiwan; (2) northern part of the Manila Trench and its junction with the Taiwan tectonic prism; and (3) southern termination of Manila Trench in front of Mindoro Island. Transitions between active subduction along the Manila Trench and collision of Taiwan and Mindoro, and relations between active subduction and extension in the Okinawa-Ryukyu and the northeastern Taiwan systems are particularly studied.

  19. A consistent model for fluid distribution, viscosity distribution, and flow-thermal structure in subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horiuchi, Shun-suke; Iwamori, Hikaru

    2016-05-01

    Water plays crucial roles in the subduction zone dynamics affecting the thermal-flow structure through the fluid processes. We aim to understand what controls the dynamics and construct a model to solve consistently fluid generation, fluid transport, its reaction with the solid and resultant viscosity, and thermal-flow structure. We highlight the effect of mechanical weakening of rocks associated with hydration. The viscosity of serpentinite (ηserp) in subduction zones critically controls the flow-thermal structure via extent of mechanical coupling between the subducting slab and overlying mantle wedge. When ηserp is greater than 1021 Pa s, the thermal-flow structure reaches a steady state beneath the volcanic zone, and the melting region expands until Cin (initial water content in the subducting oceanic crust) reaches 3 wt %, and it does not expand from 3 wt %. On the other hand, when ηserp is less than 1019 Pa s, the greater water dependence of viscosity (expressed by a larger fv) confines a hot material to a narrower channel intruding into the wedge corner from a deeper part of the back-arc region. Consequently, the overall heat flux becomes less for a larger fv. When ageba (age of back-arc basin as a rifted lithosphere) = 7.5 Ma, the increase in fv weakens but shifts the melting region toward the trench side because of the narrow channel flow intruding into the wedge corner, where as it shuts down melting when ageba=20 Ma. Several model cases (particularly those with ηserp=1020 to 1021 Pa s and a relatively large fv for Cin=2 to 3 wt %) broadly account for the observations in the Northeast Japan arc (i.e., location and width of volcanic chain, extent of serpentinite, surface heat flow, and seismic tomography), although the large variability of surface heat flow and seismic tomographic images does not allow us to constrain the parameter range tightly.

  20. 'Snow White' Trench

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This image was acquired by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager on Sol 43, the 43rd Martian day after landing (July 8, 2008). This image shows the trench informally called 'Snow White.'

    Two samples were delivered to the Wet Chemistry Laboratory, which is part of Phoenix's Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA). The first sample was taken from the surface area just left of the trench and informally named 'Rosy Red.' It was delivered to the Wet Chemistry Laboratory on Sol 30 (June 25, 2008). The second sample, informally named 'Sorceress,' was taken from the center of the 'Snow White' trench and delivered to the Wet Chemistry Laboratory on Sol 41 (July 6, 2008).

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  1. LWD lithostratigraphy, physical properties and correlations across tectonic domains at the NanTroSEIZE drilling transect, Nankai Trough subduction zone, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tudge, J.; Webb, S. I.; Tobin, H. J.

    2013-12-01

    Since 2007 the Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment (NanTroSEIZE) has drilled a total of 15 sites across the Nankai Trough subduction zone, including two sites on the incoming sediments of the Philippine Sea plate (PSP). Logging-while-drilling (LWD) data was acquired at 11 of these sites encompassing the forearc Kumano Basin, upper accretionary prism, toe region and input sites. Each of these tectonic domains is investigated for changes in physical properties and LWD characteristics, and this work fully integrates a large data set acquired over multiple years and IODP expeditions, most recently Expedition 338. Using the available logging-while-drilling data, primarily consisting of gamma ray, resistivity and sonic velocity, a log-based lithostratigraphy is developed at each site and integrated with the core, across the entire NanTroSEIZE transect. In addition to simple LWD characterization, the use of Iterative Non-hierarchical Cluster Analysis (INCA) on the sites with the full suite of LWD data clearly differentiates the unaltered forearc and slope basin sediments from the deformed sediments of the accretionary prism, suggesting the LWD is susceptible to the subtle changes in the physical properties between the tectonic domains. This differentiation is used to guide the development of tectonic-domain specific physical properties relationships. One of the most important physical property relationships between is the p-wave velocity and porosity. To fully characterize the character and properties of each tectonic domain we develop new velocity-porosity relationships for each domain found across the NanTroSEIZE transect. This allows the porosity of each domain to be characterized on the seismic scale and the resulting implications for porosity and pore pressure estimates across the plate interface fault zone.

  2. Subduction of Organic Carbon into the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plank, T. A.; Malinverno, A.

    2015-12-01

    Seafloor sediments approach active subduction zones with small amounts (generally < 1 dry weight %) of organic carbon, but this small concentration nonetheless constitutes a significant flux over geological time with respect to the size, isotopic composition and electron balance of the carbosphere. In order to quantify the flux of organic carbon into subduction zones, we have examined carbon concentration and density measurements provided by successive drilling programs (DSDP, ODP, IODP) for cores that sample complete sediment sections to basement near deep sea trenches. An interpolation scheme compensates for sparse or non-uniform analyses, and a weighted bulk concentration is calculated for organic carbon (OC) and inorganic carbonate (IC) for each site. When multiplied by the sediment thickness, the trench length and the convergence velocity, a subducted mass flux can be obtained. Sites with the greatest concentration of OC include those that pass beneath regions of high biological productivity (such as the Eastern Equatorial Pacific) and those that receive terrigenous turbidites (e.g., Indus and Begal Fans, Gulf of Alaska, Cascadia, etc). Together, terrigenous turbidites make up about 60% of the global subducted sediment (GLOSS), and thus have a strong control on the concentration of OC in GLOSS. Sites dominated by terrigenous turbidites have 0.4 wt% OC on average (1sd = 0.1 wt%), and GLOSS is very similar, yielding about 6 MtC/yr OC subducted globally. This flux is enough to subduct the entire surface pool of OC every 2.6 Ga, which if not returned, or returned in a more oxidized form, could contribute to a significant rise in oxygen at the surface of the Earth. Seemingly fortuitously, the OC/total carbon fraction in GLOSS is 20%, very near the long term average required to maintain the isotopic composition of marine carbonates at ~ 0 per mil d13C over much of Earth history.

  3. Tomographic search for missing link between the ancient Farallon subduction and the present Cocos subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorbatov, Alexei; Fukao, Yoshio

    2005-03-01

    A striking feature of the tomographic images of the Earth's mid-mantle is the long, high-velocity belt extending in a north-south direction under the North and South American continents, which is believed to be the remnant subduction of the Farallon Plate. In the Oligocene epoch the North Farallon Plate subduction terminated off Baja California and the South Farallon Plate broke into the Cocos and Nazca plates. This important period of the Farallon subduction history is not clearly understood, due in part to the lack of high-resolution tomographic images. Our P-wave tomographic image of the mantle below Mexico indicates that the currently subducting slab of the Cocos Plate is torn apart from the already subducted slab of the ancient Farallon Plate in a region behind the slab window or slab gap off Baja California. We suggest that the southeastward advance of this slab tearing was synchronous with the counter-clockwise rotation of the Cocos Plate against the eastward to northeastward subduction of the ancient Farallon Plate. The Cocos slab torn apart from the deeper Farallon slab dips to the north to northeast with its strike oblique to the trench axis. This slab configuration delineates well with the intermediate-depth earthquake activity and the volcanic activity known as the Trans Mexican Volcanic Belt. Further to the south of the slab tearing of the subducted slab continues from the deeper Farallon part to the shallower Cocos part but with considerable distortion in the shallower part.

  4. Structural interpretation and physical property estimates based on COAST 2012 seismic reflection profiles offshore central Washington, Cascadia subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webb, S. I.; Tobin, H. J.; Everson, E. D.; Fortin, W.; Holbrook, W. S.; Kent, G.; Keranen, K. M.

    2014-12-01

    The Cascadia subduction zone has a history of large magnitude earthquakes, but a near-total lack of plate interface seismicity, making the updip limit of the seismogenic zone difficult to locate. In addition, the central Cascadia accretionary prism is characterized by an extremely low wedge taper angle, landward vergent initial thrusting, and a flat midslope terrace between the inner and outer wedges, unlike most other accretionary prisms (e.g. the Nankai Trough, Japan). The Cascadia Open Access Seismic Transect (COAST) lines were shot by R/V Marcus Langseth in July of 2012 off central Washington to image this subduction zone. Two trench-parallel and nine trench-perpendicular lines were collected. In this study, we present detailed seismic interpretation of both time- and depth-migrated stacked profiles, focused on elucidating the deposition and deformation of both pre- and syn-tectonic sediment in the trench and slope. Distribution and timing of sediments and their deformation is used to unravel the evolution of the wedge through time. Initially, interpretation of the time-sections is carried out to support the building of tomographic velocity models to aid in the pre-stack depth migration (PSDM) of selected lines. In turn, we use PSDM velocity models to estimate porosity and pore pressure conditions at the base of the wedge and across the basal plate interface décollement where possible, using established velocity-porosity transforms. Interpretation in this way incorporates both accurate structural relationships and robust porosity models to document wedge development and present-day stress state, in particular regions of potential overpressure. Results shed light on the origin and evolution of the mid-slope terrace and the low taper angle for the forearc wedge. This work may shed light ultimately on the position of the potential updip limit of the seismogenic zone beneath the wedge.

  5. Subduction zone tectonic studies to develop concepts for the occurrence of sediment subduction (Phase 2): Volume 2

    SciTech Connect

    Payne, J.; Bandy, B.; Altis, S.; Lee, M.C.; Dwan, S.F.; Ku, K.; Hilde, T.W.C.

    1989-02-01

    The objectives of this study represent a continuation and refinement of the objectives addressed in Phase 1. This study focuses on trying to define the tectonics of sediment subduction at the trench axis through the use of accepted plate tectonic principles and the application of new subduction theory. The fundamental methods include: (1) compilation of all available bathymetric data from our Global Marine Geophysical Data Collection for all major ocean trenches, (2) generation of stacked bathymetric profiles and corresponding navigational maps, and structural maps, (3) selection and analysis of appropriate seismic reflection and refraction profiles and additional supporting data such as side-scan sonar, SEABEAM, magnetic, gravity and drilling data, and (4) detailed study study of selected trench regions in which data quality and/or quantity is exceptional. Phase 2 of this project represents a unique compilation and synthesis of existing data for the world's deep ocean trenches. The analysis of data and discussion of results in the context of current literature aids our understanding of the sediment distribution and nature of sediment deformation through various stages of plate convergence, the determination of whether sediments are subducted or accreted, and the evaluation of the controlling factors for sediment subduction and/or accretion. A discussion on petroleum and natural gas hydrate resource potential is included.

  6. Subduction zone tectonic studies to develop concepts for the occurrence of sediment subduction (Phase 2): Volume 1

    SciTech Connect

    Payne, J.; Bandy, B.; Altis, S.; Lee, M.C.; Dwan, S.F.; Ku, K.; Hilde, T.W.C.

    1989-02-01

    This is volume one of three volumes. The objectives of this study represent a continuation and refinement of the objectives addressed in Phase I. This study focuses on trying to define the tectonics of sediment subduction at the trench axis through the use of accepted plate tectonic principles and the application of new subduction theory. The fundamental methods include: (1) compilation of all available bathymetric data from our Global Marine Geophysical Data Collection for all major ocean trenches, (2) generation of stacked bathymetric profiles and corresponding navigational maps, and structural maps, (3) selection and analysis of appropriate seismic reflection and refraction profiles and additional supporting data such as side-scan sonar, SEABEAM, magnetic, gravity and drilling data, and (4) detailed study of selected trench regions in which data quality and/or quantity is exceptional. Phase II of this project represents a unique compilation and synthesis of existing data for the world's deep ocean trenches. The analysis of data and discussion of results in the context of current literature aids our understanding of the sediment distribution and nature of sediment deformation through various stages of plate convergence, the determination of whether sediments are subducted or accreted, and the evaluation of the controlling factors for sediment subduction and/or accretion. A discussion is included on forearc petroleum and natural gas hydrate resource potential. 128 figs.

  7. Origin of the Palau and Yap trench-arc systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kobayashi, Kazuo

    2004-06-01

    This paper attempts to account for several unique morphological and geological characteristics of the Palau and Yap trench-arc systems in the northwestern Pacific Ocean using a new hydrodynamic model postulated herein. The model is a simple mathematical treatment of a stationary viscous flow pattern in the asthenosphere that causes an appreciable amount of mechanical resistance against a vertically subducted rigid slab moving horizontally together with the flat plate. A couple of thrusting forces comprising uplifting pressure generated in the frontal edge of the overriding lid and a new type of tectonic erosion along the surface of the vertical slab seem to reasonably explain apparently contradictory features of the Palau and Yap trench arcs. Long-term GPS measurements show that the Palau and Yap trench arcs are moving over the viscous asthenosphere toward the NWW with velocities as great as 10 cm yr-1. Stresses along the trench arcs predicted by the model would be sufficiently large to maintain their present morphology: (1) water depths greater than 8000 m in spite of the extremely small plate convergence rates and relatively young ages of subducted plate; (2) V-shaped cross-section of the axial bottom of these trenches, implying little cover of slumped deposits in spite of very steep landward slopes; (3) serpentinized peridotites, gabbros, basalts and limestones are exposed on the landward slope with neither sediment cover nor ferromanganese hydro-oxide coatings; (4) abnormally close proximity of the Palau and Yap islands to the trench axis; (5) predominant distribution of barrier reefs in their western periphery apparently opposite to the easterly to northeasterly prevailing wind.

  8. Alternative Trench Disposal Concepts

    SciTech Connect

    Wilhite, E.

    2001-09-05

    During Fiscal Year 2000, a number of activities were conducted to expand the use of trenches for disposal of low-level waste in the E-Area Low-Level Waste Facility (LLWF). This document presents a summary and interpretation of these activities in the context of future work.

  9. Stress interaction between subduction earthquakes and forearc strike-slip faults: Modeling and application to the northern Caribbean plate boundary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ten Brink, U.; Lin, J.

    2004-01-01

    Strike-slip faults in the forearc region of a subduction zone often present significant seismic hazard because of their proximity to population centers. We explore the interaction between thrust events on the subduction interface and strike-slip faults within the forearc region using three-dimensional models of static Coulomb stress change. Model results reveal that subduction earthquakes with slip vectors subparallel to the trench axis enhance the Coulomb stress on strike-slip faults adjacent to the trench but reduce the stress on faults farther back in the forearc region. In contrast, subduction events with slip vectors perpendicular to the trench axis enhance the Coulomb stress on strike-slip faults farther back in the forearc, while reducing the stress adjacent to the trench. A significant contribution to Coulomb stress increase on strike-slip faults in the back region of the forearc comes from "unclamping" of the fault, i.e., reduction in normal stress due to thrust motion on the subduction interface. We argue that although Coulomb stress changes from individual subduction earthquakes are ephemeral, their cumulative effects on the pattern of lithosphere deformation in the forearc region are significant. We use the Coulomb stress models to explain the contrasting deformation pattern between two adjacent segments of the Caribbean subduction zone. Subduction earthquakes with slip vectors nearly perpendicular to the Caribbean trench axis is dominant in the Hispaniola segment, where the strike-slip faults are more than 60 km inland from the trench. In contrast, subduction slip motion is nearly parallel to the Caribbean trench axis along the Puerto Rico segment, where the strike-slip fault is less than 15 km from the trench. This observed jump from a strike-slip fault close to the trench axis in the Puerto Rico segment to the inland faults in Hispaniola is explained by different distributions of Coulomb stress in the forearc region of the two segments, as a result

  10. 4-D Subduction Models Incorporating an Upper Plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stegman, D.; Capitanio, F. A.; Moresi, L.; Mueller, D.; Clark, S.

    2007-12-01

    Thus far, relatively simplistic models of free subduction have been employed in which the trench and plate kinematics are emergent features completely driven by the negative buoyancy of the slab. This has allowed us to build a fundamental understanding of subduction processes such as the kinematics of subduction zones, the strength of slabs, and mantle flow-plate coupling. Additionaly, these efforts have helped to develop appreciable insight into subduction processes when considering the energetics of subduction, in particular how energy is dissipated in various parts of the system such as generating mantle flow and bending the plate. We are now in a position to build upon this knowledge and shift our focus towards the dynamic controls of deformation in the upper plate (vertical motions, extension, shortening, and dynamic topography). Here, the state of stress in the overriding plate is the product of the delicate balance of large tectonic forces in a highly-coupled system, and must therefore include all components of the system: the subducting plate, the overriding plate, and the underlying mantle flow which couples everything together. We will present some initial results of the fully dynamic 3-D models of free subduction which incorporate an overriding plate and systematically investigate how variations in the style and strength of subduction are expressed by the tectonics of the overriding plate. Deformation is driven in the overriding plate by the forces generated from the subducting plate and the type of boundary condition on the non-subducting side of the overriding plate (either fixed or free). Ultimately, these new models will help to address a range of issues: how the overriding plate influences the plate and trench kinematics; the formation and evolution of back-arc basins; the variation of tractions on the base of the overriding plate; the nature of forces which drive plates; and the dynamics controls on seismic coupling at the plate boundary.

  11. Trench migration, net rotation and slab mantle coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funiciello, F.; Faccenna, C.; Heuret, A.; Lallemand, S.; Di Giuseppe, E.; Becker, T. W.

    2008-07-01

    Laboratory models have been conducted to improve our understanding of the role that the resistance of the slab to bending and its coupling to the ambient mantle play in subduction dynamics over geological time scales. Our models are set up with a viscous plate of silicone (lithosphere) subducting under negative buoyancy in a viscous layer of glucose syrup (mantle). For our study, the lithosphere/upper mantle viscosity contrast has been systematically varied, from ~ 10 to ~ 10 5 in order to explore the parameter space between weak and strong slab dynamics. We found that subduction is characterized by a retreating mode for viscosity ratios > 10 4, by the coexistence of a retreating mode and an advancing mode for viscosity ratios between ~ 10 4 and ~ 10 2, and quasi-stationary, Rayleigh-Taylor like behaviour for ratios < 10 2. By combining our experimental results and kinematic data from current subduction zones in four reference frames which differ in the amount of net rotation, we infer that a lithosphere/upper mantle viscosity contrast of 150-500 is necessary to obtain realistic trench/subducting plate velocity ratios as well as the variability of subduction styles observed in nature.

  12. Trench-parallel anisotropy produced by foundering of arc lower crust.

    PubMed

    Behn, Mark D; Hirth, Greg; Kelemen, Peter B

    2007-07-01

    Many volcanic arcs display fast seismic shear-wave velocities parallel to the strike of the trench. This pattern of anisotropy is inconsistent with simple models of corner flow in the mantle wedge. Although several models, including slab rollback, oblique subduction, and deformation of water-rich olivine, have been proposed to explain trench-parallel anisotropy, none of these mechanisms are consistent with all observations. Instead, small-scale convection driven by the foundering of dense arc lower crust provides an explanation for the trench-parallel anisotropy, even in settings with orthogonal convergence and no slab rollback. PMID:17615354

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-15

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

  14. 3D Numerical simulations of oblique subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malatesta, C.; Gerya, T.; Scambelluri, M.; Crispini, L.; Federico, L.; Capponi, G.

    2012-04-01

    In the past 2D numerical studies (e.g. Gerya et al., 2002; Gorczyk et al., 2007; Malatesta et al., 2012) provided evidence that during intraoceanic subduction a serpentinite channel forms above the downgoing plate. This channel forms as a result of hydration of the mantle wedge by uprising slab-fluids. Rocks buried at high depths are finally exhumed within this buoyant low-viscosity medium. Convergence rate in these 2D models was described by a trench-normal component of velocity. Several present and past subduction zones worldwide are however driven by oblique convergence between the plates, where trench-normal motion of the subducting slab is coupled with trench-parallel displacement of the plates. Can the exhumation mechanism and the exhumation rates of high-pressure rocks be affected by the shear component of subduction? And how uprise of these rocks can vary along the plate margin? We tried to address these questions performing 3D numerical models that simulate an intraoceanic oblique subduction. The models are based on thermo-mechanical equations that are solved with finite differences method and marker-in-cell techniques combined with multigrid approach (Gerya, 2010). In most of the models a narrow oceanic basin (500 km-wide) surrounded by continental margins is depicted. The basin is floored by either layered or heterogeneous oceanic lithosphere with gabbro as discrete bodies in serpentinized peridotite and a basaltic layer on the top. A weak zone in the mantle is prescribed to control the location of subduction initiation and therefore the plate margins geometry. Finally, addition of a third dimension in the simulations allowed us to test the role of different plate margin geometries on oblique subduction dynamics. In particular in each model we modified the dip angle of the weak zone and its "lateral" geometry (e.g. continuous, segmented). We consider "continuous" weak zones either parallel or increasingly moving away from the continental margins

  15. A runaway slip to the trench due to breaking through abnormally pressurized megathrust under the middle trench slope - The tsunamigenesis of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake -

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, G.; Hina, S.; Hamada, Y.; Kameda, J.; Tsuji, T.; Kinoshita, M.; Yamaguchi, A.

    2011-12-01

    The rupture and slip by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake on March 11 along the plate boundary megathrust propagated upward, broke through the ordinal up-dip limit of the seismogenic zone at a depth of ~15 km, and reached the trench. The extremely large tsumani caused by rapid uplift of the middle to lower slope more than 10 m took place at ~60s after the rise of the earthquake as a result of the runaway slip along the megathrust more than a few tens of meters The 2011 Tohoku earthquake is examined from the point of view of the structure of the forearc before the earthquake, the reflection property of the megathrust around the ordinal up-dip limit of the seismogenic zone, thermal state of the shallow portion of subduction zone, and dehydration process of underthrust sediment. The Pacific plate subducts westward at a dip angle of 4.6°. Middle and lower slopes dip eastward at angles of ~2.5° and ~8.0°, respectively. The prisms beneath the middle and lower slopes are inferred to be under extenionally and compressively critical states, respectively because of clear internal deformation features and aftershock earthquakes. Rapid uplift causing the tsunami during the 2011 earthquake might have associated with the internal deformation of the prism. The critical states of the prisms suggest that effective basal frictions of the plate boundary megathrust might be μb'<0,03 for the middle prism and μb'>0.08 for the lower prism. The megathrust under the middle slope is characterized by a reflector with negative polarity, of which amplitude increases landward. Such seismic character suggests that the megathrust includes abnormally pressurized fluid. Underthrust sediments in this part of the Japan Trench are dominated by pelagic and siliceous diatomaceous silt with clay. Dehydration kinetics of Opal A to quartz, clay transformation of smectite-illite, and thermal condition suggests that maximum dehydration from the sediments would take place from ~50 km to 60 km from the

  16. The Pliny-Strabo trench region: A large shear zone resulting from slab tearing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Özbakır, Ali D.; Şengör, A. M. C.; Wortel, M. J. R.; Govers, R.

    2013-08-01

    The eastern part of the Hellenic subduction zone is composed of the Pliny and Strabo "trenches" that have been regarded as a zone of convergence between the subducting African lithosphere and the overriding Anatolian-Aegean plate. In the Pliny and Strabo "trenches", the oblique relative plate motion is generally thought to be accommodated by a typical strain partitioning consisting of strike-slip and convergence components. Notwithstanding the occurrence of strike-slip motion parallel with the Pliny-Strabo "trenches", trench-normal thrusting is not observed so far. Therefore, we conducted a detailed analysis to investigate the deformation mechanisms of the eastern part of the Hellenic Trench system. Our analyses of offshore faulting and mechanisms of earthquakes in the overriding Aegean lithosphere show that the region of the Pliny and Strabo "trenches" obeys the mechanics of the sinistral shear zone model of Tchalenko (1970). We propose that the trench perpendicular convergence is taken up by the Rhodes fold and thrust belt, which has been postulated off the southeast coast of Rhodes. Several regional P-wave tomography results give indications of a slow seismic anomaly under this zone, which is interpreted as a tear between the Hellenic and Cyprus subduction zones. The primary reason for such tear and its propagation is the ongoing rollback of the subducted part of the African lithosphere, also referred to as "the Aegean slab". Our work elucidates the surface expression of this tearing process in the form of the development of a shear zone between the Aegean lithosphere in the NW and the African lithosphere in the SE, the Pliny-Strabo Shear Zone.

  17. Seismic anisotropy and texture development during early stages of subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Leo, Jeanette; Walker, Andrew; Li, Zhong-Hai; Wookey, James; Ribe, Neil; Kendall, J.-Michael; Tommasi, Andréa

    2014-05-01

    Shear wave splitting measurements are frequently used to infer upper mantle flow trajectory, based on the fact that, under strain, olivine develops lattice-preferred orientation (LPO) textures in the convecting mantle. However, such inferences ought to be made carefully, since the relationship between splitting fast polarisation and olivine LPO depends on several factors, one of them being the deformation history of the volume of mantle in question. This is especially the case in regions such as subduction zones, where complex and time-dependent mantle flow occurs. Here, we present an integrated model to simulate strain-history-dependent LPO development and measure the resulting shear wave splitting in a subduction setting. We do this for a subduction model that approximates the geometry of the double-sided Molucca Sea subduction system in eastern Indonesia. We test a single-sided and a double-sided subduction case, and compare the results to shear wave splitting observations of this region. Since the subduction zone is fairly young, early textures from the slab's descent from the near-surface to the bottom of the mantle transition zone - which we simulate in our models - have not yet been overprinted by subsequent continuous flow. It further allows us to test the significance of the double-sided geometry, i.e., the need for a rear barrier to achieve trench-parallel sub-slab mantle flow. We simulate olivine LPO evolution in polycrystalline aggregates as they move and deform along pathlines extracted from a 3-D mantle flow model. Interactions between crystals are described using the visco-plastic self-consistent (VPSC) approach. Unlike previous studies, we consider the entire subduction history from subduction initiation onwards. After calculating elastic properties associated with LPO textures, we estimate the resulting splitting parameters (fast direction φ, delay time δt) for synthetic SKS phases. Our models demonstrate that complex, backazimuth

  18. Phoenix's La Mancha Trench

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This false color image, taken by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager, was taken on the 131st Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Oct. 7, 2008). The image shows color variations of the trench, informally named 'La Mancha,' and reveals the ice layer beneath the soil surface. The trench's depth is about 5 centimeters deep.

    The color outline of the shadow at the bottom of the image is a result of sun movement with the combined use of infrared, green, and blue filters.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  19. Signatures of downgoing plate-buoyancy driven subduction in Cenozoic plate motions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goes, S.; Capitanio, F. A.; Morra, G.; Seton, M.; Giardini, D.

    2011-01-01

    The dynamics of plate tectonics are strongly related to those of subduction. To obtain a better understanding of the driving forces of subduction, we compare relations between Cenozoic subduction motions at major trenches with the trends expected for the simplest form of subduction. i.e., free subduction, driven solely by the buoyancy of the downgoing plate. In models with an Earth-like plate stiffness (corresponding to a plate-mantle viscosity contrast of 2-3 orders of magnitude), free plates subduct by a combination of downgoing plate motion and trench retreat, while the slab is draped and folded on top of the upper-lower mantle viscosity transition. In these models, the slabs sink according to their Stokes' velocities. Observed downgoing-plate motion-plate-age trends are compatible with >80% of the Cenozoic slabs sinking according to their upper-mantle Stokes' velocity, i.e., subducting-plate motion is largely driven by upper-mantle slab pull. Only in a few cases, do young plates move at velocities that require a higher driving force (possibly supplied by lower-mantle-slab induced flow). About 80% of the Cenozoic trenches retreat, with retreat accounting for about 10% of the total convergence. The few advancing trench sections are likely affected by regional factors. The low trench motions are likely encouraged by low asthenospheric drag (equivalent to that for effective asthenospheric viscosity 2-3 orders below the upper-mantle average), and low lithospheric strength (effective bending viscosity ˜2 orders of magnitude above the upper-mantle average). Total Cenozoic trench motions are often very oblique to the direction of downgoing-plate motion (mean angle of 73°). This indicates that other forces than slab buoyancy exert the main control on upper-plate/trench motion. However, the component of trench retreat in the direction of downgoing plate motion (≈ slab pull) correlates with downgoing-plate motion, and this component of retreat generally does not

  20. Precise hypocenter distribution and earthquake generating and stress in and around the upper-plane seismic belt in the subducting Pacific slab beneath NE Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kita, S.; Okada, T.; Nakajima, J.; Matsuzawa, T.; Uchida, N.; Hasegawa, A.

    2007-12-01

    1. Introduction We found an intraslab seismic belt (upper-plane seismic belt) in the upper plane of the double seismic zone within the Pacific slab, running interface at depths of 70-100km beneath the forearc area. The location of the deeper limits of this belt appears to correspond to one of the facies boundaries (from jadeite lawsonite blueschist to lawsonite amphibole eclogite) in the oceanic crust [Kita et al., 2006, GRL]. In this study, we precisely relocated intraslab earthquakes by using travel time differences calculated by the waveform cross-spectrum analysis to obtain more detailed distribution of the upper plane-seismic belt within the Pacific slab beneath NE Japan. We also discuss the stress field in the slab by examining focal mechanisms of the earthquakes. 2. Data and Method We relocated events at depths of 50-00 km for the period from March 2003 to November 2006 from the JMA earthquake catalog. We applied the double-difference hypocenter location method (DDLM) by Waldhauser and Ellsworth (2000) to the arrival time data of the events. We use relative earthquake arrival times determined both by the waveform cross-spectrum analysis and by the catalog-picking data. We also determine focal mechanisms using the P wave polarity. 3. Spatial distribution of relocated hypocenters In the upper portion of the slab crust, seismicity is very active and distributed relatively homogeneously at depths of about 70-100km parallel to the volcanic front, where the upper-plane seismic belt has been found. In the lower portion of slab crust and/or the uppermost portion of the slab mantle, seismicity is spatially very limited to some small areas (each size is about 20 x 20km) at depths around 65km. Two of them correspond to the aftershock area of the 2003 Miyagi (M7.1) intraslab earthquake and that of the 1987 Iwaizumi (M6.6) intraslab earthquake, respectively. Based on the dehydration embrittelment hypothesis, the difference of the spatial distribution of the seismicity in

  1. Extensional Failure of "Pre-Stressed" Lithosphere Above a Subduction Zone May Have Contributed to the Size of the Tohoku-Oki Earthquake and Tsunami

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buck, W. R.; Lavier, L. L.; Petersen, K. D.

    2015-12-01

    The Tohoku-oki earthquake was not only the costliest natural disaster in history it was the best monitored. The unprecedented data set showed that anomalously large lateral motion of the seafloor near the trench contributed to the size of the tsunami. Also, for the first time it was shown that a large subduction earthquake was followed by extensional aftershocks in a broad region of the upper plate (up to 250 km from the Japan Trench). Several observations suggest that the near-trench seafloor motion and the extensional aftershocks are linked. For example, a seismically imaged fault, just landward of the region of large seafloor motion, slipped in a normal sense during the earthquake. Also, inspired by the Tohoku data, researchers have searched for and found upper plate extensional aftershocks associated with several other subduction earthquakes that produced large tsunami. Extension of the upper plate can be driven by a reduction in the dip of a subducting slab. Such a dip change is suggested by the post-Miocene westward migration of the volcanic arc in Honshu. Numerical models show that a long-term reduction in slab dip can generate enough extensional stress to cause normal faulting over a broad region of the upper plate. The time step of the numerical model is then reduced to treat the inter-seismic time scale of 100-1000 years, when the subduction interface is locked. The interface dip continues to be reduced during the inter-seismic period, but extensional fault slip is suppressed by the relative compression of the upper plate caused by continued convergence. The relief of compressional stresses during dynamic weakening of the megathrust triggers a release of bending-related extensional strain energy. This extensional yielding can add significantly to the co-seismic radiated seismic energy and seafloor deformation. This mechanism is analogous to the breaking of a pre-stressed concrete beam supporting a bending moment when the compressional pre-stress is

  2. Estimation of Interplate Coupling in the Central and Eastern of Java trench from CGPS Observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irwan, Meilano; Endra, Gunawan; Susilo, Susilo; Joni, Effendi; Hasanuddin Z., Abidin; Dina, Sarsito

    2015-04-01

    We used three-component surface velocities in the Central and Eastern Java to estimate plate coupling on the subduction interface at the Java subduction zone. The observation period starting from 2009 to 2013 with more than 40 CGPS observation stations. The results show a heterogeneous distribution of interplate coupling from Central to the East of Java trench. Strong coupling at a depth of 10-30 km with rate 3-4 cm/yr is estimated at the south of East Java. The downdip limits of the coupled areas is estimated at 50km. This slip deficit on subduction interface has important implication for seismic hazard of Java Island.

  3. Control of slab width on subduction-induced upper mantle flow and associated upwellings: Insights from analog models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strak, Vincent; Schellart, Wouter P.

    2016-06-01

    The impact of slab width W (i.e., trench-parallel extent) on subduction-induced upper mantle flow remains uncertain. We present a series of free subduction analog models where W was systematically varied to upscaled values of 250-3600 km to investigate its effect on subducting plate kinematics and upper mantle return flow around the lateral slab edges. We particularly focused on the upwelling component of mantle flow, which might promote decompression melting and could thereby produce intraplate volcanism. The models show that W has a strong control on trench curvature and on the trench retreat, subducting plate, and subduction velocities, generally in good agreement with previous modeling studies. Upper mantle flow velocity maps produced by means of a stereoscopic particle image velocimetry technique indicate that the magnitude of the subduction-induced mantle flow around the lateral slab edges correlates positively with the product of W and trench retreat velocity. For all models an important upwelling component is always produced close to the lateral slab edges, with higher magnitudes for wider slabs. The trench-parallel lateral extent of this upwelling component is the same irrespective of W, but its maximum magnitude gets located closer to the subducting plate in the trench-normal direction and it is more focused when W increases. For W ≤ 2000 km the upwelling occurs laterally (in the trench-parallel direction) next to the subslab domain and the mantle wedge domain, while for W ≥ 2000 km it is located only next to the subslab domain and focuses closer to the trench tip, because of stronger poloidal flow in the mantle wedge extending laterally.

  4. Propagation of the 2001-2002 silent earthquake and interplate coupling in the Oaxaca subduction zone, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franco, S. I.; Kostoglodov, V.; Larson, K. M.; Manea, V. C.; Manea, M.; Santiago, J. A.

    2005-10-01

    The aseismic slow slip event of 2001-2002 in Guerrero, Mexico, with an equivalent magnitude MW ~ 7.5, is the largest silent earthquake (SQ) among many recently recorded by GPS in different subduction zones (i.e. Japan, Alaska, Cascadia, New Zealand). The sub-horizontal and shallow plate interface in Central Mexico is responsible for specific conditions for the ~100 km long extended transient zone where the SQs develop from ~80 to ~190 km inland from the trench. This wide transient zone and relatively large slow slips of 10 to 20 cm displacements on the subduction fault result in noticeable surface displacements of 5-6 cm during the SQs. Continuous GPS stations allow one to trace the propagation of SQs, and to estimate their arrival time, duration and geometric attenuation. These propagation parameters must be accounted in order to locate source of slow slips events and to understand the triggering effect that they have on large subduction earthquakes. We use long-baseline tiltmeter data to define new time limits (onset and duration) for the SQs and continuous records from 8 GPS stations to determine the propagation of the 2001-2002 SQ in Central Mexico. Data from the CAYA and IGUA GPS stations, separated by ~170 km and located along the profile perpendicular to the trench, are used to determine that the surface deformation from the 2001-2002 SQ started almost instantaneously. It propagated parallel to the coast at ~2 km/day with an exponential attenuation of the horizontal surface displacement and a linear decrease of its duration with distance. Campaign data obtained yearly from 2001 to 2005 at the Oaxaca GPS network have been modeled according to a propagation of the 2001-2002 SQ step-like displacement anomaly. This modeling shows that the SQ ceased gradually in the central part of the Oaxaca segment of the subduction zone (west of Puerto Angel, PUAN) and then it apparently triggered another SQ in SE Oaxaca (between PUAN and Salina Cruz, SACR). The estimated

  5. Lattice-Preferred orientations of olivine in subducting oceanic lithosphere derived from the observed seismic anisotropies in double seismic zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Peng; Wei, Dongping; Zhang, Keliang; Sun, Zhentian; Zhou, Xiaoya

    2016-08-01

    Subduction zones can generally be classified into Mariana type and Chilean type depending on plate ages, plate thicknesses, subduction angles, back-arc deformation patterns, etc. The double seismic zones (DSZs) in subduction zones are mainly divided into type I and type II which, respectively, correspond to the Mariana type and Chilean type in most cases. Seismic anisotropy is an important parameter characterizing the geophysical features of the lithosphere, including the subduction zones, and can be described by the two parameters of delay time δt and fast wave polarization direction ϕ. We totally collected 524 seismic anisotropy data records from 24 DSZs and analyzed the statistical correlations between seismic anisotropy and the related physical parameters of DSZs. Our statistical analysis demonstrated that the fast wave polarization directions are parallel to the trench strike with no more than 30° for most type I DSZs, while being nearly perpendicular to the trench strike for type II DSZs. We also calculated roughly linear correlations that the delay time δt increases with dip angles but decreases with subduction rates. A linear equation was summarized to describe the strong correlation between DSZ's subduction angle α DSZ and seismic anisotropy in subduction zones. These results suggest that the anisotropic structure of the subducting lithosphere can be described as a possible equivalent crystal similar to the olivine crystal with three mutually orthogonal polarization axes, of which the longest and the second axes are nearly along the trench-perpendicular and trench-parallel directions, respectively.

  6. Structure and hydration of the subducting plate offshore Nicaragua

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivandic, M.; Grevemeyer, I.; Flueh, E. R.; McIntosh, K.

    2006-12-01

    In summer 2003 a seismic pilot experiment was conducted offshore Nicaragua across the Middle American Trench, where the Cocos plate subducts under the Caribbean plate, in order to investigate the influence of subduction related bend-faulting on the hydration and serpentinization of the incoming lithosphere. Seismic wide-angle data were collected along a transect which extends from the outer rise region not yet affected by subduction into the trench northwest of Nicoya Penninsula, in the region cut by normal faults. A tomographic inversion of the P-wave velocities reveals an anomalously low seismic velocity zone in the lower crust and uppermost mantle at the trench. Crustal velocities are reduced by 0.2-0.5 km/s compared to normal mature oceanic crust. Seismic velocities of the uppermost mantle are 7.6-7.8 km/s, what is 5-7 % lower than the typical velocity of mantle peridotites. These systematic changes in P-wave velocity from the outer rise towards the trench axis indicate an evolutionary process that is consistent with percolation of seawater through the faulted and fractured litosphere and serpentinization of mantle peridotites.

  7. Evolution of texture and seismic anisotropy during subduction (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Shear wave splitting fast directions are routinely used to infer upper mantle flow direction, based on the premise that olivine develops strain-induced lattice-preferred orientation (LPO) textures in the convecting mantle. However, such inferences ought to be made with caution, since the relationship between olivine LPO and splitting fast direction depends on many factors, including the entire deformation history of the volume of mantle in question. This is especially the case in regions where complex time-dependent mantle flow is expected, such as subduction zones. Here, we present an integrated model to simulate strain-history-dependent LPO development and estimate the resulting shear wave splitting in a subduction setting. We do this for a mantle flow model that approximates the geometry of the double-sided Molucca Sea subduction system in Eastern Indonesia. We test a single-sided and a double-sided subduction case, and compare the results to recent shear wave splitting measurements of this region by Di Leo et al. (2012). As the subduction system is fairly young, early textures from the slab's descent from the near-surface to the bottom of the mantle transition zone (which we are able to simulate in our models) have not yet been overprinted by subsequent continuous steady-state flow. It also allows us to test the significance of the double-sided geometry, or, more generally, the need for a rear barrier to achieve trench-parallel sub-slab mantle flow. We simulate olivine LPO evolution caused by deformation of polycrystalline aggregates as they deform and move along pathlines extracted from a 3-D mantle flow model. Interactions between crystals are described using the visco-plastic self-consistent (VPSC) approach. Unlike previous studies, we consider the entire subduction history from subduction initiation onwards. After calculating elastic properties associated with LPO at multiple depths, we estimate the resulting splitting parameters (fast direction φ, delay

  8. Water-rich bending faults at the Middle America Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naif, Samer; Key, Kerry; Constable, Steven; Evans, Rob L.

    2015-09-01

    The portion of the Central American margin that encompasses Nicaragua is considered to represent an end-member system where multiple lines of evidence point to a substantial flux of subducted fluids. The seafloor spreading fabric of the incoming Cocos plate is oriented parallel to the trench such that flexural bending at the outer rise optimally reactivates a dense network of normal faults that extend several kilometers into the upper mantle. Bending faults are thought to provide fluid pathways that lead to serpentinization of the upper mantle. While geophysical anomalies detected beneath the outer rise have been interpreted as broad crustal and upper mantle hydration, no observational evidence exists to confirm that bending faults behave as fluid pathways. Here we use seafloor electromagnetic data collected across the Middle America Trench (MAT) offshore of Nicaragua to create a comprehensive electrical resistivity image that illuminates the infiltration of seawater along bending faults. We quantify porosity from the resistivity with Archie's law and find that our estimates for the abyssal plain oceanic crust are in good agreement with independent observations. As the Cocos crust traverses the outer rise, the porosity of the dikes and gabbros progressively increase from 2.7% and 0.7% to 4.8% and 1.7%, peaking within 20 km of the trench axis. We conclude that the intrusive crust subducts twice as much pore water as previously thought, significantly raising the flux of fluid to the seismogenic zone and the mantle wedge.

  9. Oceanic plate weakened by flexural bending-induced faulting in the outer rise region of the Mariana subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, F.; Lin, J.; Zhan, W.

    2013-12-01

    Strong flexural bending near trenches could significantly weaken oceanic plates through development of trench-parallel extensional normal faults. We assessed the oceanic plate weakening near the outer rise region of the Mariana subduction zone by analyzing and modeling the plate deformation caused by flexural bending. We first obtained a 3-D deformation surface of the subducting plate by removing from seafloor bathymetry the topographic effects of sediments, seamounts, and age-related thermal subsidence. We then calculated theoretical models of plate deformation and inverted for along-trench changes in the vertical force and bending moment at the trench axis, as well as spatial variations in the effective elastic thickness of the subducting plate, that best explain the observations. We found that to replicate simultaneously the observed steep slope of the seafloor near the trench axis and the long-wavelength flexural profiles seaward of the outer rise region, the effective elastic thickness of the plate must change significantly. The best-fitting models reveal that the effective elastic thickness is about 45-55 km seaward of the outer rise (TeMax), but is reduced to only 19-40 km trench-ward of the outer rise region (TeMin); the transition from TeMax to TeMin occurs at Xr =70-120 km away from the trench axis. The resultant reduction in the calculated effective elastic thickness, i.e., 1 - (TeMin /TeMax), is in the range of 20-60%, being the greatest near the Challenger Deep area, where the plate deforms significantly within a narrow distance from the trench axis and the trench axis is the deepest. Our results revealed that reduction in Te along the Mariana trench does not exceed 60%, implying that an elastic core remains in the subducting plate despite pervasive faulting caused by flexural bending near the trench axis.

  10. Collapse of the northern Jalisco continental slope:Subduction erosion, forearc slivering, or subduction beneath the Tres Marias escarpment?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bandy, W. L.; Mortera-Gutierrez, C. A.; Ortiz-Zamora, G.; Ortega-Ramirez, J.; Galindo Dominguez, R. E.; Ponce-Núñez, F.; Pérez-Calderón, D.; Rufino-Contreras, I.; Valle-Hernández, S.; Pérez-González, E.

    2010-12-01

    The Jalisco subduction zone exhibits several interesting characteristics. Among these is that convergence between the Rivera and North American plate is highly oblique, especially north of 20N, the obliquity progressively increasing to the NW. By analogy to other better studied subduction zones, this distribution of forces should produce a NW-SE extension in the overriding plate, especially north of 20N. This has led to the proposal that the trench perpendicular Bahia de Banderas is an expression of this extension [Kostoglodov and Bandy, JGR, vol. 100, 1995]. To further investigate this proposal, multibeam bathymetric data and seafloor backscatter images, seismic reflection sub-bottom profiles and marine magnetic data were collected during the MORTIC08 campaign of the B.O. EL PUMA in March 2009. The bathymetric data provides for 100% coverage (20 to 200 meter spacing of the actual measured depth value depending on the water depth) of the continental slope and trench areas north of 20N. These data indicate that a marked change occurs in the morphology of the continental slope at 20N. To the north the slope consists of a broad, fairly flat plain lying between a steep lower inner trench slope to the west and a steep, concave seaward, escarpment to the east. In contrast, to the south the continental slope exhibits a more gradual deepening until the steep lower inner trench slope. A prominent submarine canyon deeply incises the continental slope between these two morphotectonic domains. This canyon appears to represent the boundary between two NW-SE diverging forearc blocks or slivers, consistent with the presence of oblique convergence. In contrast, the broad, fairly flat plain is better explained by subsidence induced by subduction erosion (i.e. erosion of the base of the overriding plate underneath the continental slope area). The shoaling of the trench axis northward towards the Puerto Vallarta Graben and subsequent deepening may be related to subduction of the

  11. New Seafloor Map of the Puerto Rico Trench Helps Assess Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ten Brink, Uri; Danforth, William; Polloni, Christopher; Andrews, Brian; Llanes, Pilar; Smith, Shepard; Parker, Eugene; Uozumi, Toshihiko

    2004-09-01

    The Puerto Rico Trench, the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean, is located where the North American (NOAM) plate is subducting under the Caribbean plate (Figure 1). The trench region may pose significant seismic and tsunami hazards to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where 4 million U.S. citizens reside. Widespread damage in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola from an earthquake in 1787 was estimated to be the result of a magnitude 8 earthquake north of the islands. A tsunami killed 40 people in NW Puerto Rico following a magnitude 7.3 earthquake in 1918. Large landslide escarpments have been mapped on the seafloor north of Puerto Rico, although their ages are unknown. The Puerto Rico Trench is atypical of oceanic trenches. Subduction is highly oblique (10°-20°) to the trench axis with a large component of left-lateral strike-slip motion. Similar convergence geometry is observed at the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, the deepest point on Earth. In addition to its extremely deep seafloor, the Puerto Rico Trench is also characterized by the most negative free-air gravity anomaly on Earth, -380 mGal, located 50 km south of the trench, where water depth is 7950 m (Figure 2). A tilted carbonate platform provides evidence for extreme vertical tectonism in the region. This platform was horizontally deposited over Cretaceous to Paleocene arc rocks starting in the Late Oligocene. Then, at 3.5 Ma, the carbonate platform was tilted by 4° toward the trench over a time period of less than 40 kyr, such that its northern edge is at a depth of 4000 m and its reconstructed elevation on land in Puerto Rico is at +1300 m (Figures 1 and 2).

  12. An ocean bottom seismometer study of shallow seismicity near the Mid- America Trench offshore Guatemala ( Pacific).

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ambos, E.L.; Hussong, D.M.; Holman, C.E.

    1985-01-01

    Five ocean bottom seismometers recorded seismicity near the Mid-America Trench offshore Guatemala for 27 days in 1979. The array was emplaced in the lower slope region, just above the topographic trench. Approximately 170 events were recorded by 3 or more seismometers, and almost half were located with statistical hypocentral errors of <10 km. Most epicenters were located immediately landward of the trench axis, and many were further confined to a zone NW of the array. In terms of depth, most events were located within the subducting Cocos plate rather than in the overlying plate or at the plate-plate boundary. Most magnitudes ranged between 3.0 and 4.0 mb, and the threshold magnitude of locatable events was about 2.8 mb. Two distinct composite focal mechanisms were determined. One appears to indicate high- angle reverse faulting in the subducting plate, in a plane parallel to trench axis strike. The other, constructed for some earthquakes in the zone NW of the array, seems to show normal faulting along possible fault planes oriented quasi-perpendicular to the trench axis. Projection of our seismicity sample and of well-located WWSSN events from 1954 to 1980 onto a plane perpendicular to the trench axis shows a distinct gap between the shallow seismicity located by our array, and the deeper Wadati-Benioff zone seismicity located by the WWSSN. We tentatively ascribe this gap to inadequate sampling.-from Authors

  13. Rollback subduction: the great killer of mantle plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Druken, K. A.; Kincaid, C. R.; Griffiths, R. W.

    2010-12-01

    Subduction driven mantle flow is shown to stall and decapitate buoyant upwellings, thereby severely limiting vertical heat and mass transport. Ongoing debate tends to focus on the expected surface expression of plumes rising independently of the background circulation, however we present 3-D laboratory results that suggest rollback subduction greatly alters this classic plume model. A Phenolic sheet and temperature dependent glucose fluid, are used to model the subducting plate and upper ~2000 km of the mantle, respectively. Experiments varied style and rate of rollback subduction as well as plume temperature and position. Results show that buoyant upwellings located as far as 1500 km behind the trench fall under two regimes, (I) plate dominated or (II) plume dominated. In either regime, down-dip sinking of the slab initially stalls vertical plume motion and the combination of down-dip sinking and trench rollback redistributes material throughout the system. Plumes with as much as 400°C excess temperature behave as passive features in the subduction-induced 3-D flow (Regime I). Less than 10% of plume material in this regime is capable of reaching zones for melt generation, with rollback subduction trapping or re-subducting the majority of plume material at depth. Only plumes of 600°C excess temperature (or more) are able to overcome the dominant 3-D flow and transport heat and mass to the surface (Regime II). Regardless of plume temperature, conduit velocities (proxy for melt generation) show cycles of high and low hotspot activity also due to distortion from subduction-induced flow. As a result of both the sinking and rollback motions, the temporal hotspot trend is variable and differs from conventional plate-conduit interaction.

  14. The subduction zone flow field from seismic anisotropy: a global view.

    PubMed

    Long, Maureen D; Silver, Paul G

    2008-01-18

    Although the morphologies of subducting slabs have been relatively well characterized, the character of the mantle flow field that accompanies subduction remains poorly understood. To analyze this pattern of flow, we compiled observations of seismic anisotropy, as manifested by shear wave splitting. Data from 13 subduction zones reveal systematic variations in both mantle-wedge and subslab anisotropy with the magnitude of trench migration velocity |V(t)|. These variations can be explained by flow along the strike of the trench induced by trench motion. This flow dominates beneath the slab, where its magnitude scales with |V(t)|. In the mantle wedge, this flow interacts with classical corner flow produced by the convergence velocity V(c); their relative influence is governed by the relative magnitude of |V(t)| and V(c). PMID:18202286

  15. Slow slip events in plate-rate laboratory experiments on samples from shallow regions of subduction megathrusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikari, M.; Ito, Y.; Ujiie, K.; Kopf, A.

    2015-12-01

    It is now recognized that slow slip events on plate-boundary fault zones occur not only downdip of the seismogenic zone, but also updip within several km from the seafloor. These shallower events are advantageous because the fault material can be sampled by drilling, and in-situ conditions can be replicated in the laboratory. We report here on results of laboratory friction experiments investigating fault zone material sampled during Ocean Drilling Program and International Ocean Drilling Program expeditions to subduction zones in Japan and Costa Rica. We employ laboratory conditions of 7-16 MPa effective stress and ~20 °C simulating ~1-2.5 km burial depth. Additionally, we shear the samples at plate convergence rates of less than 10 cm/yr. When driven at plate convergence rates, friction perturbations analogous to slow slip events are sometimes observed. In plate-boundary fault zone samples from the Tohoku region at the Japan Trench, these events exhibit stress drops of 3-7% over several hours with a maximum slip rate of 10-25 cm/yr under 7 MPa effective normal stress. Increasing the effective normal stress to 16 kPa results in a corresponding increase in stress drop up to 15% and slip rates up to 57 cm/yr, consistent with critical stiffness theory which predicts that increasing effective normal stress decreases frictional stability. A sample from the plate boundary décollement from the Costa Rica margin exhibited similar slow slip behavior, with stress drops of 3-12% and maximum slip velocities up to 16 cm/yr. This sample is described as a hemipelagic clay, whereas a sample of nannofossil chalk from the same region did not exhibit such behavior. For the Nankai Trough offshore Japan, samples from the megasplay fault zone and décollement did not exhibit the slow slip events observed in the Japan Trench and Costa Rica samples. Analyses of velocity-stepping data from these tests indicate a propensity for velocity-weakening frictional behavior at slow rates

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duretz, T.; Gerya, T. V.; Spakman, W.

    2014-03-01

    Understanding the three-dimensional (3-D) dynamics of subduction-collision systems is a longstanding challenge in geodynamics. We investigate the impact of slab detachment in collision systems that are subjected to along-trench variations. High-resolution thermomechanical numerical models, encompassing experimentally derived flow laws and a pseudo free surface, are employed to unravel lithospheric and topographic evolutions. First, we consider coeval subduction of adjacent continental and oceanic lithospheres (SCO). This configuration yields to two-stage slab detachment during collision, topographic buildup and extrusion, variable along-trench convergence rates, and associated trench deformation. The second setting considers a convergent margin, which is laterally limited by a transform boundary (STB). Such collisional system is affected by a single slab detachment, little trench deformation, and moderately confined upper plate topography. The effect of initial thermal slab age on SCO and STB models are explored. Similarities with natural analogs along the Arabia-Eurasia collision are discussed.

  17. Complex rupture processes of the Solomon Islands subduction zone earthquake and subduction controlled upper mantle structure beneath Anatolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biryol, Cemal Berk

    This dissertation explores subduction zone-related deformation both on short time scales in the form of subduction zone earthquakes and over larger time and geographical scales in the form of subduction rollback or detachment of the subducting lithosphere. The study presented here is composed of two parts. First, we analyzed the source-rupture processes of the April 1, 2007 Solomon Islands Earthquake (Mw=8.1) using a body-wave inversion technique. Our analysis indicated that the earthquake ruptured approximately 240 km of the southeast Pacific subduction zone in two sub-events. In the second part of this study, we used shear-wave splitting analysis to investigate the effects of the subducting African lithosphere on the upper-mantle flow field beneath the Anatolian Plate in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Our shear-wave splitting results are consistent with relatively uniform southwest-directed flow towards the actively southwestward-retreating Aegean slab. Based on spatial variations in observed delay times we identified varying flow speeds beneath Anatolia and we attribute this variation to the differential retreat rates of the Aegean and the Cyprean trenches. Finally, we used teleseismic P-wave travel-time tomography to image the geometry of the subducting African lithosphere beneath the Anatolia region. Our tomograms show that the subducting African lithosphere is partitioned into at least two segments along the Cyprean and the Aegean trenches. We observed a gap between the two segments through which hot asthenosphere ascends beneath the volcanic fields of western Anatolia. Our results show that the Cyprean slab is steeper than the Aegean slab. We inferred that this steep geometry, in part, controls the flow regime of asthenosphere beneath Anatolia causing variations in flow speeds inferred from shear-wave splitting analysis.

  18. Nationwide tsunami hazard assessment project in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirata, K.; Fujiwara, H.; Nakamura, H.; Osada, M.; Ohsumi, T.; Morikawa, N.; Kawai, S.; Aoi, S.; Yamamoto, N.; Matsuyama, H.; Toyama, N.; Kito, T.; Murashima, Y.; Murata, Y.; Inoue, T.; Saito, R.; Akiyama, S.; Korenaga, M.; Abe, Y.; Hashimoto, N.

    2014-12-01

    In 2012, we began a project of nationwide Probabilistic Tsunami Hazard Assessment (PTHA) in Japan to support various measures (Fujiwara et al., 2013, JpGU; Hirata et al., 2014, AOGS). The most important strategy in the nationwide PTHA is predominance of aleatory uncertainty in the assessment but use of epistemic uncertainty is limited to the minimum, because the number of all possible combinations among epistemic uncertainties diverges quickly when the number of epistemic uncertainties in the assessment increases ; we consider only a type of earthquake occurrence probability distribution as epistemic uncertainty. We briefly show outlines of the nationwide PTHA as follows; (i) we consider all possible earthquakes in the future, including those that the Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion (HERP) of Japanese Government, already assessed. (ii) We construct a set of simplified earthquake fault models, called "Characterized Earthquake Fault Models (CEFMs)", for all of the earthquakes by following prescribed rules (Toyama et al., 2014, JpGU; Korenaga et al., 2014, JpGU). (iii) For all of initial water surface distributions caused by a number of the CEFMs, we calculate tsunamis by solving a nonlinear long wave equation, using FDM, including runup calculation, over a nesting grid system with a minimum grid size of 50 meters. (iv) Finally, we integrate information about the tsunamis calculated from the numerous CEFMs to get nationwide tsunami hazard assessments. One of the most popular representations of the integrated information is a tsunami hazard curve for coastal tsunami heights, incorporating uncertainties inherent in tsunami simulation and earthquake fault slip heterogeneity (Abe et al., 2014, JpGU). We will show a PTHA along the eastern coast of Honshu, Japan, based on approximately 1,800 tsunami sources located within the subduction zone along the Japan Trench, as a prototype of the nationwide PTHA. This study is supported by part of the research

  19. Subduction and slab detachment in the Mediterranean-Carpathian region.

    PubMed

    Wortel, M J; Spakman, W

    2000-12-01

    Seismic tomography models of the three-dimensional upper mantle velocity structure of the Mediterranean-Carpathian region provide a better understanding of the lithospheric processes governing its geodynamical evolution. Slab detachment, in particular lateral migration of this process along the plate boundary, is a key element in the lithospheric dynamics of the region during the last 20 to 30 million years. It strongly affects arc and trench migration, and causes along-strike variations in vertical motions, stress fields, and magmatism. In a terminal-stage subduction zone, involving collision and suturing, slab detachment is the natural last stage in the gravitational settling of subducted lithosphere. PMID:11110653

  20. On the trade-off between seismic anisotropy and heterogeneity: Numerical simulations and application to Northeast Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Zhouchuan; Zhao, Dapeng; Liu, Xin

    2015-05-01

    P wave tomography has been recently used to study 3-D azimuthal and radial anisotropy of subduction zones and continental regions. However, the fundamental issue about the trade-off between the isotropic and anisotropic structures is still unclear. In this study, we investigate this issue systematically with comprehensive synthetic tests. Our results indicate that good ray coverage in the azimuth (for azimuthal anisotropy) and incidence (for radial anisotropy) is required for determining reliable anisotropic models. The isotropic and anisotropic structures are strongly coupled, and smearing effects are significant when the rays used in the inversion are limited in a small range of azimuth or incidence. We therefore plot ray azimuth and ray incidence ellipses at every grid nodes and propose to use the normalized length of the short axis (i.e., the ratio of the short-axis and long-axis lengths) for estimating the ray coverage quantitatively. Applying our novel approach to a large number of high-quality arrival time data of local shallow- and intermediate-depth earthquakes, we obtained new tomographic images of 3-D P wave azimuthal and radial anisotropy in Northeast Japan. Both the azimuthal and radial anisotropy results are determined reliably for the shallow parts of the study region, whereas the smearing effects are significant in the deeper part of the mantle wedge and the subducting slab. Our results show dominant trench-normal and vertical-fast anisotropy in the mantle wedge while trench-parallel and horizontal-fast anisotropy in the subducting slab, which indicates different dynamics in different domains of the subduction zone.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

    Subduction zones are complex 3-D features in which one tectonic plate sinks underneath another into the deep mantle. During subduction the overriding plate (OP) remains in physical contact with the subducting plate and stresses generated at the subduction zone interface and by mantle flow force the OP to deform. We present results of 3-D dynamic laboratory models of subduction that include an OP. We introduce new interplate materials comprising homogeneous mixtures of petrolatum and paraffin oil to achieve progressive subduction. The rheology of these mixtures is characterized by measurements using a strain rate controlled rheometer. The results show that the strength of the mixture increases with petrolatum content, which can be used as a proxy for the degree of mechanical coupling along the subduction interface. Results of subduction experiments are presented with different degrees of mechanical coupling and the influence this has on the dynamics and kinematics of subduction. The modelling results show that variations in the degree of mechanical coupling between the plates have a major impact on subduction velocities, slab geometry and the rate of OP deformation. In all experiments the OP is displaced following trench migration and experiences overall extension localized in the plate interior. This suggests that OP deformation is driven primarily by the toroidal component of subduction-related mantle return flow. The subduction rate is always very slow in experiments with medium mechanical coupling, and subduction stops prematurely in experiments with very high coupling. This implies that the shear forces along the plate interface in natural subduction zone systems must be relatively low and do not vary significantly. Otherwise a higher variability in natural subduction velocities should be observed for mature, non-perturbed subduction zones. The required low shear force is likely controlled by the rheology of highly hydrated sedimentary and basaltic rocks.

  2. Lithosphere tearing at STEP faults: response to edges of subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Govers, R.; Wortel, M. J. R.

    2005-07-01

    Slab edges are a relatively common feature in plate tectonics. Two prominent examples are the northern end of the Tonga subduction zone and the southern end of the New Hebrides subduction zone. Near such horizontal terminations of subduction trenches, ongoing tearing of oceanic lithosphere is a geometric consequence. We refer to such kinks in the plate boundary as a Subduction-Transform Edge Propagator, or STEP. Other STEPs are the north and south ends of the Lesser Antilles trench, the north end of the South Sandwich trench, the south end of the Vrancea trench, and both ends of the Calabria trench. Volcanism near STEPs is distinct from typical arc volcanism. In some cases, slab edges appear to coincide with mantle plumes. Using 3D mechanical models, we establish that STEP faults are stable plate tectonic features in most circumstances. In the (probably rare) cases that the resistance to fault propagation is high, slab break-off will occur. Relative motion along the transform segment of the plate boundary often is non-uniform, and the STEP is not a transform plate boundary in the (rigid) plate tectonics sense of the phrase. STEP propagation may result in substantial deformation, rotation, topography and sedimentary basins, with a very specific time-space evolution. Surface velocities are substantially affected by nearby STEPs.

  3. Turbidite facies in an ancient subduction complex: Torlesse terrane, New Zealand

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    MacKinnon, T.C.; Howell, D.G.

    1984-01-01

    The Torlesse terrane of New Zealand is an ancient subduction complex consisting of deformed turbidite-facies rocks. These are mainly thick-bedded sandstone (facies B and C) with subordinate mudstone (facies D and E), comparable to inner- and middle-fan deposits of a submarine fan. Strata were deposited in trench-floor and trench-slope settings that received sandy sediment from slope-cutting submarine canyons. The dominance of sandstone suggests that some mudstone may have been selectively subducted. Construction of a detailed sediment dispersal model is not possible because tectonic deformation has largely destroyed original facies relationships and paleocurrent patterns. ?? 1984 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

  4. Magnitude and location of historical earthquakes in Japan and implications for the 1855 Ansei Edo earthquake

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bakun, W.H.

    2005-01-01

    Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) intensity assignments IJMA are used to derive intensity attenuation models suitable for estimating the location and an intensity magnitude Mjma for historical earthquakes in Japan. The intensity for shallow crustal earthquakes on Honshu is equal to -1.89 + 1.42MJMA - 0.00887?? h - 1.66log??h, where MJMA is the JMA magnitude, ??h = (??2 + h2)1/2, and ?? and h are epicentral distance and focal depth (km), respectively. Four earthquakes located near the Japan Trench were used to develop a subducting plate intensity attenuation model where intensity is equal to -8.33 + 2.19MJMA -0.00550??h - 1.14 log ?? h. The IJMA assignments for the MJMA7.9 great 1923 Kanto earthquake on the Philippine Sea-Eurasian plate interface are consistent with the subducting plate model; Using the subducting plate model and 226 IJMA IV-VI assignments, the location of the intensity center is 25 km north of the epicenter, Mjma is 7.7, and MJMA is 7.3-8.0 at the 1?? confidence level. Intensity assignments and reported aftershock activity for the enigmatic 11 November 1855 Ansei Edo earthquake are consistent with an MJMA 7.2 Philippine Sea-Eurasian interplate source or Philippine Sea intraslab source at about 30 km depth. If the 1855 earthquake was a Philippine Sea-Eurasian interplate event, the intensity center was adjacent to and downdip of the rupture area of the great 1923 Kanto earthquake, suggesting that the 1855 and 1923 events ruptured adjoining sections of the Philippine Sea-Eurasian plate interface.

  5. Core-log integration for rock mechanics using borehole breakouts and rock strength experiments: Recent results from plate subduction margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, S.; Lin, W.

    2014-12-01

    Core-log integration has been applied for rock mechanics studies in scientific ocean drilling since 2007 in plate subduction margins such as Nankai Trough, Costa Rica margin, and Japan Trench. State of stress in subduction wedge is essential for controlling dynamics of plate boundary fault. One of the common methods to estimate stress state is analysis of borehole breakouts (drilling induced borehole wall compressive failures) recorded in borehole image logs to determine the maximum horizontal principal stress orientation. Borehole breakouts can also yield possible range of stress magnitude based on a rock compressive strength criterion. In this study, we constrained the stress magnitudes based on two different rock failure criteria, the Mohr-Coulomb (MC) criteria and the modified Wiebols-Cook (mWC) criteria. As the MC criterion is the same as that under unconfined compression state, only one rock parameter, unconfined compressive strength (UCS) is needed to constrain stress magnitudes. The mWC criterion needs the UCS, Poisson's ratio and internal frictional coefficient determined by triaxial compression experiments to take the intermediate principal stress effects on rock strength into consideration. We conducted various strength experiments on samples taken during IODP Expeditions 334/344 (Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project) to evaluate reliable method to estimate stress magnitudes. Our results show that the effects of the intermediate principal stress on the rock compressive failure occurred on a borehole wall is not negligible.

  6. Age spectra of detrital zircon of the Jurassic clastic rocks of the Mino-Tanba AC belt in SW Japan: Constraints to the provenance of the mid-Mesozoic trench in East Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujisaki, Wataru; Isozaki, Yukio; Maki, Kenshi; Sakata, Shuhei; Hirata, Takafumi; Maruyama, Shigenori

    2014-07-01

    U-Pb ages of detrital zircon grains were determined from an upper Middle Jurassic siliceous mudstone and two lower Upper Jurassic sandstones of the Mino-Tanba belt, Southwest Japan, by Laser-ablation ICPMS. The age spectra of detrital zircon grains of the three analyzed samples show multiple age clusters: 175-198 Ma (Early Jurassic), 202-284 Ma (Permian to Triassic), 336-431 Ma (Silurian to Carboniferous), and 1691-2657 Ma (Neoarchean to Paleoproterozoic). As per the Precambrian grains, the prominent peak exists around 1800-2000 Ma in all analyzed samples. The age clusters of 175-198 Ma, 202-284 Ma, and 336-431 Ma suggest that pre-Middle Jurassic Japan has exposed older granitic batholiths. The corresponding batholiths occur in the Cathaysian part of South China block. In contrast, the absence of them in modern Japan suggests that these batholiths were totally consumed by post-Jurassic tectonic erosion. The Neoarchean to Paleoproterozoic detrital zircon grains were derived from South China, North China, or possibly both of them; nonetheless, the circumstantial geologic lines of evidence point to South China, in particular to Cathaysia, rather than North China.

  7. Variations in normal faulting and plate deformation along the Mariana trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Z.; Lin, J.

    2015-12-01

    We investigate variations in normal faulting along the Mariana trench through analyzing deformation of the subducting Pacific plate and geodynamic modeling. Detailed investigation was focused on three areas where high-resolution multibeam bathymetry data are available: the Southern (S) region at 140.8-144°E; the Central (C) region at 14.7-16.8°N; and the Northern (N) region at 18-21.2°N. In each of the study regions, we analyzed seafloor normal faults and calculated the statistics of fault parameters including strike, throw, density, and location relative to the trench axis. Our analysis revealed several key constraints: (1) Most of the normal faults are sub-parallel to the local strike of the trench axis, indicating that the normal faults were initiated by bending stresses in the subducting plate and not by pre-existing seafloor abyssal tectonic fabrics. (2) The normal faults were likely initiated within the outer rise region and reached maximum throw toward the trench. (3) The S-region has the largest trench relief (average of ~6 km) as well as the largest fault throw (maximum throw reached ~320 m when averaged over 5 km of trench-perpendicular profiles). In contrast, the N-region has much smaller trench relief (~2 km) and smaller fault throw (maximum fault throw reached only ~180 m). We then modeled the subducting plate as an elasto-plastic slab subjected to tectonic forcing at the trench axis, including vertical load (V0), bending moment (M0), and horizontal tensional force (F0). Using the above observations as constraints, modeling revealed the following key results: (1) The best-fitting solutions for the S-region are V0 = 5.8 x 1012 N/m, M0 = 9.6 x 1016 N, and F0 = 3.6 x 1012 N/m, yielding the horizontal extensional force to vertical loading ratio F0/V0 = 62%. (2) The best-fitting V0 for the N- and C-regions are about 33% and 41% that of the S-region. Meanwhile, the best-fitting M0 for the N- and C-regions are about 80% and 60% that of the S-region. (3

  8. 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

  9. Supraslab earthquakes above the Pacific-plate slab offshore Sanriku, NE Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uchida, N.; Kirby, S. H.; Okada, T.; Hino, R.; Hasegawa, A.

    2009-12-01

    Double-difference relocation methods using P and S wave arrivals for the forearc earthquakes offshore Sanriku indicate that clusters of earthquakes are located above small repeating earthquakes that delineate the upper boundary of the Pacific plate. To assure good depth control, we restrict our study to events that are close to seismic stations. These "supraslab" earthquake clusters are regional features at depths of 25 to 50 km. The depth distribution of forearc Moho estimated from SP converted waves from repeating earthquake sources shows that the Moho depths becomes shallower from near the coastline (-30km) to the approximate eastern limit of the mantle wedge (-20km) and most of these clusters are below the depth of the forearc Moho. Re-entrants in the inner trench slope indicate that repeated collisions of seamounts have occurred in the past along the Japan trench. Our preliminary interpretation of supraslab clusters is that they represent seismicity in seamounts detached from the Pacific plate during slab descent, driven by the resistance of seamounts to subduction caused by their relief. Detachment during descent probably occurs on the sedimented and hydrothermally altered seafloor on which seamounts were originally constructed since these are known as zones of weakness during active island growth. Seamounts probably also fragment during subduction along weak seamount structures, such as former volcanic rifts and slump-block boundaries. Seamount crust is thus accreted to forearcs, possibly leading to a long-term component of near-coastal uplift. Supraslab earthquake clusters may be our most direct evidence of the fates of seamounts and suggest that tectonic underplating is actively occurring in this subduction system.

  10. Seismic velocity structure and deformation due to the collision of the Louisville Ridge with the Tonga-Kermadec Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stratford, W.; Peirce, C.; Paulatto, M.; Funnell, M.; Watts, A. B.; Grevemeyer, I.; Bassett, D.

    2015-03-01

    New marine geophysical data recorded across the Tonga-Kermadec subduction zone are used to image deformation and seismic velocity structures of the forearc and Pacific Plate where the Louisville Ridge seamount chain subducts. Due to the obliquity of the Louisville Ridge to the trench and the fast 128 mm yr-1 south-southwest migration of the ridge-trench collision zone, post-, current and pre-seamount subduction deformation can be investigated between 23°S and 28°S. We combine our interpretations from the collision zone with previous results from the post- and pre-collision zones to define the along-arc variation in deformation due to seamount subduction. In the pre-collision zone the lower-trench slope is steep, the mid-trench slope has ˜3-km-thick stratified sediments and gravitational collapse of the trench slope is associated with basal erosion by subducting horst and graben structures on the Pacific Plate. This collapse indicates that tectonic erosion is a normal process affecting this generally sediment starved subduction system. In the collision zone the trench-slope decreases compared to the north and south, and rotation of the forearc is manifest as a steep plate boundary fault and arcward dipping sediment in a 12-km-wide, ˜2-km-deep mid-slope basin. A ˜3 km step increase in depth of the middle and lower crustal isovelocity contours below the basin indicates the extent of crustal deformation on the trench slope. At the leading edge of the overriding plate, upper crustal P-wave velocities are ˜4.0 km s-1 and indicate the trench fill material is of seamount origin. Osbourn Seamount on the outer rise has extensional faulting on its western slope and mass wasting of the seamount provides the low Vp material to the trench. In the post-collision zone to the north, the trench slope is smooth, the trench is deep, and the crystalline crust thins at the leading edge of the overriding plate where Vp is low, ˜5.5 km s-1. These

  11. Developing framework to constrain the geometry of the seismic rupture plane on subduction interfaces a priori - A probabilistic approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayes, G.P.; Wald, D.J.

    2009-01-01

    A key step in many earthquake source inversions requires knowledge of the geometry of the fault surface on which the earthquake occurred. Our knowledge of this surface is often uncertain, however, and as a result fault geometry misinterpretation can map into significant error in the final temporal and spatial slip patterns of these inversions. Relying solely on an initial hypocentre and CMT mechanism can be problematic when establishing rupture characteristics needed for rapid tsunami and ground shaking estimates. Here, we attempt to improve the quality of fast finite-fault inversion results by combining several independent and complementary data sets to more accurately constrain the geometry of the seismic rupture plane of subducting slabs. Unlike previous analyses aimed at defining the general form of the plate interface, we require mechanisms and locations of the seismicity considered in our inversions to be consistent with their occurrence on the plate interface, by limiting events to those with well-constrained depths and with CMT solutions indicative of shallow-dip thrust faulting. We construct probability density functions about each location based on formal assumptions of their depth uncertainty and use these constraints to solve for the ‘most-likely’ fault plane. Examples are shown for the trench in the source region of the Mw 8.6 Southern Sumatra earthquake of March 2005, and for the Northern Chile Trench in the source region of the November 2007 Antofagasta earthquake. We also show examples using only the historic catalogues in regions without recent great earthquakes, such as the Japan and Kamchatka Trenches. In most cases, this method produces a fault plane that is more consistent with all of the data available than is the plane implied by the initial hypocentre and CMT mechanism. Using the aggregated data sets, we have developed an algorithm to rapidly determine more accurate initial fault plane geometries for source inversions of future

  12. Arc lavas on both sides of a trench: Slab window effects at the Solomon Islands triple junction, SW Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chadwick, John; Perfit, Michael; McInnes, Brent; Kamenov, George; Plank, Terry; Jonasson, Ian; Chadwick, Claire

    2009-03-01

    The Woodlark Spreading Center (WSC) is subducted at the San Cristobal trench, forming a triple junction at the New Georgia Group (NGG) arc in the Solomon Islands. WSC lavas are N-MORB at > 100 km from the trench, but with decreasing distance they have increasingly arc-like Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic ratios, enrichments in Rb > K > Pb > Sr, and depletions in HFSE and Y. Within 50 km of the trench on the Simbo and Ghizo Ridges, many recovered samples are island arc tholeiites to medium-K calc-alkaline andesites and dacites, and many have the same or similar major and trace element and isotopic characteristics as true arc lavas in the NGG on the other side of the trench. Previous investigations have concluded that these WSC lavas are the result of relic back arc mantle enrichments resulting from subduction of the Pacific plate prior to the late Miocene at the North Solomon trench, > 200 km to the north. However, the high-silica WSC lavas are more arc-like than those recovered from other distal back arcs, and are more voluminous, forming large submarine ridges and stratovolcanoes. We suggest that true arc mantle migrates across the plate boundary from the adjacent NGG arc through slab windows created by the subduction of the WSC. This leads to variable mixing between NGG arc and WSC N-MORB end-members, forming the transitional lavas recovered from the WSC. Lavas with similar arc-like characteristics have previously been recovered on the Chile Rise near where it is subducted at the Chile Trench, raising the possibility that such mantle transfer is a common phenomenon where active spreading centers are subducted. The presence of slab windows may also be responsible for the unusual forearc volcanism in the NGG, and melting of slab window margins may account for the presence of high-silica adakite-like lavas on the WSC.

  13. Deformation Along the Western Hellenic Subduction Zone From Continuous GPS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Floyd, M. A.; Nocquet, J.; Billiris, H.; Paradissis, D.; England, P.; Parsons, B.

    2005-12-01

    In respect of the great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and subsequent tsunami of 26 December 2004, the study of coupling at subduction zones is imperative to understanding the seismic---or otherwise---hazard posed to a region. The Mediterranean Sea includes the Hellenic subduction zone, which accommodates the ~35 mm/yr of convergence between the oceanic lithosphere of the African plate and the extending continental lithosphere of the Aegean region. How the convergence is accommodated through earthquakes here remains controversial. For example, Jackson & McKenzie [1988] concluded that earthquakes can account for ~10% of the relative motion, implying that the subduction zone is in a stable-sliding state. On the contrary, Pirazzoli et al. [1982], using the Holocene geological record, inferred that large earthquakes (M>8) have occurred along the arc. In the last years, the development of permanent GPS networks near subduction zones has provided new information on the mechanisms of strain accumulation and release along the plate interface, highlighting the existence of transient slow slip events that may account for a significant part of convergence. We present results from a permanent network, in operation since early 2003, covering the western Hellenic Arc. Initial results indicate that no deformation perpendicular to the trench can be detected, supporting the hypothesis that the trench is currently in a stable-sliding state. Comparisons to 1992--2000 campaign data (McClusky et al. [2000]) indicate similar results. However, significant (~1m) extension is found in a comparison between historic triangulation and recent campaign GPS studies (Davies, et al. [1997]), averaged over 100 years, yet no significant earthquake can be invoked to explain such a large trench-perpendicular extension of the overriding plate. The existence of transient slip events elsewhere, however, presents a potential explanation for this discrepency in that the subduction zone does undergo strain

  14. Dynamic coupling of sedimentation and convergence tectonics in Peru-Chile trench and outer Andean margin

    SciTech Connect

    Kulm, L.D.; Thornburg, T.M.

    1988-02-01

    The convergence rate and sediment supply to the trench control the evolution of trench deposits as well as the subduction processes of accretion and erosion along the adjacent margin. South of 41/degrees/S latitude, where Pleistocene cordilleran glaciation was severe, turbidity current deposition and unchannelized, producing sheeted basin deposits. Between 41/degrees/S and 33/degrees/S, trench fans (/approximately/ 20 km wide) exhibit both depositional and erosional morphologies in response to dynamic tectonism within a prevailing axial gradient. An outboard axial channel transports massive quantities of remobilized sediments to the north. Subsurface lenticular bodies seen on seismic reflection profiles represent buried channel deposits. SeaMARC-II records show complex dispersal patterns and erosional features on the fans, extensional structures on the descending plate, and anastomosed accreted ridges on the inner trench wall. Lithofacies include channel (amalgamated laminated to massive sand), levee (rhythmic thin-bedded graded sand and silt), and basin (low-energy graded and laminated silt) deposits. At 33/degrees/S, San Antonio canyon feeds an axial sediment lobe at the base of a 1400-m vertical discontinuity in the subducting slab. The canyon captures littoral sands and represents the last major source of sediment supply. North of 33/degrees/S, the trench consists of small basins ponded within block-faulted depressions on the oceanic plate. Lithofacies include contourite (winnowed silt and sand laminae) and basin deposits. Large offsets in the descending plate, a steep inner trench wall and the lack of slope basins indicate the northern Chile margin is undergoing subduction erosion.

  15. 'Dodo' and 'Baby Bear' Trenches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager took this image on Sol 11 (June 5, 2008), the eleventh day after landing. It shows the trenches dug by Phoenix's Robotic Arm. The trench on the left is informally called 'Dodo' and was dug as a test. The trench on the right is informally called 'Baby Bear.' The sample dug from Baby Bear will be delivered to the Phoenix's Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA. The Baby Bear trench is 9 centimeters (3.1 inches) wide and 4 centimeters (1.6 inches) deep.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  16. Offshore double-planed shallow seismic zone in the NE Japan forearc region revealed by sP depth phases recorded by regional networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gamage, Shantha S. N.; Umino, Norihito; Hasegawa, Akira; Kirby, Stephen H.

    2009-07-01

    We detected the sP depth phase at small epicentral distances of about 150 km or more in the seismograms of shallow earthquakes in the NE Japan forearc region. The focal depths of 1078 M > 3 earthquakes that occurred from 2000 to 2006 were precisely determined using the time delay of the sP phase from the initial P-wave arrival. The distribution of relocated hypocentres clearly shows the configuration of a double-planed shallow seismic zone beneath the Pacific Ocean. The upper plane has a low dip angle near the Japan Trench, increasing gradually to ~30° at approximately 100 km landward of the Japan Trench. The lower plane is approximately parallel to the upper plane, and appears to be the near-trench counterpart of the lower plane of the double-planed deep seismic zone beneath the land area. The distance between the upper and lower planes is 28-32 km, which is approximately the same as or slightly smaller than that of the double-planed deep seismic zone beneath the land area. Focal mechanism solutions of the relocated earthquakes are determined from P-wave initial motion data. Although P-wave initial motion data for these offshore events are not ideally distributed on the focal sphere, we found that the upper-plane events that occur near the Japan Trench are characterized by normal faulting, whereas lower-plane events are characterized by thrust faulting. This focal mechanism distribution is the opposite to that of the double-planed deep seismic zone beneath the land area. The characteristics of these focal mechanisms for the shallow and deep doubled-planed seismic zones can be explained by a bending-unbending model of the subducting Pacific plate. Some of relocated earthquakes took place in the source area of the 1933 Mw8.4 Sanriku earthquake at depths of 10-23 km. The available focal mechanisms for these events are characterized by normal faulting. Given that the 1933 event was a large normal-fault event that occurred along a fault plane dipping landward, the

  17. Offshore double-planed shallow seismic zone in the NE Japan forearc region revealed by sP depth phases recorded by regional networks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gamage, S.S.N.; Umino, N.; Hasegawa, A.; Kirby, S.H.

    2009-01-01

    We detected the sP depth phase at small epicentral distances of about 150 km or more in the seismograms of shallow earthquakes in the NE Japan forearc region. The focal depths of 1078 M > 3 earthquakes that occurred from 2000 to 2006 were precisely determined using the time delay of the sP phase from the initial P-wave arrival. The distribution of relocated hypocentres clearly shows the configuration of a double-planed shallow seismic zone beneath the Pacific Ocean. The upper plane has a low dip angle near the Japan Trench, increasing gradually to ???30?? at approximately 100 km landward of the Japan Trench. The lower plane is approximately parallel to the upper plane, and appears to be the near-trench counterpart of the lower plane of the double-planed deep seismic zone beneath the land area. The distance between the upper and lower planes is 28-32 km, which is approximately the same as or slightly smaller than that of the double-planed deep seismic zone beneath the land area. Focal mechanism solutions of the relocated earthquakes are determined from P-wave initial motion data. Although P-wave initial motion data for these offshore events are not ideally distributed on the focal sphere, we found that the upper-plane events that occur near the Japan Trench are characterized by normal faulting, whereas lower-plane events are characterized by thrust faulting. This focal mechanism distribution is the opposite to that of the double-planed deep seismic zone beneath the land area. The characteristics of these focal mechanisms for the shallow and deep doubled-planed seismic zones can be explained by a bending-unbending model of the subducting Pacific plate. Some of relocated earthquakes took place in the source area of the 1933 Mw8.4 Sanriku earthquake at depths of 10-23 km. The available focal mechanisms for these events are characterized by normal faulting. Given that the 1933 event was a large normal-fault event that occurred along a fault plane dipping landward, the

  18. Velocities of Subducted Sediments and Continents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

    The growing capability to measure seismic velocities in subduction zones has led to unusual observations. For example, although most minerals have VP/ VS ratios around 1.77, ratios <1.7 and >1.8 have been observed. Here we explore the velocities of subducted sediments and continental crust from trench to sub-arc depths using two methods. (1) Mineralogy was calculated as a function of P & T for a range of subducted sediment compositions using Perple_X, and rock velocities were calculated using the methodology of Hacker & Abers [2004]. Calculated slab-top temperatures have 3 distinct depth intervals with different dP/dT gradients that are determined by how coupling between the slab and mantle wedge is modeled. These three depth intervals show concomitant changes in VP and VS: velocities initially increase with depth, then decrease beyond the modeled decoupling depth where induced flow in the wedge causes rapid heating, and increase again at depth. Subducted limestones, composed chiefly of aragonite, show monotonic increases in VP/ VS from 1.63 to 1.72. Cherts show large jumps in VP/ VS from 1.55-1.65 to 1.75 associated with the quartz-coesite transition. Terrigenous sediments dominated by quartz and mica show similar, but more-subdued, transitions from ~1.67 to 1.78. Pelagic sediments dominated by mica and clinopyroxene show near-monotonic increases in VP/ VS from 1.74 to 1.80. Subducted continental crust that is too dry to transform to high-pressure minerals has a VP/ VS ratio of 1.68-1.70. (2) Velocity anisotropy calculations were made for the same P-T dependent mineralogies using the Christoffel equation and crystal preferred orientations measured via electron-backscatter diffraction for typical constituent phases. The calculated velocity anisotropies range from 5-30%. For quartz-rich rocks, the calculated velocities show a distinct depth dependence because crystal slip systems and CPOs change with temperature. In such rocks, the fast VP direction varies from slab

  19. Deformation and topography above the lateral transition from continental to oceanic subduction in three-dimensional laboratory models: what can we learn on the Hellenic subduction?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillaume, B.; Funiciello, F.; Faccenna, C.; Husson, L.; Royden, L. H.

    2012-04-01

    We use three-dimensional dynamically self-consistent laboratory models to analyze relationships between surface evolution and deep dynamics at convergent margins. Our models are setup with a viscous plate of silicone (lithosphere) subducting under negative buoyancy in a viscous layer of glucose syrup (upper mantle). We focus on the subduction of a laterally heterogeneous lithosphere characterized by an abrupt transition of density using negatively and positively buoyant silicone to reproduce oceanic and continental subduction, respectively. We quantify and establish relationships between the subduction dynamics and resulting slab geometry, trench kinematics and pattern of horizontal/vertical deformation for both the overriding plate and the upper mantle. Assuming that our modeling results can be representative of the natural behavior of subduction zones, we compare them to the Neogene to Quaternary evolution of the Hellenic subduction zone. We more particularly focus on the deformation and topography of the Hellenic upper plate, which may have been influenced by the difference in subduction dynamics north and south of the Kephalonia Transform Zone, with a slowly subducting Adriatic continental lithosphere in the north and a rapidly subducting Ionian oceanic lithosphere in the south.

  20. On the importance of plumes to initiate subduction and plate tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davaille, Anne

    2015-04-01

    Understanding the details of plate failure and the initiation of subduction remains a challenge due to the complexity of mantle rocks. We carried out experiments on convection in aqueous colloidal dispersions heated from below, and dried and cooled from above. The rheology of these fluids depends strongly on solid particle fraction fp, being Newtonian at low fp, and presenting memory, yield stress, elasticity, and brittle properties as fp increases. Such a behaviour is analogue to the rheology of mantle rocks as temperature decreases. When drying is sufficiently rapid in the laboratory, a visco-elasto-plastic skin ("lithosphere") forms on the fluid surface. Depending on its rheology, and on the different scales of convection existing in our laboratory mantle, we observed different modes of one-sided subduction initiation. However, not all of them lead to continuous plate tectonics. If subduction is definitely a necessary condition for plate tectonics, it is not sufficient. Amongst the different modes of subduction initiation, we observed two of them where one-sided subduction was induced by the impingement of a hot plume under the skin, the trench being localized on the rim of the plume impingement zone under the lithosphere. Then depending on the lithospheric rheology, the nascent subduction can then either stop as the result of subducted plate necking, or continue to sink smoothly. Due to the brittle character of the skin, the subduction trench will never describe a complete circle, but several tears and/or transform faults will develop as subduction and roll back proceed. Inspection of the geological record on Earth suggests that such a strong association between plumes and subduction may have been instrumental in the nucleation and growth of cratons, the onset of continuous plate tectonics, and present-day initiation of subduction around some large oceanic plateaus.

  1. Subduction: The Gatekeeper for Mantle Melting.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kincaid, C. R.; Druken, K. A.; Griffiths, R. W.

    2011-12-01

    Geodynamic models are used to show the importance of subduction in controlling vertical thermal and chemical fluxes from Earth's interior to surface. In our models subduction-induced circulation produces conditions favorable to both steady-state and episodic melt production and also plays the role of gatekeeper in thwarting large scale melt production from rising plumes. We use laboratory experiments to characterize three-dimensional (3D) flow fields in convergent margins in response to a range of subduction and back-arc deformation styles, and how these flows interact with upwellings. Models utilize a glucose working fluid with a temperature dependent viscosity to represent the upper 2000 km of the mantle. Subducting lithosphere is modeled with a descending Phenolic plate and back-arc extension is produced by moving Mylar sheets. Thermal plumes are generated from a pressurized, temperature controlled source. Our results show that naturally occurring transitions from downdip- to rollback-dominated subduction produce conditions that favor both widespread decompression melting in the mantle wedge and short-lived pulses of extensive slab melting. For cases of plume-subduction interaction, 3D slab-induced flow quickly converts the active upwelling to a passive thermal anomaly that bears little to no resemblance to traditional models for plume surface expressions. Instead of rising to make LIPs with age-progressive chains, the bulk of the original plume material is trapped below depths of melt production before being re-subducted by the slab. A limited volume of this passive, former plume material is capable of surfacing. Interestingly, this is seen to occur through a range of morphologies that are consistently offset from the original rise location (e.g., conduit). Surface expressions include anything from small circular patches to long, linear features with complex age trends (e.g., progressive or regressive) resulting from the competition between plate motions and

  2. An Examination of Seismicity Linking the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neely, J. S.; Furlong, K. P.

    2015-12-01

    The Solomon Islands-Vanuatu composite subduction zone represents a tectonically complex region along the Pacific-Australia plate boundary in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Here the Australia plate subducts under the Pacific plate in two segments: the South Solomon Trench and the Vanuatu Trench. The two subducting sections are offset by a 200 km long, transform fault - the San Cristobal Trough (SCT) - which acts as a Subduction-Transform Edge Propagator (STEP) fault. The subducting segments have experienced much more frequent and larger seismic events than the STEP fault. The northern Vanuatu trench hosted a M8.0 earthquake in 2013. In 2014, at the juncture of the western terminus of the SCT and the southern South Solomon Trench, two earthquakes (M7.4 and M7.6) occurred with disparate mechanisms (dominantly thrust and strike-slip respectively), which we interpret to indicate the tearing of the Australia plate as its northern section subducts and southern section translates along the SCT. During the 2013-2014 timeframe, little seismic activity occurred along the STEP fault. However, in May 2015, three M6.8-6.9 strike-slip events occurred in rapid succession as the STEP fault ruptured east to west. These recent events share similarities with a 1993 strike-slip STEP sequence on the SCT. Analysis of the 1993 and 2015 STEP earthquake sequences provides constraints on the plate boundary geometry of this major transform fault. Preliminary research suggests that plate motion along the STEP fault is partitioned between larger east-west oriented strike-slip events and smaller north-south thrust earthquakes. Additionally, the differences in seismic activity between the subducting slabs and the STEP fault can provide insights into how stress is transferred along the plate boundary and the mechanisms by which that stress is released.

  3. Scientists Examine Challenges and Lessons From Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2011-03-01

    A week after the magnitude 9.0 great Tohoku earthquake and the resulting tragic and damaging tsunami of 11 March struck Japan, the ramifications continued, with a series of major aftershocks (as Eos went to press, there had been about 4 dozen with magnitudes greater than 6); the grim search for missing people—the death toll was expected to approximate 10,000; the urgent assistance needed for the more than 400,000 homeless and the 1 million people without water; and the frantic efforts to avert an environmental catastrophe at Japan's damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, about 225 kilometers northeast of Tokyo, where radiation was leaking. The earthquake offshore of Honshu in northeastern Japan (see Figure 1) was a plate boundary rupture along the Japan Trench subduction zone, with the source area of the earthquake estimated at 400-500 kilometers long with a maximum slip of 20 meters, determined through various means including Global Positioning System (GPS) and seismographic data, according to Kenji Satake, professor at the Earthquake Research Institute of the University of Tokyo. In some places the tsunami may have topped 7 meters—the maximum instrumental measurement at many coastal tide gauges—and some parts of the coastline may have been inundated more than 5 kilometers inland, Satake indicated. The International Tsunami Information Center (ITIC) noted that eyewitnesses reported that the highest tsunami waves were 13 meters high. Satake also noted that continuous GPS stations indicate that the coast near Sendai—which is 130 kilometers west of the earthquake and is the largest city in the Tohoku region of Honshu—moved more than 4 meters horizontally and subsided about 0.8 meter.

  4. Serpentinization in the trench-outer rise region offshore of Nicaragua: constraints from seismic refraction and wide-angle data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivandic, Monika; Grevemeyer, Ingo; Bialas, Joerg; Petersen, C. Joerg

    2010-03-01

    Recent seismic evidence suggested that most oceanic plate hydration is associated with trench-outer rise faulting prior to subduction. Hydration at trenches may have a significant impact on the subduction zone water cycle. Previous seismic experiments conducted to the northwest of Nicoya Peninsula, Northern Costa Rica, have shown that the subducting Cocos lithosphere is pervasively altered, which was interpreted to be due to both hydration (serpentinization) and fracturing of the crustal and upper-mantle rocks. New seismic wide-angle reflection and refraction data were collected along two profiles, running parallel to the Middle American trench axis offshore of central Nicaragua, revealing lateral changes of the seismic properties of the subducting lithosphere. Seismic structure along both profiles is characterized by low velocities both in the crust and upper mantle. Velocities in the uppermost mantle are found to be in the range 7.3-7.5kms-1 thus are 8-10 per cent lower than velocities typical for unaltered peridotites and hence confirm the assumption that serpentinization is a common process at the trench-outer rise area offshore of Nicaragua. In addition, a prominent velocity anomaly occurred within the crust beneath two seamounts. Here, velocity reduction may indicate increased porosity and perhaps permeability, supporting the idea that seamounts serve as sites for water percolation and circulation.

  5. Seafloor Geodesy for Approaching Great Earthquakes Around Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujita, M.; Sato, M.; Ishikawa, T.; Watanabe, S. I.; Yokota, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Seafloor geodesy has been developed as an application of space geodetic technique for the purpose of investigating geodynamic phenomena having their major information in offshore regions. One of such targets is the occurrence of disastrous earthquakes in plate subduction areas. Japan, among others, has repeatedly experienced offshore megathrust earthquakes because of its tectonic location, where multiple plates interact with each other. Most recently, an earthquake of M9.0 occurred off the Pacific coast of east Japan in 2011 with a subsequent huge tsunami, which totally devastated coastal areas and claimed nearly 20,000 lives including those still missing. We, the group of Japan Coast Guard (JCG), have developed a seafloor geodetic technique combining the GPS positioning and underwater acoustic ranging, which is able to measure the position of the seafloor reference point consisting of multiple acoustic transponders with a precision of a few centimeters. We have deployed our seafloor reference points over two regions on the Pacific side of Japan; one is the region along the Japan trench off the eastern coast where the huge 2011 event occurred and another is the region along the Nankai Trough off the southern coast where earthquakes of around M8 have repeated every 100-150 years. With these measurements, we have so far successfully obtained important results providing exclusive information for elucidating the plate boundary behavior causing huge earthquakes. In particular, in the region off east Japan, we have revealed different phases of seafloor movements during the period between several years before and after the 2011 event. They include linear intraplate movements with several centimeters per year before the event, which were the first significant offshore geodetic signals detected around Japan, as well as the coseismic displacements of unprecedentedly huge amount over 20 m close to the epicenter and subsequent postseismic movements with various characteristics

  6. The forearc extension in the Central Kuril Islands and the trench rollback

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baranov, B. V.; Lobkovsky, L. I.; Dozorova, K. A.

    2016-07-01

    On the basis of bathymetric and seismic data, obtained during cruises 37 (2005) and 41 (2006) of R/V Akademik M.A. Lavrentiev, a new structural scheme of transverse faults in the forearc of the Central Kuril Islands was compiled, the fault kinematics was studied, and a model of the extension zone in the structural pattern of the study area was proposed. According to this model, the trench rollback and development of back-arc basins resulted from the continuous supply of material into the upper mantle convection cell owing to subduction and an increase in the dynamic pressure that pushes the subducting plate, causing it to migrate toward the ocean.

  7. Multi-beam surveys of the Michelson Ridge guyots: Subduction or obduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christian Smoot, N.

    1983-12-01

    This is the first graphic presentation of the Michelson Ridge in its entirety from a total coverage, multi-beam survey. The ridge splits the Izu and Bonin Trenches, is comprised of four guyots, and is anomalous to the strike of all other ridges heretofore discovered in the Pacific Ocean. The ridge is obducting/offscraping onto the Philippine plate instead of subducting.

  8. Effect of time-evolving age and convergence rate of the subducting plate on the Cenozoic adakites and boninites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Yoon-Mi; Lee, Changyeol

    2014-12-01

    Partial melting of subducting oceanic crust expressed as high-Mg volcanic rocks such as adakites and boninites has been actively studied for decades, and Lee and King (2010) reported that time-evolving subduction parameters such as the age and the subduction rate of the converging oceanic plate play important roles in transient partial melting of the subducting oceanic crust (e.g., Aleutians). However, few subduction model experiments have considered time-evolving subduction parameters, posing problems for studies of transient partial melting of subducting oceanic crust in many subduction zones. Therefore, we constructed two-dimensional kinematic-dynamic subduction models for the Izu-Bonin, Mariana, Northeast Japan, Kuril, Tonga, Java-Sunda, and Aleutian subduction zones that account for the last 50 Myr of their evolution. The models include the time-evolving age and convergence rate of the incoming oceanic plate, so the effect of time-evolving subduction parameters on transient partial melting of oceanic crust can be evaluated. Our model calculations revealed that adakites and boninites in the Izu-Bonin and Aleutian subduction zones resulted from transient partial melting of oceanic crust. However, the steady-state subduction model using current subduction parameters did not produce any partial melting of oceanic crust in the aforementioned subduction zones, indicating that time-evolving subduction parameters are crucial for modeling transient eruption of adakites and boninites. Our model calculations confirm that other geological processes such as forearc extension, back-arc opening, mantle plumes and ridge subduction are required for partial melting of the oceanic crust in the Mariana, Northeast Japan, Tonga, and southeastern Java-Sunda subduction zones.

  9. Novel trench gate field stop IGBT with trench shorted anode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xudong, Chen; Jianbing, Cheng; Guobing, Teng; Houdong, Guo

    2016-05-01

    A novel trench field stop (FS) insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) with a trench shorted anode (TSA) is proposed. By introducing a trench shorted anode, the TSA-FS-IGBT can obviously improve the breakdown voltage. As the simulation results show, the breakdown voltage is improved by a factor of 19.5% with a lower leakage current compared with the conventional FS-IGBT. The turn off time of the proposed structure is 50% lower than the conventional one with less than 9% voltage drop increased at a current density of 150 A/cm2. Additionally, there is no snapback observed. As a result, the TSA-FS-IGBT has a better trade-off relationship between the turn off loss and forward drop. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 61274080) and the Postdoctoral Science Foundation of China (No. 2013M541585).

  10. Control of paleoshorelines by trench forebulge uplift, Loyalty Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dickinson, William R.

    2013-07-01

    Unlike most tropical Pacific islands, which lie along island arcs or hotspot chains, the Loyalty Islands between New Caledonia and Vanuatu owe their existence and morphology to the uplift of pre-existing atolls on the flexural forebulge of the New Hebrides Trench. The configuration and topography of each island is a function of distance from the crest of the uplifted forebulge. Both Maré and Lifou are fully emergent paleoatolls upon which ancient barrier reefs form highstanding annular ridges that enclose interior plateaus representing paleolagoon floors, whereas the partially emergent Ouvea paleoatoll rim flanks a drowned remnant lagoon. Emergent paleoshoreline features exposed by island uplift include paleoreef flats constructed as ancient fringing reefs built to past low tide levels and emergent tidal notches incised at past high tide levels. Present paleoshoreline elevations record uplift rates of the islands since last-interglacial and mid-Holocene highstands in global and regional sea levels, respectively, and paleoreef stratigraphy reflects net Quaternary island emergence. The empirical uplift rates vary in harmony with theoretical uplift rates inferred from the different positions of the islands in transit across the trench forebulge at the trench subduction rate. The Loyalty Islands provide a case study of island environments controlled primarily by neotectonics.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

    The interaction between mantle plumes and subducting slabs is well accepted, but the influence of slabs on plumes has more often been portrayed than the reverse. Here we present three-dimensional upper mantle laboratory models in which a compositional plume rises underneath a subducting plate. Slab/plume buoyancy flux ratios ranged between 7 and 18. The models exhibit a two-way interaction. While the plume conduit increasingly tilts away from the trench as a result of slab rollback-induced toroidal mantle flow, the slab subduction rate decreases as a function of the amount of plume buoyancy opposing that of the slab, which gets subducted beneath the slab. We propose that our models apply to the Hainan/Manila system and explain the recently imaged tilt of the Hainan plume by the Manila slab-induced mantle return flow. The Hainan plume could lessen the Manila subduction rate from 8 Ma into the future.

  12. The role of deep subduction in supercontinent breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capitanio, Fabio; Dal Zilio, Luca; Faccenda, Manuele

    2016-04-01

    The breakup of continents is a crucial stage of the episodic aggregation and dispersal of tectonic plates. In particular, the transition from a stable supercontinent to its rifting, breakup and subsequent drifting is one of the least understood aspects of plate tectonics. Over the last decades, several works have highlighted the potential role of pre-existing weaknesses or that of raising mantle plumes in assisting the localization of strain. However, to sustain large-scale divergent regime over geological time, extensional stresses are strictly required. Here we present results from 2-D thermo-mechanical numerical experiments and we show that rifting and drifting of continents result from lithospheric subduction at convergent margins, when this extends to lower mantle depths. We quantify the drag exerted by subduction-induced mantle flow along the basal surface of continental plates, comparing models where lithospheric slabs stagnate above the upper-lower mantle boundary with those where slabs penetrate into the lower mantle. When subduction is upper mantle-confined, divergent basal tractions localize at distances comparable to the effective upper mantle thickness (~500 km), causing the breakup of a microcontinent and opening of a marginal basin. Instead, when the descending lithosphere subducts deeper, extensional stresses localize at greater distances from the trench (≥ 2900 km), are higher and are sustained over a longer time. Although relatively low, basal shear stresses integrated over large plates generate tension forces that may exceed the strength of the continental lithosphere, eventually leading to breakup and opening of an intervening distal basin. The models illustrate that the mechanism leading to the formation of back-arc basins above upper mantle-confined subduction provides a viable explanation for the opening of larger basins above deeper subduction. Examples include the Atlantic Ocean formation and the South and North American plates drifting

  13. Dynamic modelling of the subduction zone of central Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardi, A.; Cocco, M.; Negredo, A. M.; Sabadini, R.; Singh, S. K.

    2000-12-01

    In central Mexico some significant normal faulting events have occurred within the subducted oceanic Cocos plate, just below or near the down-dip edge of the strongly coupled interface. These normal faulting shocks followed large shallow thrust earthquakes. In other subduction zones such events generally precede the up-dip thrust events. A vertical 2-D finite element modelling has been used to simulate the subduction of the Cocos plate beneath the North American plate when the slab is driven by an active convergence velocity or slab pull. We find that the latter mechanism plays only a minor role due to shallow subduction. The modelling results show that the stress pattern is very sensitive to the geometry of the plates. In particular, normal faulting earthquakes that follow large thrust events can be explained on the basis of the flexural response of the overriding and subducting plates to the peculiar geometry of this subduction zone, where the subducting slab becomes horizontal at about 100km from the trench. This horizontal part of the subducting plate, down-dip with respect to the main thrust zone, is under an extensional stress field. This provides an alternative explanation to the slab pull for the occurrence of normal faulting intraplate earthquakes. In order for normal faulting earthquakes to occur in the early part of the seismic cycle, it is necessary that the large up-dip thrust events have a partial stress drop. We find that for small fractional stress drop, a wide region of extension remains below the down-dip edge of the main fault plane following a large thrust earthquake. Thus, the main thrust earthquakes do not invert the polarity of the active stress field, which is compressional and extensional up-dip and down-dip, respectively, with respect to the main thrust fault. Larger fractional stress drops result in larger delays in the occurrence of normal faulting events after the main thrust events.

  14. Vertical motions of the Puerto Rico Trench and Puerto Rico and their cause

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ten Brink, U.

    2005-01-01

    The Puerto Rico trench exhibits great water depth, an extremely low gravity anomaly, and a tilted carbonate platform between (reconstructed) elevations of +1300 m and -4000 m. I argue that these features are manifestations of large vertical movements of a segment of the Puerto Rico trench, its forearc, and the island of Puerto Rico that took place 3.3 m.y. ago over a time period as short as 14-40 kyr. I explain these vertical movements by a sudden increase in the slab's descent angle that caused the trench to subside and the island to rise. The increased dip could have been caused by shearing or even by a complete tear of the descending North American slab, although the exact nature of this deformation is unknown. The rapid (14-40 kyr) and uniform tilt along a 250 km long section of the trench is compatible with scales of mantle flow and plate bending. The proposed shear zone or tear is inferred from seismic, morphological, and gravity observations to start at the trench at 64.5??W and trend southwestwardly toward eastern Puerto Rico. The tensile stresses necessary to deform or tear the slab could have been generated by increased curvature of the trench following a counterclockwise rotation of the upper plate and by the subduction of a large seamount.

  15. The dynamics of laterally variable subductions: laboratory models applied to the Hellenides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillaume, B.; Husson, L.; Funiciello, F.; Faccenna, C.

    2013-07-01

    We designed three-dimensional dynamically self-consistent laboratory models of subduction to analyse the relationships between overriding plate deformation and subduction dynamics in the upper mantle. We investigated the effects of the subduction of a lithosphere of laterally variable buoyancy on the temporal evolution of trench kinematics and shape, horizontal flow at the top of the asthenosphere, dynamic topography and deformation of the overriding plate. Two subducting units, which correspond to a negatively buoyant oceanic plate and positively buoyant continental one, are juxtaposed via a trench-perpendicular interface (analogue to a tear fault) that is either fully-coupled or shear-stress free. Differential rates of trench retreat, in excess of 6 cm yr-1 between the two units, trigger a more vigorous mantle flow above the oceanic slab unit than above the continental slab unit. The resulting asymmetrical sublithospheric flow shears the overriding plate in front of the tear fault, and deformation gradually switches from extension to transtension through time. The consistency between our models results and geological observations suggests that the Late Cenozoic deformation of the Aegean domain, including the formation of the North Aegean Trough and Central Hellenic Shear zone, results from the spatial variations in the buoyancy of the subducting lithosphere. In particular, the lateral changes of the subduction regime caused by the Early Pliocene subduction of the old oceanic Ionian plate redesigned mantle flow and excited an increasingly vigorous dextral shear underneath the overriding plate. The models suggest that it is the inception of the Kefalonia Fault that caused the transition between an extension dominated tectonic regime to transtension, in the North Aegean, Mainland Greece and Peloponnese. The subduction of the tear fault may also have helped the propagation of the North Anatolian Fault into the Aegean domain.

  16. 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

  17. Overriding plate thickness control on subducting slab curvature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, A.; Buffett, B. A.; Becker, T. W.

    2014-12-01

    The curvature of subducting lithosphere controls deformation due to bending at the trench, which results in a force that dissipates gravitational potential energy and may affect seismic coupling. We use 2-D, thermo-mechanical subduction models to explore the dependence of the radius of curvature on the thickness of the subducting and overriding plates for models with both viscous and effectively plastic lithospheric rheologies. Such a plastic rheology has been shown to reproduce the bending stresses/moment computed using a kinematic strain rate description and a laboratory derived composite rheology. Laboratory and numerical models show that the bending geometry of subducting slabs with a viscous rheology is strongly dependent on slab thickness; thicker plates have a larger radius of curvature. However, the curvature of subducting plates on Earth, illuminated by the distribution of earthquake hypocenters, shows little to no dependence on the plate thickness or age. Such an observation is instead compatible with plates that have a plastic rheology. Indeed, our numerical models show that the radius of curvature of viscous plates has a stronger dependence on subducting plate thickness than in equivalent plastic models. In viscous plates, the bending moment produces a torque, which balances the torque exerted by buoyancy. However, for the plastic plate case the bending moment saturates at a maximum value and so cannot balance the gravitational torque. The saturation of bending moment means that, (a) the radius of curvature of the bending region is not constrained by this torque balance, and, (b) other forces are required to balance the gravitational torque. We explore the role that the overriding plate could play in controlling the subducting plate curvature in plastic plate models where the bending stresses have saturated. For such plates, we find that increasing the thickness of the overriding plate causes the radius of curvature to increase. The same correlation is

  18. Elastic thickness structure of the Andaman subduction zone: Implications for convergence of the Ninetyeast Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ratheesh Kumar, R. T.; Windley, B. F.; Rajesh, V. J.; Santosh, M.

    2013-12-01

    We use the Bouguer coherence (Morlet isostatic response function) technique to compute the spatial variation of effective elastic thickness (Te) of the Andaman subduction zone. The recovered Te map resolves regional-scale features that correlate well with known surface structures of the subducting Indian plate and the overriding Burma plate. The major structure on the India plate, the Ninetyeast Ridge (NER), exhibits a weak mechanical strength, which is consistent with the expected signature of an oceanic ridge of hotspot origin. However, a markedly low strength (0 < Te < 3 km) in that region, where the NER is close to the Andaman trench (north of 10°N), receives our main attention in this study. The subduction geometry derived from the Bouguer gravity forward modeling suggests that the NER has indented beneath the Andaman arc. We infer that the bending stresses of the viscous plate, which were reinforced within the subducting oceanic plate as a result of the partial subduction of the NER buoyant load, have reduced the lithospheric strength. The correlation, Te < Ts (seismogenic thickness) reveals that the upper crust is actively deforming beneath the frontal arc Andaman region. The occurrence of normal-fault earthquakes in the frontal arc, low Te zone, is indicative of structural heterogeneities within the subducting plate. The fact that the NER along with its buoyant root is subducting under the Andaman region is inhibiting the subduction processes, as suggested by the changes in trench line, interrupted back-arc volcanism, variation in seismicity mechanism, slow subduction, etc. The low Te and thinned crustal structure of the Andaman back-arc basin are attributed to a thermomechanically weakened lithosphere. The present study reveals that the ongoing back-arc spreading and strike-slip motion along the West Andaman Fault coupled with the ridge subduction exerts an important control on the frequency and magnitude of seismicity in the Andaman region.

  19. Varying mechanical coupling along the Andean margin: Implications for trench curvature, shortening and topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iaffaldano, G.; Di Giuseppe, E.; Corbi, F.; Funiciello, F.; Faccenna, C.; Bunge, H.-P.

    2012-03-01

    Convergent margins often exhibit spatial and temporal correlations between trench curvature, overriding plate shortening and topography uplift that provide insights into the dynamics of subduction. The Andean system, where the Nazca plate plunges beneath continental South America, is commonly regarded as the archetype of this class of tectonics systems. There is distinctive evidence that the degree of mechanical coupling between converging plates, i.e. the amount of resistive force mutually transmitted in the direction opposite to their motions, may be at the present-day significantly higher along the central Andean margin compared to the northern and southern limbs. However quantitative estimates of such resistance are still missing and would be desirable. Here we present laboratory models of subduction performed to investigate quantitatively how strong lateral coupling variations need to be to result in trench curvature, tectonic shortening and distribution of topography comparable to estimates from the Andean margin. The analogue of a two-layers Newtonian lithosphere/upper mantle system is established in a silicone putty/glucose syrup tank-model where lateral coupling variations along the interface between subducting and overriding plates are pre-imposed. Despite the simplicity of our setup, we estimate that coupling in the central margin as large as 20% of the driving force is sufficient to significantly inhibit the ability of the experimental overriding plate to slide above the subducting one. As a consequence, the central margin deforms and shortens more than elsewhere while the trench remains stationary, as opposed to the advancing lateral limbs. This causes the margin to evolve into a peculiar shape similar to the present-day trench of the Andean system.

  20. Exploring a Link Between Great and Giant Megathrust Earthquakes and Relative Thickness of Sediment and Eroded Debris in the Subduction Channel to Roughness of Subducted Relief

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    SEDIMENT SUBDUCTION AND SEISMICITY: At sediment-nourished (>1-2 km) subduction zones (SZs), instrumentally recorded great and giant earthquakes (Eqs) plus the geologically well-vetted Cascadia's Mw9.0 of 1700, corresponds to the occurrence of: 52 percent of Mw8.0 and larger (12 of 23), 57 percent of Mw8.3 and larger (8 of 14), 67 percent of Mw8.5 and larger (8 of 12), 71 percent of Mw8.8 and larger (5 of 7), 67 percent of Mw9.0 and larger (4 of 6), and 100 percent of Eqs larger than Mw9.0 (3 of 3). The implications of this observation were first explored by Ruff (1989, Pure and Applied Geophysics, v. 129, p. 263-282). SIGNIFICANT EXCEPTIONS: A significant percentage of powerful megathrust Eqs have nucleated at poorly sedimented trenches (<1.0-0.5 km). For example, the 1952 Kamchatka Mw9.0 event, and the horrendous March 11, 2011 Tohoku-Oki Mw9.0 megathrust. Other great megathrust ruptures have also torn the Peru-Chile SZ opposite the sediment-starved trench sectors of southern Peru (2001 Mw8.4) and northern Chile (1922 Mw8.3), and probably at higher magnitudes in the pre-instrumental 19th century. RELATIVE THICKNESS AND THE SMOOTHNESS CONJECTURE: Ruff (1989) surmised that excess sediment (i.e., at least 1-2 km thick) entering a subduction zone constructs a laterally homogenous layer within the plate-separating subduction channel where seismogenic rupturing occurs. The layer of subducted sediment works to even the trench-parallel distribution of coupling strength (asperities) by smothering the roughness or rugosity of subducted sea-floor relief. In doing so sediment subduction contributes to the lengthy (>300-500 km) rupturing of great and giant megathrust Eqs. Larger Mw Eqs do not correlate with increasing thickness of subducted sediment. We add here the observation that great and giant Eqs occurring along sediment-poor SZs are typically underthrust by wide sectors of seafloor of low average bathymetric relief, in particular that caused by seamounts and fracture

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  2. Trench-parallel anisotropy produced by serpentine deformation in the hydrated mantle wedge.

    PubMed

    Katayama, Ikuo; Hirauchi, Ken-ichi; Michibayashi, Katsuyoshi; Ando, Jun-ichi

    2009-10-22

    Seismic anisotropy is a powerful tool for detecting the geometry and style of deformation in the Earth's interior, as it primarily reflects the deformation-induced preferred orientation of anisotropic crystals. Although seismic anisotropy in the upper mantle is generally attributed to the crystal-preferred orientation of olivine, the strong trench-parallel anisotropy (delay time of one to two seconds) observed in several subduction systems is difficult to explain in terms of olivine anisotropy, even if the entire mantle wedge were to act as an anisotropic source. Here we show that the crystal-preferred orientation of serpentine, the main hydrous mineral in the upper mantle, can produce the strong trench-parallel seismic anisotropy observed in subduction systems. High-pressure deformation experiments reveal that the serpentine c-axis tends to rotate to an orientation normal to the shear plane during deformation; consequently, seismic velocity propagating normal to the shear plane (plate interface) is much slower than that in other directions. The seismic anisotropy estimated for deformed serpentine aggregates is an order of magnitude greater than that for olivine, and therefore the alignment of serpentine in the hydrated mantle wedge results in a strong trench-parallel seismic anisotropy in the case of a steeply subducting slab. This hypothesis is also consistent with the presence of a hydrous phase in the mantle wedge, as inferred from anomalously low seismic-wave velocities. PMID:19847262

  3. Sedimentation and deformation in the Amlia Fracture Zone sector of the Aleutian Trench

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scholl, D. W.; Vallier, T.L.; Stevenson, A.J.

    1982-01-01

    subducting oceanic crust. Up-to-arc extensional faulting can be attributed to the downbending of the Pacific plate into the Aleutian subduction zone. The rupturing direction and dip is controlled by zones of crustal weakness that parallel north Pacific magnetic anomalies, which were formed south of a late Cretaceous-early Tertiary spreading center (Kula-Pacific Ridge). The strike of these anomalies is fortuitously nearly parallel to the Amlia sector. The up-to-arc fracturing style may locally assist in elevating blocks of trench deposits to form the toe of the trench's landward slope, which is in part underlain by a compressionally thickened accretionary mass of older trench deposits. Compressional structures that can be related to underthrusting are only indistinctly recorded in the turbidite wedge that underlies the trench floor. ?? 1982.

  4. Significance of broad scale deformation of incoming plates at ocean trenches.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranero, C. R.; Calahorrano, A.; Grevemeyer, I.; Barckhausen, U.; Reichert, C. J.

    2012-12-01

    Recent seismic experiments in several ocean trenches indicate that oceanic lithosphere undergoes profound chemical changes due to percolation of water into the mantle along faults formed by bending-related deformation. When compared to earthquake activity the depth of mantle alteration seems to be related to the elastic thickness of the plate and thus controlled by bending stresses. This finding contrasts with previous speculation that large-great trench-outer-rise earthquakes were important in the formation of paths for water penetration into the plate. Large-great trench-outer-rise earthquakes are probably related to slab pull during decoupling along the interplate boundary and not necessarily controlled by bending stresses. Thus, current findings may seem to indicate that plate age and related elastic thickness at trenches may be be the key parameter that controls the amount of hydration that may occur in a plate. New multichannel seismic reflection images from northern Chile and a compilation of multibeam bathymetry display a remarkable variability of bending-related deformation along several hundreds kilometres of the subduction zone where plate age does not change significantly indicating that deformation and probably hydration might be very variable in space. A set of seismic profiles collected perpendicular to the trench and running several hundreds of kilometers into the incoming plate show that the bending-related deformation of the oceanic plate reaches the mantle well before the lithosphere plunges into the trench and develops a marked bend-faulting fabric observable in bathymetric maps. Similar conclusions can be reached from seismic images across the outer rise of the Cocos plate entering the Middle America Trench. Also, the combination of seismic images and swath bathymetry along the Chile trench shows a remarkable lateral variability in the intensity and style of deformation at the trench. The deformation appears to be controlled by the stresses

  5. The coseismic slip distribution of a shallow subduction fault constrained by prior information: the example of 2011 Tohoku (Mw 9.0) megathrust earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, X.; Cambiotti, G.; Sun, W.; Sabadini, R.

    2014-11-01

    In the literature, the inverted coseismic slip models from seismological and geodetic data for the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake portray significant discrepancies, in particular regarding the intensity and the distribution of the rupture near the trench. For a megathrust earthquake, it is difficult to discern the slip along the shallow part of the fault from the geodetic data, which are often acquired on land. In this paper, we discuss the uncertainties in the slip distribution inversion using the geodetic data for the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and the Fully Bayesian Inversion method. These uncertainties are due to the prior information regarding the boundary conditions at the edges of the fault, the dip subduction angle and the smoothing operator. Using continuous GPS data from the Japan Island, the results for the rigid and free boundary conditions show that they produce remarkably different slip distributions at shallow depths, with the latter producing a large slip exceeding 30 m near the surface. These results indicate that the smoothing operator (gradient or Laplacian schemes) does not severely affect the slip pattern. To better invert the coseismic slip, we then introduce the ocean bottom GPS (OB-GPS) data, which improve the resolution of the shallow part of the fault. We obtain a near-trench slip greater than 40 m that reaches the Earth's surface, regardless of which boundary condition is used. Additionally, we show that using a mean dip angle for the fault as derived from subduction models is adequate if the goal is to invert for the general features of the slip pattern of this megathrust event.

  6. Structural and thermal control of seismic activity and megathrust rupture dynamics in subduction zones: Lessons from the Mw 9.0, 2011 Tohoku earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satriano, Claudio; Dionicio, Viviana; Miyake, Hiroe; Uchida, Naoki; Vilotte, Jean-Pierre; Bernard, Pascal

    2014-10-01

    The 2011 Tohoku megathrust earthquake ruptured a vast region of the northeast Japan Trench subduction zone in a way that had not been enough anticipated by earthquake and tsunami risk scenarios. We analyzed the Tohoku rupture combining high-frequency back-projection analysis with low frequency kinematic inversion of the co-seismic slip. Results support the to-day well-accepted broadband characteristics of this earthquake. Most of the seismic moment is released during the first 100 s, with large co-seismic slip (up to 55 m) offshore Miyagi in a compact region on the landward side of the trench. Coherent high-frequency radiation areas and relatively low co-seismic slip are a distinctive signature of the slab-mantle interface. The broadband characteristics of the Tohoku rupture are interpreted, integrating the seismic activity and structure information on the NE Japan forearc region, as a signature of along-dip segmentation and segment interactions, that result from thermal structure, plate geometry, material composition and fracture heterogeneities along the plate boundary interface. Deep mantle corner flow and low dehydration rates along the cold subduction slab interface lead to an extended seismogenic slab-mantle interface, with strong bi-material contrast controlling larger propagation distance in the downdip preferred rupture direction. Off Miyagi, plate bending below the mantle wedge, ∼142.3°E at ∼25 km depth, is associated with the eastern limit of the deep M7-8-class thrust-earthquakes, and of the strongest coherent high-frequency generation areas. The region of the slab-crust interface between the mantle wedge limit, ∼142.7°E at ∼20 km depth, and a trenchward plate bending, ∼143.2°E at ∼15 km, acted as an effective barrier resisting for many centuries to stress-loading gradient induced by deep stable sliding and large earthquakes along the slab-mantle interface. The 2011 Tohoku earthquake, whose hypocenter is located on the east side of the

  7. Monitoring of seafloor crustal deformation using GPS/Acoustic technique along the Nankai Trough, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yasuda, K.; Tadokoro, K.; Ikuta, R.; Watanabe, T.; Fujii, C.; Matsuhiro, K.; Sayanagi, K.

    2014-12-01

    Seafloor crustal deformation is crucial for estimating the interplate locking at the shallow subduction zone and has been carried out at subduction margins in Japan, e.g., Japan Trench and Nankai Trough [Sato et al., 2011; Tadokoro et al., 2012]. Iinuma et al. [2012] derived slip distributions during the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake using GPS/Acoustic data and on-land GPS data. The result showed that maximum slip is more than 85 m near the trench axis. The focal area along the Nankai trough extended to the trough axis affected this earthquake by cabinet office, government of Japan.  We monitored seafloor crustal deformation along the Nankai trough, Japan. Observation regions are at the eastern end of Nankai trough (named Suruga trough) and at the central Nankai trough. We established and monitored by two sites across the trough at each region. In the Suruga trough region, we repeatedly observed from 2005 to 2013. We observed 13 and 14 times at a foot wall side (SNE) and at a hanging wall side (SNW), respectively. We estimated the displacement velocities with relative to the Amurian plate from the result of repeated observation. The estimated displacement velocity vectors at SNE and SNW are 42±8 mm/y to N94±3˚W direction and 39±11 mm/y to N84±9˚W direction, respectively. The directions are the same as those measured at the on-land GPS stations. The magnitudes of velocity vector indicate significant shortening by approximately 4 mm/y between SNW and on-land GPS stations at hanging wall side of the Suruga Trough. This result shows that the plate interface at the northernmost Suruga trough is strongly locked. In the central Nankai trough region, we established new two stations across the central Nankai trough (Both stations are about 15km distance from trough) and observed only three times, August 2013, January 2014, and June 2014. We report the results of monitoring performed in this year.

  8. Nature of the Moho in Japan and Kamchatka

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwasaki, Takaya; Levin, Vadim; Nikulin, Alex; Iidaka, Takashi

    2013-04-01

    The Kamchatka peninsula and the islands of Japan are located along the eastern margin of the Asian continent. The natures of the Moho in these areas have been studied for decades, with a variety of geophysical methods, including active and passive seismic methods, gravity and other techniques. The Moho and the upper mantle structures in the NE Japan and SE Japan Arcs have been investigated well both from active and passive seismic source studies. The Moho depth in the NE Japan is ranging from 30 to 40 km. Almost parallel to the present volcanic front, there exists a belt of deep Moho (34-36 km) with a lower Pn velocity (7.5-7.7 km/s). Amplitude analysis of the PmP phase indicates that the Moho beneath the NE Japan Arc is not a simple velocity contrast, but rather a gradual transition. Toward the backarc side, remarkable crustal thinning is recognized. Actually, the Moho depth decreases from 35 km beneath the central part of NE Japan to 18 km beneath the Sea of Japan. This thinning is evident in the upper crust, while the lower crust remains constant in thickness. This may be explained by the continuous magmatic underplating beneath the rifted crust or deformation under a simple shear mode, allowing the lower crustal thickness to remain unchanged. The Moho in the SW Japan Arc is also at a depth of 30-40 km. The Pn velocity is 7.7-7.8 km/s, slightly higher than that in the NE Japan, although this value was mostly sampled in the eastern half of the SW Japan Arc where the recent volcanic activity has been less effective. Fluids expelled from the subducted oceanic lithosphere (the PHS plate) play an important role in controlling the structure of the mantle wedge. As these fluids leak into the mantle wedge they induce serpentinization there, transforming original mantle materials to those of lower velocity and higher Vp/Vs. The crustal thinning of the SW Japan Arc is characterized by notable decrease in upper crustal thickness, which is similar to the case of the NE

  9. Nonvolcanic tremors in the Mexican subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Payero, J. S.; Kostoglodov, V.; Mikumo, T.; Perez-Campos, X.; Iglesias, A.; Clayton, R.

    2007-05-01

    Nonvolcanic low frequency tremors (NVT) have been discovered and studied recently in Japan and Cascadia subduction zones and deep beneath the San Andreas Fault. The tremors activity is increasing during so-called silent earthquakes (SQ) in Japan and Cascadia. NVT clusters also migrate following the propagation of the SQ. The origin of the NVT is still unclear. The studies of NVT and SQ in different subduction zones are required to understand the cause for these phenomena. We discovered a number of NVT from daily spectrograms of continuous broad band records at seismic stations of Servicio Seismológico Nacional (SSN) an MASE project. The analyzed data cover a period of 2001-2004 (SSN) when in 2002 a large SQ has occurred in the Guerrero- Oaxaca region, and a steady-state interseismic epoch of 2005 and a new large SQ in 2006 (MASE). NVT occurred in the central part of the Mexican subduction zone (Guerrero) at approximately 200 km from the coast. We can not accurately localize the tremors because of sparse station coverage in 2001-2004. The MASE data of 2005-2006 show that NVT records in Mexico are very similar to those obtained in Cascadia subduction zone. The tremors duration is of 10-60 min, and they appear to travel at S-wave velocities. More than 100 strong NVT were recorded by most of the MASE stations with the epicenters clustered in the narrow band of ~40x150 km to the south of Iguala city and parallel to the coast line. NVT depths are poorly constrained but seem to be less than 40 km deep. We noticed a some increase of NVT activity during the 2001-2002 and 2006 SQs compared with an NVT activity for the "SQ quiet" period of 2003-2004 nevertheless. A lack of NVT for the period of 2-3 months after the SQ is apparent in 2002 and 2006.

  10. Intensive hydration of the wedge mantle at the Kuril arc - NE Japan arc junction: implications from mafic lavas from Usu Volcano, northern Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuritani, T.; Tanaka, M.; Yokoyama, T.; Nakagawa, M.; Matsumoto, A.

    2015-12-01

    The southwestern part of Hokkaido, northern Japan, is located at the junction of the NE Japan arc and the Kuril arc. The subducting Pacific plate under this region shows a hinge-like shape due to the dip change of the subducting plate along the trench. Because of the interest in this unique tectonic setting, this arc-arc junction has been the focus of extensive geophysical studies (e.g. Kita et al., 2010, Morishige and van Keken, 2014; Wada et al., 2015). This region is also known as an area in which magmatism has been intense; there are many active volcanoes such as Usu, Tarumae, and Komagatake, and large calderas including Toya, Shikotsu, and Kuttara. In this region, the temporal and spatial evolution of the volcanism and the chemical compositions of the volcanic rocks are well characterized (e.g. Nakagawa, 1992). However, the generation conditions of magmas have not been estimated for these volcanoes, probably because of the scarcity of basaltic products. Therefore, a possible link between the tectonic setting and the intense magmatism is still unclear. In this study, we carried out a petrological and geochemical study on mafic lavas (49.6-51.3 wt.% SiO2) from Usu Volcano, and estimated the conditions under which the magmas were generated. By application of a plagioclase-melt hygrometer to the plagioclase and the host magma, the water content of ~6.5 wt.% was obtained for the basaltic magma. Using this information, as well as the olivine maximum fractionation model (Tatsumi et al., 1983), the composition of the primary magma is estimated to be 47.9 wt.% SiO2, 15.1 wt.% MgO, and 4.1 wt.% H2O. Analyses using the multi-component thermodynamics suggest that the primary magma was generated in the source mantle with 0.9 wt.% H2O at 1310ºC and at 1.6 GPa. The water content of 0.9 wt.% of the source mantle is significantly higher than the estimates for the source mantle in the main NE Japan arc (<0.7 wt.% H2O); this implies that the flux of slab-derived fluids is

  11. 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.

  12. Dynamic buckling of subducting slabs reconciles geological and geophysical observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Changyeol; King, Scott D.

    2011-12-01

    Ever since the early days of the development of plate tectonic theory, subduction zones have been engrained in geological thinking as the place where steady, linear slabs descend into the mantle at a constant, uniform dip angle beneath volcanic arcs. However, growing evidence from geological and geophysical observations as well as analog and numerical modeling indicates that subducting slabs buckle in a time-dependent manner, in contrast to the steady-state, linear cartoons that dominate the literature. To evaluate the implication of time-dependent slab buckling of geological events, we conduct a series of 2-D numerical dynamic/kinematic subduction experiments by varying the viscosity increase across the 660 km discontinuity and the strength of the subducting slab. Our results show that slab buckling is a universal figure in all the experiments when rate of the trench migration ( Vtrench) is relatively slow ( Vtrench| < 2 cm/a) and viscosity increases across the 660 km discontinuity are greater than a factor of 30. Slab buckling is expressed as alternate shallowing and steepening dip of the subducting slab (from ~ 40 to ~ 100°) which is correlated with increasing and decreasing convergent rate of the incoming oceanic plate toward the trench. Further, the slab buckling in our experiments is consistent with the previously developed scaling laws for slab buckling; using reasonable parameters from subducted slabs the buckling amplitude and period are ~ 400 km and ~ 25 Myr, respectively. The slab buckling behavior in our experiments explains a variety of puzzling geological and geophysical observations. First, the period of slab buckling is consistent with short periodic variations (~ 25 Myr) in the motions of the oceanic plates that are anchored by subduction zones. Second, the scattered distributions of slab dips (from ~ 20 to ~ 90°) in the upper mantle are snapshots of time-dependent slab dip. Third, the current compressional and extensional stress environments in

  13. Genesis of jadeite-quartz rocks in the Yorii area of the Kanto Mountains, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukuyama, Mayuko; Ogasawara, Masatsugu; Horie, Kenji; Lee, Der-Chuen

    2013-02-01

    This paper reports the results of U-Pb dating and REE (rare earth element) analysis of zircons separated from jadeite-quartz rocks within serpentinite mélanges in the Yorii area of the Kanto Mountains, Japan. These rocks contain jadeite, albite, and quartz, with minor aegirine-augite, zircon, monazite, thorite, allanite, and titanite. Mineral textures provide evidence of a jadeite + quartz = albite reaction during formation of these jadeite-quartz rocks. Zircon crystals separated from the jadeite-quartz rocks can be split into two distinct types, here named Types I and II, based on their morphology and REE concentrations. Type I zircons are prismatic and have fluid, jadeite, quartz, and albite inclusions. Those show positive Ce and negative Eu anomalies and HREE (heavy rare earth element) enriched chondrite normalized REE patterns and have higher REE concentrations than those generally found in magmatic zircons. Type I zircons would have precipitated from a fluid. Mineralogical observation provides that Type I zircon crystallized at the same timing of the formation of the jadeite-quartz rocks. Type II zircons are porous and have REE patterns indicative of a hydrothermal zircon. Both types of zircons are fluid-related. Type I zircons yield U-Pb ages of 162.2 ± 0.6 Ma, with an MSWD (mean square weighted deviation) of 1.4. At this time, Japan was still a part of the eastern margin of the Asian continent, with the subduction of the oceanic paleo-Pacific Plate leading to the formation of the Jurassic Mino-Tanba-Chichibu accretionary complex in Japan. The age data indicate that the jadeite-quartz rocks formed in a deep subduction zone environment at the same time as the formation of the Jurassic accretionary complex in a shallower near-trench subduction zone environment. The jadeite-quartz rocks contain high concentrations of Zr and Nb, with low LILE (large ion lithophile elements) concentrations, suggesting that the HFSE (high field strength elements) can be

  14. Slab Stagnation and Buckling in the Mantle Transition Zone: Petrology, Rheology, and the Geodynamics of Trench Migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bina, C. R.; Čížková, H.

    2015-12-01

    Recent work indicates that subducting slabs may exhibit buckling instabilities and consequent folding behavior in the mantle transition zone for various dynamical parameters, accompanied by temporal variations in dip angle, plate velocity, and trench retreat. Governing parameters include both viscous (rheological) and buoyancy (thermo-petrological) forces. 2D numerical experiments show that many parameter sets lead to slab deflection at the base of the transition zone, typically accompanied by quasi-periodic oscillations in largely anticorrelated plate and rollback velocities, resulting in undulating stagnant slabs as buckle folds accumulate subhorizontally atop the lower mantle. Slab petrology, of mantle phase transitions and hydrated crust, is a dominant factor in this process (Čížková and Bina, 2013). For terrestrial parameter sets, trench retreat is found to be nearly ubiquitous and trench advance quite rare, largely due to rheological and ridge-push effects. Recently updated analyses of global plate motions indicate that significant trench advance is also rare on Earth, being largely restricted to the Izu-Bonin arc (Matthews et al., 2013). Thus, we explore conditions necessary for terrestrial trench advance through dynamical models involving the unusual geometry of the Philippine Sea region. Our 2D modeling of such geometries, in which distal subduction of the overriding plate overprints an opposed slab-pull force on the usual ridge-push at the trench, yields persistent trench advance interrupted by episodes of back-arc extension, demonstrating that trench advance can occur for terrestrial rheologies in such special geometries (Čížková and Bina, 2015).

  15. Influence of subduction history on South American topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flament, Nicolas; Gurnis, Michael; Müller, R. Dietmar; Bower, Dan J.; Husson, Laurent

    2015-11-01

    The Cenozoic evolution of South American topography is marked by episodes of large-scale uplift and subsidence not readily explained by lithospheric deformation. The drying up of the inland Pebas system, the drainage reversal of the Amazon river, the uplift of the Sierras Pampeanas and the uplift of Patagonia have all been linked to the evolution of mantle flow since the Miocene in separate studies. Here we investigate the evolution of long-wavelength South American topography as a function of subduction history in a time-dependent global geodynamic model. This model is shown to be consistent with these inferred changes, as well as with the migration of the Chaco foreland basin depocentre, that we partly attribute to the inboard migration of subduction resulting from Andean mountain building. We suggest that the history of subduction along South America has had an important influence on the evolution of the topography of the continent because time-dependent mantle flow models are consistent with the history of vertical motions as constrained by the geological record at four distant areas over a whole continent. Testing alternative subduction scenarios reveals flat slab segments are necessary to reconcile inferred Miocene shorelines with a simple model paleogeography. As recently suggested, we find that the flattening of a subduction zone results in dynamic uplift between the leading edge of the flat slab segment and the trench, and in a wave of dynamic subsidence associated with the inboard migration of the leading edge of flat subduction. For example, the flattening of the Peruvian subduction contributed to the demise of Pebas shallow-water sedimentation, while continental-scale tilting also contributed to the drainage reversal of the Amazon River. The best correlation to P-wave tomography models for the Peruvian flat slab segment is obtained for a case when the asthenosphere, here considered to be 150 km thick and 10 times less viscous than the upper mantle, is

  16. Seismic properties of the Nazca oceanic crust in southern Peruvian subduction system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, YoungHee; Clayton, Robert W.

    2015-11-01

    The horizontal Nazca slab, extending over a distance of ∼800 km along the trench is one of enigmatic features in Peruvian subduction zone. Increased buoyancy of the oceanic lithosphere alone due to the subduction of Nazca Ridge is insufficient to fully explain such a lengthy segment. We use data from the recent seismic experiment in southern Peru to find that the subduction-related hydration plays a major role in controlling shear wave velocities within the upper part of the oceanic crust and overlying materials. We observe substantial velocity reductions of ∼20-40% near the top plate interface along- and perpendicular-to the trench from ∼40-120 km depths. In particular, significant shear wave velocity reductions and subsequently higher P-to-S velocity ratio (exceeding 2.0) at the flat slab region suggest that the seismically probed layer is fluid-rich and mechanically weak. The dominant source of fluid comes from metasediments and subducted crust (Nazca Ridge). Long-term supply of fluid from the southward migrating Nazca Ridge provides additional buoyancy of the subducting oceanic lithosphere and also lowers the viscosity of the overlying mantle wedge to drive and sustain the flat plate segment of ∼800 km along the trench. Also, by comparing calculated seismic velocities with experimentally derived mineral physics data, we additionally provide mechanical constraints on the possible changes in frictional behavior across the subduction zone plate interface. Observed low seismic velocities in the seismogenic zone suggest a presence of low strength materials that may be explained by overpressured pore fluids (i.e., accreted sediment included in the subduction channel).

  17. The dynamics of laterally variable subductions: laboratory models applied to the Hellenides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillaume, B.; Husson, L.; Funiciello, F.; Faccenna, C.

    2013-04-01

    We design three-dimensional dynamically self-consistent laboratory models of subduction to analyze the relationships between overriding plate deformation and subduction dynamics in the upper mantle. We investigate the effects of the subduction of a lithosphere of laterally variable buoyancy on the temporal evolution of trench kinematics and shape, horizontal flow at the top of the asthenosphere, dynamic topography and deformation of the overriding plate. The interface between the two units, analogue to a trench-perpendicular tear fault between a negatively buoyant oceanic plate and positively buoyant continental one, is either fully-coupled or shear-stress free. Differential rates of trench retreat, in excess of 6 cm yr-1 between the two units, trigger a more vigorous mantle flow above the oceanic slab unit than above the continental slab unit. The resulting asymmetrical sublithospheric flow shears the overriding plate in front of the tear fault, and deformation gradually switches from extension to transtension through time. The consistency between our models results and geological observations suggests that the Late Cenozoic deformation of the Aegean domain, including the formation of the North Aegean Trough and Central Hellenic Shear zone, results from the spatial variations in the buoyancy of the subducting lithosphere. In particular, the lateral changes of the subduction regime caused by the Early Pliocene subduction of the old oceanic Ionian plate redesigned mantle flow and excited an increasingly vigorous dextral shear underneath the overriding plate. The models suggest that it is the inception of the Kefalonia Fault that caused the transition between an extension dominated tectonic regime to transtension, in the North Aegean, Mainland Greece and Peloponnese. The subduction of the tear fault may also have helped the propagation of the North Anatolian Fault into the Aegean domain.

  18. Tracing slab inputs along the Izu-Bonin-Marianas subduction zone: results from volatile emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, T. P.; Hilton, D. R.; Shaw, A. M.; Hauri, E. R.; Kazahaya, K.; Mitchell, E.; Shimizu, A.; de Moor, M.; Sharp, Z. D.

    2005-12-01

    The Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) arc system extends 2800 km from the island of Honshu, Japan to Guam and is a type example of an intra-oceanic convergent margin. Subduction began 45 Ma ago and IBM subducts the oldest seafloor on Earth. A number of parameters vary systematically along the strike of the arc: the slab is steeply plunging in the S and gently dipping in the N; the age of the subducted crust varies from Mid-Jurassic in the S to Mid-Cretaceous in the N. Other parameters remain constant: crustal thickness (~20 km); no accretionary prism; no sediment fill in the trench. The sediment outboard of the arc is characterized based on ODP sites 801 (Marianas) and 1149 (Izu islands). 200 m of volcaniclastics are overlain by a 100 m of pelagic clay and chert in the S. In the N, volcaniclastics are lacking and the 400 m sediment sequence is dominated by 200 m of cherts, overlain by 40 m of pelagic clay and 120 m of volcanic ash and diatom/radiolarian clay. There is also a distinct layer (3 m) of hydrothermally altered MORB in the S. Thus, the IBM system is an ideal location to study the inputs and outputs of the subduction factory and to understand the processes occurring within the factory itself. We collected hydrothermal gas samples from 4 volcanic centers in the Marianas (Alamagan, Pagan, Agrigan, Uracas) and 6 centers in the Izu arc (Aogashima, Hachijojima, Niijima, Shikinejima, Oshima, Hakone). With the exception of Uracas (140C) and a well on Hachijojima (170C), all gas discharges were at or below the boiling temperature of water. As is typical for arc-related samples, the major gases are dominated by H2O, CO2 and S species. We see the following variations in N2/Ar and N2/He ratios of non-air contaminated samples along the arc: Agrigan clearly shows a mantle wedge signature of low N2/Ar (70) and N2/He (210) and negative δ15N (- 2.0 ‰). All other centers have N2/He ratios characteristic of that resulting from the addition of N from subducted sediments (1000 to

  19. Large intermediate-depth earthquakes and the subduction process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Astiz, Luciana; Lay, Thorne; Kanamori, Hiroo

    1988-12-01

    This study provides an overview of intermediate-depth earthquake phenomena, placing emphasis on the larger, tectonically significant events, and exploring the relation of intermediate-depth earthquakes to shallower seismicity. Especially, we examine whether intermediate-depth events reflect the state of interplate coupling at subduction zones, and whether this activity exhibits temporal changes associated with the occurrence of large underthrusting earthquakes. Historic record of large intraplate earthquakes ( mB ≥ 7.0) in this century shows that the New Hebrides and Tonga subduction zones have the largest number of large intraplate events. Regions associated with bends in the subducted lithosphere also have many large events (e.g. Altiplano and New Ireland). We compiled a catalog of focal mechanisms for events that occurred between 1960 and 1984 with M > 6 and depth between 40 and 200 km. The final catalog includes 335 events with 47 new focal mechanisms, and is probably complete for earthquakes with mB ≥ 6.5. For events with M ≥ 6.5, nearly 48% of the events had no aftershocks and only 15% of the events had more than five aftershocks within one week of the mainshock. Events with more than ten aftershocks are located in regions associated with bends in the subducted slab. Focal mechanism solutions for intermediate-depth earthquakes with M > 6.8 can be grouped into four categories: (1) Normal-fault events (44%), and (2) reverse-fault events (33%), both with a strike nearly parallel to the trench axis. (3) Normal or reverse-fault events with a strike significantly oblique to the trench axis (10%), and (4) tear-faulting events (13%). The focal mechanisms of type 1 events occur mainly along strongly or moderately coupled subduction zones where a down-dip extensional stress prevails in a gently dipping plate. In contrast, along decoupled subduction zones great normal-fault earthquakes occur at shallow depths (e.g., the 1977 Sumbawa earthquake in Indonesia). Type

  20. KSC Launch Pad Flame Trench Environment Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calle, Luz Marina; Hintze, Paul E.; Parlier, Christopher R.; Curran, Jerome P.; Kolody, Mark R.; Sampson, Jeffrey W.

    2010-01-01

    This report summarizes conditions in the Launch Complex 39 (LC-39) flame trenches during a Space Shuttle Launch, as they have been measured to date. Instrumentation of the flame trench has been carried out by NASA and United Space Alliance for four Shuttle launches. Measurements in the flame trench are planned to continue for the duration of the Shuttle Program. The assessment of the launch environment is intended to provide guidance in selecting appropriate test methods for refractory materials used in the flame trench and to provide data used to improve models of the launch environment in the flame trench.

  1. Revisiting the physical characterisitics of the subduction interplate seismogenic zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heuret, Arnauld; Lallemand, Serge; Funiciello, Francesca; Piromallo, Claudia

    2010-05-01

    Based on the Centennial earthquake catalog, the revised 1964-2007 EHB hypocenters catalog and the 1976-2007 CMT Harvard catalog, we have extracted the hypocenters, nodal planes and seismic moments of worldwide subduction earthquakes for the 1900-2007 period. For the 1976-2007 period, we combine the focal solutions provided by Harvard and the revised hypocenters from Engdahl et al. (1998). Older events are extracted from the Centennial catalogue (Engdahl and Villasenor, 2002) and they are used to estimate the cumulated seismic moment only. The selection criteria for the subduction earthquakes are similar to those used by Mc Caffrey (1994), i.e., we test if the focal mechanisms are consistent with 1/ shallow thrust events (depth > 70 km, positive slips, and at least one nodal plane gets dip < 45°), and, 2/ the plate interface local geometry and orientation (one nodal plane is oriented toward the volcanic arc, the azimuth of this nodal plane ranges between ± 45° with respect to the trench one, its dip ranges between ± 20° with respect to the slab one and the epicentre is located seaward of the volcanic arc). Our study concerns segments of subduction zones that fit with estimated paleoruptures associated with major events (M > 8). We assume that the seismogenic zone coincides with the distribution of 5.5 < M < 7 subduction earthquakes. We provide a map of the interplate seismogenic zones for 80% of the trench systems including dip, length, downdip and updip limits, we revisit the statistical study done by Pacheco et al. (1993) and test some empirical laws obtained for example by Ruff and Kanamori (1980) in light of a more complete, detailed, accurate and uniform description of the subduction interplate seismogenic zone. Since subduction earthquakes result from stress accumulation along the interplate and stress depends on plates kinematics, subduction zone geometry, thermal state and seismic coupling, we aim to isolate some correlations between parameters. The

  2. Magnesium Isotopic Composition of Subducting Marine Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Y.; Teng, F. Z.; Plank, T. A.; Huang, K. J.

    2015-12-01

    Subducted marine sediments have recently been called upon to explain the heterogeneous Mg isotopic composition (δ26Mg, ‰) found in mantle wehrlites (-0.39 to +0.09 [1]) in the context of a homogeneous mantle (-0.25 ± 0.07 [2]). However, no systematic measurements of δ26Mg on marine sediments are currently available to provide direct support to this model. To characterize the Mg inputs to global subduction zones, we measured δ26Mg data for a total of 90 marine sediments collected from 12 drill sites outboard of the world's major subduction zones. These sediments span a 1.73‰ range in δ26Mg. The detritus-dominated sediments have δ26Mg (-0.59 to +0.53) comparable to those of weathered materials on continents (e.g. -0.52 to +0.92 [3]), while the calcareous oozes yield δ26Mg (as light as -1.20) more similar to the seawater value (-0.83 [4]). The negative correlation between δ26Mg and CaO/Al2O3 in these sediments indicates the primary control of mineralogy over the Mg isotopic distribution among different sediment types, as carbonates are enriched in light Mg isotopes (-5.10 to -0.40 [5]) whereas clay-rich weathering residues generally have heavier δ26Mg (e.g. up to +0.65 in saprolite [6]). In addition, chemical weathering and grain-size sorting drive sediments to a heavier δ26Mg, as indicated by the broad positive trends between δ26Mg with CIA (Chemical Index of Alteration [7]) and Al2O3/SiO2, respectively. Collectively, the arc systems sampled in this study represent ~30% of global arc length and the extrapolated global Mg flux of subducting marine sediments accounts for ~9% of the yearly Mg riverine input with a flux-weighted average δ26Mg at -0.26. Subduction of these heterogeneous sediments may not cause significant mantle heterogeneity on a global scale, but the highly variable Mg fluxes and δ26Mg of sediments delivered to different trenches are capable of producing local mantle variations. Volcanic rocks sourced from these mantle domains are thus

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigloch, Karin; Mihalynuk, Mitchell G.

    2013-04-01

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

  4. Physical characteristics of subduction-type seismogenic zones revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heuret, A.; Lallemand, S.; Piromallo, C.; Funiciello, F.

    2009-12-01

    Based on both the Centennial earthquake catalog, the revised 1964-2007 EHB hypocenters and the 1976-2007 CMT Harvard catalog, we have extracted the hypocenters, nodal planes and seismic moments of worldwide subduction earthquakes for the period 1900-2007. For the period 1976-2007, we use the focal solutions provided by Harvard and the revised hypocenters from Engdahl et al. (1998). Older events are extracted from the Centennial catalogue (Engdahl and Villasenor, 2002) and they are used for the estimate of the cumulated seismic moment only. The criteria used to select the subduction earthquakes are similar to those used by Mc Caffrey (1994), i.e., we test if the focal mechanisms are consistent with 1/ shallow thrust events (positive slips, at least one nodal plane get dip < 45° and depth > 70 km), and, 2/ the plate interface local geometry and orientation (one nodal plane is oriented toward the volcanic arc, the azimut of this nodal plane is ± 45° with respect to the trench one, its dip is ± 20° with respect to the slab one and the epicenter is located seaward of the volcanic arc). Our study concerns segments of subduction zones that fit with estimated paleoruptures associated with major events (M > 8). We assume that the seismogenic zone coincides with the distribution of 5.5 < M < 7 subduction earthquakes. We then provide a map of the seismogenic zone for 36% of the oceanic subduction plates boundaries including dip, length, downdip and updip limits. The remnant 64% correspond to either weakly coupled oceanic subduction zones, slow subduction rates, or long recurrence period between earthquakes. We then revisit the statistical study done by Pacheco et al. (1993) and tested some empirical laws obtained for example by Kanamori (1986) in light of a more complete, more detailed, more accurate and more uniform description of the subduction interplate seismogenic zone. Since the subduction earthquakes result from stress accumulation along the interplate and that

  5. Three-dimensional thermal structure of subduction zones: effects of obliquity and curvature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bengtson, A. K.; van Keken, P. E.

    2012-11-01

    Quantifying the precise thermal structure of subduction zones is essential for understanding the nature of metamorphic dehydration reactions, arc volcanism, and intermediate depth seismicity. High resolution two-dimensional (2-D) models have shown that the rheology of the mantle wedge plays a critical role and establishes strong temperature gradients in the slab. The influence of three-dimensional (3-D) subduction zone geometry on thermal structure is however not yet well characterized. A common assumption for 2-D models is that the cross-section is taken normal to the strike of the trench with a corresponding velocity reduction in the case of oblique subduction, rather than taken parallel to velocity. A comparison between a full 3-D Cartesian model with oblique subduction and selected 2-D cross-sections demonstrates that the trench-normal cross-section provides a better reproduction of the slab thermal structure than the velocity-parallel cross-section. An exception is found in the case of a strongly curved trench, such as in the Marianas, where strong 3-D flow in the mantle wedge is generated. In this case it is shown that the full 3-D model should be evaluated for an accurate prediction of the slab thermal structure. The models demonstrate that the use of a dynamic slab and wedge, separated by a kinematic boundary, yields good results for describing slab velocities in 3-D.

  6. Continental Subduction and Subduction Initiation Leading to Extensional Exhumation of Ultra-High Pressure Rocks During Ongoing Plate Convergence in Papua New Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buck, W. R.; Petersen, K. D.

    2014-12-01

    Subduction of continental rocks is necessary to produce ultra-high pressure (UHP) rocks but the mechanism bringing them to the surface is disputed. A major question is whether this involves fairly small diapirs of crust that move up through the mantle or it involves an entire subducted plate that undergoes coherent 'reverse subduction' (sometimes called 'eduction'). Both mechanisms have been invoked to explain the only known region of on-going exhumation of UHP rocks, on the D'Entrecasteaux Islands of Papua New Guinea. Ductile flow fabrics in the island rocks have been used to argue for a diapiric model while constraints on the plate kinematics of the region require relatively large (>100 km) amounts of recent (>6 Myr) extension, supporting eduction as a primary mechanism. A self-consistent thermo-mechanical model of continental subduction shows that eduction can be accompanied by some ductile flow within the crust. Also we show, that subduction and stacking of continental crust can cause a subduction zone to lock up and lead to subduction initiation elsewhere. When this happens the region of earlier continental subduction can reverse direction causing exhumation of rocks from depth of ~100 km followed by localized extension and plate spreading. This can occur even if a region is in overall convergence. Applied to New Guinea our results are consistent with earlier suggestions that extension of the Woodlark Basin was caused by the initiation of the New Britain Trench, as indicated on the attached figure. We suggest that this subduction initiation event triggered eduction that led to exposure of the D'Entrcasteaux Islands and exhumation of the UHP rocks there. Our numerical results are broadly consistent with the recently refined seismic structure of the region around the islands. The model implies that the present-day basement of the ~70 km wide Goodenough Bay, south of the islands, was subducted then exhumed. This can be tested by drilling.

  7. Structure and deformation of the Tonga-Kermadec subduction system in the Louisville Ridge pre-collision zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funnell, M. J.; Peirce, C.; Stratford, W. R.; Paulatto, M.; Watts, A. B.

    2013-12-01

    New multichannel seismic data collected ~200 km south of the collision between the Tonga-Kermadec Trench and the Louisville Ridge show normal subduction zone structures indicating that the effects of the collision decay rapidly along-arc. Due to the obliqueness of plate convergence at the Tonga-Kermadec Trench, the collision zone is migrating rapidly southwards at 180 mm yr-1. Consequently, the along-arc transition from ridge-trench deformation to normal subduction zone deformation is rapid. To determine the 'normal' stratigraphy and structure of the subducting plate and forearc prior to Louisville Ridge collision, a 250 km-long multichannel seismic profile was shot perpendicular to the Kermadec Trench at ~28°S. Interpretation of coincident swath bathymetry and multichannel seismic data shows horst and graben structures on the down-going plate that offset the seafloor on large-scale, steeply-listric normal faults. These faults accommodate bending-induced extensional stresses generated as the trenchward plate dip increases. The graben have accumulated thin sedimentary deposits but are largely unfilled. Background sediment influx along the length of the 2700 km long subduction system is largely due to pelagic sedimentation and volcaniclastics from the arc, with regional sediment thicknesses in the trench of <400 m. However, a 50% increase in trench sediment thickness is observed, and is inferred to be due to increased sediment influx from an uplifting and eroding forearc. Trench and forearc structure are typical for a subduction system. However, the forearc mid-slope basin shows both arcward rotation of sedimentary sequences and extensional collapse on km-scale faults. A fresh fault scarp with ~400 m of throw leave exposed sedimentary sections indicating that extensional deformation of the forearc is both large-scale and recent. We propose that these faults accommodate the majority of forearc extension. Sediments on the upper trench slope document depositional

  8. Numerical modeling on the source parameter scaling relations and synthetic surface deformation of episodic slow slip events in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Y.

    2013-12-01

    A spectrum of slow slip phenomena in subduction zones, ranging from low-frequency earthquakes to long-term slow slip events (SSE), demonstrates a linear relation between event moment M0 and duration T spanning 7 to 8 orders of magnitude in each dimension [Ide et al., Nature, 2007; Gao et al., BSSA, 2012]. However, such a linear relation is not clearly established for each type of slow phenomena. For example, slow earthquakes beneath the Kii Peninsula in western Japan show M0 ~ T1.5 [Ide et al., GRL, 2008]. Except for the episodic SSEs in Cascadia, SSEs in other subduction zones have more scattered M0 -T relation. Understanding this scaling relation is thus key to the study of the physical mechanism of SSEs and why they are different from regular earthquakes. Here we set up a 3D planar Cascadia subduction fault model using gabbro rate-state friction parameters and incorporating near-lithostatic pore pressure around the velocity-weakening to strengthening friction stability transition at depths between 30 and 40 km. SSEs appear at the transitional depths and repeat roughly every year. Complex along-strike migration patterns are also modeled by introducing small (<5%) along-strike perturbations in frictional parameters. By identifying individual episodes of SSEs using a slip velocity threshold, we quantify the following SSE source properties, along-strike propagation length, total duration, equivalent moment, stress drop, migration speed, derive their scaling relations and compare to the observations summarized by Gao et al. [2012]. Our modeled SSEs have nearly constant stress drops between 0.001 and 0.01 MPa, due to the small effective normal stress on the order of 1 MPa in the SSE region. They have moment M0 between 1017.5 to 1019.5 Nm and duration T between 0.1 to 1 year, and the relation is best described by M0 ~ T1.8 for about 70 episodes recorded in 20 years along the 1000 km long margin. More simulation cases are conducted to systematically investigate how the

  9. Sedimentation in the central segment of the Aleutian Trench: Sources, transport, and depositional style

    SciTech Connect

    Stevenson, A.J.; Scholl, D.W.; Vallier, T.L. ); Underwood, M.B. )

    1990-05-01

    The central segment of the Aleutian Trench (162{degree}W to 175{degree}E) is an intraoceanic subduction zone that contains an anomalously thick sedimentary fill (4 km maximum). The fill is an arcward-thickening and slightly tilted wedge of sediment characterized acoustically by laterally continuous, closely spaced, parallel reflectors. These relations are indicative of turbidite deposition. The trench floor and reflection horizons are planar, showing no evidence of an axial channel or any transverse fan bodies. Cores of surface sediment recover turbidite layers, implying that sediment transport and deposition occur via diffuse, sheetlike, fine-grained turbidite flows that occupy the full width of the trench. The mineralogy of Holocene trench sediments document a mixture of island-arc (dominant) and continental source terranes. GLORIA side-scan sonar images reveal a westward-flowing axial trench channel that conducts sediment to the eastern margin of the central segment, where channelized flow cases. Much of the sediment transported in this channel is derived from glaciated drainages surrounding the Gulf of Alaska which empty into the eastern trench segment via deep-sea channel systems (Surveyor and others) and submarine canyons (Hinchinbrook and others). Insular sediment transport is more difficult to define. GLORIA images show the efficiency with which the actively growing accretionary wedge impounds sediment that manages to cross a broad fore-arc terrace. It is likely that island-arc sediment reaches the trench either directly via air fall, via recycling of the accretionary prism, or via overtopping of the accretionary ridges by the upper parts of thick turbidite flows.

  10. A new database on subduction seismicity at the global scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Presti, D.; Heuret, A.; Funiciello, F.; Piromallo, C.

    2012-04-01

    In the framework of the EURYI Project 'Convergent margins and seismogenesis: defining the risk of great earthquakes by using statistical data and modelling', a global collection of recent intraslab seismicity has been performed. Based on EHB hypocenter and CMT Harvard catalogues, the hypocenters, nodal planes and seismic moments of worldwide subduction-related earthquakes were extracted for the period 1976 - 2007. Data were collected for centroid depths between sea level and 700 km and for magnitude Mw ≥ 5.5. For each subduction zone, a set of trench-normal transects were constructed choosing a 120km width of the cross-section on each side of a vertical plane and a spacing of 1 degree along the trench. For each of the 505 resulting transects, the whole subduction seismogenic zone was mapped as focal mechanisms projected on to a vertical plane after their faulting type classification according to the Aki-Richards convention. Transect by transect, fist the seismicity that can be considered not related to the subduction process under investigation was removed, then was selected the upper plate seismicity (i.e. earthquakes generated within the upper plate as a result of the subduction process). After deletion from the so obtained event subset of the interplate seismicity as identified in the framework of this project by Heuret et al. (2011), we can be reasonably confident that the remaining seismicity can be related to the subducting plate. Among these earthquakes we then selected the intermediate and deep depth seismicity. The upper limit of the intermediate depth seismicity is generally fixed at 70 km depth in order to avoid possible mixing with interplate seismicity. The ranking of intermediate depth and deep seismicity was in most of cases referred to earthquakes with focal depth between 70-300 km and with depth exceeding 300 km, respectively. Outer-rise seismicity was also selected. Following Heuret et al. (2011), the 505 transects were merged into 62 larger

  11. Farallon plate dynamics prior to the Laramide orogeny: Numerical models of flat subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Sibiao; Currie, Claire A.

    2016-01-01

    The Laramide orogeny (~ 80-50 Ma) was an anomalous period of mountain-building in the western United States that occurred more than 1000 km inboard of the Farallon Plate subduction margin. It is widely believed that this orogeny is coincident with a period of flat (subhorizontal) subduction. However, the factors that caused the Farallon Plate to evolve from a normal (steep) geometry to flat subduction are not well understood. Three proposed factors are: (1) a westward (trenchward) increase in North America motion, (2) an increased slab suction force owing to the presence of thick Colorado Plateau lithosphere, and (3) subduction of a low-density oceanic plateau. This study uses 2D upper mantle scale numerical models to investigate these factors. The models show that trenchward continental motion is the primary control on subduction geometry, with decreasing slab dip as velocity increases. However, this can only create low-angle subduction, as the Farallon Plate was old (> 100 Myr) and denser than the mantle. A transition to flat subduction requires: (1) subduction of a buoyant oceanic plateau that includes an 18-km-thick crust that does not undergo metamorphic densification and an underlying depleted harzburgite layer, and (2) a slab break-off at the landward side of the plateau. The break-off removes the dense frontal slab, and flat subduction develops as the buoyant plateau deflects the slab upward. The slab suction force has only a minor effect on slab flattening, but the thickness of the Colorado Plateau lithosphere controls the depth of the flat slab. With a continental velocity of 4 cm/yr and a 400-km-wide oceanic plateau, flat subduction develops within 15 Ma after plateau subduction. The flat slab underthrusts the continent at ~ 200 km depth, eventually extending > 1500 km inboard of the trench.

  12. Subduction initiation along the inherited weakness zone at the edge of a slab: Insights from numerical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baes, Marzieh; Govers, Rob; Wortel, Rinus

    2011-03-01

    A preexisting weakness zone in the lithosphere is required to initiate subduction. Here, we focus on a new type of weakness zone, a Subduction-Transform Edge Propagator (STEP) fault, which is inherited from a tear along the edge of a slab. Using coupled thermal-mechanical models, we show that STEP fault-perpendicular convergence results in a dipping shear zone in any tectonic setting. At a continental margin, this shear zone dips towards the continent, which is an excellent starting condition for ocean-continent subduction. If (far field) convergence persists, STEP faults become new subduction boundaries. The trench moves landward during the earliest stages of convergence. When slab pull becomes a dominant driving force, after ˜80 km convergence, trench roll-back commences. The initial geometry and mechanical properties of the sub-crustal STEP fault zone affect the results; subduction initiation is facilitated by a wide (˜100 km) and low-viscosity weakness zone. Incipient subduction is easier for young oceanic lithosphere due to its lower flexural rigidity and is insensitive to the far field convergence rate. As STEP faults are commonly associated with young oceanic lithosphere, subduction initiation is thus relatively easy along them. Of particular interest are continent-ocean margins where STEP faulting has occurred.

  13. Plate kinematics, slab shape and back-arc stress: A comparison between laboratory models and current subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heuret, A.; Funiciello, F.; Faccenna, C.; Lallemand, S.

    2007-04-01

    A combination of statistical studies on present-day subduction zones and three-dimensional (3D) laboratory models is performed with the aim to clarify the way that plate kinematics control the geometry of the slab and the overriding plate deformation in subduction zones. In 3D laboratory models, the analogue of a two layer linearly viscous lithosphere-upper mantle system is achieved by means of silicon putty glucose syrup tank experiment. The subducting and overriding plate velocities are systematically changed by exploring the variability field of natural plate kinematics. Both statistical and modelling approaches recognize the importance of overriding plate motion on subduction process behavior: (1) trenches migrate at a rate close to the overriding plate motion, but always move slower than the overriding plates. The mechanism at work is a direct consequence of "slab anchoring" opposed by both lithosphere and mantle viscous resistance and is responsible for overriding plate deformation and slab geometry variability. (2) An overriding plate shortens when the overriding plate moves toward the trench and conditions that are favourable for overriding plate extension are created when the overriding plate moves away from the trench. (3) Shallow and steep dips are found if the overriding plate moves toward and away from the trench, respectively.

  14. Seismic evidence for a slab tear at the Puerto Rico Trench

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meighan, Hallie E.; Pulliam, Jay; Brink, Uri ten; López-Venegas, Alberto M.

    2013-01-01

    The fore-arc region of the northeast Caribbean plate north of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands has been the site of numerous seismic swarms since at least 1976. A 6 month deployment of five ocean bottom seismographs recorded two such tightly clustered swarms, along with additional events. Joint analyses of the ocean bottom seismographs and land-based seismic data reveal that the swarms are located at depths of 50–150 km. Focal mechanism solutions, found by jointly fitting P wave first-motion polarities and S/P amplitude ratios, indicate that the broadly distributed events outside the swarm generally have strike- and dip-slip mechanisms at depths of 50–100 km, while events at depths of 100–150 km have oblique mechanisms. A stress inversion reveals two distinct stress regimes: The slab segment east of 65°W longitude is dominated by trench-normal tensile stresses at shallower depths (50–100 km) and by trench-parallel tensile stresses at deeper depths (100–150 km), whereas the slab segment west of 65°W longitude has tensile stresses that are consistently trench normal throughout the depth range at which events were observed (50–100 km). The simple stress pattern in the western segment implies relatively straightforward subduction of an unimpeded slab, while the stress pattern observed in the eastern segment, shallow trench-normal tension and deeper trench-normal compression, is consistent with flexure of the slab due to rollback. These results support the hypothesis that the subducting North American plate is tearing at or near these swarms. The 35 year record of seismic swarms at this location and the recent increase in seismicity suggest that the tear is still propagating.

  15. Seismicity and Geometry Properties of the Hellenic Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papadimitriou, E. E.; Karakostas, V. G.; Vallianatos, F.; Makropoulos, C.; Drakatos, G.

    2014-12-01

    Recent seismicity and fault plane solutions of earthquakes that occurred along the Hellenic Arc-Trench system are engaged for approximating the geometry of the subducted oceanic plate. Seismicity and focal mechanisms confirm the gentle subduction (~15o-20o) of the oceanic crust reaching a depth of 20 km at a distance of 100 km from the trench. The slab is then bending at larger angles, and in particular at ~45o up to the depth of 80 km and at ~65o up to the depth of 180 km, when seismicity ceased. This geometry of the slab is shown in a bunch of cross sections normal to the convergence strike, up to ~25o (east Crete Island). To the east the sparse inslab seismicity reveals an almost vertical dipping of the lower part (from 80 km downdip) of the descending slab. The slab interface that accommodates hazardous earthquakes is clearly nonplanar with the main seismic moment release taking place on its up-dip side. The fore-arc, upper plate seismicity, is remarkably low in comparison with both subduction and back arc seismicity, and confined inside a seismogenic layer having a width not exceeding the 20km. Offshore seismicity is spatially variable forming distinctive streaks thus revealing that parts of the oceanic crust are probably slipped aseismically. This observation along with the fact that coupling in the Hellenic arc is only about a tenth of the plate motion, imply the presence of areas of lower and higher coupling across the subduction interface. Areas of high coupling imply areas of the slab interface subjected to high normal forces and correlate with earthquake asperities. Although asperity distributions vary substantially through time, identification of such characteristics in the seismogenesis can have a significant impact in the seismic hazard assessment. This research has been co-funded by the European Union (European Social Fund) and Greek national resources under the framework of the "THALES Program: SEISMO FEAR HELLARC" project.

  16. Distribution of Hydrous Minerals in the Subduction System beneath Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Y.; Clayton, R. W.; Jackson, J. M.; Asimow, P. D.

    2011-12-01

    Teleseismic converted phases are used to estimate the mineralogy of subducting material as a function of depth along the Cocos slab in central and southern Mexico. Modeling of the receiver function (RF) conversion amplitudes of the horizontal slab, south of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB) in central Mexico, reveals a thin low-velocity zone between the Cocos plate and the continental crust that appears to absorb nearly all of the strain between the upper plate and the Cocos slab. Using Vp/Vs versus Vs in a range of likely pressures and temperatures for candidate mineral phases, this thin (~4 km thick) layer in the flat slab region of central Mexico is determined to be enriched with hydrous minerals such as talc over normal oceanic crustal compositions such as MORB-like gabbro. On the other hand, the mineralogy of the oceanic crust downdip in the steep part of the slab beneath the TMVB is enriched with lawsonite and zoisite, which then transitions into gabbroic and eclogitic assemblages at 100 km. This supports arc volcanism in the TMVB directly above the slab as well as the slab rollback. In contrast, the dominant mineral phase in the upper oceanic crust of southern Mexico beneath the Isthmus of Tehauntepec is amphibole on top of unaltered gabbroic oceanic crust. Based on the P-T curves for equilibria involving talc derived from available thermodynamic data, the generation of talc from the basaltic lithology of the oceanic crust subducting from the trench side is nearly impossible. We therefore propose that the talc-rich layer on top of the subducting plate is generated from the mantle wedge side during the slab flattening process coupled with trench rollback. The talc-rich rocks at the slab interface can be formed in the mantle by the addition of silica transported by rising fluids via the dehydration reaction from the subducting oceanic crust and by mechanical mixing of mantle and siliceous rocks. Thus, it appears that the thin low-strength layer, which

  17. Formation of forearc basins by collision between seamounts and accretionary wedges: an example from the New Hebrides subduction zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Collot, J.-Y.; Fisher, M.A.

    1989-01-01

    Seabeam data reveal two deep subcircular reentrants in the lower arc slope of the New Hebrides island arc that may illustrate two stages in the development of a novel type of forearc basin. The Malekula reentrant lies just south of the partly subducted Bougainville seamount. This proximity, as well as the similarity in morphology between the reentrant and an indentation in the lower arc slope off Japan, suggests that the Malekula reentrant formed by the collision of a seamount with the arc. An arcuate fold-thrust belt has formed across the mouth of the reentrant, forming the toe of a new accretionary wedge. The Efate reentrant may show the next stage in basin development. This reentrant lies landward of a lower-slope ridge that may have begun to form as an arcuate fold-thrust belt across the mouth of a reentrant. This belt may have grown by continued accretion at the toe of the wedge, by underplating beneath the reentrant, and by trapping of sediment shed from the island arc. These processes could result in a roughly circular forearc basin. Basins that may have formed by seamount collision lie within the accretionary wedge adjacent to the Aleutian trenches. -Authors

  18. Arc-arc Collision Structure in the Southernmost Part of the Kuril Trench Region -Results from Integrated Analyses of the 1998-2000 Hokkaido Transect Seismic Data-

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwasaki, Takaya; Tsumura, Noriko; Ito, Tanio; Sato, Hiroshi; Kurashimo, Eiji; Hirata, Naoshi; Arita, Kazunori; Noda, Katsuya; Fujiwara, Akira; Abe, Susumu; Kikkuchi, Shunsuke; Suzuki, Kazuko

    2015-04-01

    The Hokkaido Island, located in the southernmost part of the Kuril trench region, has been under a unique tectonic environment of arc-arc collision. Due to the oblique subduction of the Pacific (PAC) plate, the Kuril forearc sliver started to collide against Northeast (NE) Japan arc from the east at the time of middle Miocene to form complicated structures in the Hidaka collision zone (HCZ), as characterized by the westward obduction of the crustal rocks of the Kuril arc (the Hidaka metamorphic belt (HMB)) along the Hidaka main thrust (HMT) and a thick foreland fold-and-thrust belt. In and around the HCZ, a series of seismic reflection/refraction experiments were undertaken from 1994 to 2000, which provided important structural features including crustal delamination in the southern HCZ and a thick fold-and-thrust belt with velocity reversals (low velocity layers) in the northern HCZ. Reprocessing/reinterpretation for these data sets, which started in 2012, is aimed to construct a more detailed collision model through new processing and interpretation techniques. A multi-disciplinary project of the 1998-2000 Hokkaido Transect, crossing the northern part of the HCZ in EW direction, collected high-quality seismic data on a 227-km seismic refraction/wide-angle reflection profile and three seismic reflection lines. Our reanalyses revealed interesting collision structure ongoing in the northern part of the HCZ. The westward obduction of the Kuril arc crust was clearly imaged along the HMT. This obduction occurs at a depth of 27-30 km, much deeper than in the southern HCZ (23-25 km). The CRS/MDRS processing to the reflection data firstly succeeded in imaging clear reflection events at a 30-45 km depth below the obducted Kuril arc crust. These events show an eastward dip, probably corresponding to the lower crust/Moho within the NE Japan arc descending down to the east under the collision zone. Gently eastward dipping structures above these events (in a depth range of 5

  19. Dynamics of subduction, accretion, exhumation and slab roll-back: Mediterranean scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tirel, C.; Brun, J.; Burov, E. B.; Wortel, M. J.; Lebedev, S.

    2010-12-01

    A dynamic orogen reveals various tectonic processes brought about by subduction: accretion of oceanic and continental crust, exhumation of UHP-HP rocks, and often, back-arc extension. In the Mediterranean, orogeny is strongly affected by slab retreat, as in the Aegean and Tyrrhenian Seas. In order to examine the different dynamic processes in a self-consistent manner, we perform a parametric study using the fully coupled thermo-mechanical numerical code PARAFLAM. The experiments reproduce a subduction zone in a slab pull mode, with accretion of one (the Tyrrhenian case) and two continental blocks (the Aegean case) that undergo, in sequence, thrusting, burial and exhumation. The modeling shows that despite differences in structure between the two cases, the deformation mechanisms are fundamentally similar and can be described as follows. The accretion of a continental block at the trench beneath the suture zone begins with its burial to UHP-HP conditions and thrusting. Then the continental block is delaminated from its subducting lithosphere. During the subduction-accretion process, the angle of the subducting slab increases due to the buoyancy of the continental block. When the oceanic subduction resumes, the angle of the slab decreases to reach a steady-state position. The Aegean and Tyrrhenian scenarios diverge at this stage, due naturally to the differences of their accretion history. When continental accretion is followed by oceanic subduction only, the continental block that has been accreted and detached stays at close to the trench and does not undergo further deformation, despite the continuing rollback. The extensional deformation is located further within the overriding plate, resulting in continental breakup and the development of an oceanic basin, as in the Tyrrhenian domain. When the continental accretion is followed first by oceanic subduction and then by accretion of another continental block, however, the evolution of the subduction zone is

  20. Plate Tectonics: From Initiation of Subduction to Global Plate Motions (Augustus Love Medal Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurnis, Michael

    2013-04-01

    Plates are driven by buoyancy forces distributed in the mantle, within cooling oceanic plates (ridge push) and within subducted slabs. Although the case is often made that subducted slabs provide the principle driving force on plate motion, consensus has not been achieved. This is at least partially due to the great difficulty in realistically capturing the role of slabs in observationally-constrained models as slabs act to drive and resist plate motions through their high effective viscosity. Slab buoyancy acts directly on the edge of the plate (slab pull), while inducing mantle flow that tends to drag both subducting and overriding plates toward the trench. While plates bend during subduction they undergo a form of 'plastic failure' (as evident through faulting, seismicity and reduction of flexural parameters at the outer trench wall). The birth of a new subduction zone, subduction initiation, provides important insight into plate motions and subduction dynamics. About half of all subduction zones initiated over the Cenozoic and the geophysical and geological observations of them provide first order constraints on the mechanics of how these margins evolved from their preexisting tectonic state to self-sustaining subduction. We have examples of subduction initiation at different phases of the initiation process (e.g. early versus late) as well as how margins have responded to different tectonic forcings. The consequences of subduction initiation are variable: intense trench roll back and extensive boninitic volcanism followed initiation of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc while both were absent during Aleutian arc initiation. Such differences may be related to the character of the preexisting plates, the size of and forces on the plates, and how the lithosphere was initially bending during initiation. I will address issues associated with the forces driving plate tectonics and initiating new subduction zones from two perspectives. A common thread is the origin and