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Sample records for subduction zone implications

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Y.; Lee, S.

    2008-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1996-05-01

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

  3. Patterns of Seismic Anisotropy Around Subduction Zones: Model Predictions and Implications for Subduction-Induced Mantle Flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faccenda, M.; Capitanio, F. A.

    2014-12-01

    Subduction zones are sites of large lithospheric slabs sinking into the Earth's mantle inducing complex 3D flow. Seismic anisotropy generated by strain-induced lattice/crystal preferred orientation (LPO/CPO) of intrinsically anisotropic minerals is commonly used to study the patterns of mantle flow and the associated plate motions at convergent margins. Here, we computed the upper mantle fabric due to strain-induced LPO in 3D thermo-mechanical models of dynamic subduction. Overall, strong fabrics develop in the upper and mid mantle around the subduction zone. We find that the mantle fabric occurrence depends on the distribution and amount of the deformation, whereas it is independent of the rate of subduction. As a consequence, distinctive fabric patterns are formed in the upper mantle below, aside and above the slab. Additionally, synthetic seismograms of teleseismic waves propagating sub-vertically were computed to estimate SKS splitting, which are sensitive to the upper mantle anisotropy. The results are remarkably comparable with observations from different subduction settings (i.e., Cascadia, Calabria, Aegean), yielding strong constraints on the recent dynamics of these margins. Concluding, we discuss the potential bias the seismic anisotropy introduces, which might affect isotropic seismic tomographies imaging subduction zones and eventually leading to (mis)interpreation of artificial seismic anomalies.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1995-06-01

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

  6. Subduction-zone magnetic anomalies and implications for hydrated forearc mantle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blakely, R.J.; Brocher, T.M.; Wells, R.E.

    2005-01-01

    Continental mantle in subduction zones is hydrated by release of water from the underlying oceanic plate. Magnetite is a significant byproduct of mantle hydration, and forearc mantle, cooled by subduction, should contribute to long-wavelength magnetic anomalies above subduction zones. We test this hypothesis with a quantitative model of the Cascadia convergent margin, based on gravity and aeromagnetic anomalies and constrained by seismic velocities, and find that hydrated mantle explains an important disparity in potential-field anomalies of Cascadia. A comparison with aeromagnetic data, thermal models, and earthquakes of Cascadia, Japan, and southern Alaska suggests that magnetic mantle may be common in forearc settings and thus magnetic anomalies may be useful in mapping hydrated mantle in convergent margins worldwide. ?? 2005 Geological Society of America.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  8. Why subduction zones are curved

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahadevan, L.; Bendick, R.; Liang, Haiyi

    2010-12-01

    We give an explanation for the polarity, localization, shape, size, and initiation of subduction zones on Earth. By considering a soft, thin, curved lithospheric cap with either elastic or viscous rheology supported by a thick, nearly incompressible mantle, we find two different characteristic subduction geometries arise depending on boundary conditions: (1) plate boundaries where subduction results primarily from the gravitational body force (free subduction) have characteristic plate lengths and form arc-shaped dimpled segments resulting from the competition between bending and stretching in edge buckling modes of thin spherical shells, and (2) subduction zones due to localized applied loads that push one slab of thin, positively buoyant lithosphere beneath an overriding plate (forced subduction) form localized straight segments, consistent with the deformation of indented spherical shells. Both types of subduction are nonlinear subcritical instabilities, so small perturbations in the mechanical properties of the lithosphere have pronounced effects on subduction initiation and evolution. Yet in both cases, geometric relationships determined by the shape of the Earth itself play the most critical role in controlling the basic morphology and characteristic length scales of subduction zones.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  10. Fluid processes in subduction zones.

    PubMed

    Peacock, S A

    1990-04-20

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

  11. Evolution of a Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    The purpose of this study is to understand how Earth's surface might have evolved with time and to examine in a more general way the initiation and continuance of subduction zones and the possible formation of continents on an Earth-like planet. Plate tectonics and continents seem to influence the likelihood of a planet to harbour life, and both are strongly influenced by the planetary interior (e.g. mantle temperature and rheology) and surface conditions (e.g. stabilizing effect of continents, atmospheric temperature), but may also depend on the biosphere. Employing the Fortran convection code CHIC (developed at the Royal Observatory of Belgium), we simulate a subduction zone with a pre-defined weak zone (between oceanic and continental crust) and a fixed plate velocity for the subducting oceanic plate (Quinquis et al. in preparation). In our study we first investigate the main factors that influence the subduction process. We simulate the subduction of an oceanic plate beneath a continental plate (Noack et al., 2013). The crust is separated into an upper crust and a lower crust. We apply mixed Newtonian/non-Newtonian rheology and vary the parameters that are most likely to influence the subduction of the ocanic plate, as for example density of the crust/mantle, surface temperature, plate velocity and subduction angle. The second part of our study concentrates on the long-term evolution of a subduction zone. Even though we model only the upper mantle (until a depth of 670km), the subducted crust is allowed to flow into the lower mantle, where it is no longer subject to our investigation. This way we can model the subduction zone over long time spans, for which we assume a continuous inflow of the oceanic plate into the investigated domain. We include variations in mantle temperatures (via secular cooling and decay of radioactive heat sources) and dehydration of silicates (leading to stiffening of the material). We investigate how the mantle environment influences

  12. Immiscible Hydrocarbon and Aqueous Fluids Under Subduction Zone Conditions and Implications for the Deep Carbon Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, F.; Daniel, I.; Cardon, H.; Montagnac, G.; Sverjensky, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    Subducting slabs recycle rocks into the deep Earth releasing fluids which may cause partial melting and possible oxidation of the mantle wedge. Recent theoretical studies1 indicate that at pressures greater than about 3.0 GPa these fluids could contain high concentrations of organic and inorganic C-species with a wide range of C-oxidation states at equilibrium. If so, such fluids could play an important role in the deep carbon cycle, including the formation of diamond. However, direct experimental observations of the speciation in the fluids are needed. We studied 1.0 M aqueous Na-formate and 1.0 M Na-acetate solutions in the diamond anvil cell using Raman spectroscopy at 300 ºC and 3.0 GPa for up to 60 hours. Our preliminary results indicate that formate rapidly decomposed to bicarbonate/carbonate species and methane, with no detectable H2. Acetate decomposed much more slowly. Within the first two hours of heating, crystals of Na2CO3 precipitated in the fluid, and kept growing while immiscible droplets of hydrocarbon appeared and persisted throughout the experiments at elevated temperature and pressure. In the aqueous fluid, acetate and HCO3- were present during the first 6 hours, and then CO32- and acetate after 20 hours of heating. The final HCO3- /CO32- ratio was constant indicating a constant pH. This is the first in situ observation of persistent immiscible fluid hydrocarbons formed from an aqueous precursor at upper mantle pressures. Our results suggest that Earth's subduction zone fluids at high pressures might involve fluid hydrocarbon species as well as inorganic and organic aqueous C-species, which considerably broadens the picture of deep carbon sources, cycles and sinks. [1] Sverjensky et at. (2014), Nat. Geosci. 7, 909-913.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  15. He isotope ratios in the Nankai Trough and Costa Rica subduction zones - implications for volatile cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  16. Characterizing Seismic Anisotropy across the Peruvian Flat-Slab Subduction Zone: Implications for the Dynamics of Flat-Slabs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Permeability control on transient slip weakening during gypsum dehydration: Implications for earthquakes in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leclère, Henri; Faulkner, Daniel; Wheeler, John; Mariani, Elisabetta

    2016-05-01

    A conflict has emerged from recent laboratory experiments regarding the question of whether or not dehydration reactions can promote unstable slip in subduction zones leading to earthquakes. Although reactions produce mechanical weakening due to pore-fluid pressure increase, this weakening has been associated with both stable and unstable slip. Here, new results monitoring strength, permeability, pore-fluid pressure, reaction progress and microstructural evolution during dehydration reactions are presented to identify the conditions necessary for mechanical instability. Triaxial experiments are conducted using gypsum and a direct shear sample assembly with constant normal stress that allows the measurement of permeability during sliding. Tests are conducted with temperature ramp from 70 to 150 °C and with different effective confining pressures (50, 100 and 150 MPa) and velocities (0.1 and 0.4 μm s-1). Results show that gypsum dehydration to bassanite induces transient stable-slip weakening that is controlled by pore-fluid pressure and permeability evolution. At the onset of dehydration, the low permeability promoted by pore compaction induces pore-fluid pressure build-up and stable slip weakening. The increase of bassanite content during the reaction shows clear evidence of dehydration related with the development of R1 Riedel shears and P foliation planes where bassanite is preferentially localized along these structures. The continued production of bassanite, which is stronger than gypsum, provides a supporting framework for newly formed pores, thus resulting in permeability increase, pore-fluid pressure drop and fault strength increase. After dehydration reaction, deformation is characterized by unstable slip on the fully dehydrated reaction product, controlled by the transition from velocity-strengthening to velocity-weakening behaviour of bassanite at temperature above ∼140 °C and the localization of deformation along narrow Y-shear planes. This study

  20. Carbonation by fluid-rock interactions at high-pressure conditions: Implications for carbon cycling in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

    Carbonate-bearing lithologies are the main carbon carrier into subduction zones. Their evolution during metamorphism largely controls the fate of carbon, regulating its fluxes between shallow and deep reservoirs. Recent estimates predict that almost all subducted carbon is transferred into the crust and lithospheric mantle during subduction metamorphism via decarbonation and dissolution reactions at high-pressure conditions. Here we report the occurrence of eclogite-facies marbles associated with metasomatic systems in Alpine Corsica (France). The occurrence of these marbles along major fluid-conduits as well as textural, geochemical and isotopic data indicating fluid-mineral reactions are compelling evidence for the precipitation of these carbonate-rich assemblages from carbonic fluids during metamorphism. The discovery of metasomatic marbles brings new insights into the fate of carbonic fluids formed in subducting slabs. We infer that rock carbonation can occur at high-pressure conditions by either vein-injection or chemical replacement mechanisms. This indicates that carbonic fluids produced by decarbonation reactions and carbonate dissolution may not be directly transferred to the mantle wedge, but can interact with slab and mantle-forming rocks. Rock-carbonation by fluid-rock interactions may have an important impact on the residence time of carbon and oxygen in subduction zones and lithospheric mantle reservoirs as well as carbonate isotopic signatures in subduction zones. Furthermore, carbonation may modulate the emission of CO2 at volcanic arcs over geological time scales.

  1. Lithium isotopic composition of xenolithic eclogites: implications for subduction zone processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudnick, R. L.; McDonough, W. F.; Tomascak, P. B.; Baker, E.

    2002-12-01

    Lithium isotopes are strongly fractionated at the Earth's surface. Seawater Li is very heavy (δ7Li = +32 ‰ ) compared to that in mantle-derived magmas (MORB = +2 to +6 ‰ ). Because heavy seawater Li is incorporated into altered oceanic crust (Chan et al., 1992, EPSL), Li isotopes may provide a new tool for tracing recycled oceanic crust in the Earth's mantle. However, Li systematics of island arc basalts are not straightforward. In most arc lavas no correlations exist between d7Li and other indicators of subduction (e.g., δ11B) and most arc lavas' δ7Li values overlap with those of MORB (Tomascak et al., 2002, EPSL). What happens to the heavy Li that is subducted? Recent investigation of Alpine eclogites, which are analogs of subducted, hydrothermally altered oceanic crust (Zack et al., EPSL, submitted), show them to have light δ7Li, ranging from -11 to +3 ‰ . This is significantly lighter than fresh or altered MORB, suggesting that Li is fractionated during dehydration of the slab, with heavy seawater Li being lost early in the subduction process, perhaps to the forearc mantle. We have measured the δ7Li of clean omphacites separated from xenolithic eclogites from the Mesozoic Koidu kimberlites, Sierra Leone. Previous studies have shown that the low MgO suite of eclogites from Koidu has geochemical properties of hydrothermally altered Archean oceanic crust (Barth et al., 2001, GCA; 2003, Prec. Res., in press). Omphacites from these eclogites have δ7Li ranging from -2 to +5 ‰ . Eclogites with δ18O heavier than normal mantle range are the only samples to show δ7Li that deviates from the MORB range (to lighter values), whereas elcogites with δ18O lighter than normal mantle have δ7Li that falls within the MORB range. We interpret the elcogites with heavy δ18O and light Li to represent former oceanic crust that was hydrothermally altered at low temperatures, which increased both δ18O and δ7Li. Like the Alpine eclogites, this crust lost much of its

  2. Serpentine in active subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynard, Bruno

    2013-09-01

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

  3. Sulfur isotope systematics of basaltic lavas from Indonesia: implications for the sulfur cycle in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Hoog, J. C. M.; Taylor, B. E.; van Bergen, M. J.

    2001-07-01

    We report sulfur isotope compositions of basaltic and basaltic andesite lavas from selected volcanoes in the Indonesian arc system covering the spectrum from low-K tholeiitic to high-K calc-alkaline compositions. The results of 25 samples from seven volcanoes, which are associated with different subduction regimes, show a range in δ34S values of +2.0-+7.8‰ (VCDT) with an average of +4.7±1.4‰ (1σ). Averages and within-suite variations of two larger sets of samples from Batur and Soputan volcanoes (+4.2±1.3‰ with n=9 and +5.7±1.4‰ with n=7, respectively) are comparable to those of the entire sample set. Sulfur concentrations are low (mostly between 2 and 74 ppm, average=19 ppm) and do not show correlations with sulfur isotope composition and whole-rock chemistry, or systematic changes with time in any of the lava suites. From model calculations we infer that basaltic magmas will undergo sulfur isotope fractionation during degassing, most commonly towards lower δ34S values, but that the extent is limited at P-T conditions and oxidation states of interest. Hence, δ34S signatures of basaltic lavas will generally be within a few permil from primary magmatic values, even in cases of extensive sulfur loss. Consequently, magmas in the Indonesian arc system originate from mantle sources that are enriched in 34S relative to MORB and OIB sources and are likely to have δ34S values of about +5-+7‰. The enrichment in 34S is considered to reflect addition of slab-derived material, presumably from sediments rather than altered oceanic crust, with fluids being the most likely transport medium. Absence of correlation between δ34S values of Indonesian basalts and chemical proxies for source components or processes at the slab-wedge interface suggests that sulfur isotopes are relatively insensitive to variations in subduction setting and dynamics. This is supported by the modest range in δ34S of the Indonesian volcanoes studied despite significant variations in the

  4. Phlogopite and K-amphibole in the upper mantle: Implication for magma genesis in subduction zones

    SciTech Connect

    Sudo, Akira; Tatsumi, Yoshiyuki )

    1990-01-01

    High-pressure phase relations have been examined for phlogopite + diopside with and without enstatite under vapor absent conditions in the pressure range of 5 to 13 GPa and in the temperature range of 1,000 to 1,300C. Phlogopite in these systems can be stable up to 6-7 GPa and decomposes through pressure-dependent reactions to crystallize phases including potassic amphibole. The experimental results suggest that phlogopite, which is one of main hydrous phases in the downdragged hydrated peridotite at the base of mantle wedge, plays an important role in the formation of magmas at the backarc side of a volcanic arc. The existence of potassic amphibole at higher pressure regions may imply the involvement of subduction component in magma generation in the region far away from the trench axis.

  5. Dynamic weakening of smectite-bearing faults at intermediate velocities: Implications for subduction zone earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oohashi, Kiyokazu; Hirose, Takehiro; Takahashi, Miki; Tanikawa, Wataru

    2015-03-01

    The hydrous clay mineral smectite, which is pervasive in sediments on subducting oceanic plates, is thought to weaken and stabilize subduction thrust faults. However, these frictional properties of smectite alone cannot explain the large coseismic slip in the vicinity of a trench. Here we performed friction experiments to demonstrate the rate dependence of friction at slip rates from 30 µm/s to 1.3 m/s for water-saturated smectite-quartz mixtures with various smectite contents, so as to shed light on the frictional response of smectite-bearing faults at intermediate to high slip rates. At slip rates of 30 to 150 µm/s, the friction coefficients decreased gradually from 0.5-0.6 to 0.1 with an increase in smectite content from 20 to 50 wt %. In contrast, at slip rates higher than 1.3 mm/s, friction exhibited marked slip weakening, resulting in low friction coefficients of 0.1-0.05, even for low smectite contents (roughly <30 wt %). Drastic slip weakening occurred at smectite contents of 10-30 wt % at slip rates of ~10 mm/s, which is 1 to 2 orders of magnitude lower than the slip rate at which slip weakening was observed in previous experiments on various rock types. The intermediate velocity weakening could be attributed to a rise in pore pressure caused by both shear-enhanced compaction and microscopic thermal pressurization of pore fluids. This process could weaken the fault even below seismic slip rates, leading to an acceleration of fault motion and potentially facilitating large coseismic slip and a stress drop in the vicinity of a trench.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. A new view into the Cascadia subduction zone and volcanic arc: Implications for earthquake hazards along the Washington margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Parsons, T.; Trehu, A.M.; Luetgert, J.H.; Miller, K.; Kilbride, F.; Wells, R.E.; Fisher, M.A.; Flueh, E.; ten Brink, U.S.; Christensen, N.I.

    1998-01-01

    In light of suggestions that the Cascadia subduction margin may pose a significant seismic hazard for the highly populated Pacific Northwest region of the United States, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Research Center for Marine Geosciences (GEOMAR), and university collaborators collected and interpreted a 530-km-long wide-angle onshore-offshore seismic transect across the subduction zone and volcanic arc to study the major structures that contribute to seismogenic deformation. We observed (1) an increase in the dip of the Juan de Fuca slab from 2??-7?? to 12?? where it encounters a 20-km-thick block of the Siletz terrane or other accreted oceanic crust, (2) a distinct transition from Siletz crust into Cascade arc crust that coincides with the Mount St. Helens seismic zone, supporting the idea that the mafic Siletz block focuses seismic deformation at its edges, and (3) a crustal root (35-45 km deep) beneath the Cascade Range, with thinner crust (30-35 km) east of the volcanic arc beneath the Columbia Plateau flood basalt province. From the measured crustal structure and subduction geometry, we identify two zones that may concentrate future seismic activity: (1) a broad (because of the shallow dip), possibly locked part of the interplate contact that extends from ???25 km depth beneath the coastline to perhaps as far west as the deformation front ???120 km offshore and (2) a crustal zone at the eastern boundary between the Siletz terrane and the Cascade Range.

  9. Central Cascadia subduction zone creep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  11. Fast rates of subduction erosion along the Costa Rica Pacific margin: Implications for nonsteady rates of crustal recycling at subduction zones

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vannucchi, P.; Ranero, C.R.; Galeotti, S.; Straub, S.M.; Scholl, D. W.; McDougall-Ried, K.

    2003-01-01

    At least since the middle Miocene (???16 Ma), subduction erosion has been the dominant process controlling the tectonic evolution of the Pacific margin of Costa Rica. Ocean Drilling Program Site 1042 recovered 16.5 Ma nearshore sediment at ???3.9 km depth, ???7 km landward of the trench axis. The overlying Miocene to Quaternary sediment contains benthic foraminifera documenting margin subsidence from upper bathyal (???200 m) to abyssal (???2000 m) depth. The rate of subsidence was low during the early to middle Miocene but increased sharply in the late Miocene-early Pliocene (5-6.5 Ma) and at the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary (2.4 Ma). Foraminifera data, bedding dip, and the geometry of slope sediment indicate that tilting of the forearc occurred coincident with the onset of rapid late Miocene subsidence. Seismic images show that normal faulting is widespread across the continental slope; however, extension by faulting only accounts for a minor amount of the post-6.5 Ma subsidence. Basal tectonic erosion is invoked to explain the subsidence. The short-term rate of removal of rock from the forearc is about 107-123 km3 Myr-1 km-1. Mass removal is a nonsteady state process affecting the chemical balance of the arc: the ocean sediment input, with the short-term erosion rate, is a factor of 10 smaller than the eroded mass input. The low 10Be concentration in the volcanic arc of Costa Rica could be explained by dilution with eroded material. The late Miocene onset of rapid subsidence is coeval with the arrival of the Cocos Ridge at the subduction zone. The underthrusting of thick and thermally younger ocean crust decreased the subduction angle of the slab along a large segment of the margin and changed the dynamic equilibrium of the margin taper. This process may have induced the increase in the rate of subduction erosion and thus the recycling of crustal material to the mantle. Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.

  12. The systematics of chlorine, fluorine, and water in Izu arc front volcanic rocks: Implications for volatile recycling in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straub, Susanne M.; Layne, Graham D.

    2003-11-01

    Cl and H 2O recycled at arc would be lower. Extrapolating the Izu data to the total length of global arcs (˜37,000 km), the global arc outflux of fluid-recycled Cl and H 2O at subduction zones amounts to Cl ˜2.9-3.8 × 10 12 g/yr and H 2O ˜0.7-1.0 × 10 14 g/yr, respectively—comparable to previous estimates. Further, we obtain a first estimate of global arc outflux of fluid-recycled F of ˜0.3-0.4 × 10 12g/yr. Despite the inherent uncertainties, our results support models suggesting that the slab becomes strongly depleted in Cl and H 2O in subduction zones. In contrast, much of the subducted F appears to be returned to the deep mantle, implying efficient fractionation of Cl and H 2O from F during the subduction process. However, if slab devolatilization produces slab fluids with high Cl/F (˜9.5), slab melting will still produce components with low Cl/F ratios (˜0.9), similar to those characteristic of the upper continental crust (Cl/F ˜0.3-0.9).

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  15. Seismic coupling and uncoupling at subduction zones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruff, L.; Kanamori, H.

    1983-01-01

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

  16. Density model of the Cascadia subduction zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

  17. Consolidation state of incoming sediments to the Nankai Trough subduction zone: Implications for sediment deformation and properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitajima, Hiroko; Saffer, Demian M.

    2014-07-01

    hydromechanical properties of accreted and underthrust sediments are key parameters controlling the mechanics of earthquakes and the development of fluid pressure in subduction zones. We conducted consolidation tests on sediments from the Philippine Sea Plate (PSP) in the Nankai Trough to understand the consolidation state and hydraulic properties of the incoming sediment section before its incorporation into the subduction zone. We used mudstone and sandstone cores sampled from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment at two reference sites (Site C0011 located on a basement low; and Site C0012 located on a basement high). Our experimental results indicate that most of the mudstone samples are normally consolidated or overconsolidated, with overconsolidation ratios (OCR) ranging from 0.89 to 2.52 at Site C0011 and 0.86 to 3.85 at Site C0012. Higher OCR values at Site C0012, at least at shallow depths, are likely caused by erosional unloading. This implies that Site C0011 may serve as a better geotechnical reference site. We also find that mudstones accreted along the frontal thrust are severely overconsolidated relative to coeval mudstones at Site C0011, which likely reflects enhanced consolidation due to increased horizontal tectonic stress. Sandstones in the incoming section on the PSP exhibit 2-3 orders of magnitude higher in situ permeability than the mudstones, and the siliciclastic sandstone we tested maintains a high permeability at stresses up to at least 70 MPa, suggesting that the sandstones may act as important pathways for drainage or pore pressure translation from depths of several kilometers.

  18. Supra-subduction zone extensional magmatism in Vermont and adjacent Quebec: Implications for early Paleozoic Appalachian tectonics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  19. Experimental Constraints on CO2 Solubility in Rhyolitic Slab Melts - Implications for Carbon Flux in Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duncan, M. S.; Dasgupta, R.

    2014-12-01

    Understanding the fate of carbon in subduction zones is critical to understand carbon cycle on a global scale. The amount of carbonate and reduced (organic) carbon that is subducted and the amount of CO2 that is released from arc volcanoes vary for subduction zones around the globe. If the agent of carbon transfer from slab to sub-arc mantle is a partial melt of either ocean-floor sediments [1] or hydrous basalt [2], we need to know the solubility of CO2 in rhyolitic slab melt to constrain the flux of carbon in subduction zones. Our previous experiments have constrained CO2 content in silicic slab melts as a function of P (1.5-3.0 GPa) and melt H2O content (0.5-3.0 wt.%) [3]. Here we extend our experiments to constrain the effect of temperature (1100-1400 °C) and fO2 (CO2 vapor-saturated [3] and graphite-saturated) on CO2 solubility and speciation in natural rhyolitic melts. From our data, we constructed empirical and thermodynamic models to calculate CO2 content in slab melts at P and T appropriate for the sub-arc region of the subducting slab at variable fO2 [4]. These experiments and models show that CO2 solubility increases with increasing P, fO2, and melt H2O contents to ~3.5 wt.%, while there is a only slight increase in CO2 solubility with increasing T though the effect is much smaller. Our study constrains the extent of C-cycling to the deep interior and to the arc source for graphite-saturated domains of the downgoing crust. Further, there is a general correspondence between CO2 solubility in slab-derived, rhyolitic melts at sub-arc depth with measured CO2 outflux at arcs [5]. For hotter slabs (T>800 °C) the calculated CO2 contents using our thermodynamic model, for example, are 1.5-3.4 wt.% for a low-H2O melt generated near the FMQ buffer and correspond to arc fluxes of 50-500 × 109 mol/yr. For colder slabs (T<800 °C) the calculated CO2 contents are 0.9-1.6 wt.% for a low-H2O melt generated near the FMQ buffer and correspond to arc fluxes of 0.1-15

  20. Plastic flow of omphacite in eclogites at temperatures below 500°C - implications for interplate coupling in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piepenbreier, Dörthe; Stöckhert, Bernhard

    2001-05-01

    In subduction zones oceanic crust of the downgoing plate presumably forms a continuous interlayer between the upper and the lower plate. During subduction, the basaltic material is transformed to eclogite. Thus, the flow strength of eclogite must pose an upper bound to shear stresses across the plate boundary for the deeper levels of subduction zones. Up to now, experimental flow laws for wet diopside have been applied to predict the strength of eclogites. However, based on experimental calibration the material would be essentially undeformable by dislocation creep at 650°C. Even at 700 °C a strain rate of 10-14 s-1 would still imply a differential stress of ca. 150 MPa. Omphacite microstructures in eclogites from the Piemonte Zone, Western Alps, reveal shape-preferred orientation, subgrains and sutured high-angle grain boundaries due to migration recrystallization, and a pronounced crystallographic preferred orientation. These textures indicate that the omphacite was deformed by dislocation creep. In contrast, garnet forms rigid inclusions within the weaker pyroxene matrix. Fe-Mg exchange thermometry for garnet omphacite pairs indicates temperatures of 465±50 °C (Valle di Locana) and 475±50 °C (Vallone di Saint Marcel), for a pressure of 1.5 GPa. These results are not consistent with the predictions based on experimental flow laws for diopside. Our data suggest that the flow strength of sodic pyroxene is significantly lower than that of diopside. This finding is consistent with the homologous temperature concept, with the melting temperature of jadeite at 3 GPa being approximately 350 °C lower than that of diopside. In addition, dynamic migration recrystallization of omphacite in the investigated samples can be linked to small chemical changes. This indicates that mobile grain boundaries formed an effective pathway for the exchange of ions and that this exchange was fast compared to the rate of boundary migration. Thus, the combined reduction of stored

  1. Resonant seismic and microseismic ground motion of the Cascadia subduction zone accretionary prism and implications for seismic velocity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Earl E.; Heesemann, Martin

    2015-02-01

    Seafloor pressure and seismic observations have been made along a transect of sites off southwestern Canada using connections to the NEPTUNE Canada cabled network beginning in the fall of 2009. A comparison of the vertical ground motion response to oceanographic and seismic loading at a site on the outer Cascadia subduction zone accretionary prism to that at a site on the adjacent Juan de Fuca Plate shows generally stronger ground motion at the prism site across the full bandwidths of infragravity waves and microseisms and a strong sharp peak in the relative response at a period of 9 s. This peak is seen in the response to loading by local storm waves and dispersive swell sequences, as well as in the average response to storm- and swell-generated pressure fluctuations averaged over long periods of time. Tuned response to teleseismic surface waves is also seen at the same frequency. We infer that this behavior results from quarter-wavelength harmonic resonance of the prism, with the two-way travel time of compressional waves between the seafloor and underlying igneous crust being one half the resonance period. The consistency of the anomalous spectral peak from year to year at this particular site suggests that the behavior might be used to track small (≈1%) changes in the vertical seismic velocity of the prism if variations related to strain or pore fluid pressure changes through a subduction thrust earthquake cycle were to occur.

  2. Compositional diversity of Late Cenozoic basalts in a transect across the southern Washington Cascades: Implications for subduction zone magmatism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leeman, William P.; Smith, Diane R.; Hildreth, Wes; Palacz, Zen; Rogers, Nick

    1990-11-01

    Major volcanoes of the Southern Washington Cascades (SWC) include the large Quaternary stratovolcanoes of Mount St. Helens (MSH) and Mount Adams (MA) and the Indian Heaven (IH) and Simcoe Mountain (SIM) volcanic fields. There are significant differences among these volcanic centers in terms of their composition and evolutionary history. The stratovolcanoes consist largely of andesitic to dacitic lavas and pyroclastics with minor basalt flows. IH consists dominantly of basaltic with minor andesite lavas, all erupted from monogenetic rift and cinder cone vents. SIM has a poorly exposed andesite to rhyolite core but mainly consists of basaltic lavas erupted from numerous widely dispersed vents; it has the morphology of a shield volcano. Distribution of mafic lavas across the SWC is related to north-northwest trending faults and fissure zones that indicate a significant component of east-west extension within the area. There is overlap in eruptive history for the areas studied, but it appears that peak activity was progressively older (MSH (<40 Ka), IH (mostly <0.5 Ma), MA (<0.5 Ma), SIM (1-4 Ma)) and more alkalic toward the east. A variety of compositionally distinct mafic magma types has been identified in the SWC, including low large ion lithophile element (LILE) tholeiitic basalts, moderate LILE calcalkalic basalts, basalts transitional between these two, LILE-enriched mildly alkalic basalts, and basaltic andesites. Compositional diversity among basaltic lavas, both within individual centers as well as across the arc, is an important characteristic of the SWC traverse. The fact that the basaltic magmas either show no correlation between isotopic and trace element components or show trends quite distinct from those of the associated evolved lavas, suggests that their compositional variability is attributable to subcrustal processes. Both the primitive nature of the erupted basalts and the fact that they are relatively common in the SWC sector also imply that such

  3. On the relative roles of carbonate and molecular CO2 in subduction zones: implications for Earth's deep carbon cycle (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manning, C. E.; Kavner, A.; Chopelas, A.

    2010-12-01

    Subduction-zone volcanism returns oxidized carbon (chiefly CO2) to Earth’s surface reservoirs. However, the mechanism by which this carbon is transferred from the slab to the arc-magma source region is uncertain. Phase equilibrium studies of subduction zones indicate that in the absence of fluids carbonate minerals are quite stable along slab P-T paths, so their simple breakdown cannot be a significant mechanism for CO2 loss, at least to subarc depths. Alternatively, CO2 can be generated from slab carbonates by infiltration of an H2O-rich fluid, driving reactions that can be modeled by aragonite + quartz = wollastonite + CO2. However, the high P and low T of subduction zones causes maximum CO2 concentrations to remain low at depths <100 km. But such calculations assume that dissolved carbon is present as molecular CO2, whereas carbon liberated by dissolution of CaCO3 in H2O at slab P and T is predominantly carbonate, dominantly H2CO3. Using the equation of Caciagli and Manning (2003, CMP, 146, 275) for the solubility of CaCO3 in H2O, we computed dissolved carbonate content in fluids at the P and T of the Cascadia slab mantle interface. In H2O equilibrated with CaCO3 at depths shallower than ~80 km, more carbon is present as carbonic acid than as molecular CO2. Molecular CO2 is 10x lower than carbonic acid over most of the depth interval. It rises rapidly at 70-80 km, where the two species are present in subequal concentrations (~2000 ppm). At greater depths, carbon in the fluid is predicted to be dominantly molecular CO2. Where carbonate species predominate in slab fluids, the capacity for carbon transport will depend strongly on pH. For example, at 1.8 GPa, the Cascadia slab-mantle interface is predicted to be 500°C. At this P and T, the pH of pure H2O equilibrated with CaCO3 is 6.7 (neutral pH is 3.8). However, the pH buffered by model mineral assemblages of the slab (e.g., jadeite-paragonite-quartz) or mantle wedge (talc-olivine) is 4-6. Because CaCO3

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. A long-term rock uplift rate for eastern Crete and geodynamic implications for the Hellenic subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strobl, M.; Hetzel, R.; Fassoulas, C.; Kubik, P.

    2014-12-01

    The island of Crete in the forearc of the Hellenic subduction zone has a rugged topography with a local relief exceeding 2 km. Based on the elevation of marine shorelines, rates of rock uplift during the Late Holocene were previously estimated to range between 1 and 4 mm/a in different parts of the island (e.g. Lambeck, 1995). These rates may, however, not be representative for longer timescales, because subduction earthquakes with up to 9 m of vertical coseismic displacement have recently affected Crete (Stiros, 2001). Here we use a well preserved sequence of marine terraces near Kato Zakros in eastern Crete to determine the rate of rock uplift over the last ˜600 ka. Field investigations and topographic profiles document a flight of more than 13 marine bedrock terraces that were carved into limestones of the Tripolitza unit. Preliminary age constraints for the terraces were obtained by 10Be exposure dating of rare quartz-bearing sandstone clasts, which are present on some terraces. The 10Be ages of these samples, which have been corrected for an inherited nuclide component, yielded exposure ages between ˜100 ka and zero. Combined with geomorphologic evidence the two oldest 10Be ages suggest that the terraces T4 and T5, with shoreline angles at an elevation of ca. 68 and ca. 76 m above sea level, respectively, formed during the marine isotope stage 5e about 120 ka ago. The correlation of the higher terraces (T6 to T13) with regional sea-level high-stands (Siddall et al., 2003) indicates sustained rock uplift at a rate of ˜0.5 m/ka since at least ˜600 ka. As normal faulting has dominated the tectonics of Crete during the last several million years, upper crustal shortening can be ruled out as a cause for rock uplift. We argue that the sustained uplift of the island results from the continuous underplating of sediments, which are transferred from the subducting African plate to the base of the crust beneath Crete. Lambeck, 1995, Geophys. J. Int. 122, 1022

  6. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. The Sulfur Cycle at Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    We present sulfur (S) isotope data for magmatic gases emitted along the Central American (CA) Arc (oxidizing conditions ΔQFM ~+ 1.5) and at the East African Rift (reduced conditions ΔQFM ~0). The results are interpreted through mass balance calculations to characterize the S cycle through subduction zones with implications for the redox conditions of arc magmas. Voluminous gas emissions from Masaya, an open vent basaltic volcano in Nicaragua, represent >20% of the SO2 flux from the CA arc [1]. Samples from the Masaya plume have S isotope compositions of + 4.8 × 0.4 ‰ [2]. Degassing fractionation modeling and assessment of differentiation processes in this oxidized volcano suggest that this value is close to that of the source composition. High T gas samples from other CA volcanoes (Momotombo, Cerro Negro, Poas, Turrialba) range from + 3 ‰ (Cerro Negro) to + 7 ‰ (Poas; [3]). The high δ34S values are attributed to recycling of subducted oxidized sulfur (sulfate ~ + 20 ‰) through the CA arc. The δ34S values of the more reduced samples from East African Rift volcanoes, Erta Ale - 0.5 × 0.6 ‰ [3] and Oldoinyo Lengai -0.7 ‰ to + 1.2 ‰) are far lower and are probably sourced directly from ambient mantle. The subduction of oxidized material at arcs presents a likely explanation for the oxidized nature of arc magmas relative to magmas from spreading centers. We observe no distinguishable change in melt fO2 with S degassing and attribute these differences to tectonic setting. Monte Carlo modeling suggests that subducted crust (sediments, altered oceanic crust, and serpentinized lithospheric mantle) delivers ~7.7 × 2.2 x 1010 mols of S with δ34S of -1.5 × 2.3‰ per year into the subduction zone. The total S output from the arc is estimated to be 3.4 × 1.1 x 1010 mols/yr with a δ34S value similar to that of Masaya gas (+5 × 0.5 ‰). Considering δ34S values for ambient upper mantle (0 ‰ [4]) and slab-derived fluids (+14 ‰ [5]) allows calculation

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Geometry and thermal structure of the Menderes Massif Core Complex (Western Turkey), implications for thermal evolution of Hellenic subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roche, Vincent; Jolivet, Laurent; Guillou-Frottier, Laurent; Tuduri, Johann; Bouchot, Vincent; Beccaletto, Laurent; Lahfid, Abdeltif

    2016-04-01

    The eastern Mediterranean region is one of the most promising geothermal areas, with more than 250 geothermal fields discovered in Turkey (Parlaktuna, 2013), in a region of active tectonics and volcanism. Although the potential of these deep geothermal resources has not been systematically investigated yet, the geothermal activity of the western Turkey area is the most recent signature of the high heat flow (120-140 mW/m²; Aydin, 2005, from Teczan, 1995). Based on Turkish data, 2084 MWt are being utilized for direct applications and most of the energy originates from the Menderes Massif (Baba et al., 2015). This large-scale thermal anomaly at the surface is correlated to a long wavelength east-west increase of surface heat flow that could reflect the thermal state of Aegean subduction zone at depth. In order to better understand and characterize the possible connections between large-scale mantle dynamics and surface processes in space and time, we study the structure and thermal evolution of the Menderes Massif. Both the acceleration of the Aegean extension in the Middle Miocene and the recent escape of Anatolia have been proposed to result from several slab tearing events, the first one being located below western Turkey and the Eastern Aegean Sea. These events have triggered the formation of metamorphic complexes with contrasted exhumation P-T paths. While the extension in the Aegean domain is well-characterized with high-temperature domes in the center and east, the succession of several metamorphic events in the Menderes Massif and their significance in terms of geodynamics is still debated. Hence, the exhumation history is key to understanding the temporal and spatial distribution of the thermal signature of the Hellenic slab and its tearing/detachment. The Menderes Massif displays a large variety of metamorphic facies, from the Barrovian type metamorphism in the Eocene (the Main Menderes Metamorphism) to the coeval (?) HP-LT metamorphism on the southernmost

  13. Three-dimensional velocity structure of the outer fore arc of the Colombia-Ecuador subduction zone and implications for the 1958 megathrust earthquake rupture zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Cano, Lina Constanza; Galve, Audrey; Charvis, Philippe; Marcaillou, Boris

    2014-02-01

    In 2005, an onshore, offshore 3-D refraction and wide-angle reflection seismic experiment was conducted along the convergent margin at the border between Colombia and Ecuador, over the rupture zone of the 1958, Mw 7.6 subduction earthquake. A well-defined Vp velocity model of the plate boundary and upper and lower plates was constructed, down to 25 km depth, using first arrival traveltimes inversion. The model reveals a several kilometers thick, low-velocity zone in the upper plate, located immediately above the interplate contact. This low-velocity zone might be related to alteration and fracturing of the mafic and ultramafic rocks, which composed the upper plate in this area by fluids released by the lower plate with possible contributions from sediment underplating. Near the toe of the margin, the model shows a low-velocity gradient in the outer wedge, which is interpreted as highly faulted and fractured rocks. This low-velocity/low-gradient region appears to limit the oceanward extension of the rupture zones of the 1958 and 1979 earthquakes, possibly because coseismic deformation and uplift of the outer margin wedge dissipates most of the seismic energy.

  14. Molybdenum isotope systematics in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    König, Stephan; Wille, Martin; Voegelin, Andrea; Schoenberg, Ronny

    2016-08-01

    This study presents Mo isotope data for arc lavas from different subduction zones that range between δ 98 / 95 Mo = - 0.72 and + 0.07 ‰. Heaviest isotope values are observed for the most slab fluid dominated samples. Isotopically lighter signatures are related to increasing relevance of terrigenous sediment subduction and sediment melt components. Our observation complements previous conclusions that an isotopically heavy Mo fluid flux likely mirrors selective incorporation of isotopically light Mo in secondary minerals within the subducting slab. Analogue to this interpretation, low δ 98 / 95 Mo flux that coincides with terrigenous sediment subduction and sediment melting cannot be simply related to a recycled input signature. Instead, breakdown of the controlling secondary minerals during sediment melting may release the light component and lead to decreasing δ 98 / 95 Mo influx into subarc mantle sources. The natural range between slab dehydration and hydrous sediment melting may thus cause a large spread of δ 98 / 95 Mo in global subduction zone magmas.

  15. 3D velocity structure of the outer forearc of the Colombia-Ecuador subduction zone; implications for the 1958 megathrust earthquake rupture zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galve, A.; Charvis, P.; Garcia Cano, L.; Marcaillou, B.

    2013-12-01

    In 2005, we conducted an onshore-offshore 3D refraction and wide-angle reflection seismic experiment over the rupture zone of the 1958 subduction earthquake that occurred near the border between Colombia and Ecuador. This earthquake was part of a sequence of 3 large ruptures (1942, Mw=7.8; 1958, Mw=7.7; 1979, Mw=8.2), which successively broke from south to north the segments of the megathrust that had been ruptured in 1906 by a single, very large magnitude (8.8) earthquake. Using first arrival traveltime inversion, we constructed a well-defined Vp velocity model of the plate boundary and of the upper and lower plates, down to 25 km depth. The model reveals a 5-km thick, low velocity zone in the upper plate, located immediately above the interplate contact. Because similar low-velocity zones are commonly observed along margins made of oceanic or island-arc accreted terranes, we suggest that the low-velocity zone might result from the alteration and hydration of mafic and ultramafic rocks in the upper plate basement, rather than from hydrofracturing alone. Sediments underplated beneath the inner wedge might contribute to the low-velocity zone but it is unlikely that they are several kilometers thick. Nevertheless, fluids expelled by the compaction and dehydration of those underplated sediments possibly favor the alteration of the overlying rocks. The low-velocity zone is spatially coincident with the 1958 rupture area. Near the toe of the margin, the model shows a low velocity gradient in the outer wedge that we interpret as a zone of highly faulted and fractured rocks or of poorly consolidated sediments. This low velocity/low gradient region forms the oceanward limit of the rupture zones of both the 1958 and the 1979 earthquakes. We suggest that the two earthquake ruptures were arrested by the low velocity zone because its low rigidity contributed to dissipate most of the seismic energy and of the coseismic strain/stress. This might be the reason why the 1958

  16. The global systematics of subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Syracuse, Ellen M.

    To better understand the global systematics of subduction zones, a series of studies investigates their variability taking advantage of comprehensive and accurate seismicity catalogs and advances in computing for wave propagation and geodynamic modeling. Every subduction zone with sufficient intermediate-depth earthquakes (IDE) from a global teleseismic catalog is analyzed and the top of the IDE, presumably the top of the slab, is digitized. Subduction zones are separated into a total of 52 segments 500-km-long. Parameters such as dip, age, convergence velocity, and slab depth beneath arc volcanoes (H) are compiled, resulting in a comprehensive, complete suite of subduction zone descriptions. Surprisingly, H ranges from 70-190 km globally and varies smoothly between arc segments, even though most models and textbooks assume constant H for all arcs, placing new constraints on magma generation models at arcs. To assess regional biases in earthquake location due to large-scale structure, IDEs in each arc segment are relocated in a three-dimensional global velocity model. Although the absolute position of slab surfaces shifts 0-25 km regionally, global variations in H persist. These variations in geometry, as well as slab age, convergence velocity, sediments, the overlying plate, and the location of the transition from localized slip and distributed flow create a large range in the thermal states of subduction zones. Two dimensional thermal kinematic-flow models using these slab geometries for each 500-km segment indicate that slab crust and sediments dehydrate before reaching beneath the arc, whereas slab mantle may still be hydrated, for all slabs and a variety of assumptions. To test these inferences, a temporary array of seismographs was deployed in Central America, sampling the slab and sub-arc mantle. P and S arrival times were inverted for earthquake locations and high-resolution regional velocity structure. Hypocenters confirm high H here. The velocity models

  17. The redox budget of subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, K. A.

    2012-06-01

    Elements that can occur in more than one valence state, such as Fe, C and S, play an important role in Earth's systems at all levels, and can drive planetary evolution as they cycle through the various geochemical reservoirs. Subduction introduces oxidised Fe, C and S in sediments, altered ocean crust, and partially serpentinised lithospheric mantle to the relatively reduced mantle, with short- and long-term consequences for the redox state of the mantle. The distribution of redox-sensitive elements in the mantle controls the redox state of mantle-derived material added to the lithosphere and atmosphere, such as arc volcanic gases and the magmas that form arc-related ore deposits. The extent of mantle oxidation induced by subduction zone cycling can be assessed, albeit with large uncertainties, with redox budget calculations that quantify the inputs and outputs to subduction zones. Literature data are augmented by new measurements of the chemical composition of partially serpentinised lithospheric mantle from New Caledonia and ODP 209. Results indicate that there is a net addition of Fe (55 ± 13 × 1012 mol year- 1), C (4.6 ± 4.0 × 1012 mol year- 1), S (2.4 ± 0.9 × 1012 mol year- 1), and redox budget (5-89 × 1012 mol year- 1) at subduction zones. Monte Carlo calculations of redox budget fluxes indicate that fluxes are 46 ± 12 × 1012 mol year- 1 entering subduction zones, if input and output parameters are assumed to be normally distributed, and 46-58 × 1012 mol year- 1 if input and output parameters are assumed to be log-normally distributed. Thus, inputs into subduction zones for Fe, C, S and redox budget are in excess of subduction zone outputs. If MORB and plume-related fluxes are taken into account then Fe, C and S fluxes balance, within error. However, the redox budget does not balance, unless the very lowest estimates for the extent of slab oxidation are taken. Thus it is likely that subduction continuously increases the redox budget of the mantle

  18. Magma-derived CO2 emissions in the Tengchong volcanic field, SE Tibet: Implications for deep carbon cycle at intra-continent subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Maoliang; Guo, Zhengfu; Sano, Yuji; Zhang, Lihong; Sun, Yutao; Cheng, Zhihui; Yang, Tsanyao Frank

    2016-09-01

    Active volcanoes at oceanic subduction zone have long been regard as important pathways for deep carbon degassed from Earth's interior, whereas those at continental subduction zone remain poorly constrained. Large-scale active volcanoes, together with significant modern hydrothermal activities, are widely distributed in the Tengchong volcanic field (TVF) on convergent boundary between the Indian and Eurasian plates. They provide an important opportunity for studying deep carbon cycle at the ongoing intra-continent subduction zone. Soil microseepage survey based on accumulation chamber method reveals an average soil CO2 flux of ca. 280 g m-2 d-1 in wet season for the Rehai geothermal park (RGP). Combined with average soil CO2 flux in dry season (ca. 875 g m-2 d-1), total soil CO2 output of the RGP and adjacent region (ca. 3 km2) would be about 6.30 × 105 t a-1. Additionally, we conclude that total flux of outgassing CO2 from the TVF would range in (4.48-7.05) × 106 t a-1, if CO2 fluxes from hot springs and soil in literature are taken into account. Both hot spring and soil gases from the TVF exhibit enrichment in CO2 (>85%) and remarkable contribution from mantle components, as indicated by their elevated 3He/4He ratios (1.85-5.30 RA) and δ13C-CO2 values (-9.00‰ to -2.07‰). He-C isotope coupling model suggests involvement of recycled organic metasediments and limestones from subducted Indian continental lithosphere in formation of the enriched mantle wedge (EMW), which has been recognized as source region of the TVF parental magmas. Contamination by crustal limestone is the first-order control on variations in He-CO2 systematics of volatiles released by the EMW-derived melts. Depleted mantle and recycled crustal materials from subducted Indian continental lithosphere contribute about 45-85% of the total carbon inventory, while the rest carbon (about 15-55%) is accounted by limestones in continental crust. As indicated by origin and evolution of the TVF

  19. Rutile Solubility in Supercritical Albite-H2O fluids: Implications for Element Mobility in Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antignano, A.; Manning, C. E.

    2006-12-01

    Supercritical fluids with compositions intermediate between H2O and silicate are widely invoked as important transport agents in subduction zones. This proposal is in part motivated by the expectation that such fluids might have greater ability to dissolve and transport key trace elements at high P and T. As a test of this hypothesis, we measured the solubility of rutile (TiO2) in supercritical albite (ab, NaAlSi3O8)-H2O at 900°C, 1.5 GPa, from Xab = 0 to 0.3. At this P and T, rutile has very low solubility in H2O and there is full miscibility between H2O and ab melt. Experiments were conducted in a piston-cylinder apparatus with NaCl-graphite furnaces. In each, a 1.6 mm OD Pt inner capsule with a synthetic rutile crystal was lightly crimped and placed in a 3.5 OD Pt capsule with ultra pure H2O and powdered Amelia albite. Equilibrium was achieved after 4 hrs. Solubility was determined by the weight loss of the rutile grain. Quench textures consistent with supercritical behavior were observed in all runs. Residual corundum is present in the H2O-rich runs, but it decreases with increasing ab concentration. Results show that rutile solubility initially rises sharply with increasing ab concentration from 38 ppm in pure H2O to 739 ppm at Xab =0.05 (44 wt%). With further increase in ab, rutile solubility increases only slightly, to 922 ppm at Xab =0.25 (83 wt%). No significant solubility increase was noted near the critical compositon (~50 wt% ab). Our results show that intermediate fluids do not significantly enhance Ti solubility above dilute silicate-bearing solutions. The presence of residual Al2O3 and the sharp initial rise in rutile solubility at low Xab imply that, by analogy with silicate melts, Ti is present in solution as Na-Ti-O complexes (e.g., Dickenson and Hess, 1985, GCA, 49, 2289). However, the lack of residual corundum at high Xab suggests a transiton to different Ti species, perhaps aqueous NaAlSi3O8-like complexes. Our results give insight into rutile

  20. Modeled temperatures and fluid source distributions for the Mexican subduction zone: Effects of hydrothermal circulation and implications for plate boundary seismic processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Tomography and Dynamics of Western-Pacific Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, D.

    2012-01-01

    We review the significant recent results of multiscale seismic tomography of the Western-Pacific subduction zones and discuss their implications for seismotectonics, magmatism, and subduction dynamics, with an emphasis on the Japan Islands. Many important new findings are obtained due to technical advances in tomography, such as the handling of complex-shaped velocity discontinuities, the use of various later phases, the joint inversion of local and teleseismic data, tomographic imaging outside a seismic network, and P-wave anisotropy tomography. Prominent low-velocity (low-V) and high-attenuation (low-Q) zones are revealed in the crust and uppermost mantle beneath active arc and back-arc volcanoes and they extend to the deeper portion of the mantle wedge, indicating that the low-V/low-Q zones form the sources of arc magmatism and volcanism, and the arc magmatic system is related to deep processes such as convective circulation in the mantle wedge and dehydration reactions in the subducting slab. Seismic anisotropy seems to exist in all portions of the Northeast Japan subduction zone, including the upper and lower crust, the mantle wedge and the subducting Pacific slab. Multilayer anisotropies with different orientations may have caused the apparently weak shear-wave splitting observed so far, whereas recent results show a greater effect of crustal anisotropy than previously thought. Deep subduction of the Philippine Sea slab and deep dehydration of the Pacific slab are revealed beneath Southwest Japan. Significant structural heterogeneities are imaged in the source areas of large earthquakes in the crust, subducting slab and interplate megathrust zone, which may reflect fluids and/or magma originating from slab dehydration that affected the rupture nucleation of large earthquakes. These results suggest that large earthquakes do not strike anywhere, but in only anomalous areas that may be detected with geophysical methods. The occurrence of deep earthquakes under

  3. Compositional diversity of Late Cenozoic basalts in a transect across the southern Washington Cascades: Implications for subduction zone magmatism

    SciTech Connect

    Leeman, W.P. ); Smith, D.R. ); Hildreth, W. ); Palacz, Z.; Rogers, N. )

    1990-11-10

    Major volcanoes of the Southern Washington Cascades (SWC) include the large quaternary stratovolcanoes of Mount St. Helens (MSH) and Mount Adams (MA) and the Indian Heaven (IH) and Simcoe Mountain (SIM) volcanic fields. There are significant differences among these volcanic centers in terms of their composition and evolutionary history. The authors conclude that subducted fluids and sediments do not play an essential role in producing these magmas. Rather, they infer that they formed by variable degree melting of a mixed mantle source consisting mainly of heterogeneously distributed OIB and mid-ocean ridge basalt source domains. Relatively minor occurrences of high field strength element (HFSE) depleted arclike basalts may reflect the presence of a small proportion of slab-metasomatized subarc mantle. The juxtaposition of such different mantle domains within the lithospheric mantle is viewed as a consequence of (1) tectonic mixing associated with accretion of oceanic and island arc terranes along the Pacific margin of North America prior to Neogene time, and possibly (2) a seaward jump in the locus of subduction at about 40 Ma. The Cascades arc is unusual in that the subducting oceanic plate is very young and hot. They suggest that slab dehydration outboard of the volcanic front resulted in a diminished role of aqueous fluids in generating or subsequently modifying SWC magmas compared to the situation at most convergent margins. Furthermore, with low fluid flux conditions, basalt generation is presumably triggered by other processes that increase the temperature of the mantle wedge (e.g., convective mantle flow, shear heating, etc.).

  4. Strain accumulation along the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, Mark H.; Lisowski, Michael

    2000-11-01

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

  5. Numerical Modelling of Subduction Zones: a New Beginning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ficini, Eleonora; Dal Zilio, Luca; Doglioni, Carlo; Gerya, Taras V.

    2016-04-01

    , if any (e.g., Doglioni et al., 2007; Afonso et al., 2008). Therefore we attempt to generate a different model setup in which are included both a decoupling at the lithosphere base and the "westward" drift of the lithosphere that implies a relative "eastward" mantle flow. The method used for this task is an implementation of I2VIS code, a 2D thermomechanical code incorporating both a characteristics based marker-in-cell method and conservative finite-difference (FD) schemes (Gerya and Yuen, 2003). The implementation involves both the integration of the LVZ and the application of an incoming and outgoing mantle flow through the lateral boundaries of the rectangular box (that represent the basic setup of the models). This new insight in numerical modelling of subduction zones could help to have a more accurate comprehension on what is actually influencing subduction zones dynamics in order to successively explain what are the causes of this fundamental process and what are its implications on plate tectonics dynamics.

  6. Improving Seismic Constraints on Subduction Zone Geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

    Accurate slab geometries are necessary for 3D flow modeling, and for understanding the variations in temperature and melting geometry between different subduction zones. Recent studies have shown that the depth to slab beneath arc volcanoes varies by as much as a factor of two between subduction zones, but these results are based on teleseismic earthquake catalogs with potentially large errors. When available, local seismic arrays provide better constraints. The TUCAN array (Tomography Under Costa Rica and Nicaragua) deployed 48 three component broadband PASSCAL instruments for 18 months with station spacing of 10-50 km across the Central America arc. This dataset provides some of the best control anywhere for ground-truth comparison of teleseismic catalogs in steeply dipping subduction zones. Joint inversion of TUCAN arrival times for velocity and hypocenters illuminate a 10-15 km thick Wadati-Benioff zone (WBZ), with absolute hypocenter uncertainties of 1-5 km. Besides providing accurate hypocenters, the tomographic images provide independent constraints on melting and temperature, through the imaging of low Vp (7.5-7.8 km/s) and highly attenuating (40zone (TWBZ) that lies 15 km below that of the TUCAN catalog on average at 80-200 km depth, with similar results for local catalogs based on a 1D velocity model. However, the width of the TWBZ is 30-80 km or 3-5 times that indicated by TUCAN hypocenters; this additional width suggests errors of +/- 10-33 km. Commonly, the top of the subducting slab is assumed to lie at the top of the WBZ seismicity, for example if double seismic zones are expected. Because of the large scatter, the TWBZ is biased too shallow compared to the TUCAN data, vertically by as much as 50 km for the steeply-dipping Nicaragua slab. Relative

  7. Seismicity of the eastern Hellenic Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  8. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  10. The radiated seismic energy and apparent stress of interplate and intraplate earthquakes at subduction zone environments; implications for seismic hazard estimation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Choy, George L.; Boatwright, John L.; Kirby, Stephen H.

    2001-01-01

    The radiated seismic energies (ES) of 980 shallow subduction-zone earthquakes with magnitudes ? 5.8 are used to examine global patterns of energy release and apparent stress. In contrast to traditional methods which have relied upon empirical formulas, these energies are computed through direct spectral analysis of broadband seismic waveforms. Energy gives a physically different measure of earthquake size than moment. Moment, being derived from the low-frequency asymptote of the displacement spectra, is related to the final static displacement. Thus, moment is crucial to the long-term tectonic implication of an earthquake. In contrast, energy, being derived from the velocity power spectra, is more a measure of seismic potential for damage to anthropogenic structures. There is considerable scatter in the plot of ES-M0 for worldwide earthquakes. For any given M0, the ES can vary by as much as an order of magnitude about the mean regression line. The global variation between ES and M0, while large, is not random. When subsets of ES-M0 are plotted as a function of seismic region, tectonic setting and faulting type, the scatter in data is often substantially reduced. There are two profound implications for the estimation of seismic and tsunamic hazard. First, it is now feasible to characterize the apparent stress for particular regions. Second, a given M0 does not have a unique ES. This means that M0 alone is not sufficient to describe all aspects of an earthquake. In particular, we have found examples of interplate thrust-faulting earthquakes and intraslab normal-faulting earthquakes occurring in the same epicentral region with vastly different macroseismic effects. Despite the gross macroseismic disparities, the MW?s in these examples were identical. However, the Me?s (energy magnitudes) successfully distinguished the earthquakes that were more damaging.

  11. Subduction zone guided waves in Northern Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garth, Thomas; Rietbrock, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Guided wave dispersion is observed in subduction zones as high frequency energy is retained and delayed by low velocity structure in the subducting slab, while lower frequency energy is able to travel at the faster velocities associated with the surrounding mantle material. As subduction zone guided waves spend longer interacting with the low velocity structure of the slab than any other seismic phase, they have a unique capability to resolve these low velocity structures. In Northern Chile, guided wave arrivals are clearly observed on two stations in the Chilean fore-arc on permanent stations of the IPOC network. High frequency (> 5 Hz) P-wave arrivals are delayed by approximately 2 seconds compared to the low frequency (< 2 Hz) P-wave arrivals. Full waveform finite difference modelling is used to test the low velocity slab structure that cause this P-wave dispersion. The synthetic waveforms produced by these models are compared to the recorded waveforms. Spectrograms are used to compare the relative arrival times of different frequencies, while the velocity spectra is used to constrain the relative amplitude of the arrivals. Constraining the waveform in these two ways means that the full waveform is also matched, and the low pass filtered observed and synthetic waveforms can be compared. A combined misfit between synthetic and observed waveforms is then calculated following Garth & Rietbrock (2014). Based on this misfit criterion we constrain the velocity model by using a grid search approach. Modelling the guided wave arrivals suggest that the observed dispersion cannot be solely accounted for by a single low velocity layer as suggested by previous guided wave studies. Including dipping low velocity normal fault structures in the synthetic model not only accounts for the observed strong P-wave coda, but also produces a clear first motion dispersion. We therefore propose that the lithospheric mantle of the subducting Nazca plate is highly hydrated at intermediate

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

    Arc magmatism at subduction zones (SZs) most voluminously supplies juvenile igneous material to build rafts of continental and intra-oceanic or island arc (CIA) crust. Return or recycling of accumulated CIA material to the mantle is also most vigorous at SZs. Recycling is effected by the processes of sediment subduction, subduction erosion, and detachment and sinking of deeply underthrust sectors of CIA crust. Long-term (>10-20 Ma) rates of additions and losses can be estimated from observational data gathered where oceanic crust underruns modern, long-running (Cenozoic to mid-Mesozoic) ocean-margin subduction zones (OMSZs, e.g. Aleutian and South America SZs). Long-term rates can also be observationally assessed at Mesozoic and older crust-suturing subduction zone (CSSZs) where thick bodies of CIA crust collided in tectonic contact (e.g. Wopmay and Appalachian orogens, India and SE Asia). At modern OMSZs arc magmatic additions at intra-oceanic arcs and at continental margins are globally estimated at c. 1.5 AU and c. 1.0 AU, respectively (1 AU, or Armstrong Unit,= 1 km3 a-1 of solid material). During collisional suturing at fossil CSSZs, global arc magmatic addition is estimated at 0.2 AU. This assessment presumes that in the past the global length of crustal collision zones averaged c. 6000 km, which is one-half that under way since the early Tertiary. The average long-term rate of arc magmatic additions extracted from modern OMSZs and older CSSZs is thus evaluated at 2.7 AU. Crustal recycling at Mesozoic and younger OMSZs is assessed at c. 60 km3 Ma-1 km-1 (c. 60% by subduction erosion). The corresponding global recycling rate is c. 2.5 AU. At CSSZs of Mesozoic, Palaeozoic and Proterozoic age, the combined upper and lower plate losses of CIA crust via subduction erosion, sediment subduction, and lower plate crustal detachment and sinking are assessed far less securely at c. 115 km3 Ma-1 km-1. At a global length of 6000 km, recycling at CSSZs is accordingly c. 0

  13. Imaging segmentation along the Cascadia subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, R. M.; Hawley, W. B.; Martin-Short, R.

    2015-12-01

    As we learn more about the Cascadia subduction zone, there is clear evidence for segmentation in the character of the many physical processes along its 1000 km length. There is segmentation in the arc magmas, in the seismicity, episodic tremor and slip, crustal structure and mantle structure all the way down to ~400 km depth. What is striking is the fact that the segment boundaries for these processes at depths of a few kilometers to hundreds of kilometers align. We must determine if this is coincidence, or if not, what the causative process is. The seismic deployments of the Cascadia Initiative onshore and offshore allow us to image the structure of the subduction zone, including the incoming Juan de Fuca plate, with unprecedented resolution. We use data from three one-year deployments of 70 ocean bottom seismometers across the Juan de Fuca plate, along with hundreds of onshore stations from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, the Berkeley Digital Seismic Network, the Earthscope Transportable Array, and smaller temporary seismic deployments. Our 3D tomographic models show significant variation in the structure of the subducting slab along its length. It extends deepest in the south (the Gorda section) where the plate is youngest, and shallows to the north across southern Oregon. There is a gap in the slab beneath northern Oregon, which appears to correlate with the geochemistry of the arc magmas. The slab is then visible again beneath Washington. We also constrain mantle flow paths using shear-wave splitting measurements at the offshore and onshore seismic stations. Beneath the Juan de Fuca plate the flow is sub-parallel to the motion of the plate. However, beneath the Gorda section of the Juan de Fuca place the flow is sub-parallel to the motion of the Pacific plate, not the Juan de Fuca plate. We are thus beginning to image a complex mantle flow pattern that may also play a role in the observed segmentation.

  14. Acceleration spectra for subduction zone earthquakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boatwright, J.; Choy, G.L.

    1989-01-01

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

  15. Effect of temperature on frictional behavior of smectite and illite: Implication for the updip limit of seismogenic zone along subduction thrust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kubo, T.; Katayama, I.

    2014-12-01

    Along plate boundary subduction thrusts, the transformation of smectite to illite within fault gouge at temperatures of ~150C is one of the key mineralogical changes thought to control the updip limit of seismicity. Saffer and Marone (2003) reported illite shale exhibited only velocity-strengthening behavior, whereas illite is widely expected to be velocity-weakening behavior. The limitation of their experiments were temperature, in which the frictional experiments were csrried out at room temperature, although the updip limit of seismogenic zone is thermally controlled that occurs at temperature around 150C. Therefore, in this study, we determined the effect of temperature of frictional properties of smectite and illite and discuss whether the smectite-illite transition accounts for the updip limit of seismogenic zone along subduction thrust. In the frictional experiments, we determined the velocity dependence of sliding friction, which is a key parameter for stable or unstable sliding. After steady-state sliding, the loading velocity of 3 μm/s was abruptly changed to 33 μm/s in each frictional experiments to determine the velocity dependence of these clay minerals. The velocity dependence of both smectite and illite at room temperature shows always positive at normal stress higher than 40 MPa, which is similar to the results of Saffer and Marone (2003). However, at temperature of 200C, illite shows negative values of (a-b), suggesting that illite exhibits unstable velocity-weakening behavior. den Hartog et al. (2012) also showed the velocity-weakening for illite gouge by high temperature ring shear experiments, but the transition from velocity strengthening to weakening occurs at temperature around 250C. These results explain that smectite is potentially aseismic for stable sliding at the subduction thrust, whereas illite becomes seismic due to a negative velocity dependence and unstable sliding at high temperatures. Thus, the smectite-illite transition has a

  16. A mega shear zone in the Central Range of Taiwan and it's implication for the Late Mesozoic subduction of the paleo-Pacific plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yi, D. C.; Lin, C. W.

    2012-04-01

    The metamorphic basement "Tananao Complex" exposed in the eastern flank of the Central Range of Taiwan. The ancient Asian continental margin deposited a thick sequence of sandstone, shale, limestone and volcanic rocks that was the protolith of Tananao Complex. In Late Mesozoic Era, the thick sequence of rocks was subjected to several phases of metamorphism and deformation to form the pair metamorphic belts which were the western Tailuko Belt and the eastern Yuli Belt. The Tailuko belt is composed of phyllite, quartzite, quartz-mica schist, meta-conglomerate, gneiss, meta-basite, amphibolite, serpentinite, marble and meta-chert, etc. The Yuli belt is composed of a monotonous assemblage of quartz-mica schist, subordinate meta-basite and serpentinite, etc. It is believed that the boundary of the Tailuko belt and the Yuli belt is a large fault, but the field evidence of the fault has never been found. In this study, meso-scale field investigation of the lithologies and rock fabrics indicate that a mega shear zone, called "The Daguan shear zone", separated the Tailuko belt from the Yuli belt. The Daguan shear zone is a NNE trending and west dipping mega shear zone which is mainly composed of mylonitic dark gray quartz-mica schist and mica schist, intercalated with 1 to 2 centimeters thick of elongated meta-conglomerate band. The shear zone is composed of numerous meso-scale ductile shear zones. Additionally, the shaer zone is characterized by abundant varied quartz veins that have been refolded to lenticular or pod shape and nearly parallel to S2 cleavage. Compaed to the existing geological information of the Central Range, we believe that the Daguan shear zone played a role as the boundary of the subduction zone which the paleo-Pacific Plate subducted into the Eurasian Plate in Late Mesozoic Era.

  17. Zircon SHRIMP U-Pb dating for gneisses in northern Dabie high T/ P metamorphic zone, central China: Implications for decoupling within subducted continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yi-Can; Li, Shu-Guang; Xu, Shu-Tong

    2007-06-01

    Zircon SHRIMP U-Pb ages and cathodoluminescence (CL) images reveal that most zircon separated from two tonalitic gneiss samples in the northern Dabie high T/ P metamorphic zone (NDZ) have four different domains: (1) inherited core, with clear oscillatory zoning, low- P mineral inclusions and high Th/U ratios, indicating the Neoproterozoic age of the protolith; (2) inner-mantle, with homogeneous CL intensity, low Th/U ratios of ≤ 0.09 and occasionally ultrahigh pressure metamorphic (UHPM) mineral inclusions such as diamond, garnet and rutile, which defined a weighted mean 206Pb/ 238U age of 218 ± 3 Ma, corresponding to the age of ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism; (3) outer-mantle with lower Th/U ratio and retrograde mineral inclusions, which yields a retrogressive age of 191 ± 5 Ma; and (4) rim, which is black luminescence, with relatively high Th/U ratios of 0.12-0.40 and a weighted mean 206Pb/ 238U age of 126 ± 5 Ma, indicating an overprint of the Early Cretaceous migmatization. Consequently, four discrete and meaningful age groups have been identified. Remarkably, the U-Pb ages of both UHPM zircon and retrograded metamorphic zircon from the NDZ are significantly younger than the U-Pb ages of 238 ± 3 Ma-230 ± 4 Ma for UHPM zircon and U-Th-Pb ages of 218 ± 1.2 Ma-209 ± 3 Ma for rutile and monazite overgrowths (representing the cooling or retrograded metamorphic time corresponding to amphibolite-facies) from the southern Dabie UHPM zone (SDZ), respectively. Combined with reported ages for UHPM rocks from the NDZ, SDZ and Huangzhen low- T eclogite zone (HZ), we found that the metamorphic ages of these three UHPM units in the Dabie orogen gradually decrease from south to north. This age distribution suggests that the three UHPM units represent 3 exhumed crustal slices, which are decoupled from each other and have different subduction and exhumation histories. Firstly, the subducted Huangzhen crustal slice was detached from the underlying subducted continental

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

    Subduction initiation is a critical link in the plate tectonic cycle. Intraoceanic subduction zones can form along transform faults and fracture zones, but how subduction nucleates parallel to mid-ocean ridges, as in e.g., the Neotethys Ocean during the Jurassic, remains a matter of debate. In recent years, extensional detachment faults have been widely documented adjacent to slow-spreading and ultraslow-spreading ridges where they cut across the oceanic lithosphere. These structures are extremely weak due to widespread occurrence of serpentine and talc resulting from hydrothermal alteration, and can therefore effectively localize deformation. Here, we show geochemical, tectonic, and paleomagnetic evidence from the Jurassic ophiolites of Albania and Greece for a subduction zone formed in the western Neotethys parallel to a spreading ridge along an oceanic detachment fault. With 2-D numerical modeling exploring the evolution of a detachment-ridge system experiencing compression, we show that serpentinized detachments are always weaker than spreading ridges. We conclude that, owing to their extreme weakness, oceanic detachments can effectively localize deformation under perpendicular far-field forcing, providing ideal conditions to nucleate new subduction zones parallel and close to (or at) spreading ridges. Direct implication of this, is that resumed magmatic activity in the forearc during subduction initiation can yield widespread accretion of suprasubduction zone ophiolites at or close to the paleoridge. Our new model casts the enigmatic origin of regionally extensive ophiolite belts in a novel geodynamic context, and calls for future research on three-dimensional modeling of subduction initiation and how upper plate extension is associated with that.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  20. Diapiric flow at subduction zones: a recipe for rapid transport.

    PubMed

    Hall, P S; Kincaid, C

    2001-06-29

    Recent geochemical studies of uranium-thorium series disequilibrium in rocks from subduction zones require magmas to be transported through the mantle from just above the subducting slab to the surface in as little as approximately 30,000 years. We present a series of laboratory experiments that investigate the characteristic time scales and flow patterns of the diapiric upwelling model of subduction zone magmatism. Results indicate that the interaction between buoyantly upwelling diapirs and subduction-induced flow in the mantle creates a network of low-density, low-viscosity conduits through which buoyant flow is rapid, yielding transport times commensurate with those indicated by uranium-thorium studies. PMID:11431563

  1. First-principles prediction of fast migration channels of potassium ions in KAlSi3O8 hollandite: Implications for high conductivity anomalies in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Yu; Sun, Yang; Lu, Xia; Gao, Jian; Li, Hong; Li, Heping

    2016-06-01

    Materials sharing the hollandite structure were widely reported as fast ionic conductors. However, the ionic conductivity of KAlSi3O8 hollandite (K-hollandite), which can be formed during the subduction process, has not been investigated so far. Here first-principles calculations are used to investigate the potassium ion (K+) transport properties in K-hollandite. The calculated K+ migration barrier energy is 0.44 eV at a pressure of 10 GPa, an energy quite small to block the K+ migration in K-hollandite channels. The calculated ionic conductivity of K-hollandite is highly anisotropic and depends on its concentration of K+ vacancies. About 6% K+ vacancies in K-hollandite can lead to a higher conductivity compared to the conductivity of hydrated wadsleyite and ringwoodite in the mantle. K+ vacancies being commonly found in many K-hollandite samples with maximum vacancies over 30%, the formation of K-hollandite during subduction of continental or alkali-rich oceanic crust can contribute to the high conductivity anomalies observed in subduction zones.

  2. Nitrogen isotopes in ophiolitic metagabbros: A re-evaluation of modern nitrogen fluxes in subduction zones and implication for the early Earth atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busigny, Vincent; Cartigny, Pierre; Philippot, Pascal

    2011-12-01

    Nitrogen contents and isotope compositions together with major and trace element concentrations were determined in a sequence of metagabbros from the western Alps (Europe) in order to constrain the evolution and behavior of N during hydrothermal alteration on the seafloor and progressive dehydration during subduction in a cold slab environment (8 °C/km). The rocks investigated include: (i) low-strain metagabbros that equilibrated under greenschist to amphibolite facies (Chenaillet Massif), blueschist facies (Queyras region) and eclogite facies (Monviso massif) conditions and (ii) highly-strained mylonites and associated eclogitic veins from the Monviso Massif. In all samples, nitrogen (2.6-55 ppm) occurs as bound ammonium ( NH4+) substituting for K or Na-Ca in minerals. Cu concentrations show a large variation, from 73.2 to 6.4 ppm, and are used as an index of hydrothermal alteration on the seafloor because of Cu fluid-mobility at relatively high temperature (>300 °C). In low-strain metagabbros, δ15N values of +0.8‰ to +8.1‰ are negatively correlated with Cu concentrations. Eclogitic mylonites and veins display Cu concentrations lower than 11 ppm and show a δ15N-Cu relationship that does not match the δ15N-Cu correlation found in low-strain rocks. This δ15N-Cu correlation preserved in low-strain rocks is best interpreted by leaching of Cu-N compounds, possibly of the form Cu(NH 3) 22+, during hydrothermal alteration. Recognition that the different types of low-strain metagabbros show the same δ15N-Cu correlation indicates that fluid release during subduction zone metamorphism did not modify the original N and Cu contents of the parent hydrothermally-altered metagabbros. In contrast, the low Cu content present in eclogitic veins and mylonites implies that ductile deformation and veining were accompanied either by a loss of copper or that externally-derived nitrogen was added to the system. We estimate the global annual flux of N subducted by metagabbros

  3. Geodetic displacements and aftershocks following the 2001 Mw = 8.4 Peru earthquake: Implications for the mechanics of the earthquake cycle along subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-09-01

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

  4. Geology of the Eel River basin and adjacent region: Implications for late Cenozoic tectonics of the southern Cascadia subduction zone and Mendocino triple junction

    SciTech Connect

    Clarke, S.H. Jr. )

    1992-02-01

    Two upper Cenozoic depositional sequences of principally marine strata about 4,000 m thick overlie accreted basement terranes of the Central and Coastal belts of the Franciscan Complex in the onshore-offshore Eel River basin of northwestern California. The older depositional sequence is early to middle Miocene in age and represents slope basin and slope-blanket deposition, whereas the younger sequence, later Miocene to middle Pleistocene in age, consists largely of forearc basin deposits. Youthful tectonic activity related to Gorda-North American plate convergence indicates an active Cascadia subduction zone and strong partial coupling between these plates. Structures of the northeastern margin of the Eel River basin are principally north-northwest-trending, east-northeast-dipping thrust and reverse faults that form imbricate thrust fans. The Coastal belt fault, the early Tertiary accretionary suture between the Franciscan Central and Coastal belts, can be traced from Arcata Bay northward offshore to the southern Oregon border. It is tentatively extended farther northward based on aeromagnetic data to an offshore position west of Cape Blanco. Thereafter, it may coincide with the offshore Fulmar fault. The Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ) does not join the Mendocino transform fault at the commonly depicted offshore location of the Mendocino triple junction (MTJ). Instead, the CSZ extends southeastward around the southern Eel River basin and shoreward along Mendocino Canyon to join the Petrolia shear zone. Similarly, the Mendocino fault may extend shoreward via Mattole Canyon and join the Cooskie shear zone. These two shear zones intersect onshore north of the King Range, and the area of their intersection is the probable location of the MTJ.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

    We studied the Zhimafang ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic (UHP) peridotite from pre-pilot drill hole PP-1 of Chinese Continental Scientific Drilling project in the Sulu UHP terrane, eastern China. The peridotite occurs as lens within quartofeldspathic gneiss, and has an assemblage of Ol + Opx + Cpx + Phl + Ti-clinohumite (Ti-Chu) + Grt (or chromite) ?? magnesite (Mgs). Zircons were separated from cores at depths of 152 m (C24, garnet lhezolite), 160 m (C27, strongly retrograded phlogopite-rich peridotite) and 225 m (C50, banded peridotite), and were dated by SHRIMP mass spectrometer. Isometric zircons without inherited cores contain inclusions of olivine (Fo91-92), enstatite (En91-92), Ti-clinohumite, diopside, phlogopite and apatite. The enstatite inclusions have low Al2O3 contents of only 0.04-0.13 wt.%, indicating a UHP metamorphic origin. The weighted mean 206Pb/238U zircon age for garnet lherzolite (C24) is 221 ?? 3 Ma, and a discordia lower intercept age for peridotite (C50) is 220 ?? 2 Ma. These ages are within error and represent the time of subduction-zone UHP metamorphism. A younger lower intercept age of 212 ?? 3 Ma for a foliated wehrlite (C27) was probably caused by Pb loss during retrograde metamorphism. The source of zirconium may be partially attributed to melt/fluid metasomatism within the mantle wedge. Geochronological and geochemical data confirm that the mantle-derived Zhimafang garnet peridotites (probably the most representative type of Sulu garnet peridotites) were tectonically inserted into a subducting crustal slab and subjected to in situ Triassic subduction-zone UHP metamorphism. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Dehydration-driven topotaxy in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    Mineral replacement reactions play a fundamental role in the chemistry and the strength of the lithosphere. When externally or internally derived fluids are present, interface-coupled dissolution-precipitation is the driving mechanism for such reactions [1]. One of the microstructural features of this process is a 3D arrangement of crystallographic axes across internal interfaces (topotaxy) between reactant and product phases. Dehydration reactions are a special case of mineral replacement reaction that generates a transient fluid-filled porosity. Among others, the dehydration serpentinite is of special relevance in subduction zones because of the amount of fluids involved (potentially up to 13 wt.%). Two topotatic relationships between olivine and antigorite (the serpentine mineral stable at high temperature and pressure) have been reported in partially hydrated mantle wedge xenoliths [2]. Therefore, if precursor antigorite serpentine has a strong crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) its dehydration might result in prograde peridotite with a strong inherited CPO. However for predicting the importance of topotactic reactions for seismic anisotropy of subduction zones we also need to consider the crystallization orthopyroxene + chlorite in the prograde reaction and, more importantly, the fact that this dehydration reaction produces a transient porosity of ca. 20 % vol. that results in local fluctuations of strain during compaction and fluid migration. We address this issue by a microstructural comparison between the CPO developed in olivine, orthopyroxene and chlorite during high-pressure antigorite dehydration in piston cylinder experiments (at 750ºC and 20 kbar and 1000ºC and 30 kbar, 168 h) and that recorded in natural samples (Cerro del Almirez, Betic Cordillera, Spain). Experimentally developed CPOs are strong. Prograde minerals show a significant inheritance of the former antigorite foliation. Topotactic relations are dominated by (001)atg//(100)ol

  7. Geochemistry of tholeiitic to alkaline lavas from the east of Lake Van (Turkey): Implications for a late Cretaceous mature supra-subduction zone environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Özdemir, Yavuz

    2016-08-01

    Arc-related rocks of the Yüksekova Complex extend from Kahramanmaraş to Hakkari throughout the Southeast Anatolia representing the remnants of the Southern Branch of Neotethys. The volcanic members of this zone from the eastern parts of Lake Van suggest three different types of rock chemistry; tholeiitic (type I), calc-alkaline (type II) and alkaline (type III). Tholeiitic and calc-alkaline members suggest a subduction-related environment with their HFS and LIL element distributions. RE and trace element systematics and modelings indicate that i) the intermediate and the felsic calc-alkaline rocks are the result of fractional crystallization from a basic endmember, ii) alkaline members have originated from enriched mantle source relative to the tholeiitic and calc-alkaline lavas. Overall data from Yüksekova Complex suggest a mature supra-subduction zone environment within the southern Neotethyan Ocean during Upper Cretaceous time. The existence of Lutetian OIB like asthenospheric lavas at the upper parts of the ophiolitic assemblage in the eastern parts of Lake Van proposes the end of the normal ophiolite formation and the possible continuation of the magmatism with OIB like lavas during Middle Eocene.

  8. Subducting Seamounts and the Rupturing Process of Great Subduction Zone Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, S.

    2009-05-01

    It was suggested in the 1970's that subducting ocean floor features may delimit the along-strike rupture lengths of large subduction zone earthquakes. With the dramatic improvement in data quality, both for seismic and ocean floor bathmetry data, we can now see how the actual rupturing process of great earthquakes is also influenced by such subducting features. Here we present three great (Mw > 8) subduction zone earthquakes, in very different parts of the world, for which a relation between the ocean floor and the earthquake source process is seen. These include the 1986 Andreanof Islands, Alaska and the 1996 Biak, Indonesia earthquakes, in which the regions of large slip concentrate in patches, reminiscent of the "asperity model" of earthquakes, and appear to be related to subducted seamounts. For the 2001 Peru earthquake, a subducting fracture zone, with its associated bathymetric peak and trough, seems to have been the cause of the rupture being stalled for ~30s, before producing an earthquake of Mw 8.4, the third largest earthquake worldwide since 1965. Similarities and differences in the earthquake rupturing properties for these two different types of subducting features will be discussed. An outstanding question is what controls whether a seamount obducts or subducts.

  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. Nature of the plate contact and subduction zones diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Franco, Roberta; Govers, Rob; Wortel, Rinus

    2008-07-01

    In recent studies we showed that the nature of the plate contact in subduction zones is an important physical feature in both oceanic lithospheric subduction and continental collision. We investigated two fundamental states of the plate contact: one based on a fault and the other based on a subduction channel. Using geodynamic modeling, we determined the specific signatures of both states of the subduction contact. We established that the nature of the plate contact influences the dynamic response of the overriding and subducting plate, and is one of the controlling factors whether back-arc extension develops or not. In the present study, we combine results of our previous numerical experiments with a re-analysis of published observations. Overall, our synthesis connects seismic moment release with back-arc deformation and tectonic processes at the margin. It leads us to identify four classes of subduction zones. The first two classes result directly from our numerical experiments. In class 1, subduction zones are characterized by a plate contact that is largely fault-like with an accretionary margin. In class 2, the plate contacts are largely channel-type and have an erosive margin. Class 3, where the plate contact is entirely channel-like, consists of accretionary margins with a high sediment supply. Subduction zones of class 4, mostly characterized by an erosive convergent margin (northern Chile, Peru, Honshu and Kuril), are more complicated. They can be explained by incorporating regional observations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    significantly affect the fabric development of peridotites during the continental collision. Combined with field observations in the WGR and recent deformation experiments on olivine, we propose that the B- and C-type fabrics of olivine were formed during the subduction of the Baltic plate in fluid-limited conditions. The combination of UHP and low temperature plays a more important role than water to promote [001] slip in continental subduction zones. The spatial distribution of olivine fabrics in the WGR could be related with the increasing pressure from south to north, i.e., the HP to UHP metamorphism transition. It is probable that in continental subduction zones, the B- and C-type fabrics will predominate over the A-type fabric with increasing depths of the subducting lithospheric mantle, and the C-type fabric is more easily to activated at pressure higher than 4 GPa on low geothermal gradients. Therefore the olivine C-type fabric may be a marker of ultradeep subduction.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hardebeck, Jeanne L.

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Supercycles at subduction thrusts controlled by seismogenic zone downdip width

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Dinther, Y.; Herrendoerfer, R.; Gerya, T.; Dalguer, L. A.

    2014-12-01

    Supercycles in subduction zones describe a long-term cluster of megathrust earthquakes, which recur in a similar way (Sieh et al. 2008,Goldfinger et al. 2013). It consists of two complete failures of a given subduction segment in between which, after a long period of relative quiescence, partial ruptures occur. We recognize that supercycles were proposed in those subduction zones (Sieh et al. 2008,Goldfinger et al. 2013, Metois et al. 2014, Chlieh et al. 2014) for which the seismogenic zone downdip width is estimated to be larger than average (Heuret et al. 2011, Hayes et al. 2012). We show with a two-dimensional numerical model of a subduction zone that the seismogenic zone downdip width indeed has a strong influence on the long-term seismicity pattern and rupture styles. Increasing the downdip width of the seismogenic zone leads to a transition from ordinary cycles of similar sized crack-like ruptures to supercycles consisting of a range of rupture sizes and styles. Our model demonstrates how interseismic deformation accompanied by subcritical and pulse-like ruptures effectively increases the stress throughout the seismogenic zone towards a critical state at which a crack-like superevent releases most of the accumulated stresses. We propose such stress evolution along the dip of the megathrust as the simplest explanation for supercycles. This conceptual model suggests that larger than thus far observed earthquakes could occur as part of a supercycle in subduction zones with a larger than average seismogenic zone downdip width (>120-150 km).

  14. Common Pb isotope mapping of UHP metamorphic zones in Dabie orogen, Central China: Implication for Pb isotopic structure of subducted continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Ji; Wang, Ying; Li, Shu-Guang

    2014-10-01

    We report Pb isotopic compositions for feldspars separated from 57 orthogneisses and 2 paragneisses from three exhumed UHPM slices representing the North Dabie zone, the Central Dabie zone and the South Dabie zone of the Dabie orogen, central-east China. The feldspars from the gneisses were recrystallized during Triassic continental subduction and UHP metamorphism. Precursors of the orthogneisses are products of Neoproterozoic bimodal magmatic events, those in north Dabie zone emplaced into the lower crust and those in central and south Dabie zones into middle or upper crust, respectively. On a 207Pb/204Pb vs. 206Pb/204Pb diagram, almost all orthogneisses data lie to the left of the 0.23 Ga paleogeochron and plot along the model mantle evolution curve with the major portion of the data plotting below it. On a 208Pb/204Pb vs. 206Pb/204Pb diagram the most of data of north Dabie zone extend in elongate arrays along the lower crustal curve and others extend between the lower crustal curve to near the mantle evolution curve for the plumbotectonics model. This pattern demonstrates that the Pb isotopic evolution of the feldspars essentially ended at 0.23 Ga and the orthogneiss protoliths were principally dominated by reworking of ancient lower crust with some addition of juvenile mantle in the Neoproterozoic rifting tectonic zone. According to geological evolution history of the locally Dabie orogen, a four-stage Pb isotope evolution model including a long time evolution between 2.0 and 0.8 Ga with a lower crust type U/Pb ratio (μ = 5-6) suggests that magmatic emplacement levels of the protoliths of the orthogneisses in the Dabie orogen at 0.8 Ga also play an important role in the Pb evolution of the exhumed UHPM slices, corresponding to their respective Pb characters at ca. 0.8-0.23 Ga. For example, north Dabie zone requires low μ values (3.4-9.6), while central and south Dabie zones require high μ values (10.9-17.2). On the other hand, Pb isotopic mixing between

  15. 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.

  16. Multi-stage origin of the Coast Range ophiolite, California: Implications for the life cycle of supra-subduction zone ophiolites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shervais, J.W.; Kimbrough, D.L.; Renne, P.; Hanan, B.B.; Murchey, B.; Snow, C.A.; Zoglman, Schuman M.M.; Beaman, J.

    2004-01-01

    The Coast Range ophiolite of California is one of the most extensive ophiolite terranes in North America, extending over 700 km from the northernmost Sacramento Valley to the southern Transverse Ranges in central California. This ophiolite, and other ophiolite remnants with similar mid-Jurassic ages, represent a major but short-lived episode of oceanic crust formation that affected much of western North America. The history of this ophiolite is important for models of the tectonic evolution of western North America during the Mesozoic, and a range of conflicting interpretations have arisen. Current petrologic, geochemical, stratigraphic, and radiometric age data all favor the interpretation that the Coast Range ophiolite formed to a large extent by rapid extension in the forearc region of a nascent subduction zone. Closer inspection of these data, however, along with detailed studies of field relationships at several locales, show that formation of the ophiolite was more complex, and requires several stages of formation. Our work shows that exposures of the Coast Range ophiolite preserve evidence for four stages of magmatic development. The first three stages represent formation of the ophiolite above a nascent subduction zone. Rocks associated with the first stage include ophiolite layered gabbros, a sheeted complex, and volcanic rocks vith arc tholeiitic or (roore rarely) low-K calc-alkaline affinities. The second stage is characterized by intrusive wehrlite-clinopyroxenite complexes, intrusive gabbros, Cr-rich diorites, and volcanic rocks with high-Ca boninitic or tholeiitic ankaramite affinities. The third stage includes diorite and quartz diorite plutons, felsic dike and sill complexes, and calc-alkaline volcanic rocks. The first three stages of ophiolite formation were terminated by the intrusion of mid-ocean ridge basalt dikes, and the eruption of mid-ocean ridge basalt or ocean-island basalt volcanic suites. We interpret this final magmatic event (MORB

  17. Subduction zone deformation and geometry: Influence on megathrust seismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopp, H.

    2011-12-01

    The fundamental concept of plate tectonics has been established decades ago, along with the observation that the largest earthquakes on the planet occur along the megathrust fault of subduction zones. In that timespan, however, our understanding of what governs the magnitude, source region and recurrence interval of megathrust events has not advanced sufficiently to provide robust answers to open problems. This must be attributed to the fact that large parts of the seismogenic zone and forearc are commonly submerged in deep water and difficult to access at the majority of margins. Marine geophysical techniques, which are able to image the complex structures in these settings with sufficient coherency and depth penetration, have only evolved in recent years. And while satellite altimetry provides images of the seafloor and its large-scale structures on a global scale, local tectonic features may only be identified in ship-based high- resolution bathymetric maps. It is thus crucial for the advancement of our scientific knowledge to expand the marine observational basis of convergent margins and to literally overcome the shoreline- an effort that is certainly not completed. The 2004 Sumatra earthquake sparked many of the questions addressed here: why, along a single convergent margin, do some segments produce large megathrust events whereas other portions of the very same margin only nucleate earthquakes of moderate magnitude? How and why are devastating tsunamis generated in both segments? These observations implicate the notion that individual subduction zones or segments thereof differ in their structure and geometry to induce such diverse behavior. Marine geophysical techniques help to unravel the structural diversity of convergent margins and between individual subduction zone segments. Seismic images and multibeam bathymetry offer a detailed view into the shallow and deeper portions of subduction zones. Field data from Indonesia's Sunda Margin have provided an

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schellart, W. P.; Rawlinson, N.

    2013-12-01

    The maximum earthquake magnitude recorded for subduction zone plate boundaries varies considerably on Earth, with some subduction zone segments producing giant subduction zone thrust earthquakes (e.g. Chile, Alaska, Sumatra-Andaman, Japan) and others producing relatively small earthquakes (e.g. Mariana, Scotia). Here we show how such variability might depend on various subduction zone parameters. We present 24 physical parameters that characterize these subduction zones in terms of their geometry, kinematics, geology and dynamics. We have investigated correlations between these parameters and the maximum recorded moment magnitude (MW) for subduction zone segments in the period 1900-June 2012. The investigations were done for one dataset using a geological subduction zone segmentation (44 segments) and for two datasets (rupture zone dataset and epicenter dataset) using a 200 km segmentation (241 segments). All linear correlations for the rupture zone dataset and the epicenter dataset (|R| = 0.00-0.30) and for the geological dataset (|R| = 0.02-0.51) are negligible-low, indicating that even for the highest correlation the best-fit regression line can only explain 26% of the variance. A comparative investigation of the observed ranges of the physical parameters for subduction segments with MW > 8.5 and the observed ranges for all subduction segments gives more useful insight into the spatial distribution of giant subduction thrust earthquakes. For segments with MW > 8.5 distinct (narrow) ranges are observed for several parameters, most notably the trench-normal overriding plate deformation rate (vOPD⊥, i.e. the relative velocity between forearc and stable far-field backarc), trench-normal absolute trench rollback velocity (vT⊥), subduction partitioning ratio (vSP⊥/vS⊥, the fraction of the subduction velocity that is accommodated by subducting plate motion), subduction thrust dip angle (δST), subduction thrust curvature (CST), and trench curvature angle (

  20. High-pressure mafic oceanic rocks from the Makbal Complex, Tianshan Mountains (Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan): Implications for the metamorphic evolution of a fossil subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, Melanie; Klemd, Reiner; Konopelko, Dmitry

    2013-09-01

    The Makbal Complex in the western Tianshan Mountains of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan consists of HP/UHP metasedimentary host rocks which enclose various HP mafic blocks or boudins. These mafic rocks comprise rare eclogites (sensu stricto and sensu lato), garnet amphibolites (retrograded eclogites) and a newly discovered glaucophanite (glaucophane-garnet-omphacite bearing rock). So far the Makbal Complex has been interpreted to predominantly consist of continental lithologies and the mafic rocks were considered as dismembered dikes intruding continental metasediments. This interpretation is mainly based on the geological relationship and bulk rock chemistry of the different rock types. It was further suggested that the continental lithologies of the Makbal Complex underwent eclogite-facies metamorphism in a former subduction zone. In the present study we combined conventional geothermometry, P-T pseudosection modeling and major and trace element whole rock geochemistry for different mafic samples (glaucophanite and eclogites (sensu lato)) in order to shed light on both the metamorphic evolution and the protoliths of the mafic HP rocks in the Makbal Complex. Prograde to peak-pressure clockwise P-T paths of glaucophanite and eclogites (sensu lato) were modeled using garnet isopleth thermobarometry. The results show that the glaucophanite and eclogite (sensu lato) samples experienced similar prograde P-T paths and slightly different peak metamorphic conditions at ~ 560 °C at 2.4 GPa for the former and between ~ 520 °C at 2.2 GPa and ~ 555 °C at ~ 2.5 GPa for the latter, corresponding to burial depths between 70 and 85 km. Whole rock major and trace element analyses and petrological evidence imply that the various rock types at the Makbal Complex most likely originated from different precursor rocks. Eclogites (sensu lato) are believed to represent strongly retrogressed former eclogite-facies rocks that had never been eclogites (sensu stricto, i.e. > 70 vol.% garnet and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mori, Yasushi; Shigeno, Miki; Nishiyama, Tadao

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Microstructures and petro-fabrics of lawsonite blueschist in the North Qilian suture zone, NW China: Implications for seismic anisotropy of subducting oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Yi; Jung, Haemyeong; Song, Shuguang

    2014-07-01

    We conducted a detailed study on the microstructures and petro-fabrics of massive and foliated lawsonite blueschist (LBS) in North Qilian suture zone, NW China. The lattice preferred orientation (LPO) of glaucophane and lawsonite in foliated lawsonite blueschist (LBS) is considered to be dominantly formed by the deformation mechanism of dislocation creep and rigid-body rotation, respectively. The LPO of glaucophane is mainly characterized by the [001] axis aligning parallel to lineation and the [100] axis and (110) pole plunging perpendicular to foliation. In contrast, the LPO of lawsonite features the maximum [010] axis concentrated close to lineation and the [001] axis strongly clustered normal to foliation. The preferred orientation of [010] axis of lawsonite parallel to lineation is supported by a two-dimensional numerical modeling using the finite-volume method (FVM). The mineral LPOs are much stronger in foliated LBS than in massive LBS. In addition, a kinematic vorticity analysis suggests that both pure shear dominant (Wm = 0.18-0.26) and simple shear dominant (Wm = 0.86-0.93) deformation regimes are present in foliated LBS. The [001] axis and (010) pole of glaucophane, and the [100] and [010] axes of lawsonite, tend to distribute in a foliation-parallel girdle in the pure shear dominant samples, but simple shear dominant samples display more lineation-parallel concentrations of a [001] axis of glaucophane and a [010] axis of lawsonite. Because the whole-rock seismic anisotropies in foliated LBS are significantly higher than those in massive LBS and a counteracting effect on seismic anisotropies occurs between glaucophane and lawsonite, the delay time of fast S-wave polarization anisotropy induced by an actual subducting oceanic crust with a high subducting angle (> 45-60°) is expected to range from 0.03 to 0.09 s (lower bound for massive LBS) and from 0.1 to 0.3 s (upper bound for foliated epidote blueschist).

  3. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

  5. New Relative Sea-level Observations From the Northern Cascadia Subduction Zone and Implications for Cordilleran Ice Sheet History and Mantle Rheology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belanger, K. K.; James, T. S.; Hutchinson, I.; Conway, K.

    2009-05-01

    New data from Barkley Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and from the mainland coast north of Vancouver add to the inventory of constraints on relative sea level during and after the collapse of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet (CIS). Previously published observations lie on a northwest-southeast profile along the east coast of Vancouver Island. The new sea-level observations extend existing data further back in time and create a southwest-northeast profile across Vancouver Island and the Strait of Georgia that is approximately perpendicular to the strike of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The two profiles intersect in the central Strait of Georgia, where the sea level history was described by Hutchinson et al. (2004). At the western end of the study area, sea level in Barkley Sound dropped from a high-stand above 30 m elevation just before 15 000 cal BP to below the present shoreline around 14 500 cal BP, consistent with the timing of a previously documented, well-constrained low stand. Relative sea level in the central Strait of Georgia dropped from well over 150 m to about -15 m from 14 000 cal BP to 11 500 cal BP. Near Sechelt Inlet, on the mainland coast, sea level closely followed the mid-strait trend, dropping from a high-stand of at least 150 m just prior to 14 000 cal BP. Sometime between 12 500 and 11 000 cal BP, sea level near Sechelt fell past present levels to a poorly constrained low-stand between about 11 000 and 10 000 cal BP. The data are consistent with a previously noted trend of relatively early and deep low-stands on the periphery of the former ice sheet and later and shallower low-stands towards the interior. The mean rate of glacial isostatic rebound near Sechelt was similar to that of the mid-strait (about 11 cm/yr), while the rate was somewhat lower in Barkley Sound. The new data will refine existing models of the ice-sheet history during the rapid CIS deglaciation and may reveal spatial variations in shallow mantle

  6. Lithification facilitates frictional instability in argillaceous subduction zone sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  7. CO2 solubility and speciation in rhyolitic sediment partial melts at 1.5-3.0 GPa - Implications for carbon flux in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duncan, Megan S.; Dasgupta, Rajdeep

    2014-01-01

    much as 2.6-5.5 wt.% CO2 to the sub-arc mantle source regions. At saturation, 1.6-3.3 wt.% sediment partial melt relative to the mantle wedge is therefore sufficient to bring up the carbon budget of the mantle wedge to produce primary arc basalts with 0.3 wt.% CO2. Sediment plumes in mantle wedge: Sediment plumes or diapirs may form from the downgoing slab because the sediment layer atop the slab is buoyant relative to the overlying, hanging wall mantle (Currie et al., 2007; Behn et al., 2011). Via this process, sediment layers with carbonates would carry CO2 to the arc source region. Owing to the higher temperature in the mantle wedge, carbonate can breakdown. Behn et al. (2011) suggested that sediment layers as thin as 100 m, appropriate for modern arcs, could form sediment diapirs. They predicted that diapirs would form from the slab in the sub-arc region for most subduction zones today without requiring hydrous melting. H2O-rich fluid driven carbonate breakdown: Hydrous fluid flushing of the slab owing to the breakdown of hydrous minerals could drive carbonate breakdown (Kerrick and Connolly, 2001b; Grove et al., 2002; Gorman et al., 2006). The addition of water would cause decarbonation creating an H2O-CO2-rich fluid that would then flux through the overlying sediment layer, lower the solidus temperature, and trigger melting. Recent geochemical (Cooper et al., 2012) and geodynamic (van Keken, 2003; Syracuse et al., 2010) constraints suggest that the sub-arc slab top temperatures are above the hydrous fluid-present sediment solidus, thus in the presence of excess fluid, both infiltration induced decarbonation and sediment melting may occur. Hot subduction: This is relevant for subduction zones such as Cascadia and Mexico, where slab-surface temperatures are estimated to be higher (Syracuse et al., 2010). A higher temperature could cause carbonate breakdown and sediment partial melting without requiring a hydrous fluid flux. In this case a relatively dry silicate

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. On subduction zone earthquakes and the Pacific Northwest seismicity

    SciTech Connect

    Chung, Dae H.

    1991-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, John F.

    2015-03-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Influence of the Amlia fracture zone on the evolution of the Aleutian Terrace forearc basin, central Aleutian subduction zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ryan, Holly F.; Draut, Amy E.; Keranen, Katie M.; Scholl, David W.

    2012-01-01

    During Pliocene to Quaternary time, the central Aleutian forearc basin evolved in response to a combination of tectonic and climatic factors. Initially, along-trench transport of sediment and accretion of a frontal prism created the accommodation space to allow forearc basin deposition. Transport of sufficient sediment to overtop the bathymetrically high Amlia fracture zone and reach the central Aleutian arc began with glaciation of continental Alaska in the Pliocene. As the obliquely subducting Amlia fracture zone swept along the central Aleutian arc, it further affected the structural evolution of the forearc basins. The subduction of the Amlia fracture zone resulted in basin inversion and loss of accommodation space east of the migrating fracture zone. Conversely, west of Amlia fracture zone, accommodation space increased arcward of a large outer-arc high that formed, in part, by a thickening of arc basement. This difference in deformation is interpreted to be the result of a variation in interplate coupling across the Amlia fracture zone that was facilitated by increasing subduction obliquity, a change in orientation of the subducting Amlia fracture zone, and late Quaternary intensification of glaciation. The change in coupling is manifested by a possible tear in the subducting slab along the Amlia fracture zone. Differences in coupling across the Amlia fracture zone have important implications for the location of maximum slip during future great earthquakes. In addition, shaking during a great earthquake could trigger large mass failures of the summit platform, as evidenced by the presence of thick mass transport deposits of primarily Quaternary age that are found in the forearc basin west of the Amlia fracture zone.

  14. Subduction zone earthquakes and stress in slabs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  15. Rutile solubility in H2O-NaAlSi3O8 fluids at High T and P: Implications form HFSE mobility in Subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antignano, A.; Manning, C. E.

    2005-12-01

    been proposed that polymerized aqueous albite-like molecules occur in high-P fluids (Manning, 2004). Since field observations show that subduction zone fluids contain significant quantities of dissolved Na, Al and Si, then silicate complexing almost certainly controls Ti solubility in natural settings. Substitution of Ti into such complexes could explain the presence of rutile in the fluid-derived veins found in subduction zone complexes. This suggests that models of HFSE mobility which are based on rutile solubility in pure H2O may significantly underestimate the ability of water-rich fluids to transport these elements.

  16. Role of pore fluid pressure on transient strength changes and fabric development during serpentine dehydration at mantle conditions: Implications for subduction-zone seismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proctor, Brooks; Hirth, Greg

    2015-07-01

    To further investigate the dehydration embrittlement hypothesis and its possible link to subduction-zone seismicity, we conducted deformation experiments on antigorite serpentinite in a Griggs-type apparatus at conditions below and above antigorite stability. Temperature ramps (crossing the antigorite thermal stability) were used in conjunction with a new experimental method that allows fluid produced during dehydration reactions to be drained, partially drained or undrained. During temperature ramps, weakening coupled with transient slip initiated at ˜ 650 °C, coincident with the predicted phase transition of antigorite to olivine and talc at ˜ 1 GPa. The weakening-rate and steady-state strength were dependent on drainage conditions; undrained samples weakened over a few minutes and supported the lowest shear stress (˜ 50 MPa), while drained samples weakened over a few hours and supported the highest shear stress (˜ 210 MPa). The coefficient of friction (shear stress over normal stress) in drained samples decreased from ˜0.4 to ˜0.16 after the temperature ramp. The strengths of samples that were first annealed at 700 °C for ˜ 12 h, then deformed, were similar to those observed in the temperature ramp experiments. Strain localization along fractures occurred in all samples during temperature ramping, regardless of the drainage conditions. However, microstructural observations indicate deformation by ductile mechanisms at higher strain under both undrained and drained conditions. The rheology and microstructures suggest dehydrating serpentinite deforms via semibrittle flow with grain-scale ductile deformation more active at high pore fluid pressures. Our results suggest that earthquakes in serpentinized mantle do not nucleate as a direct result of unstable frictional sliding along fractures generated at the onset of dehydration reactions.

  17. Stress Distribution in the Subducted Slab in the Transition Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Běhounková, M.; Běhounková, M.; Čížková, H.; Matyska, C.; Špičák, A.

    2006-12-01

    We present the results of numerical modelling of subduction process in a 2-D cartesian box. Our numerical code is based on the method of Gerya and Yuen 2003. We concentrate on the deformation and stress distribution within the slab in the transition zone. Our composite rheological model includes diffusion creep, dislocation creep and power-law stress limiter. The effects of phase transitions at the depths 410 km and 660 km are taken into account. The model is applied to the Tonga subduction region, where the currently subducting plate might face the remnants of the high viscosity subducted material in the transition zone. This material might possibly originate either from a previous episode of the subduction (Chen and Brudzinski, 2001) or from the buoyant detached slab broken off from the active subducting slab (Green, 2001). We prescribe the cold and relatively high viscosity piece of old slab lying above the 660 km interface. The stress distribution in the new subducting place is then investigated as the plate approaches these remnants of old slab. Stress directions and amplitudes are compared to the data available from the analyses of the earthquake mechanisms in Tonga region. Chen W.-P., Brudzinski R, 2001. Evidence for a Large-Scale Remnant of Subducted Lithosphere Beneath Fiji, Science 292, 2475--2479. Gerya T.V., Yuen D.A., 2003. Characteristics-based marker-in-cell method with conservative finite-differences schemes for modelling geological flows with strongly variable transport properties, Phys. Earth Planet. Int. 140, 293--318. Green, H.W., 2001. A graveyard for buoyant slabs?, Science 292, 2445-2446.

  18. 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

  19. 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

    700 C and 10 Pa s (both models) at 1200 C. The extremely low melt viscosity is caused primarily by the formation of liquids (release of OH-) from hydrous illite, and secondarily by small volume fraction (< 20%) of grains in the PT. Because illite is commonly present in accretionary prisms, generation of a low viscosity melt from illite would lead to fault lubrication and hence control the efficiency of stored strain energy release and earthquake magnitude in subduction zones.

  20. CO2 Solubility in Natural Rhyolitic Melts at High Pressures - Implications for Carbon Flux in Subduction Zones by Sediment Partial Melts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duncan, M. S.; Dasgupta, R.

    2011-12-01

    Partial melts of subducting sediments is thought to be a critical agent in carrying trace elements and water to arc basalt source regions. For subduction zones that contain significant amount of carbonates in ocean-floor sediments, sediment melts likely also act as a carrier of CO2. However, the CO2 carrying capacity of natural rhyolitic melts at sub-arc depths remains unconstrained. We conducted experiments on a synthetic composition, similar to average, low-degree experimental partial melt of pelitic sediments. The composition was constructed with reagent grade oxides and carbonates, the source of excess CO2. Experiments were conducted between 1 and 3 GPa at 1200 °C in Au80Pd20 capsules using a piston cylinder apparatus with a half-inch BaCO3 assembly at Rice University. Quench products showed glasses with bubbles, the latter suggesting saturation of the melt with a CO2-rich vapor phase. Oxygen fugacity during the experiments was not strictly controlled but the presence of CO2 bubbles and absence of graphite indicates fO2 above the CCO buffer. Major element concentrations of glasses were measured using EPMA. The CO2 and H2O contents of experimental doubly polished (50-110 μm), bubble-free portions of the glass chips were determined using a Thermo Nicolet Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer. Spectra were recorded with a resolution of 4 cm-1, 512 scans, from 650 to 4000 cm-1, under a nitrogen purge to eliminate atmospheric gases. Dissolved volatile concentrations were quantified using the Beer-Lambert law and linear molar absorption coefficients from previous studies [1, 2]. Total dissolved carbon dioxide of experimental glasses was determined from the intensity of the ν3 antisymmetric stretch bands of CO32- at 1430 cm-1 and CO2mol at 2348 cm-1. Dissolved water content of experimental glasses was determined from the intensity of O-H stretching at 3520 cm-1. Estimated total CO2 concentrations at 3 GPa are in the range of 1-2 wt%, for melts with H2O contents

  1. CO2 Solubility in Rhyolitic Melts as a Function of P, T, and fO2 - Implications for Carbon Flux in Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duncan, M. S.; Dasgupta, R.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the balance between subduction inputs vs. arc output of carbon is critical for constraining the global carbon cycle. However, the agent of carbon transfer from slab to sub-arc mantle is not constrained [1]. Partial melt of ocean-floor sediments is thought to be a key agent of mass transfer in subduction zones, accounting for the trace element characteristics of arc magmas [2]. Yet the carbon carrying capacity of rhyolitic partial melts of sediments remains unknown at sub-arc depths. In our previous work [3], we constrained CO2 solubility of natural rhyolite from 1.5-3.0 GPa, 1300 °C and logfO2 at FMQ×1.0. However, the effects of T and fO2 on CO2 solubility remain unconstrained. In particular, for sediments with organic carbon, graphite stability is expected and the fO2 of C-dissolution can be lower, which may affect the solubility. Thus it is critical to constrain the CO2 solubility of sediment partial melts under graphite-saturated conditions. We determined CO2 solubility of a model rhyolite composition, similar to partial melt composition of natural metapelite [4], at graphite saturation, using Pt/Gr capsules and a piston cylinder device. Experiments were conducted at 1.5-3.0 GPa and 1100-1400 °C. FTIR was employed to measure the concentrations of CO2 and H2O in doubly polished experimental glasses. Raman and SIMS were used to determine the presence of reduced carbon species and total carbon, respectively. FTIR spectra reveal that CO2 is dissolved as both molecular CO2 (CO2mol.) and carbonates (CO32-). For graphite-saturated, hydrous melts with measured H2O ~2.0 wt.%, CO2tot. (CO2mol.+CO32-) values increase with increasing P from ~0.6 to 1.2 wt.% from 1.5 to 3.0 GPa at 1300 °C. These values are lower than more oxidized melts with the same water content, which were 0.85 to 1.99 wt.% CO2 as P increased. At 3 GPa, graphite-saturated experiments from 1100 to 1300 °C yield CO2tot. value of 1.18-1.20 wt.%, suggesting minor effect of temperature in

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    Nitrogen (N) has shown great potential as a geochemical tracer of volatiles recycling, in part because of large differences in the N isotope composition of the various Earth reservoirs. The subduction flux of N in serpentinized oceanic mantle could be as important as N input flux in oceanic crust and even sediment because, although its N concentrations are lower, its volume is potentially far greater than that of the crust/sediment. However, recycling of oceanic mantle rocks is still poorly constrained for the N cycle, and N isotope data for subduction-related ultramafic rocks are scarce [1]. The primary goal of this study is to characterize the subduction flux of N in subducting altered oceanic mantle by documenting concentrations and isotopic compositions of N in mantle rocks that reflect different stages of the metamorphic subduction zone cycle. The results are crucial to assess the composition of N recycled into the mantle, to determine the extent to which N can be retained in subducted mantle rocks to depths approaching those beneath arcs, and to balance N subduction-zone inputs with outputs in arc volcanic gases. Moreover, information has been gained regarding the redistribution and isotope fractionation of N via ultramafic dehydration and metamorphic fluid-rock interaction. The samples analyzed in this study are ultramafic rocks from shallow oceanic environments to increasing P-T conditions up to depths of ~70 km. Three distinct metamorphic grades, reflecting seafloor fluid uptake, water release due to brucite breakdown and the final antigorite breakdown, were investigated: 1. Pre-subduction serpentinized mantle peridotite from non-subducted ophiolite sequences from the Northern Apennines, Italy (Monte Nero). 2. Eclogite-facies antigorite serpentinites from the Ligurian Alps, Italy (Erro Tobbio). 3. Eclogite-facies chlorite harzburgites derived from dehydration of serpentinites from the Betic Cordillera, Spain (Cerro de Almirez). The pre-subduction

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frohling, E.; Szeliga, W.

    2016-04-01

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

  4. Simulation of convective heat exchange in the subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solov'ev, S. V.

    2013-09-01

    Results of the mathematical simulation of the convective heat exchange in the process of movement of a lithospheric plate colliding with a continental plate and submerging into the mantle in the subduction zone under conditions where the free fall acceleration in the mantle changes by the linear law are presented.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Subduction Zone Science - Examples of Seismic Images of the Central Andes and Subducting Nazca Slab

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beck, S. L.; Zandt, G.; Scire, A. C.; Ward, K. M.; Portner, D. E.; Bishop, B.; Ryan, J. C.; Wagner, L. S.; Long, M. D.

    2015-12-01

    Subduction has shaped large regions of the Earth and constitute over 55,000 km of convergent plate margin today. The subducting slabs descend from the surface into the lower mantle and impacts earthquake occurrence, surface uplift, arc volcanism and mantle convection as well as many other processes. The subduction of the Nazca plate beneath the South America plate is one example and constitutes the largest present day ocean-continent convergent margin system and has built the Andes, one of the largest actively growing mountain ranges on Earth. This active margin is characterized by along-strike variations in arc magmatism, upper crustal shortening, crustal thickness, and slab geometry that make it an ideal region to study the relationship between the subducting slab, the mantle wedge, and the overriding plate. After 20 years of portable seismic deployments in the Central Andes seismologists have combined data sets and used multiple techniques to generate seismic images spanning ~3000 km of the South American subduction zone to ~800 km depth with unprecedented resolution. For example, using teleseismic P- waves we have imaged the Nazca slab penetrating through the mantle transition zone (MTZ) and into the uppermost lower mantle. Our tomographic images show that there is significant along-strike variation in the morphology of the Nazca slab in the upper mantle, MTZ, and the lower mantle, including possible tears, folding, and internal deformation. Receiver function studies and surface wave tomography have revealed major changes in lithospheric properties in the Andes. Improved seismic images allow us to more completely evaluate tectonic processes in the formation and uplift of the Andes including: (1) overthickened continental crust driven by crustal shortening, (2) changes in slab dip and coupling with the overlying plate (3) localized lithospheric foundering, and (4) large-scale mantle and crustal melting leading to magmatic addition and/or crustal flow. Although

  9. Slab anisotropy from subduction zone guided waves in Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Assessing the Seismic Potential Hazard of the Makran Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frohling, E.; Szeliga, W. M.; Melbourne, T. I.; Abolghasem, A.; Lodi, S. H.

    2013-12-01

    Long quiescent subduction zones like the Makran, Sunda, and Cascadia, which have long recurrence intervals for large (> Mw 8) earthquakes, often have poorly known seismic histories and are particularly vulnerable and often ill-prepared. The Makran subduction zone has not been studied extensively, but the 1945 Mw 8.1 earthquake and subsequent tsunami, as well as more recent mid magnitude, intermediate depth (50-100 km) seismicity, demonstrates the active seismic nature of the region. Recent increases in regional GPS and seismic monitoring now permit the modeling of strain accumulations and seismic potential of the Makran subduction zone. Subduction zone seismicity indicates that the eastern half of the Makran is presently more active than the western half. It has been hypothesized that the relative quiescence of the western half is due to aseismic behavior. However, based on GPS evidence, the entire subduction zone generally appears to be coupled and has been accumulating stress that could be released in another > 8.0 Mw earthquake. To assess the degree of coupling, we utilize existing GPS data to create a fault coupling model for the Makran using a preliminary 2-D fault geometry derived from ISC hypocenters. Our 2-D modeling is done using the backslip approach and defines the parameters in our coupling model; we forego the generation of a 3-D model due to the low spatial density of available GPS data. We compare the use of both NUVEL-1A plate motions and modern Arabian plate motions derived from GPS station velocities in Oman to drive subduction for our fault coupling model. To avoid non-physical inversion results, we impose second order smoothing to eliminate steep strain gradients. The fit of the modeled inter-seismic deformation vectors are assessed against the observed strain from the GPS data. Initial observations indicate that the entire subduction zone is currently locked and accumulating strain, with no identifiable gaps in the interseismic locking

  12. Subduction Zone Diversity and Nature of the Plate Contact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  13. Earth's rotation variability triggers explosive eruptions in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sottili, Gianluca; Palladino, Danilo M.; Cuffaro, Marco; Doglioni, Carlo

    2015-12-01

    The uneven Earth's spinning has been reported to affect geological processes, i.e. tectonism, seismicity and volcanism, on a planetary scale. Here, we show that changes of the length of day (LOD) influence eruptive activity at subduction margins. Statistical analysis indicates that eruptions with volcanic explosivity index (VEI) ≥3 alternate along oppositely directed subduction zones as a function of whether the LOD increases or decreases. In particular, eruptions in volcanic arcs along contractional subduction zones, which are mostly E- or NE-directed, occur when LOD increases, whereas they are more frequent when LOD decreases along the opposite W- or SW-directed subduction zones that are rather characterized by upper plate extension and back-arc spreading. We find that the LOD variability determines a modulation of the horizontal shear stresses acting on the crust up to 0.4 MPa. An increase of the horizontal maximum stress in compressive regimes during LOD increment may favour the rupture of the magma feeder system wall rocks. Similarly, a decrease of the minimum horizontal stress in extensional settings during LOD lowering generates a larger differential stress, which may enhance failure of the magma-confining rocks. This asymmetric behaviour of magmatism sheds new light on the role of astronomical forces in the dynamics of the solid Earth.

  14. Satellite magnetic anomalies over subduction zones - The Aleutian Arc anomaly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, S. C.; Frey, H.; Thomas, H. H.

    1985-01-01

    Positive magnetic anomalies seen in MAGSAT average scalar anomaly data overlying some subduction zones can be explained in terms of the magnetization contrast between the cold subducted oceanic slab and the surrounding hotter, nonmagnetic mantle. Three-dimensional modeling studies show that peak anomaly amplitude and location depend on slab length and dip. A model for the Aleutian Arc anomaly matches the general trend of the observed MAGSAT anomaly if a slab thickness of 7 km and a relatively high (induced plus viscous) magnetization contrast of 4 A/m are used. A second source body along the present day continental margin is required to match the observed anomaly in detail, and may be modeled as a relic slab from subduction prior to 60 m.y. ago.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garth, T.; Rietbrock, A.

    2013-12-01

    Waveform modelling is an important tool for understanding complex seismic structures such as subduction zone waveguides. These structures are often simplified to 2D structures for modelling purposes to reduce computational costs. In the case of subduction zone waveguide affects, 2D models have shown that dispersed arrivals are caused by a low velocity waveguide, inferred to be subducted oceanic crust and/or hydrated outer rise normal faults. However, due to the 2D modelling limitations the inferred seismic properties such as velocity contrast and waveguide thickness are still debated. Here we test these limitations with full 3D waveform modelling. For waveguide effects to be observable the waveform must be accurately modelled to relatively high frequencies (> 2 Hz). This requires a small grid spacing due to the high seismic velocities present in subduction zones. A large area must be modelled as well due to the long propagation distances (400 - 600 km) of waves interacting with subduction zone waveguides. The combination of the large model area and small grid spacing required means that these simulations require a large amount of computational resources, only available at high performance computational centres like the UK National super computer HECTOR (used in this study). To minimize the cost of modelling for such a large area, the width of the model area perpendicular to the subduction trench (the y-direction) is made as small as possible. This reduces the overall volume of the 3D model domain. Therefore the wave field is simulated in a model ';corridor' of the subduction zone velocity structure. This introduces new potential sources of error particularly from grazing wave side reflections in the y-direction. Various dampening methods are explored to reduce these grazing side reflections, including perfectly matched layers (PML) and more traditional exponential dampening layers. Defining a corridor model allows waveguide affects to be modelled up to at least 2

  16. Numerical modeling of fluid migration in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter, M. J.; Quinteros, J.; Sobolev, S. V.

    2015-12-01

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

  17. Methane generation in subduction zones: A cause for fluid overpressures?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raimbourg, Hugues; Disnar, Jean-Robert; Thiery, Regis; Ramboz, Claire; Yamaguchi, Asuka; Kimura, Gaku

    2013-04-01

    The nature of the fluids involved in the deep plate interface in subduction zones is difficult to constrain, as it incorporates many potential sources (sea water trapped in pores, water from dehydration reactions, fluid from the depths of the subduction channel or from the slab). Using Raman analysis of fluid inclusions in quartz veins from the deep domains of the Shimanto paleo-accretionary complex, Japan, we first show that at temperatures of ~250°C, the fluid is a mixture of water and methane, in agreement with literature on similar terranes. In most of the studied area, we could observe only one, water-rich, kind of inclusion, while in a restricted region a second, methane-rich, kind of inclusion was also present, suggesting in the first case the circulation at depth of a single fluid and in the second case the coexistence of two fluid phases. We used then isochores of the methane-rich fluid inclusions to constrain the paleo- fluid pressure. In the present case, methane-rich inclusions are distributed as planes, i.e. along healed microcracks, hence they provide a record of the conditions that prevailed during a short period of time. Within a single plane of inclusions, homogeneization temperatures of the methane phase show large variations between inclusions, which we interpret as the record of large and rapid variations in fluid pressure. To account for this diversity in the fluid state (single- vs. two-phased) as well as for the rapid variations in pressure, we developed a model of methane generation by thermal cracking of organic matter during burial. In spite of the low average organic matter content of subducted sediments, the porosity, hence the water content of deep sediments is sufficiently low for the oversaturation of the water in methane, hence unmixing of a free, methane-rich phase, to be a realistic scenario. Predicted overpressures resulting from rapid unmixing of methane can be significant with respect to ambient fluid pressure and constitute

  18. Deep view of the Subduction-Transform Edge Propagator (STEP) fault in the Calabrian Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emanuele Maesano, Francesco; Tiberti, Mara Monica; Basili, Roberto

    2016-04-01

    The Calabrian Subduction Zone plays a key role in the evolution of the central Mediterranean in the framework of the convergence between Africa and Europe. Here, the remnants of the World's oldest oceanic crust form a narrow NW-dipping slab passively subducting beneath the Calabrian Arc. Recently published high-resolution seismic profiles and bathymetric data of the western Ionian Sea highlight the presence of a NNW-SSE faulting system connected with a series of Plio-Pleistocene syn-tectonic basins. These features are correlated with the recent activity of a major NNW-SSE deformation zone confining the active subduction to the SW and interpreted as a Subduction-Transform Edge Propagator (STEP) fault. The goal of this work is to jointly reconstruct the geometry of the STEP fault and the subduction interface in its surroundings. We use multichannel seismic profiles acquired in the southwestern part of the Calabrian accretionary wedge to focus on the STEP fault geometry at depth and to analyse its relationships with shallow deformation features. The quantitative analysis and enhancement of seismic data provided an accurate image of the internal structure of the accretionary wedge at various depths, showing growth strata in the Plio-Pleistocene succession and major discontinuities in the lower crust. Our results depict a main subvertical, slightly east-dipping, lithospheric fault cutting the oceanic crust down to the Moho, and a rich set of associated secondary synthetic and antithetic faults. This picture also provides new insights on the STEP fault propagation mechanism. In addition, the tridimensional correlation of the STEP fault occurrences in various seismic profiles provides a preliminary scheme of its segmentation and highlights the relationships of this master fault with other main structural elements of the Calabrian Arc and Eastern Sicily, including some of the faults deemed to be responsible for major historical earthquakes in the area.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  20. Can slabs melt beneath forearcs in hot subduction zones?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribeiro, J.; Maury, R.; Gregoire, M.

    2015-12-01

    At subduction zones, thermal modeling predict that the shallow part of the downgoing oceanic crust (< 80 - 100 km depth to the slab) is usually too cold to cross the water-rich solidus and melts beneath the forearc. Yet, the occasional occurrence of adakites, commonly considered as slab melts, in the forearc region challenges our understanding of the shallow subduction processes. Adakites are unusual felsic rocks commonly associated with asthenospheric slab window opening or fast subduction of young (< 25 Ma) oceanic plate that enable slab melting at shallow depths; but their genesis has remained controversial. Here, we present a new approach that provides new constraints on adakite petrogenesis in hot subduction zones (the Philippines) and above an asthenospheric window (Baja California, Mexico). We use amphibole compositions to estimate the magma storage depths and the composition of the parental melts to test the hypothesis that adakites are pristine slab melts. We find that adakites from Baja California and Philippines formed by two distinct petrogenetic scenarios. In Baja California, hydrous mantle melts mixed/mingled with high-pressure (HP) adakite-type, slab melts within a lower crustal (~30 km depth) magma storage region before stalling into the upper arc crust (~7-15 km depth). In contrast, in the Philippines, primitive mantle melts stalled and crystallized within lower and upper crustal magma storage regions to produce silica-rich melts with an adakitic signature. Thereby, slab melting is not required to produce an adakitic geochemical fingerprint in hot subduction zones. However, our results also suggest that the downgoing crust potentially melted beneath Baja California.

  1. Subduction Channel Thickening and Thinning: Implications for Interplate Seismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cloos, Mark

    2013-04-01

    Reconciling the viscous behavior inferred along the plate interface zone in the subduction channel model with the global variations in subduction zone seismicity is a matter of geodynamic importance. Thermal modeling indicates that where subduction is slow (<2 cm/yr) or the incoming plate is very young (<5 Ma), 300°C temperatures are present at depths as shallow as 20 km. Consequently, intracrystalline creep dominates in the shear zone and earthquakes are limited to shallow depths. Where subduction is fast (> 4 cm/yr), the plate interface zone cools to great depth and interplate earthquakes occur to depths as great as 60 km. Thermal modeling and many petrological observations indicate temperature/depth trajectories near the plate interface can become as cold as 6°C/km. As first emphasized by Uyeda and Kanamori (1979), there is a wide range in the fraction of the plate convergence that manifests itself as thrust-type seismicity at rapidly convergent plate margins. They characterized the end-member behaviors as Mariana-type where only a small fraction of the plate convergence is evident from seismogenic movements and Chilean-type where a large fraction of the plate convergence is accomodated by slip during large earthquakes (M>7.5). Mariana-type margins are sites of subduction erosion because sediment supply is less than channel capacity, the shear zone is thin and shear stresses are high near the inlet. The long-term mechanical behavior of Chilean-type margins is accretionary because sediment supply is greater than channel capacity. Shear stresses are lower where the shear zone is thicker. The association of infrequent large earthquakes with thicker zones of subducting sediment is especially problematic if the build up of large elastic strains is attributed to friction along a planer interface (decollement) within compacting and metamorphosing sediments. The subduction channel concept postulates that the shear from convergence becomes distributed in the subducting

  2. Earthquakes, fluid pressures and rapid subduction zone metamorphism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viete, D. R.

    2013-12-01

    High-pressure/low-temperature (HP/LT) metamorphism is commonly incomplete, meaning that large tracts of rock can remain metastable at blueschist- and eclogite-facies conditions for timescales up to millions of years [1]. When HP/LT metamorphism does take place, it can occur over extremely short durations (<<1 Myr) [1-2]. HP/LT metamorphism must be associated with processes that allow large volumes of rock to remain unaffected over long periods of time, but then suddenly undergo localized metamorphism. Existing models for HP/LT metamorphism have focussed on the role of fluids in providing heat for metamorphism [2] or catalyzing metamorphic reactions [1]. Earthquakes in subduction zone settings can occur to depths of 100s of km. Metamorphic dehydration and the associated development of elevated pore pressures in HP/LT metamorphic rocks has been identified as a cause of earthquake activity at such great depths [3-4]. The process of fracturing/faulting significantly increases rock permeability, causing channelized fluid flow and dissipation of pore pressures [3-4]. Thus, deep subduction zone earthquakes are thought to reflect an evolution in fluid pressure, involving: (1) an initial increase in pore pressure by heating-related dehydration of subduction zone rocks, and (2) rapid relief of pore pressures by faulting and channelized flow. Models for earthquakes at depth in subduction zones have focussed on the in situ effects of dehydration and then sudden escape of fluids from the rock mass following fracturing [3-4]. On the other hand, existing models for rapid and incomplete metamorphism in subduction zones have focussed only on the effects of heating and/or hydration with the arrival of external fluids [1-2]. Significant changes in pressure over very short timescales should result in rapid mineral growth and/or disequilibrium texture development in response to overstepping of mineral reaction boundaries. The repeated process of dehydration-pore pressure development

  3. Volcanism and aseismic slip in subduction zones

    SciTech Connect

    Acharya, H.

    1981-01-10

    The spatial and temporal relationship of volcanism to the occurrence of large earthquakes and convergent plate motion is examined. The number of volcanic eruptions per year in a convergent zone is found to be linearly related to the aseismic slip component of plate motion. If the aseismic slip rate is low (coupling between converging plates is strong), then the primary manifestation of tectonic activity is the occurrence of large earthquakes with only infrequent volcanic activity. If, however, the aseismic slip rate is high (coupling is weak), then there are few large earthquakes, and volcanism is the principal manifestation of tectonic activity. This model is consistent with the spatial distribution of large earthquakes and active volcanoes in the circum-Pacific area. It is tested by examining the extent of volcanic activity in the rupture zones of the 1952--1973 sequence of earthquakes in the Japan--Kurile Islands area. The number of volcanic euptions along these zones during the interval between large earthquakes is used to compute the aseismic slip rates for these segments, based on the relationship developed in this study. The aseismic slip rates so computed agree with those determined from the earthquake history of the area and rates of plate motion. The agreement suggests that in the interval between large earthquakes, the aseismic plate motion is manifested in a specific number of volcanic eruptions. Therefore in areas with adequate historial data it should be possible to use the model developed in this study to monitor volcanic eruptions for long-term prediction of large earthquakes.

  4. 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

  5. Carbon in, Carbon out: Reevaluating Carbon Fluxes in Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manning, C. E.; Kelemen, P. B.

    2015-12-01

    Subduction zones exert a fundamental control on the deep carbon cycle. We reevaluated carbon inputs and outputs in convergent margins considering new estimates of C concentration in subducting mantle peridotites, carbonate solubility in aqueous fluids along subduction geotherms, melting and diapirism of carbon-bearing metasediments, and diffuse degassing from arcs. Our updated estimate of carbon inputs to the global subduction system, which includes estimates for C in altered peridotite, is 40-66 megatons carbon/year (MtC/y). We find that estimates of C lost from slabs (14-66 MtC/y) must take into account the high CaCO3 solubility in aqueous fluids, which contributes significant C that must be added to that derived from mineral decarbonation reactions. When taken together with hydrous silicate and carbonatite melts and metasediment diapirs, nearly all C can be scavenged from subducting lithosphere. The return of C to the atmosphere via arc-volcano degassing is only 18-43 MtC/y, but consideration deep volatile saturation of arc magmas, magma ponding in the middle and deep arc crust, and CO2 venting in forearcs can account for the remaining C lost from the slab. Thus, whereas previous studies concluded that about half the subducting carbon is returned to the convecting mantle, we find that relatively little carbon may be recycled. If so, substantial quantities of carbon are stored in the mantle lithosphere and crust and the carbon content of the mantle lithosphere + crust + ocean + atmosphere must be increasing, at least over the last 5-10 My. This is consistent with inferences from noble gas data. Recycled carbon in diamonds is a small fraction of the global carbon inventory.

  6. 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)

  7. Second critical endpoints and their bearing on subduction zone magmatism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mibe, K.

    2011-12-01

    Understanding the phase relations in silicate-H2O systems is fundamental for clarifying the physical and chemical evolution of the Earth, because H2O affects melting temperature of rocks, composition of magmas generated, and rheology of rocks. Under high pressure and high temperature conditions, it is known that the solubility of both water in silicate melt and silicate in aqueous fluid increases with increasing pressure. As a result, silicate melt and aqueous fluid in the Earth's interior is expected to become supercritical fluid and the hydrous solidus of the system can no longer be defined beyond a certain critical condition. This condition is called the second critical endpoint and is the point of intersection between the critical curve and hydrous solidus. In recent years, the second critical endpoints in the systems peridotite-H2O and basalt-H2O have been determined using high-pressure and high-temperature X-ray radiography technique [Mibe et al., 2007, JGR; 2011, PNAS]. In these studies, it was concluded that the second critical endpoints in the systems peridotite-H2O and basalt-H2O occurred at around 3.8 and 3.4 GPa, respectively. These results suggest that the aqueous fluid and silicate melt becomes indistinguishable at the depths deeper than ~120 km in the mantle wedge peridotite and ~100 km in the subducting basaltic oceanic crust in subduction zones. The melting temperature of the subducting oceanic crust can no longer be defined beyond this critical condition. The fluid released from subducting oceanic crust at depths deeper than 100 km under volcanic arcs are supercritical fluid rather than aqueous fluid and/or hydrous melts. It is suggested that the position of the second critical endpoint explains why there is a limitation of slab depth (~90 km) where Adakitic magmas are produced and also explains the origin of across-arc geochemical variations of trace elements in volcanic rocks in subduction zones.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Studies of past sea-level markers are commonly used to unveil the tectonic history and seismic behavior of subduction zones. We present new evidence on vertical motions of the Hellenic subduction zone as resulting from a suite of Late Pleistocene - Holocene shorelines in western Crete (Greece). Shoreline ages obtained by AMS radiocarbon dating of seashells, together with the reappraisal of shoreline ages from previous works, testify a long-term uplift rate of 2.5-2.7 mm/y. This average value, however, includes periods in which the vertical motions vary significantly: 2.6-3.2 mm/y subsidence rate from 42 ka to 23 ka, followed by ~7.7 mm/y sustained uplift rate from 23 ka to present. The last ~5 ky shows a relatively slower uplift rate of 3.0-3.3 mm/y, yet slightly higher than the long-term average. A preliminary tectonic model attempts at explaining these up and down motions by across-strike partitioning of fault activity in the subduction zone. PMID:25022313

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Studies of past sea-level markers are commonly used to unveil the tectonic history and seismic behavior of subduction zones. We present new evidence on vertical motions of the Hellenic subduction zone as resulting from a suite of Late Pleistocene - Holocene shorelines in western Crete (Greece). Shoreline ages obtained by AMS radiocarbon dating of seashells, together with the reappraisal of shoreline ages from previous works, testify a long-term uplift rate of 2.5–2.7 mm/y. This average value, however, includes periods in which the vertical motions vary significantly: 2.6–3.2 mm/y subsidence rate from 42 ka to 23 ka, followed by ~7.7 mm/y sustained uplift rate from 23 ka to present. The last ~5 ky shows a relatively slower uplift rate of 3.0–3.3 mm/y, yet slightly higher than the long-term average. A preliminary tectonic model attempts at explaining these up and down motions by across-strike partitioning of fault activity in the subduction zone. PMID:25022313

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-17

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-11-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  16. Unraveling topography around subduction zones from laboratory models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Husson, Laurent; Guillaume, Benjamin; Funiciello, Francesca; Faccenna, Claudio; Royden, Leigh H.

    2012-03-01

    The relief around subduction zones results from the interplay of dynamic processes that may locally exceed the (iso)static contributions. The viscous dissipation of the energy in and around subduction zones is capable of generating kilometer scale vertical ground movements. In order to evaluate dynamic topography in a self-consistent subduction system, we carried out a set of laboratory experiments, wherein the lithosphere and mantle are simulated by means of Newtonian viscous materials, namely silicone putty and glucose syrup. Models are kept in their most simple form and are made of negative buoyancy plates, of variable width and thickness, freely plunging into the syrup. The surface of the model and the top of the slab are scanned in three dimensions. A forebulge systematically emerges from the bending of the viscous plate, adjacent to the trench. With a large wavelength, dynamic pressure offsets the foreside and backside of the slab by ~ 500 m on average. The suction, that accompanies the vertical descent of the slab depresses the surface on both sides. At a distance equal to the half-width of the slab, the topographic depression amounts to ~ 500 m on average and becomes negligible at a distance that equals the width of the slab. In order to explore the impact of slab rollback on the topography, the trailing edge of the plates is alternatively fixed to (fixed mode) and freed from (free mode) the end wall of the tank. Both the pressure and suction components of the topography are ~ 30% lower in the free mode, indicating that slab rollback fosters the dynamic subsidence of upper plates. Our models are compatible with first order observations of the topography around the East Scotia, Tonga, Kermadec and Banda subduction zones, which exhibit anomalous depths of nearly 1 km as compared to adjacent sea floor of comparable age.

  17. Dynamic topography in subduction zones: insights from laboratory models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bajolet, Flora; Faccenna, Claudio; Funiciello, Francesca

    2014-05-01

    The topography in subduction zones can exhibit very complex patterns due to the variety of forces operating this setting. If we can deduce the theoretical isostatic value from density structure of the lithosphere, the effect of flexural bending and the dynamic component of topography are difficult to quantify. In this work, we attempt to measure and analyze the topography of the overriding plate during subduction compared to a pure shortening setting. We use analog models where the lithospheres are modeled by thin-sheet layers of silicone putty lying on low-viscosity syrup (asthenosphere). The model is shorten by a piston pushing an oceanic plate while a continental plate including a weak zone to localize the deformation is fixed. In one type of experiments, the oceanic plate bends and subducts underneath the continental one; in a second type the two plates are in contact without any trench, and thus simply shorten. The topography evolution is monitored with a laser-scanner. In the shortening model, the elevation increases progressively, especially in the weak zone, and is consistent with expected isostatic values. In the subduction model, the topography is characterized, from the piston to the back-wall, by a low elevation of the dense oceanic plate, a flexural bulge, the trench forming a deep depression, the highly elevated weak zone, and the continental upper plate of intermediate elevation. The topography of the upper plate is consistent with isostatic values for very early stages, but exhibits lower elevations than expected for later stages. For a same amount of shortening of the continental plate, the thickening is the same and the plate should have the same elevation in both types of models. However, comparing the topography at 20, 29 and 39% of shortening, we found that the weak zone is 0.4 to 0.6 mm lower when there is an active subduction. Theses values correspond to 2.6 to 4 km in nature. Although theses values are high, there are of the same order as

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-12-01

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

  19. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaw, Beth; Jackson, James

    2010-05-01

    We use improved focal mechanisms and centroid depth estimates of earthquakes, combined with GPS velocities, to examine the tectonics of the Hellenic subduction zone, and in particular the processes occurring at both ends of the Hellenic Arc. Nubia-Aegean convergence is accommodated by shallowly dipping thrust-faulting along the subduction-zone interface, as well as by steeper splay faults in the overriding material. From a comparison of observed and expected seismic moment release over the last 100 yr, combined with existing knowledge of the longer-term documented historical record, we confirm earlier suggestions that most (80 per cent) of this convergence is accommodated aseismically, that is, that the subduction zone is uncoupled. This conclusion is robust, even allowing for rare very large earthquakes on splay faults, such as that of AD 365, and also allowing for the contribution of small earthquakes. The downgoing Nubian plate deforms by arc-parallel contraction at all depths, from 200 km seaward of Crete to at least 100 km within the subducting slab. Extensional (T) axes of earthquakes are aligned downdip within the descending slab suggesting that, even if the aseismic prolongation of the slab has reached the 670 km mantle discontinuity, it does not transmit stresses to shallower depths. Shallow thrust-faulting earthquakes on the subduction interface show a divergence of slip vectors round the arc, and GPS measurements show that this is accommodated mainly by E-W extension on normal faults in the overriding Aegean material. The eastern end of the subduction zone, south of Rhodes, displays distributed deformation in the overriding material, including a mixture of strike-slip and splay-thrust faulting, and probably involves rotations about a vertical axes. Here slip on the interface itself is by thrust faulting with slip vectors oblique to the arc but parallel to the overall Nubia-Aegean convergence: there is no evidence for slip-partitioning in the traditional

  1. 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.

  2. Oceanic asthenosphere subduction and its geological implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Q.; Liu, L.

    2014-12-01

    We investigate the evolution of oceanic asthenosphere during subduction by exploring various scenarios including plate kinematics and plausible values of asthenosphere viscosity and density. We find that the oceanic asthenosphere will always subduct with the down-going slab as long as its average viscosity value is no smaller than 1×1018 Pa s. In order to allow slabs to subduct into the deep upper mantle, a maximum oceanic asthenosphere density reduction relative to the underlying mantle should be no larger than 0.7%, assuming a 200-km-thick asthenosphere channel. We find that a significant portion of the asthenosphere buoyancy should result from its excess temperature from the long-term thermal evolution of mantle convection. Our results are in contrast to an earlier suggestion that negligible amount (<30 km thick) of asthenosphere could get subducted, which is likely due to over-simplicity of subduction geometry and model boundary conditions. The recycling of a weak and hot asthenosphere provides a novel mechanism for the formation of slow seismic anomalies within the deep mantle. This, in turn, questions the commonly believed deep mantle plume origin of intra-plate volcanism, with a typical example being the Yellowstone volcanic system. Our current results suggest that a buoyant asthenosphere can be dragged down into the lower mantle and then moves upward due to its buoyancy when the overlying slab barrier is removed. To further test our hypothesis, we construct a 4D subduction model for western North America during the Cenozoic. We use data assimilation techniques to incorporate plate kinematics and sea floor ages as boundary conditions, and seismic anomalies converted density structure as internal buoyancy source. The subduction history is calibrated through a hybrid of forward and adjoint simulations satisfying multiple observational constraints. Some preliminary results will be presented.

  3. Evolving subduction zones in the Western United States, as interpreted from igneous rocks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lipman, P.W.; Prostka, H.J.; Christiansen, R.L.

    1971-01-01

    Variations in the ratio of K2O to SiO4 in andesitic rocks suggest early and middle Cenozoic subduction beneath the western United States along two subparallel imbricate zones dipping about 20 degrees eastward. The western zone emerged at the continental margin, but the eastern zone was entirely beneath the continental plate. Mesozoic subduction apparently occurred along a single steeper zone.

  4. Water and the Oxidation State of Subduction Zone Magmas

    SciTech Connect

    Kelley, K.; Cottrell, E

    2009-01-01

    Mantle oxygen fugacity exerts a primary control on mass exchange between Earth's surface and interior at subduction zones, but the major factors controlling mantle oxygen fugacity (such as volatiles and phase assemblages) and how tectonic cycles drive its secular evolution are still debated. We present integrated measurements of redox-sensitive ratios of oxidized iron to total iron (Fe{sup 3+}/{Sigma}Fe), determined with Fe K-edge micro-x-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy, and pre-eruptive magmatic H{sub 2}O contents of a global sampling of primitive undegassed basaltic glasses and melt inclusions covering a range of plate tectonic settings. Magmatic Fe{sup 3+}/{Sigma}Fe ratios increase toward subduction zones (at ridges, 0.13 to 0.17; at back arcs, 0.15 to 0.19; and at arcs, 0.18 to 0.32) and correlate linearly with H{sub 2}O content and element tracers of slab-derived fluids. These observations indicate a direct link between mass transfer from the subducted plate and oxidation of the mantle wedge.

  5. 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.

  6. The thermal effect of fluid circulation in the subducting crust on slab melting in the Chile subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

    Fluids released from subducting slabs affect geochemical recycling and melt generation in the mantle wedge. The distribution of slab dehydration and the potential for slab melting are 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 temperatures, fluid release, and slab melting for the subduction zone beneath the southern portion of the Southern Volcanic Zone (SVZ) in south central Chile. Because the age of the Nazca Plate entering the subduction zone decreases from ∼14 Ma north of the Guafo Fracture Zone to ∼6 Ma to the south, a southward warming of the subduction zone has been hypothesized. However, both north and south of Guafo Fracture Zone the geochemical signatures of southern SVZ arc lavas are similar, indicating 3-5 wt.% sediment melt and little to no contribution from melt of subducted basalt or aqueous fluids from subducted crust. We model temperatures in the system, use results of the thermal models and the thermodynamic calculation code Perple_X to estimate the pattern of dehydration-derived fluid release, and examine the potential locations for the onset of melting of 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 the hottest parts of the system (i.e. those with the youngest subducting lithosphere). Models including the thermal effects of fluid circulation in the oceanic crust predict melting of the subducting sediment but not the basalt, consistent with the geochemical observations. In contrast, models that do not account for fluid circulation predict melting of both subducting sediment and basalt below the volcanic arc south of Guafo Fracture Zone. In our simulations with the effects of fluid circulation, the onset of sediment

  7. Resolution experiments for NW Pacific subduction zone tomography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spakman, Wim; Van Der Hilst, Rob; Wortel, Rinus; Stein, Seth

    1989-01-01

    Results are reported from an investigation of the resolving power of ISC/NEIC P travel-time data in tomographic inversions for the geometry of the subduction zones in the NW Pacific. From thermal models for the Kurile, Janan, Izu-Bonin, Mariana, and Ryukyu slabs, three-dimensional synthetic velocity anomalies for subducting slabs are generated and projected onto a cell model for the uppermost 1400 km of the mantle. These synthetic models are used to compute synthetic delay times for ray paths corresponding to the source and receiver locations used for the actual data, add Gaussian noise, invert the synthetic data, and compare the resulting velocity structure to the initial synthetic models. This comparison is illustrated for sections through the Kuriles and the Mariana arcs. A variety of resolution artifacts are observed, which in many cases resemble features visible in the tomographic results obtained from inverting the actual ISC/NEIC data.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  9. Numerical modeling of fluid migration in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  10. Inside the subduction factory: Modeling fluid mobile element enrichment in the mantle wedge above a subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shervais, John W.; Jean, Marlon M.

    2012-10-01

    Enrichment of the mantle wedge above subduction zones with fluid mobile elements is thought to represent a fundamental process in the origin of arc magmas. This "subduction factory" is typically modeled as a mass balance of inputs (from the subducted slab) and outputs (arc volcanics). We present here a new method to model fluid mobile elements, based on the composition of peridotites associated with supra-subduction ophiolites, which form by melt extraction and fluid enrichment in the mantle wedge above nascent subduction zones. The Coast Range ophiolite (CRO), California, is a Jurassic supra-subduction zone ophiolite that preserves mantle lithologies formed in response to hydrous melting. We use high-precision laser ablation ICP-MS analyses of relic pyroxenes from these peridotites to document fluid-mobile element (FME) concentrations, along with a suite of non-fluid mobile elements that includes rare earth and high-field strength elements. In the CRO, fluid-mobile elements are enriched by factors of up to 100× DMM, whereas fluid immobile elements are progressively depleted by melt extraction. The high concentrations of fluid mobile elements in supra-subduction peridotite pyroxene can be attributed to a flux of aqueous fluid or fluid-rich melt phase derived from the subducting slab. To model this enrichment, we derive a new algorithm that calculates the concentration of fluid mobile elements added to the source: C=[C/[[D/(D-PF)]∗[1-(PF/D)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    Subduction zones are the place where water is transported into the Earth's interior and causes arc volcanism and seismic activities. Subducting slabs release most of the water to the mantle wedge by the dehydration reactions, and the expelled water reacts with mantle rocks, forming serpentinite at the plate interface. The existence of hydrous layer has been detected by low- velocity anomaly and high-Poison's ratio in several subduction zones (Kamiya and Kobayashi 2000 ; Brocher et al. 2003). The migration of water is generally considered to move upward by buoyancy in the mantle. However, if the hydrous layer is extensively deformed, the migration of water can be controlled by the deformation plane within such layer. In order to test this hypothesis, we analyzed the permeability anisotropy of serpentinite with a strongly-developed schistosity and discuss fluid migration in the subduction systems. Serpentinite samples were collected from Nishisonogi metamorphic terrane in Nagasaki, which schistosity is well-defined developed. Two types of experimental samples were prepared: one is parallel to schistosity and the other is perpendicular. We used intra-vessel deformation and fluid- flow apparatus (IVA) in Hiroshima University to measure the permeability. In this study, we measured gas permeability using nitrogen gas and water permeability under isotropic pressure. Gas permeability was measured using the constant flow method, and water permeability was similar to gas and the transient pulse method was also used. The experiments were conducted at confining pressures up to 50 MPa, pore pressures up to 8 MPa at room temperature. We converted gas permeability to intrinsic permeability with Klinkenberg effect. The permeability decreased with increasing confining pressure, and intrinsic permeability of samples parallel to schistosity were about 10^-20 m2 at confining pressure of 50 MPa. We observed two types of pressure effect: one is significant decline due to crack filling

  12. A possible source of water in seismogenic subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  13. Cyclic stressing and seismicity at strongly coupled subduction zones

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1996-01-01

    We use the finite element method to analyze stress variations in and near a strongly coupled subduction zone during an earthquake cycle. Deformation is assumed to be uniform along strike (plane strain on a cross section normal to the trench axis), and periodic earthquake slip is imposed consistent with the long-term rate of plate convergence and degree of coupling. Simulations of stress and displacement rate fields represent periodic fluctuations in time superimposed on an average field. The oceanic plate, descending slab, and continental lithosphere are assumed here to respond elastically to these fluctuations, and the remaining mantle under and between plates is assumed to respond as Maxwell viscoelastic. In the first part of the analysis we find that computed stress fluctuations in space and time are generally consistent with observed earthquake mechanism variations with time since a great thrust event. In particular, trench-normal extensional earthquakes tend to occur early in the earthquake cycle toward the outer rise but occur more abundantly late in the cycle in the subducting slab downdip of the main thrust zone. Compressional earthquakes, when they occur at all, have the opposite pattern. Our results suggest also that the actual timing of extensional outer rise events is controlled by the rheology of the shallow aseismic portion of the thrust interface. The second part of the analysis shows the effects of mantle relaxation on the rate of ground surface deformation during the earthquake cycle. Models without relaxation predict a strong overall compressional strain rate in the continental plate above the main thrust zone, with the strain rate constant between mainshocks. However with significant relaxation present, a localized region of unusually low compressional, or even slightly extensional, strain rate develops along the surface of the continental plate above and somewhat inland from the downdip edge of the locked main thrust zone. The low strain rate

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Supercycles describe a long-term cluster of megathrust earthquakes that consist of partial ruptures before a complete failure of a subduction zone segment (Sieh et al. 2008, Goldfinger et al. 2013). The controls on supercycles remain unclear, although structural or fault frictional heterogeneities were proposed (Sieh et al. 2008). We recognize that supercycles have been suggested in those subduction zones (Sieh et al. 2008, Goldfinger et al. 2013, Metois et al. 2014, Chlieh et al. 2014) for which the seismogenic zone downdip width is estimated (Heuret et al. 2011, Hayes et al. 2012, Hayes et al. 2013) to be larger than average. Here we assess this potential link between the seismogenic zone downdip width and supercycles. For this purpose we use the continuum-based seismo-mechanical model of megathrust earthquake cycles in subduction zones (Van Dinther et al. 2013), which was validated through a comparison against scaled analogue subduction experiments (Corbi et al. 2013). The two-dimensional numerical model setup consists of a visco-elastic wedge underthrusted by a rigid plate and a frictional boundary layer simulating the megathrust. In this boundary layer, we evaluate a non-associative Drucker-Prager plasticity with pressure dependent yield strength and a strongly rate-dependent friction formulation. The velocity-weakening seismogenic zone with a downdip width W is limited up-and downdip by velocity-strengthening regions. In our numerical models, an increasing seismogenic zone downdip width leads to a transition from ordinary cycles of similar sized complete ruptures to supercycles. For supercycles in wide seismogenic zones, we demonstrate how interseismic deformation accompanied by partial ruptures effectively increases the stress throughout the seismogenic zone until a crack-like superevent releases most of the accumulated stresses. Our findings suggest that supercycles are more likely to occur in subduction zones with a large seismogenic downdip width due to a

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

    PubMed

    Calvert, Andrew J

    2004-03-11

    At convergent continental margins, the relative motion between the subducting oceanic plate and the overriding continent is usually accommodated by movement along a single, thin interface known as a megathrust. Great thrust earthquakes occur on the shallow part of this interface where the two plates are locked together. Earthquakes of lower magnitude occur within the underlying oceanic plate, and have been linked to geochemical dehydration reactions caused by the plate's descent. Here I present deep seismic reflection data from the northern Cascadia subduction zone that show that the inter-plate boundary is up to 16 km thick and comprises two megathrust shear zones that bound a >5-km-thick, approximately 110-km-wide region of imbricated crustal rocks. Earthquakes within the subducting plate occur predominantly in two geographic bands where the dip of the plate is inferred to increase as it is forced around the edges of the imbricated inter-plate boundary zone. This implies that seismicity in the subducting slab is controlled primarily by deformation in the upper part of the plate. Slip on the shallower megathrust shear zone, which may occur by aseismic slow slip, will transport crustal rocks into the upper mantle above the subducting oceanic plate and may, in part, provide an explanation for the unusually low seismic wave speeds that are observed there. PMID:15014496

  16. Quaternary volcanism near the Valley of Mexico: implications for subduction zone magmatism and the effects of crustal thickness variations on primitive magma compositions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallace, Paul J.; Carmichael, Ian S. E.

    The Valley of Mexico and surrounding regions of Mexico and Morelos states in central Mexico contain more than 250 Quaternary eruptive vents in addition to the large, composite volcanoes of Popocatépetl, Iztaccíhuatl, and Nevado de Toluca. The eruptive vents include cinder and lava cones, shield volcanoes, and isolated andesitic and dacitic lava flows, and are most numerous in the Sierra Chichináutzin that forms the southern terminus of the Valley of Mexico. The Chichináutzin volcanic field (CVF) is part of the E-W-trending Mexican Volcanic Belt (MVB), a subduction-related volcanic arc that extends across Mexico. The crustal thickness beneath the CVF ( 50km) is the greatest of any region in the MVB and one of the greatest found in any arc worldwide. Lavas and scoriae erupted from vents in the CVF include alkaline basalts and calc-alkaline basaltic andesites, andesites, and dacites. Both alkaline and calc-alkaline groups contain primitive varieties that have whole rock Mg#, MgO, and Ni contents, and liquidus olivine compositions (<=Fo90) that are close to those expected of partial melts from mantle peridotite. Primitive varieties also show a wide range of incompatible trace element abundances (e.g. Ba 210-1080ppm Ce 25-100ppm Zr 130-280ppm). Data for primitive calc-alkaline rocks from both the CVF and other regions of the MVB to the west are consistent with magma generation in an underlying mantle wedge that is depleted in Ti, Zr, and Nb and enriched in large ion lithophile (K, Ba, Rb) and light rare earth (La, Ce) elements. Extents of partial melting estimated from Ti and Zr data are lower for primitive calc-alkaline magmas in the CVF than for those from the regions of the MVB to the west where the crust is thinner. The distinctive major element compositions (low CaO and Al2O3, high SiO2) of the primitive calc-alkaline magmas in the CVF indicate a more refractory mantle source beneath this region of thick crust. In contrast, primitive alkaline magmas from the

  17. Large earthquake processes in the northern Vanuatu subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cleveland, K. Michael; Ammon, Charles J.; Lay, Thorne

    2014-12-01

    The northern Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides) subduction zone (11°S to 14°S) has experienced large shallow thrust earthquakes with Mw > 7 in 1966 (MS 7.9, 7.3), 1980 (Mw 7.5, 7.7), 1997 (Mw 7.7), 2009 (Mw 7.7, 7.8, 7.4), and 2013 (Mw 8.0). We analyze seismic data from the latter four earthquake sequences to quantify the rupture processes of these large earthquakes. The 7 October 2009 earthquakes occurred in close spatial proximity over about 1 h in the same region as the July 1980 doublet. Both sequences activated widespread seismicity along the northern Vanuatu subduction zone. The focal mechanisms indicate interplate thrusting, but there are differences in waveforms that establish that the events are not exact repeats. With an epicenter near the 1980 and 2009 events, the 1997 earthquake appears to have been a shallow intraslab rupture below the megathrust, with strong southward directivity favoring a steeply dipping plane. Some triggered interplate thrusting events occurred as part of this sequence. The 1966 doublet ruptured north of the 1980 and 2009 events and also produced widespread aftershock activity. The 2013 earthquake rupture propagated southward from the northern corner of the trench with shallow slip that generated a substantial tsunami. The repeated occurrence of large earthquake doublets along the northern Vanuatu subduction zone is remarkable considering the doublets likely involved overlapping, yet different combinations of asperities. The frequent occurrence of large doublet events and rapid aftershock expansion in this region indicate the presence of small, irregularly spaced asperities along the plate interface.

  18. Modelling Subduction Zone Magmatism Due to Hydraulic Fracture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawton, R.; Davies, J. H.

    2014-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Stability and dynamics of serpentinite layer in subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilairet, Nadege; Reynard, Bruno

    2009-02-01

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

  1. Improved Teleseismic Locations of Shallow Subduction Zone Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bisrat, S. T.; Deshon, H. R.; Engdahl, E. R.; Bilek, S. L.

    2009-12-01

    Improved precision teleseismic earthquake locations in subduction zones are being used to better understand shallow megathrust frictional conditions and determine the global distribution of tsunami earthquakes. Most global teleseismic catalogs fail to accurately locate shallow subduction zone earthquakes, especially mid-magnitude events, leading to increased error in determining source time functions useful for identifying tsunami earthquakes. The Engdahl, van der Hilst and Buland (EHB) method had addressed this problem in part by including the teleseismic depth phases pP, pwP and sP in the relocation algorithm. The EHB catalog relies on phase times reported to the ISC and NEIC, but additional high quality depth phase onsets can be incorporated in the relocation procedure to enhance the robustness of individual locations. We present improvements to an automated frequency-based picker that identifies depth phases not reported in the standard catalogs. The revised autopicker uses abrupt amplitude changes of the power spectral density (PSD) function calculated at optimized frequencies for each waveform. It is being used to pick onsets for P and depth phases pP, pwP or sP for inclusion in the EHB phase catalog. In the case of events with an emergent P-wave onset or with a complex waveform consisting of sub-events, the autopicker may either overlook a relatively small change in frequency of the first arrival or misidentify the onset arrival time of associated later arrivals, leading to erroneous results. We track those waveforms by comparing the difference of the P-wave arrival time from ISC/NEIC and the autopicker. The phase arrivals can then be adjusted manually as they usually make up a few percent of the whole data. Epicentral changes following relocation using additional depth phases are generally small (<5 km). Changes in depth may be on the order of 10s of km for some events, though the standard deviation of depth changes within each subduction zone is ~5 km. We

  2. Imaging of the subducted Kyushu-Palau Ridge in the Hyuga-nada region, western Nankai Trough subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  3. Frictional behavior of carbonate-rich sediments in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Carbonate-rich layers make up a significant component of subducting sediments around the world and may impact the frictional behavior of subduction zones. In order to investigate the effect of carbonate subduction, we conducted biaxial deformation experiments within a pressure vessel using the Brittle Rock deformAtion Versatile Apparatus (BRAVA) at INGV. We obtained input sediments for two subduction zones, the Hikurangi trench, New Zealand (ODP Site 1124) and the Peru trench (DSDP Site 321), which have carbonate/clay contents of ~40/60 wt% and ~80/20 wt%, respectively. Samples were saturated with distilled water mixed with 35g/l sea salt and deformed at room temperature. Experiments were conducted at σN = 1-50 MPa with sliding velocities of 1-300 μm/s and hold times of 1-1000 s. Frictional strength of Hikurangi gouge is 0.35-0.55 and Peru gouge is 0.55-0.65. Velocity-stepping tests show that the Hikurangi gouge is consistently velocity strengthening (friction rate parameter (a-b) > 0). The Peru gouge is mostly velocity strengthening but exhibits a minimum in a-b at the 3-10 μm/s velocity step (with velocity weakening behavior at 25 MPa, indicating the potential for earthquake nucleation). Slide-hold-slide tests show that the healing rate (β) of the Hikurangi gouge is 1x10-4-1x10-3 /decade which is comparable to that of clays (β~0.002 /decade) while the healing rate of Peru gouge (β~6x10-3-7x10-3 /decade) is closer to that of carbonate gouge (β~0.01 /decade). The mechanical results are complemented by microstructural analysis. In lower stress experiments, there is no obvious shear localization. At 25 and 50 MPa, pervasive boundary-parallel shears become dominant, particularly in the Peru samples. Degree of microstructural localization appears to correspond with the trends observed in velocity-dependence. Our preliminary results indicate that carbonate/clay compositions could have a significant impact on the frictional behavior of subducting sediments.

  4. Experimentally determined distribution of fluorine and chlorine upon hydrous slab melting, and implications for F-Cl cycling through subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van den Bleeken, Greg; Koga, Kenneth T.

    2015-12-01

    Fluorine and chlorine are volatile elements known to be enriched in primitive arc magmas, and variations of F/Cl ratios can carry information about slab devolatilization processes. Recent experiments on the fractionations of these elements suggest that aqueous fluid has limited capacity to enrich the magma source region in F. Hence, it is difficult to explain observations of primitive arc magmas particularly rich in F. To complement previous experimental studies, we examined the fractionation of fluorine and chlorine during hydrous partial melting of subducting slab. Element-doped phase equilibria experiments were carried out in a complex chemical system at conditions equivalent to potential slab melting temperatures (750-1000 °C) across the amphibolite to eclogite facies transition (1.3-3 GPa). Partition coefficients of F and Cl between hydrous silicic melts and minerals were determined by electron microprobe and/or ion probe. Fluorine is compatible in amphibole (DFamp/glass = 1.18-1.85), and incompatible in garnet (0.034-0.140), clinopyroxene (0.059-0.505), and allanite (0.205-0.504). Hence, amphibole is an important F host, and can retain significant quantities of F in the solid residue of partial melting. On the contrary, Cl is incompatible, with DClmineral/glass generally decreasing from amphibole (0.079-0.625; one outlier at 1.87) to allanite (0.163), clinopyroxene (0.066-0.158), and garnet (0.031-0.153; outlier at 0.492). As a result, Cl is easily mobilized during partial melting. Fluorine and chlorine release during slab melting have been quantified by applying our partition coefficients to a non-modal batch melting model. The model shows that amphibole plays a key role in F/Cl fractionation during partial melting, while F/Cl is close to that of source for the melting of amphibole free eclogite. Moreover, the results from a flux-melting model employing several source compositions are compared to F and Cl abundances in primitive arc magmas. The observed

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

    PubMed

    Chaves, Esteban J; Schwartz, Susan Y

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Chaves, Esteban J.; Schwartz, Susan Y.

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Double seismic zone and dehydration embrittlement of the subducting slab

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamasaki, Tadashi; Seno, Tetsuzo

    2003-04-01

    Dehydration embrittlement of metamorphosed oceanic crust and mantle in the subducting slab may be responsible for the occurrence of intermediate-depth earthquakes. We explore the possibility that this hypothesis can explain the morphology of the double seismic zones observed in northeast Japan, southwest Japan, northeast Taiwan, northern Chile, Cape Mendocino, and eastern Aleutians. We calculate transient temperature structures of slabs based on geologically estimated subduction histories of these regions. We then determine dehydration loci of metamorphosed oceanic crust and serpentinized mantle using experimentally derived phase diagrams. The depth range of the dehydration loci of metamorphosed oceanic crust and serpentine is dependent on slab age. The dehydration loci of serpentine produce a double-layered structure. Because the upper dehydration loci of serpentine are mostly located in the wedge mantle above the slab, we regard the upper plane seismicity representing dehydration embrittlement in the oceanic crust, and we fix the slab geometry so that the upper plane seismicity is just below the upper surface of the slab. We find that the lower plane seismicity is located at the lower dehydration loci of serpentine, which indicates that the morphology of the double seismic zones is consistent with the dehydration embrittlement.

  9. Late Holocene Tectonics and Paleoseismicity, Southern Cascadia Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, Samuel H., Jr.; Carver, Gary A.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Clarke, S H; Carver, G A

    1992-01-10

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

  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. 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. Diagenesis and dehydration of subducting oceanic crust within seismogenic subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kameda, J.; Yamaguchi, A.; Hamada, Y.; Hashimoto, Y.; Kimura, G.

    2012-12-01

    Diagenesis and dehydration of subducting oceanic crust is thought to have strong influence on mechanical and hydrologic properties of seismogenic plate interfaces beneath the accretionary wedges (Kameda et al., 2011). In this work, we analyzed five representative pillow basalts exposed in the ancient accretionary complex, the Shimanto belt in southwest Japan, in order to derive details on a suite of mineral reactions within the subducting oceanic crust. Based on the vitrinite reflectance measurement of terrigenous sediments accompanied by these rocks, they are estimated to have been subjected to burial diagenenesis at 150-300 C. Whole rock and clay-fraction X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses indicate that sequential saponite to chlorite transformation through mixed-layer phases proceeds under the relatively constant bulk rock composition. Such clay mineral reaction may persist to deep crustal level (~290 C) and contribute to bulk dehydration as a dominant fluid supplier to the plate-boundary fault system. The dehydration may cause abnormal fluid pressurization around the plate-boundary fault zone with a maximum at a certain horizon below the fault (within the intact oceanic crust), resulting in underplating of the upper basement rock into the overriding accretionary prism. Such dehydration-induced weakening process well explains the thickness distribution of the accreted basaltic crust fragments as observed in the onland exposures (Kimura and Ludden, 1995). The breakage of the oceanic crust potentially nucleates seismic slip to propagate along the seismogenic plate interface.

  14. Modeling Diverse Pathways to Age Progressive Volcanism in Subduction Zones.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  15. Deformation Processes in Great Subduction Zone Earthquake Cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Yan

    This dissertation consists of two parts and investigates the crustal deformation associated with great subduction zone earthquake at two different spatial scales. At the small scale, I investigate the stress transfer along the megathrust during great earthquakes and its effects on the forearc wedge. At the large scale, I investigate the viscoelastic crustal deformation of the forearc and the back arc associated with great earthquakes. Part I: In a subduction zone, the frontal region of the forearc can be morphologically divided into the outer wedge and the inner wedge. The outer wedge which features much active plastic deformation has a surface slope angle generally larger than that of the inner wedge which hosts stable geological formations. The megathrust can be represented by a three-segment model, the updip zone (velocity-strengthening), seismogenic zone (velocity-weakening), and downdip zone (velocity-strengthening). Our dynamic Coulomb wedge theory postulates that the outer wedge overlies the updip zone, and the inner wedge overlies the seismogenic zone. During an earthquake, strengthening of the updip zone may result in compressive failure in the outer wedge. The inner wedge undergoes elastic deformation. I have examined the geometry and mechanical processes of outer wedges of twenty-three subduction zones. The surface slope of these wedges is generally too high to be explained by the classical critical taper theory but can be explained by the dynamic Coulomb wedge theory. Part II: A giant earthquake produces coseismic seaward motion of the upper plate and induces shear stresses in the upper mantle. After the earthquake, the fault is re-locked, causing the upper plate to move slowly landward. However, parts of the fault will undergo continuous aseismic afterslip for a short duration, causing areas surrounding the rupture zone to move seaward. At the same time, the viscoelastic relaxation of the earthquake-induced stresses in the upper mantle causes prolonged

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  17. Implications of the 26 December 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake on tsunami forecast and assessment models for great subduction-zone earthquakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Geist, Eric L.; Titov, Vasily V.; Arcas, Diego; Pollitz, Fred F.; Bilek, Susan L.

    2007-01-01

    Results from different tsunami forecasting and hazard assessment models are compared with observed tsunami wave heights from the 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Forecast models are based on initial earthquake information and are used to estimate tsunami wave heights during propagation. An empirical forecast relationship based only on seismic moment provides a close estimate to the observed mean regional and maximum local tsunami runup heights for the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami but underestimates mean regional tsunami heights at azimuths in line with the tsunami beaming pattern (e.g., Sri Lanka, Thailand). Standard forecast models developed from subfault discretization of earthquake rupture, in which deep- ocean sea level observations are used to constrain slip, are also tested. Forecast models of this type use tsunami time-series measurements at points in the deep ocean. As a proxy for the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, a transect of deep-ocean tsunami amplitudes recorded by satellite altimetry is used to constrain slip along four subfaults of the M >9 Sumatra–Andaman earthquake. This proxy model performs well in comparison to observed tsunami wave heights, travel times, and inundation patterns at Banda Aceh. Hypothetical tsunami hazard assessments models based on end- member estimates for average slip and rupture length (Mw 9.0–9.3) are compared with tsunami observations. Using average slip (low end member) and rupture length (high end member) (Mw 9.14) consistent with many seismic, geodetic, and tsunami inversions adequately estimates tsunami runup in most regions, except the extreme runup in the western Aceh province. The high slip that occurred in the southern part of the rupture zone linked to runup in this location is a larger fluctuation than expected from standard stochastic slip models. In addition, excess moment release (∼9%) deduced from geodetic studies in comparison to seismic moment estimates may generate additional tsunami energy, if the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Several active and passive seismic experiments conducted in 2007 in the framework of the European program "Thales Was Right" and of the French ANR program "Subsismanti" provided a unique set of geophysical data highlighting the deep structure of the central part of the Lesser Antilles subduction zone, offshore Dominica and Martinique, and its seismic activity during a period of 8 months. The region is characterized by a relatively low rate of seismicity that is often attributed to the slow (2 cm/yr) subduction of the old, 90 My, Atlantic lithosphere beneath the Caribbean Plate. Based on tomographic inversion of wide-angle seismic data, the forearc can clearly be divided into an inner forearc, characterised by a high vertical velocity gradient in the igneous crust, and an outer forearc with lower crustal velocity gradient. The thick, high velocity, inner forearc is possibly the extension at depth of the Mesozoic Caribbean crust outcropping in La Désirade Island. The outer forearc, up to 70 km wide in the northern part of the study area, is getting narrower to the south and disappears offshore Martinique. Based on its seismic velocity structure with velocities higher than 6 km/s the backstop consists, at least partly, of magmatic rocks. The outer forearc is also highly deformed and faulted within the subducting trend of the Tiburon Ridge. With respect to the inner forearc velocity structure the outer forearc basement could either correspond to an accreted oceanic terrane or made of highly fractured rocks. The inner forearc is a dense, poorly deformable crustal block, tilted southward as a whole. It acts as a rigid buttress increasing the strain within both the overriding and subducting plates. This appears clearly in the current local seismicity affecting the subducting and the overriding plates that is located beneath the inner forearc. We detected earthquakes beneath the Caribbean forearc and in the Atlantic oceanic plate as well. The main seismic activity is

  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. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Modeling the migration of fluids in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    Fluids play a major role in the formation of arc volcanism and the generation of continental crust. Progressive dehydration reactions in the downgoing slab release fluids to the hot overlying mantle wedge, causing flux melting and the migration of melts to the volcanic front. While the qualitative concept is well established the quantitative details of fluid release and especially that of fluid migration and generation of hydrous melting in the wedge is still poorly understood. Here we present new models of the fluid migration through the mantle wedge for subduction zones that span the spectrum of arcs worldwide. We focus on the flow of water and use an existing set of high resolution thermal and metamorphic models (van Keken et al., JGR, in review) to predict the regions of water release from the sediments, upper and lower crust, and upper most mantle. We use this water flux as input for the fluid migration calculation based on new finite element models built on advanced computational libraries (FEniCS/PETSc) for efficient and flexible solution of coupled multi-physics problems. The first generation of these models solves for the evolution of porosity and fluid-pressure/flux throughout the slab and wedge given solid flow, viscosity and thermal fields from the existing thermal models. Fluid flow in the new models depends on both permeability and the rheology of the slab-wedge system as interaction with rheological variability can induce additional pressure gradients that affect the fluid flow pathways. We will explore the sensitivity of fluid flow paths for a range of subduction zones and fluid flow parameters with emphasis on variability of the location of the volcanic arc with respect to flow paths and expected degrees of hydrous melting which can be estimated given a variety of wet-melting parameterizations (e.g. Katz et al, 2003, Kelley et al, 2010). The current models just include dehydration reactions but work continues on the next generation of models which

  3. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Mantle Flow in the Rivera-Cocos Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leon Soto, G.; Ni, J. F.; Grand, S. P.; Sandvol, E. A.; Valenzuela Wong, R.; Guzman-Speziale, M.; Gomez Gonzalez, J. M.; Dominguez Reyes, T.

    2009-12-01

    Western Mexico, where the young and small Rivera plate and the adjacent large Cocos plate are subducting beneath the North American plate, is a unique region on Earth where tearing of subducting oceanic plates, as well as fragmentation of the overriding continental plate, is occurring today. Characterizing the mantle flow field that accompanies the subduction of the Rivera and adjacent Cocos plates can help to clarify the tectonics and magma genesis of this young plate boundary. Here we report observations of seismic anisotropy, as manifested by shear wave splitting derived from local S and teleseismic SKS data collected by the MARS (Mapping Rivera Subduction zone) array that was deployed from January, 2006, through June, 2007, in southwestern Mexico, and from data collected by two of Mexico's Servicio Sismológico Nacional stations. SKS and local S wave splitting parameters indicate that the fast directions of the split SKS waves for stations that lie on the central and southern Jalisco Block are approximately trench-normal, following the convergence direction between the Rivera plate and Jalisco Block. S-wave splitting from slab events show a small averaged delay time of ~0.2 sec for the upper 60 km of the crust and mantle. Therefore, the main source of anisotropy must reside in the entrained mantle below the young and thin Rivera plate. Trench-oblique fast SKS split directions are observed in the western edge of the Rivera plate and the western parts of the Cocos slab. The curved pattern of fast SKS split directions in the western Jalisco block and beneath the Rivera-Cocos slab gap indicates 3-D toroidal mantle flow, around the northwestern edge of the Rivera slab and the Rivera-Cocos gap, which profoundly affect the finite strain field in the northwestern edge of the Rivera slab and the mantle wedge. Both the tomographic images and shear wave splitting results support the idea that the Rivera and western Cocos plates not only moved in a down-dip direction but

  6. Mechanism of décollement formation in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hori, Takane; Sakaguchi, Hide

    2011-12-01

    The mechanism of décollement formation was investigated through a particle-based simulation model assuming homogeneity (e.g. no weak layer or pore fluid). A décollement-like structure appeared as a spontaneously localized shear deformation near the bottom of the sediment when the thickness of the sediment was sufficient to balance the gravitational force and tectonic loading. In contrast, no such décollement-like structure was formed when the sediment was too thin; in this case, the entire prism was deformed because of plate motion. These results are consistent with various observations in real subduction zones. A precise analysis of the stress state evolution during accretion reveals that the formation of a décollement-like structure is controlled by the spatio-temporal distribution of isotropic compression states.

  7. Does subduction zone magmatism produce average continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  8. Coastline uplift in Oregon and Washington and the nature of Cascadia subduction-zone tectonics

    SciTech Connect

    West, D.O.; McCrumb, D.R.

    1988-02-01

    Coastline deformation resulting from great shallow thrust earthquakes can provide information concerning the paleoseismicity of a subduction zone and thus information on the nature of potential seismicity. The Cascadia subduction zone is different from most other subduction zones in that it has been quiescent with respect to great earthquakes for at least the past 200 yr. The Washington-Oregon coastline also differs from most other coastlines associated with subduction zones in its lack of uplifted Holocene shoreline features and low overall rate of late Quaternary uplift (0.2-0.6 mm/yr). The uplift differences suggest that repeated great earthquakes have not occurred along the Cascadia subduction zone at least during the late Holocene. Alternatively, if the plate interface has generated earthquakes, the differences may be explained by longer recurrence intervals for great earthquakes, smaller magnitude earthquakes, or a mechanism that does not result in uplift of the coastline where expected.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimizu, N.; Mandeville, C. W.

    2011-12-01

    While there is a broad consensus that mantle melting in subduction zones occurs as a result of transport of aqueous fluid (or H2O-rich components) from the subducting slab to the mantle wedge, how and where the transport occurs is still one of the outstanding questions. We report recent SIMS-based sulfur isotope data of input to (pyrites in eclogites) and output from (un-degassed olivine-hosted primitive melt inclusions from arcs) subduction zones, and argue, on the basis of sulfur isotope mass balance, that our results do not support a widely held view of deep fluid transfer from slab to wedge. We suggest, instead, that hydration of the mantle wedge occurs at shallow levels with subsequent subduction and dehydration as the likely source of H2O-rich components for magma generation. Our data from olivine-hosted un-degassed primitive melt inclusions from Galunggung (δ34S ranging from -3 to +10 %, average = +2.9% with 1000 - 2000 ppm S), Krakatau (+1.6 - +8.7 %, av = +4.2%, 1200 - 2400 ppm S), and Augustine (+11 - +17%, 2500 - 5200 ppm S) clearly show that mantle wedge (δ34S ~0%, ~250 ppm S) has been significantly modified by slab-derived fluid (e.g., seawater with +21%, ~900 ppm S). On the other hand, eclogitic pyrites from the Western Gneiss Region, Norway (2 - 2.5 GPa, 700 - 850°C: Kylander-Clark et al., 2007) range in δ34S from -3.4 to +2.8%, similar to that for altered oceanic crust (e.g., Alt, 1995). Fluid in equilibrium with the eclogitic pyrites could have δ34S up to +10% (Ohmoto and Rye, 1979) and could contain up to ~1000 ppm S, based on the solubility data of Newton and Manning (2005). Mass balance calculations show that more than 10 wt.% of this fluid would be needed for modifying δ34S of the mantle wedge with ~250 ppm S from 0% to +5%, at least an order of magnitude greater than predicted by trace element-based arguments. For fluids with more seawater-like salinity, much more would be necessary for modifying the sulfur isotopic composition of the

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

    PubMed Central

    Kelemen, Peter B.; Manning, Craig E.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelemen, Peter B.; Manning, Craig E.

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kelemen, Peter B; Manning, Craig E

    2015-07-28

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

  13. Modeling the Migration of Fluids in Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, C. R.; Spiegelman, M.; Van Keken, P. E.; Vrijmoed, J. C.; Hacker, B. R.

    2011-12-01

    Fluids play a major role in the formation of arc volcanism and the generation of continental crust. Progressive dehydration reactions in the downgoing slab release fluids to the hot overlying mantle wedge, causing flux melting and the migration of melts to the volcanic front. While the qualitative concept is well established, the quantitative details of fluid release and especially that of fluid migration and generation of hydrous melting in the wedge is still poorly understood. Here we present new models of the fluid migration through the mantle wedge for subduction zones. We use an existing set of high resolution metamorphic models (van Keken et al, 2010) to predict the regions of water release from the sediments, upper and lower crust, and upper most mantle. We use this water flux as input for the fluid migration calculation based on new finite element models built on advanced computational libraries (FEniCS/PETSc) for efficient and flexible solution of coupled multi-physics problems. The first generation of one-way coupled models solves for the evolution of porosity and fluid-pressure/flux throughout the slab and wedge given solid flow, viscosity and thermal fields from separate solutions to the incompressible Stokes and energy equations in the mantle wedge. These solutions are verified by comparing to previous benchmark studies (van Keken et al, 2008) and global suites of thermal subduction models (Syracuse et al, 2010). Fluid flow depends on both permeability and the rheology of the slab-wedge system as interaction with rheological variability can induce additional pressure gradients that affect the fluid flow pathways. These non-linearities have been shown to explain laboratory-scale observations of melt band orientation in labratory experiments and numerical simulations of melt localization in shear bands (Katz et al 2006). Our second generation of models dispense with the pre-calculation of incompressible mantle flow and fully couple the now compressible

  14. Anisotropy and Attenuation in a Retreating Subduction Zone: Southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baccheschi, P.; Margheriti, L.; Steckler, M. S.; de Gori, P.; Boschi, E.

    2010-12-01

    We present a collection of high quality S-wave splitting measurements in the Southern Italy subduction system. We analyzed deep earthquakes that occurred within the descending slab to determine the splitting parameters φ and δt. The local deep earthquakes allowed us to analyze ray-paths primarily sampling the slab and the wedge above it. Mainland Calabria is a forearc high, enabling us to sample rays that propagate up the slab. S splitting parameters show a complex pattern of anisotropy with variable fast directions across the subduction zone and delay times ranging from 0.1 sec to 2.2 sec. Measurements at single stations are quite variable excluding the overriding plate as main source of anisotropy. The S wave splitting parameters also show frequency-dependent behaviour that we attribute to the presence of small-scale anisotropic heterogeneities. Comparison of the S splitting measurements to the P-wave velocity anomaly at 100-200 km depth shows that where the rays primarily sample the slab the delay times are small. In contrast, where the S rays sample the mantle wedge, the delay times are quite high. This δt pattern depicts the slab as a weakly anisotropic region and suggests that the main source of anisotropy in the subduction zone is the surrounding asthenosphere. We also determined the attenuation structure of the slab and of the surrounding regions by the inversion of high quality S-waves t* from slab earthquakes. We obtained high-resolution Qs model down to 300 km depth. The results indicate low values of Qs (values down to 200) corresponding to crustal layers (down to 25 km depth), while the slab is characterized by higher but heterogeneous Qs structure (Qs values up to 1100). At 100 km depth the high Qs body is well reconstructed beneath the Calabrian Arc and at 200 km depth it is extended offshore the Southern Tyrrhenian Basin beneath the Aeolian Islands. These preliminary attenuation results allowed us to better define the geometry and the boundary of

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, R. D.; Landgrebe, T. C. W.

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, R. D.; Landgrebe, T. C. W.

    2012-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    were found and attest to high-pressure and low-temperature conditions. As OC2, OC3 exhibit a clear blueschist facies metamorphism, but slightly higher PT conditions. Both OC2 and 3 were only found in the northern area close to the suture zone. Combining these data, available radiometric and palaeogeographic data and recent themomechanical modelling a tentative reconstruction of the subduction-zone evolution through time during the emplacement of a large-scale ophiolite is presented. We show that the cooling of the subduction must occur very quickly (~<15 My) after subduction inception and investigate the implications for early subduction and obduction dynamics.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrendoerfer, R.; Dalguer, L. A.; van Dinther, Y.; Gerya, T.

    2015-12-01

    Supercycles describe a long-term cluster of differently-sized megathrust earthquakes that consist of partial ruptures leading up to the final complete failure of a subduction zone segment. We recognize that supercycles are suggested to occur in those subduction zones (Sumatra, Japan, S-Chile, N-Central Chile, Colombia-Ecuador) for which the estimated seismogenic zone downdip width is larger than average (111 km). Here we provide an explanation for this potential link between the seismogenic zone downdip width and supercycles. We use a two-dimensional, continuum-based seismo-mechanical model, which was recently validated through a comparison against scaled analogue subduction experiments. The setup consists of an upper plate represented by a visco-elastic wedge, which is underthrusted by a rigid plate. The megathrust is simulated by a layer governed by slip-rate dependent friction, in which the velocity-weakening seismogenic zone extends over a certain width and transitions up-and downdip to velocity-strengthening regions. In our simulations, the first megathrust events in a supercycle generally rupture only the outermost parts of the seismogenic zone. These sub-critical and pulse-like ruptures are stopped due to a large excess of strength over stress, which leads to a transfer of stresses towards the centre of the seismogenic zone. In addition to the continued tectonic loading, they thereby gradually reduce the strength excess so that the largest megathrust events finally rupture the entire seismogenic zone in a crack-like manner and release most of the accumulated stress. A greater downdip width increases the average strength excess and thus favours supercycles over ordinary cycles of only similarly sized complete ruptures. We conclude that such stress evolution along the dip of a wide seismogenic zone is the simplest mechanism governing supercycles. Additional a priori complexities, like previously suggested structural or frictional heterogeneities are not

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takagi, Ryota; Obara, Kazushige; Maeda, Takuto

    2016-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritter, O.; Araya, J.

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Thrusting-related Fluid Flow in Subduction Zone: Geologic and Isotopic Evidence From Ancient Subduction Complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamaguchi, A.; Ujiie, K.; Kimura, G.

    2004-12-01

    Role of fluid in a seismogenic plate boundary of subduction zone remains poorly understood. To reveal the origin and behavior of syn-tectonic fluid in the ancient subduction complex, we examined occurrences of veins and carbon and oxygen isotope composition of vein calcite of the Mugi Melange in the Shimanto Belt. The melange preserves a relationship between rock deformation and fluid flow near the up-dip limit of seismogenic zone. The Mugi Melange is a late Cretaceous to Paleocene tectonic melange, and is characterized by blocks of sandstone and basalt in shale matrix. The Mugi Melange is divided into five units based on the repetition of basaltic layer of N-MORB, representing duplex-underplated assemblage. Paleo-temperature determined by vitrinite reflectance is 120-150 \\deg C in the studied section, and fluid inclusion thermo-barometry indicates 125-245 \\deg C and 92-149 MPa (Matsumura et al., 2003). This P-T condition is in the vicinity of up-dip limit of the seismogenic zone. Major deformational stage of the Mugi Melange is underthrusting (D1), underplating (D2), and uplifting (D3). There are various occurrences of quartz and calcite veins in melange formed during various stages. We classified three occurrences of veins named intra-boudin veins (IBV), network veins (NWV), and fault-parallel veins (FPV). IBV are observed only around the neck of boudined sandstone block in the black shale matrix, so they were precipitated when block-in-matrix structure was formed due to layer-parallel extension during D1. NWV are distributed in the damage zone of duplex ramp thrust, and are mainly perpendicular to shear surface of the thrust. Such occurrences suggest that NWV formed inter-faulting period of D2. FPV show implosion breccia-like texture (Sibson, 1986), and they are observed just below the basalt / shale boundary. Vein minerals are dominantly calcite. These features suggest that FPV would be precipitated as a result of co-slip fluid migration during oceanic crust

  3. 3-D imaging of the northern Hikurangi subduction zone, New Zealand: variations in subducted sediment, slab fluids and slow slip

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eberhart-Phillips, Donna; Bannister, Stephen

    2015-05-01

    We obtain 3-D Vp and Vp/Vs from 8 to 70 km depth along the northern Hikurangi subduction zone, New Zealand, where the downdip limit of interseismic coupling is shallower than 15 km, and where both large shallow slow-slip events (SSEs) and small deep SSEs have been observed. Onshore-offshore marine-seismic data were incorporated, which greatly improved constraint of shallow velocities and the plate interface (PI) zone velocity structure. We also selected 2600 spatially distributed earthquakes, including seismic data from the upgraded permanent seismometer network, as well as seismic data from temporary networks deployed in 1993-1994, 2001 and 2011-2012. Our method used earthquake differential times and receiver differential times with gradational inversions. The results show extensive regions of subducted sediment, but with major variations along strike. Above the shallow PI (less than 20 km depth) and north of Gisborne there is a 70-km-long zone of high Vp/Vs and low Vp, which is interpreted as subducted sediment with high fluid-pressure. Subducted sediment is also observed at shallower depth offshore in seismic reflection data, in the vicinity of the shallow SSEs. The SSE patch with highest slip occurs where a zone of high seismicity connects the high Vp/Vs upper oceanic crust to the slab upper mantle such that the oceanic crust may serve as a reservoir below the SSE slip zone and enhance dilatant strengthening. In deeper zones, where the PI is 25-45 km depth, there are northern and central zones of thick low Vp, low Qp material related to underplated sediments, which are uplifting the Raukumara and Kaimanawa Ranges. Small deep (25-45 km) SSEs are related to the central deep underplated sediment zone, but no SSEs have been observed in the northern underplated zone.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

    and 5 GPa, and T between 350 and 700C, at strain rates between 10-4 and 10-5 s-1. Dehydration of serpentine was conducted around 4 GPa and 10-5 s-1. The results will be presented together with their implications, in particular the influence of the talc-like phase within a dehydrating serpentine, and more generally for subduction zones dynamics. 1 Ulmer and Trommsdorff GSA spec. publ. (1999). 2 Perrillat et al EPSL (2005) 3 Hilairet et al Science (2007) 4 Escartin et al EPSL (2008) 5 Moore and Rymer Nature (2007) 6 Wang et al RSI (2003)

  6. Subduction of Fracture Zones control mantle melting and geochemical signature above slabs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Constantin Manea, Vlad; Leeman, William; Gerya, Taras; Manea, Marina; Zhu, Guizhi

    2014-05-01

    The geochemistry of arc volcanics proximal to oceanic fracture zones (FZs) is consistent with higher than normal fluid inputs to arc magma sources. Here, enrichment of boron (B/Zr) in volcanic arc lavas is used to evaluate relative along-strike inputs of slab-derived fluids in the Aleutian, Andean, Cascades, and Trans-Mexican arcs. Significant B/Zr spikes coincide with subduction of prominent FZs in the relatively cool Aleutian and Andean subduction zones, but not in the relatively warm Cascadia and Mexican subduction zones, suggesting that FZ subduction locally enhances fluid introduction beneath volcanic arcs, and retention of fluids to sub-arc depths diminishes with subduction zone thermal gradient. Geodynamic treatments of lateral inhomogeneities in subducting plates have not previously considered how FZs may influence the melt and fluid distribution above the slab. Using high-resolution three-dimensional coupled petrological-thermomechanical numerical simulations of subduction, we show that fluids, including melts and water, concentrate in areas where fracture zones are subducted, resulting in along-arc variability in magma source compositions and processes.

  7. Constraints on Subduction Zone Processes from Low Frequency Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bostock, M. G.

    2015-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Melt Inclusions as Windows on Subduction Zone Processes - A Retrospective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sisson, T. W.

    2002-12-01

    A.T. (Fred) Anderson, in a series of papers in the interval 1972-1984, presented evidence from melt inclusions for high dissolved water and Cl concentrations in many subduction zone basalts through andesites. His observations, subsequently shown to be correct, were not widely accepted because (1) phase equilibrium experiments on Paricutin and Mount Hood andesites indicated moderate water concentrations, and some workers reasoned that potentially parental basalts would have been drier still, (2) common basalts lack hydrous phenocrysts, and (3) water content estimates were indirect (water-by-difference) or involved difficult, unfamiliar measurements (single inclusion manometry) and thus were discounted. Subsequent development of techniques for the direct and precise measurement of water and CO2 in melt inclusions (SIMS, FTIR), new hydrous phase-equilibrium studies on arc basalts through rhyolites, and wider appreciation of the diversity of arc magmatic suites changed this situation. Melt inclusion evidence shows that subduction zone basalts can have pre-eruptive dissolved water concentrations as high as ~6 wt% (Sisson and Layne 1993 EPSL; Roggensack et al. 1997 Science), confirming predictions from phase-equilibrium experiments (Sisson and Grove 1993a,b CMP), and supporting the now standard model of water-fluxed melting to drive arc magmatism. An important discovery, presaged in the original Anderson data, is that there is a wide range of pre-eruptive water contents in arc basalts, with some as dry as MORB (Sisson and Bronto 1998 Nature). Nearly dry arc basalts can erupt at the volcanic front (Galunggung, Java) and sporadically along the arc axis over distances of hundreds of km (Cascades, USA), in some cases in proximity to demonstrably water-rich magmatic centers (Mt. Shasta, Crater Lake). To produce dry primitive basalts requires upwelling and pressure-release melting of peridotite in the mantle wedge at temperatures (~1300° C) well above those predicted by

  10. Imaging the Seismic Cycle in the Central Andean Subduction Zone from Geodetic Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. Subduction of fracture zones controls mantle melting and geochemical signature above slabs.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    For some volcanic arcs, the geochemistry of volcanic rocks erupting above subducted oceanic fracture zones is consistent with higher than normal fluid inputs to arc magma sources. Here we use enrichment of boron (B/Zr) in volcanic arc lavas as a proxy to evaluate relative along-strike inputs of slab-derived fluids in the Aleutian, Andean, Cascades and Trans-Mexican arcs. Significant B/Zr spikes coincide with subduction of prominent fracture zones in the relatively cool Aleutian and Andean subduction zones where fracture zone subduction locally enhances fluid introduction beneath volcanic arcs. Geodynamic models of subduction have not previously considered how fracture zones may influence the melt and fluid distribution above slabs. Using high-resolution three-dimensional coupled petrological-thermomechanical numerical simulations of subduction, we show that enhanced production of slab-derived fluids and mantle wedge melts concentrate in areas where fracture zones are subducted, resulting in significant along-arc variability in magma source compositions and processes. PMID:25342158

  12. Subduction of fracture zones controls mantle melting and geochemical signature above slabs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  13. Early abyssal- and late SSZ-type vestiges of the Rheic oceanic mantle in the Variscan basement of the Sakarya Zone, NE Turkey: Implications for the sense of subduction and opening of the Paleotethys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dokuz, Abdurrahman; Uysal, İbrahim; Kaliwoda, Melanie; Karsli, Orhan; Ottley, Chris J.; Kandemir, Raif

    2011-11-01

    The boundary between the Gondwana and Laurussia, or a terrane separated from it, is traced by a suture recording the closure of the Rheic ocean in the Pulur, Beyçam and Kurtoğlu areas of the eastern Sakarya Zone of Turkey. Pulur lherzolite has a lower Cr# [100Cr/(Cr + Al) = 5-37] of the spinel and slightly enriched flat medium-heavy rare earth element (M-HREE) whole-rock pattern typical for those of the fertile abyssal-type lherzolite. By contrast, the Beyçam harzburgite displays the mineralogical and geochemical features of a moderately depleted residue at a supra subduction zone (SSZ). Some of spinels from the Beyçam peridotites show TiO2 contents (0.15-0.48 wt.%) identical to a later interaction with a melt of island-arc tholeiite (IAT) composition. Meta-basalt from the Beyçam area is the representative of such a melt and displays the whole-rock M-HREE pattern of a complementary product of the Beyçam harzburgite. Data presented in this study support the primarily northward directed closure of the Rheic ocean, but suggest that the Variscan basement in the eastern part of the Sakarya Zone consists of mantle peridotites formed in a south-vergent SSZ. This dual polarity of subduction in the Rheic ocean, at least in the second half of its closure, is also favored by the geological structure and lithological diversity of the Variscan rocks. These are: (1) spatial distribution of the peridotites, e.g., SSZ-type harzburgites to the north and abyssal-type lherzolites to the south, (2) lack of high-pressure metamorphic rocks, (3) decrease in the degree of Variscan metamorphism toward the north, and (4) emplacement of Variscan syn-collisional magmatism into the low grade metamorphic rocks to the north. Paleotethys was the other ocean of the region created in the Late Paleozoic. Northward subduction of the Rheic ocean from Early Devonian to Early Carboniferous appears to be the most plausible mechanism responsible for the opening of Paleotethys. In this scenario the

  14. Dating Subduction Zone Metamorphism with Garnet and Lawsonite Geochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  15. Seismo-thermo-mechanical modeling of subduction zone seismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Dinther, Ylona; Gerya, Taras; Dalguer, Luis; Mai, Martin

    2014-05-01

    Recent megathrust earthquakes, e.g., the 2011 M9.0 Tohoku and the 2004 M9.2 Sumatra events, illustrated both their disastrous human and economic impact and our limited physical understanding of their spatial occurrence. To improve long-term seismic hazard assessment by overcoming the restricted direct observations in time and space, we developed a new numerical seismo-thermo-mechanical (STM) modeling approach. This approach may help to shed light onto the interaction between long-term subduction dynamics and deformation and associated short-term seismicity. Additional advantages of this STM approach include the physically consistent emergence of rupture paths, both on- and off-megathrust, and the inclusion of three key ingredients for seismic cycling --rate-dependent friction, slow tectonic loading, and visco-elastic relaxation--. The validation of this approach was accomplished through a comparison with a laboratory seismic cycle model (van Dinther et al., JGR, 2013a). A more realistic geometry and physical setup of the Southern Chilean margin showed that results also agree with a range of seismological, geodetic, and geological observations, albeit at lower coseismic speeds (van Dinther et al., JGR, 2013b). This setup also suggests that a) ~5% of cyclic deformation is being stored on the long-term, b) a self-consistent downdip transition zone between 350°C and 450°C arises from temperature-dependent viscosity, and c) megathrusts are weak (i.e., pore fluid pressures of ˜75% to 99% of that of solid pressures). After introducing the main features of this innovative approach, this study focuses on analyzing the spontaneous unstable rupturing of off-megathrust events. Shallow off-megathrust subduction events are important in terms of hazard assessment and coseismic energy budget. The characteristics of simulated normal events within the outer-rise and splay and normal antithetic events within the wedge resemble seismic and seismological observations in terms of

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

    SciTech Connect

    Scholz, C.H.; Campos, J.

    1995-11-10

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

  17. A Computer-Based Subduction-Zone-Earthquake Exercise for Introductory-Geology Classes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shea, James Herbert

    1991-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. First finding of microdiamond, coesite and other UHP phases in felsic granulites in the Moldanubian Zone: Implications for deep subduction and a revised geodynamic model for Variscan Orogeny in the Bohemian Massif

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perraki, Maria; Faryad, Shah Wali

    2014-08-01

    Heavy mineral fractions and polished thin sections from felsic granulites from the Moldanubian Zone of the Bohemian Massif were thoroughly studied by means of Raman microspectroscopy combined with optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The following phases were identified, among others, as inclusions in robust minerals such as garnet and zircon: Diamond, characterized by an intense narrow peak at 1332 cm- 1, was found in two inclusions in zircon. They have a size of ~ 5 μm. Coesite, identified by its very characteristic peak at ~ 520 cm- 1, was found in an inclusion in garnet together with quartz. Coesite has been almost completely transformed into quartz; only minor coesite nano-domains remain. Kumdykolite, the orthorhombic polymorph of NaAlSi3O8, characterized by strong peaks at 220, 456 and 492 cm- 1, occurs either as single crystals or as a part of multiphase inclusions in garnet and in zircon along with other mineral phases such as K-feldspar, phengite, rutile. Moissanite, SiC, exhibiting the characteristic Raman bands at ~ 767, 788 and 969 cm- 1, occurs as inclusions in garnet. Diamond and coesite are considered to have formed at the peak ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic (UHPM) conditions. Kumdykolite has been proposed to be a metastable phase formed during rapid cooling from high temperature. Moissanite points to extremely reduced conditions during subduction to great depths. The finding of UHP phases in felsic granulites in the Moldanubian Zone is clear evidence for subduction of crustal materials to mantle depths. The garnet hosting the UHP phase inclusions usually preserves prograde compositional zoning; this in combination with the UHPM mineral inclusions suggests that the felsic material should have passed UHP metamorphism at a low-temperature gradient. Isothermal decompression (the commonly accepted model) at temperatures of 850-950 °C would have substantially modified and homogenized the garnet composition eliminating any compositional

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  1. Earthquake faulting in subduction zones: insights from fault rocks in accretionary prisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ujiie, Kohtaro; Kimura, Gaku

    2014-12-01

    Subduction earthquakes on plate-boundary megathrusts accommodate most of the global seismic moment release, frequently resulting in devastating damage by ground shaking and tsunamis. As many earthquakes occur in deep-sea regions, the dynamics of earthquake faulting in subduction zones is poorly understood. However, the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment (NanTroSEIZE) and fault rock studies in accretionary prisms exhumed from source depths of subduction earthquakes have greatly improved our understanding of earthquake faulting in subduction zones. Here, we review key advances that have been made over the last decade in the studies of fault rocks and in laboratory experiments using fault zone materials, with a particular focus on the Nankai Trough subduction zone and its on-land analog, the Shimanto accretionary complex in Japan. New insights into earthquake faulting in subduction zones are summarized in terms of the following: (1) the occurrence of seismic slip along velocity-strengthening materials both at shallow and deep depths; (2) dynamic weakening of faults by melt lubrication and fluidization, and possible factors controlling coseismic deformation mechanisms; (3) fluid-rock interactions and mineralogical and geochemical changes during earthquakes; and (4) geological and experimental aspects of slow earthquakes.

  2. Fluid migration in the subduction zone: a coupled fluid flow approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hongliang; Huismans, Ritske; Rondenay, Stéphane

    2016-04-01

    Subduction zone are the main entry point of water into earth's mantle and play an important role in the global water cycle. The progressive release of water by metamorphic dehydration induce important physical-chemical process in the subduction zone, such as hydrous melting, hydration and weakening of the mantle wedge, creation of pore fluid pressures that may weaken the subduction interface and induce earthquakes. Most previous studies on the role of fluids in subduction zones assume vertical migration or migration according to the dynamic pressure in the solid matrix without considering the pore fluid pressure effect on the deformation of the solid matrix. Here we investigate this interaction by explicitly modeling two-phase coupled poro-plastic flow during subduction. In this approach, the fluid migrates by compaction and decompaction of the solid matrix and affects the subduction dynamics through pore fluid pressure dependent frictional-plastic yield. Our preliminary results indicate that: 1) the rate of fluid migration depends strongly on the permeability and the bulk viscosity of the solid matrix, 2) fluid transfer occurs preferentially along the slab and then propagates into the mantle wedge by viscous compaction driven fluid flow, 3) fluid transport from the surface to depth is a prerequisite for producing high fluid pore pressures and associated hydration induced weakening of the subduction zone interface.

  3. A model for the termination of the Ryukyu subduction zone against Taiwan: A junction of collision, subduction/separation, and subduction boundaries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Permeability-porosity relationships of subduction zone sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Seismicity along Subduction Zones: Visualization with a Physical Basis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, W.; Brudzinski, M. R.

    2002-12-01

    It is a common practice to plot epicenters and hypocenters as symbols of equal sizes on maps and cross-sections. While this representation is effective in relating seismicity to high-angle faults, it lacks a physical basis because equal weights are assigned to events that span several orders of magnitude in seismic moment. Furthermore, for cases such as subducted lithosphere where seismicity does not occur along major, through-going faults, "connecting the dots" leads to erroneous impressions of true seismogenic structures. Another common practice is to plot each event according to its magnitude. In principle, this preserves the size of earthquakes by using the logarithmic magnitude scale. The results, however, are not intuitive and the physical meaning of the magnitude scale is unclear. In contrast, we use simple scaling laws between fault area and seismic moment to plot seismicity in a way that conforms to the true scale of maps and cross-sections. The results are intuitive and often quite distinct from plots produced from common practices. We will illustrate the utility of our approach with examples from several different tectonic settings, including the large (Mw 7.6 and 7.7) August 19, 2002 Tonga deep earthquakes, configurations of sub-horizontal outboard earthquakes and complex Wadati-Benioff zones [Chen and Brudzinski, Science, v. 292, p. 2475, 2001], aftershock productivity of deep earthquakes [Wu and Chen, GRL, v. 26, p. 1977, 1999], and dual, out-of-sequence thrusts at mid- to lower-crustal depths [Kao and Chen, Science, v. 288, p. 2346, 2000].

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  7. Accretion, underplating and exhumation along a subduction interface: From subduction initiation to continental subduction (Tavşanlı zone, W. Turkey)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plunder, Alexis; Agard, Philippe; Chopin, Christian; Pourteau, Amaury; Okay, Aral I.

    2015-06-01

    We herein reappraise the pressure-temperature (PT) evolution of the high-pressure and low-temperature (HP-LT) Tavşanlı zone (western Turkey) in order to (i) better characterize rock units exhumed along a cooling subduction interface, from birth to steady state and (ii) constrain exhumation and detachment dynamics, as well as mechanical coupling between plates. Based on PT estimates and field observations three oceanic complexes are recognized between the HP-LT continental margin and the obducted ophiolite, with PT estimates ranging from incipient metamorphism to blueschist-facies conditions. PT conditions for the continental unit are reappraised to 24 kbar and ~ 500 °C on the basis of pseudosection modelling and Raman spectroscopy on carbonaceous material. A tentative reconstruction of the subduction zone evolution is proposed using available radiometric and palaeogeographic data and recent thermomechanical modelling. Both PT conditions and field observations point out to the slicing of km-sized units at different preferred depths along the subduction interface, thus providing constraints on the dynamics of accretion and underplating. In particular, the comparison of PT estimates for the Tavşanlı zone and for other broadly similar fossil subduction settings (i.e., Oman, Corsica, New Caledonia, Franciscan, Schistes Lustrés) suggests that units are detached preferentially from the slab at specific depths of 30-40 km (i.e., downdip of the seismogenic zone) and ~ 80 km. We propose that these depths are controlled by major changes in mechanical coupling along the plate interface, whereas exhumation through time would rather be controlled by large-scale geodynamic boundary conditions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piana Agostinetti, Nicola; Miller, Meghan S.

    2014-12-01

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

  9. Chlorine Behavior in Metasedimentary Rocks during Subduction Zone Metamorphism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Chlorine concentrations and isotopic compositions were measured in two well-characterized metasedimentary suites from the Catalina Schist and the Western Alps to determine Cl behavior during prograde metamorphism. The Catalina Schist is a subduction zone metamorphic complex in California, USA containing lawsonite-albite (LA) to amphibolite grade rocks recording temperatures of 350 to 750°C and depths of 15 to 45 km. Previous work has shown a decrease in N, B, Cs, As, and Sb concentrations from the LA to the epidote-blueschist facies, with relatively little loss at higher metametamorphic grade [1], and limited Li loss across all grades [2]. Metapelitic rocks from the Western Alps (Schistes Lustres and Lago di Cignana) record temperatures of 350 to 550°C and depths up to 90 km. In contrast to Catalina, N, B, Cs, Ba, and Rb concentrations are relatively uniform across grade [3]. In the Catalina Schist, Cl concentration shows a pattern of loss similar to B and N, from ~100-500 ppm Cl in the LA facies to ~100 ppm in the lawsonite-blueschist facies to relatively uniform concentrations of ~10-25 ppm at higher grades. This loss is likely not due to the breakdown of apatite as P2O5 concentrations remain constant across grade. In the Alps, Cl concentrations are overall lower and show moderate loss from ~10 ppm in the lowest grade to <5 ppm in the highest grade. δ37Cl values range from -1 to +1.6‰ and -1.7 to -0.7‰ in Catalina and the Alps, respectively. Both suites show significant isotopic heterogeneities within a single metamorphic grade and no systematic change in δ37Cl value with increasing grade. We interpret these heterogeneities to be inherited from the protolith. Despite large Cl losses, limited Cl isotope fractionation at high temperatures minimizes variations in δ37Cl value with increasing metamorphic grade. [1] Bebout et al, 1999, EPSL, 171, 53-81 [2] Penniston-Dorland et al, 2012, GCA, 77, 530-545 [3] Bebout et al, 2013, Chem Geol, 342, 1-20

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. The fate of salt in the Cyprus subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reiche, Sönke; Hübscher, Christian; Ehrhardt, Axel; Klimke, Jennifer

    2014-05-01

    The area between Cyprus and Hecataeus Rise to the north and Eratosthenes Seamount (ESM) further south is presently accommodating plate tectonic convergence between Africa and Anatolia. A number of studies have focused on the convergence history, especially after drilling close to the plate boundary in the course of ODP Leg 160. Even though drilling at Site 968 has reached late Messinian Lago Mare deposits, little information on deeper trench strata exist, owing to limited penetration of previously published seismic data. Here we show results from bathymetric data and a dense grid of seismic lines collected during research cruises MSM14/2 and MSM14/3 in 2010 across the Cyprus trench, shedding new light on the tectonostratigraphic evolution of the plate boundary. Evaporites of locally more than 1.5 km thickness occupy the northern trench area. Between Cyprus and ESM evaporites are heavily deformed and appear to be thrust southward over Pliocene-Quaternary strata. Thus significant post-Messinian tectonic shortening at the plate boundary was accommodated by allochthonous salt advance towards the ESM which is currently being thrust beneath the island of Cyprus. Such observations may provide an example of how salt efficiently escapes the subduction cycle. In contrast, evaporites between ESM and Hecataeus Rise have not experienced sufficient shortening for initiating allochthonous salt advance, even though compression-related thickening is clearly evident. The observed pattern of intensively deformed salt between Cyprus and ESM and moderately deformed evaporites in the eastern trench area is believed to reflect a predominately N-S-oriented post-Messinian convergence direction. Such implications raise the question about a fairly recent coupling between the motion of Cyprus and Anatolia. Along the entire study area, the southward salt limit coincides with the seafloor stepping down towards the ESM, suggesting thickening and ESM-directed advance of the evaporites to have

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Further Evidence for an Anisotropic Detachment Zone Within the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, X.; Park, J.

    2004-05-01

    The structure of the Cascadia region is important because anisotropy and abnormal structures have been reported by numerous seismic studies associated with the Juan de Fuca subduction zone. Recent GPS observations addressed the movement of the Siletz terrane, which suggest a northward migration of the North American forearc margin, a puzzling intra-terrane deformation. So it is very interesting to know what anisotropy orientation is produced by the movement of slab and the forearc terrane above it. An earlier receiver function study of GSN station COR (Corvallis, Oregon) showed that two-lobed back azimuth variation in Ps amplitude and polarity indicates anisotropy with a tilted symmetry axis within a dipping anisotropic layer that lies above the subducting oceanic crust. This is a possible detachment zone for the northward slippage of the Siletz forearc terrace along the top of the descending slab. Attempts to model the converted wave amplitude suggest that serpentinite is involved in the anisotropic layer above the slab. We have analyzed 5 additional broadband stations (GNW, LON, LTY, TTW, WVOR) of the Pacific Northwest Regional Seismic Network (UW), which have operated between 1990 to 2003 and provided between 100 and 300 P-waves for study, depending on the station. We observe at these stations a Ps phase corresponding to a slab-conversion. We observe on the transverse receiver function that the slab-converted wave has a polarity reversal at north-south direction in some stations, which is consistent with observations at COR, suggesting a broader detachment zone associated with north-south GPS motion. We will model structure for each station to determine if a similar thin velocity layer exists above the slab in this area. This will is considered in our tectonic model and related to the GPS study.

  16. Strength of megathrust faults and its control on subduction-zone seismotectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tassara, A.; Hackney, R.

    2009-04-01

    Predicting where devastating subduction-zone earthquakes could occur requires identification of key fault parameters from geophysical observations. Global and regional-scale comparisons of subduction-zone seismicity against gravity and bathymetry anomalies show that a large percentage of the moment released by co-seismic slip during megathrust earthquakes concentrates over regions characterized by gravity and bathymetry lows. This has been interpreted after assuming that high interplate friction implies high mechanical coupling between the subducting slab and the overriding forearc and, therefore, a depressed forearc topography leading to low gravity anomalies. This interpretation supports the accepted paradigm as to that seismic asperities (areas of large co-seismic slip) are strong patches of the plate interface characterized by high friction. Attempting to test this idea from a physically compelling perspective, we apply a wavelet formulation of the classical spectral isostatic analysis to invert grids of gravity anomalies and bathymetry/topography into maps of flexural rigidity for several subduction zones worldwide. Flexural rigidity explicitly links those surface observables with the integrated mechanical strength of the lithosphere. For the special case of subduction zones where two tectonic plates are in contact along a low-angle fault, it can be argued that local- to regional-scale lateral variations of flexural rigidity are mostly due to spatial changes of the shear strength along the interplate fault caused by the physical conditions of the subduction channel, which supersede large-scale variations of thermo-mechanical properties of both converging plates. In our interpretation, high/low flexural rigidity along subduction zones means high/low shear stress supported by the megathrust fault and, therefore, high/low friction and/or low/high pore pressure along the subduction channel. We use the gravity model EIGEN-GL04C, which combine data from satellite

  17. Basin-centered asperities in great subduction zone earthquakes: A link between slip, subsidence, and subduction erosion?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wells, R.E.; Blakely, R.J.; Sugiyama, Y.; Scholl, D. W.; Dinterman, P.A.

    2003-01-01

    Published areas of high coseismic slip, or asperities, for 29 of the largest Circum-Pacific megathrust earthquakes are compared to forearc structure revealed by satellite free-air gravity, bathymetry, and seismic profiling. On average, 71% of an earthquake's seismic moment and 79% of its asperity area occur beneath the prominent gravity low outlining the deep-sea terrace; 57% of an earthquake's asperity area, on average, occurs beneath the forearc basins that lie within the deep-sea terrace. In SW Japan, slip in the 1923, 1944, 1946, and 1968 earthquakes was largely centered beneath five forearc basins whose landward edge overlies the 350??C isotherm on the plate boundary, the inferred downdip limit of the locked zone. Basin-centered coseismic slip also occurred along the Aleutian, Mexico, Peru, and Chile subduction zones but was ambiguous for the great 1964 Alaska earthquake. Beneath intrabasin structural highs, seismic slip tends to be lower, possibly due to higher temperatures and fluid pressures. Kilometers of late Cenozoic subsidence and crustal thinning above some of the source zones are indicated by seismic profiling and drilling and are thought to be caused by basal subduction erosion. The deep-sea terraces and basins may evolve not just by growth of the outer arc high but also by interseismic subsidence not recovered during earthquakes. Basin-centered asperities could indicate a link between subsidence, subduction erosion, and seismogenesis. Whatever the cause, forearc basins may be useful indicators of long-term seismic moment release. The source zone for Cascadia's 1700 A.D. earthquake contains five large, basin-centered gravity lows that may indicate potential asperities at depth. The gravity gradient marking the inferred downdip limit to large coseismic slip lies offshore, except in northwestern Washington, where the low extends landward beneath the coast. Transverse gravity highs between the basins suggest that the margin is seismically segmented and

  18. Dynamic Linkages Between the Transition Zone & Surface Plate Motions in 2D Models of Subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arredondo, K.; Billen, M. I.

    2013-12-01

    While slab pull is considered the dominant force controlling plate motion and speed, its magnitude is controlled by slab behavior in the mantle, where tomographic studies show a wide range of possibilities from direct penetration to folding, or stagnation directly above the lower mantle (e.g. Fukao et al., 2009). Geodynamic studies have investigated various parameters, such as plate age and two phase transitions, to recreate observed behavior (e.g. Běhounková and Cízková, 2008). However, past geodynamic models have left out known slab characteristics that may have a large impact on slab behavior and our understanding of subduction processes. Mineral experiments and seismic observations have indicated the existence of additional phase transitions in the mantle transition zone that may produce buoyancy forces large enough to affect the descent of a subducting slab (e.g. Ricard et al., 2005). The current study systematically tests different common assumptions used in geodynamic models: kinematic versus free-slip boundary conditions, the effects of adiabatic heating, viscous dissipation and latent heat, compositional layering and a more complete suite of phase transitions. Final models have a complete energy equation, with eclogite, harzburgite and pyrolite lithosphere compositional layers, and seven composition-dependent phase transitions within the olivine, pyroxene and garnet polymorph minerals. Results show important feedback loops between different assumptions and new behavior from the most complete models. Kinematic models show slab weakening or breaking above the 660 km boundary and between compositional layers. The behavior in dynamic models with a free-moving trench and overriding plate is compared to the more commonly found kinematic models. The new behavior may have important implications for the depth distribution of deep earthquakes within the slab. Though the thermodynamic parameters of certain phase transitions may be uncertain, their presence and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, H.; Thurber, C. H.

    2005-12-01

    Subduction zones are one of the most important components of the Earth's plate tectonic system. Knowing the detailed seismic velocity structure within and around subducting slabs is vital to understand the constitution of the slab, the cause of intermediate depth earthquakes inside the slab, the fluid distribution and recycling, and tremor occurrence [Hacker et al., 2001; Obara, 2002].Thanks to the ability of double-difference tomography [Zhang and Thurber, 2003] to resolve the fine-scale structure near the source region and the favorable seismicity distribution inside many subducting slabs, it is now possible to characterize the fine details of the velocity structure and earthquake locations inside the slab, as shown in the study of the Japan subduction zone [Zhang et al., 2004]. We further develop the double-difference tomography method in two aspects: the first improvement is to use an adaptive inversion mesh rather than a regular inversion grid and the second improvement is to determine a reliable Vp/Vs structure using various strategies rather than directly from Vp and Vs [see our abstract ``Strategies to solve for a better Vp/Vs model using P and S arrival time'' at Session T29]. The adaptive mesh seismic tomography method is based on tetrahedral diagrams and can automatically adjust the inversion mesh according to the ray distribution so that the inversion mesh nodes are denser where there are more rays and vice versa [Zhang and Thurber, 2005]. As a result, the number of inversion mesh nodes is greatly reduced compared to a regular inversion grid with comparable spatial resolution, and the tomographic system is more stable and better conditioned. This improvement is quite valuable for characterizing the fine structure of the subduction zone considering the highly uneven distribution of earthquakes within and around the subducting slab. The second improvement, to determine a reliable Vp/Vs model, lies in jointly inverting Vp, Vs, and Vp/Vs using P, S, and S

  20. Revisiting the subduction zone carbon cycle: What goes down, mostly comes up

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelemen, Peter; Manning, Craig

    2016-04-01

    As we reported (PNAS 2015), carbon fluxes in subduction zones can be better constrained by including new estimates of carbon concentration in subducting mantle peridotites, consideration of carbonate solubility in aqueous fluid along subduction geotherms, and diapirism of carbon-bearing metasediments. Whereas previous studies concluded that about half the subducting carbon is returned to the convecting mantle, we find it is likely that relatively little carbon is recycled. If so, input from subduction zones into the overlying plate is larger than output from arc volcanoes plus diffuse venting, and substantial quantities of carbon are stored in the mantle lithosphere and crust. Also, if the subduction zone carbon cycle is nearly closed on time scales of 5-10 Ma, then the carbon content of the mantle lithosphere + crust + ocean + atmosphere must be increasing. This is consistent with inferences from noble gas data and crustal carbon inventories (review in Hayes & Waldbauer PTRSL 2006). Carbon in diamonds, which may have been recycled into the convecting mantle, is a small fraction of the global carbon inventory. Increasing NaCl and decreasing pH and fO2 in aqueous fluids all increase carbon solubility at HP to UHP conditions, strengthening the prediction of wt% solubility (Manning & Kelemen, Fall AGU 2015), while hydrous carbonatite formed on high T subduction geotherms (Poli, Nat Geosci 2015) has still higher concentrations. Fractures heal rapidly at UHP conditions, so fluid transport is mainly via porous flow, with increasing downstream solubility and porosity due to heating in the subducting plate and base of the mantle wedge. Depending on flow and reaction rates vs diffusivity (Damkohler number), this could yield diffuse or channelized flow. High, increasing solubilities and reaction rates, with slow diffusion, can produce diffuse, pervasive porous flow (e.g., Hoefner & Fogler, AIChEJ 1988; Spiegelman et al, JGR 2001) and efficient recycling of carbon.

  1. Uncertainty in turbidite correlations along the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atwater, B. F.

    2012-12-01

    of sandy layers. (c) The sandy sequence correlates among core sites hundreds of kilometers apart along the length of the subduction zone. (d) This stratigraphic similarity, evidenced mainly by logs of density and magnetic susceptibility, enables a full-length rupture of magnitude 9 to be distinguished geologically from a series of shorter ruptures. Open questions include: Do the density and magnetic signatures of a sandy sequence have enough complexity in shape and reproducibility among adjacent cores to justify long-distance correlation of individual sandy layers? Do the initial mass movements respond less to individual pulses than to cumulative shaking, and do they commonly begin or continue after the mainshock has finished? Are the pulses of shaking likely to vary along strike, as in strong-motion records from the 2010 Maule and 2011 Tohoku earthquakes? An unknown fraction of the so-called full-length ruptures represents series of shorter ruptures, and solitary short ruptures may sometimes break the plate boundary offshore southern British Columbia and northern Washington.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosner, Martin Siegfried

    2003-10-01

    Late Miocene to Quaternary volcanic rocks from the frontal arc to the back-arc region of the Central Volcanic Zone in the Andes show a wide range of delta 11B values (+4 to -7 ‰) and boron concentrations (6 to 60 ppm). Positive delta 11B values of samples from the volcanic front indicate involvement of a 11B-enriched slab component, most likely derived from altered oceanic crust, despite the thick Andean continental lithosphere, and rule out a pure crust-mantle origin for these lavas. The delta 11B values and B concentrations in the lavas decrease systematically with increasing depth of the Wadati-Benioff Zone. This across-arc variation in delta 11B values and decreasing B/Nb ratios from the arc to the back-arc samples are attributed to the combined effects of B-isotope fractionation during progressive dehydration in the slab and a steady decrease in slab-fluid flux towards the back arc, coupled with a relatively constant degree of crustal contamination as indicated by similar Sr, Nd and Pb isotope ratios in all samples. Modelling of fluid-mineral B-isotope fractionation as a function of temperature fits the across-arc variation in delta 11B and we conclude that the B-isotope composition of arc volcanics is dominated by changing delta 11B composition of B-rich slab-fluids during progressive dehydration. Crustal contamination becomes more important towards the back-arc due to the decrease in slab-derived fluid flux. Because of this isotope fractionation effect, high delta 11B signatures in volcanic arcs need not necessarily reflect differences in the initial composition of the subducting slab. Three-component mixing calculations for slab-derived fluid, the mantle wedge and the continental crust based on B, Sr and Nd isotope data indicate that the slab-fluid component dominates the B composition of the fertile mantle and that the primary arc magmas were contaminated by an average addition of 15 to 30 % crustal material. Spät-miozäne bis quartäre Vulkanite

  3. Magnetotelluric imaging of a fossil paleozoic intraoceanic subduction zone in western Junggar, NW China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Yixian; Yang, Bo; Zhang, Sheng; Liu, Ying; Zhu, Lupei; Huang, Rong; Chen, Chao; Li, Yongtao; Luo, Yinhe

    2016-06-01

    The fate of subducted oceanic slabs can provide important clues to plate reconstruction through Earth history. Since oceanic slabs in continental collision zones are typically not well preserved, ancient subduction zones have rarely been imaged by geophysical techniques. Here we present an exception from the Darbut belt in the Junggar accretionary collage in the southern Altaids of Asia. We deployed a 182 km long magnetotelluric (MT) profile including 60 broadband sounding sites across the belt. Quality off-diagonal impedances were inverted by a three-dimensional scheme to image resistivities beneath the profile. The resistivity model along with MT impedance phase ellipses and induction vectors were tested and interpreted in detail. Combining geological and geophysical observations, mineral physical experiment, and geodynamic modeling results, the MT transect suggests a fossil intraoceanic subduction zone during the Late Paleozoic in the western Junggar that has been well preserved due to lack of significant subsequent tecto-thermal events.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-01-01

    In subduction zones, two major mass fluxes compete: the input flux of altered oceanic crust and sediments subducted into the mantle and the output flux of magma that forms the volcanic arc. While the composition and the amount of material erupted along volcanic arcs are relatively well known, the chemical and isotopic composition of the subducted material (altered oceanic crust and sediments) is poorly constrained and is an important factor in the mass balance calculation. Ocean Drilling Program Leg 185 in the Western Pacific used systematic sampling of the altered basaltic basement and sediment pile and the creation of composite mixtures to quantify the total chemical flux subducted at the Izu-Mariana margin. Here, we report Hf and Nd isotopic compositions of materials recovered from this Leg. The Hf and Nd isotopic compositions of altered basalts from Hole 801C are indistinguishable from those of recent unaltered Pacific mid-ocean ridge basalt, suggesting that hydrothermal alteration had no effect on either isotopic systems. The complete Site 1149 sedimentary pile has a weighted average ɛNd of -5.9 and ɛHf of +4.4, values similar to those of Fe-Mn crusts and nodules. Therefore, the Hf and Nd isotopic compositions of the sediments collected at Site 1149 indicate minimal contributions from continental detrital material to the rare earth elements and high field strength elements. However, the Hf isotopic budget of the oldest sediments is more influenced by continental material than the younger sediments, despite the large distances to continental masses 130 Ma ago. In the Izu subduction zone, we calculate a sedimentary input of less than about 2% in the volcanic lava source. In contrast, at least 85% of the sedimentary Nd and Hf are recycled into the mantle to affect its general composition. Assuming that sediments have been recycled in a similar manner into the mantle for millions of years, large chemical heterogeneities must be produced in the mantle. In

  6. Effects of 3D Velocity and Attenuation in the Tonga-Fiji Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savage, B.; Wiens, D. A.; Tromp, J.

    2005-12-01

    The current understanding of a subduction zone's temperature and composition is limited. Much of our recent knowledge of subduction zones comes from earthquake locations, geochemical measurements, and lab based experiments. Recently, two studies of the Tonga-Fiji subduction zone have presented tomographic images of velocity and attenuation (Roth et al., 1999; Zhao et al., 1997). Roth et al. (2000) then combined these two tomographic models of the Tonga-Fiji subduction zone to derive an empirical relationship between changes in velocity and attenuation. This relationship agrees well with two independent, experimental data sets (Jackson et al., 1992; Sato et al., 1989). Using the tomographic velocity model and the empirical relationship between velocity and attenuation we create synthetic seismograms for the Tonga-Fiji subduction zone to test whether a simple increase in velocity accurately depicts this subduction zone. To construct the model we use the tomographic model of Zhao et al. (1997) to create a shear velocity model using a simple Vs/Vp ratio. Following Roth et al. (2000) these tomographic models are combined with the empirical relation between velocity and attenuation to create an attenuation model. The resulting synthetics are compared to recorded data to validate the tomographic velocity model and the empirical relation between velocity and attenuation. Any mismatch in this comparison will provide a basis for further refinement of the tomographic models and the velocity-attenuation relation. The synthetics are created using the SPECFEM3D global code (Komatitsch et al., 2002) with the new addition of a three-dimensional attenuation operator. Attenuation is simulated by a set of standard linear solids over the desired frequency range as described in Liu et al. (1976). Our initial results at a minimum period of 3.3 seconds suggest that the attenuation structure plays a minor role for the present source-receiver geometry. The addition of the 3D attenuation

  7. Dynamics of the opposite-verging subduction zones in the Taiwan region: Insights from numerical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Shu-Chuan; Kuo, Ban-Yuan

    2016-03-01

    The Taiwan mountain belt between the Eurasian and the Philippine Sea plate is a rare example for an orogen bracketed by two opposite-verging subduction zones. The influences of the double subduction zones on regional dynamics have long remained unknown. In this study lithospheric deformation and mantle circulation in the Taiwan region are calculated with double subduction-collision models. The results show that the limitedly deformed subducted Eurasian plate separates the highly deforming orogen above from the highly deforming mantle below. The edge flow driven by the rollback of the Philippine Sea slab dominates in the asthenosphere primarily as a result of the longer slab if the gap between the two slabs beneath Taiwan is sufficiently wide. The induced toroidal current gives rise to a pattern of seismic anisotropy compatible with that measured with teleseismic phases and coincidentally accordant with the strike of the orogen. The additional presence of a frequently hypothesized lithospheric fragment or slab tear disrupts the toroidal circulation and mars the model predictions for seismic anisotropy. We found that the rollback of the Eurasian slab deflects the plate downward and neutralizes the uplift, posing difficulty to models with Eurasian slab extending too far north. These results bolster the view that the Taiwan mountain belt is a subduction-dominated orogen and both subduction zones play a key role on regional dynamics. Conceptual models specifically developed for large-scale continent-continent collision zones that have been commonly applied to the Taiwan region are inadequate for this ocean-continent, opposite-verging subduction-collision system.

  8. Transient Landscape Response to Increased Coupling Across a Subduction Zone Interface, Talamanca Range, Costa Rica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sitchler, J. C.; Kirby, E.; Fisher, D. M.

    2006-12-01

    Deconvolving the interactions between climate, erosion and tectonics requires understanding the processes and characteristic timescales of the response of erosional systems to perturbations in external forcing. Although readily studied in numerical simulations, few natural field sites exist where one can examine system response to a change in tectonic forcing. Here we present one example from Costa Rica. The Cordillera de Talamanca (CT) is the highest mountain range in isthmian Central America, with peaks exceeding 3800 meters. The range is underlain by an extinct Miocene volcanic arc, and is, at present, amagmatic. The cessation of arc volcanism at ca. 3.5 Ma along the 170 km segment of the plate boundary is attributed to subduction of the thick, buoyant portion of the Cocos plate created at the Galapagos spreading center. Previous workers have concluded that active deformation of the upper plate, including subsidence of the outer forearc, shortening in the inner forearc (Fila Costena range), and uplift of the arc itself reflects an increased coupling across the subduction zone interface. Presently, this coupling culminates inboard of the aseismic Cocos Ridge, which is subducting near-orthogonally to the Middle America Trench (MAT). Based on tectonic reconstructions, the collision of the CR axis occurred at ca. 1-2 Ma when the triple junction related to the subducting Panama Fracture Zone migrated southeast past the present position of the ridge. The implications of this ridge-trench collision for landscape evolution in the CT have been largely unexplored. We evaluate the impact of this recent tectonic perturbation on the erosional system by characterizing the longitudinal channel form of drainages that extend from the isthmian divide to the backarc basin in the CT using a digital elevation model. Channels throughout the Talamanca range exhibit distinct, non-equilibrium longitudinal profiles, characterized by a low-gradient upper reach separated from a steep

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

    PubMed

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

    1990-11-30

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

  10. 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

    contrasting modes of isostatic compensation. Consideration of these differences, coupled with improved knowledge of where subducting bathymetric features are likely within seismogenic zones, may reconcile some debated aspects of the mechanics and seismological consequences of bathymetric relief subduction.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Cloos, M. )

    1992-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

    Recent knowledge of the great geometric and dynamic complexity insubduction zones, combined with new capacity for analogue mechanical and numerical modeling has sparked a number of studies on subduction processes. Not unexpectedly, such models reveal a complex relation between physical conditions during subduction initiation, strength profile of the subducting plate, the thermo-dynamic conditions and the subduction zones geometries. One rare geometrical complexity of subduction that remains particularly controversial, is the potential for polarity shift in subduction systems. The present experiments were therefore performed to explore the influence of the architecture, strength and strain velocity on complexities in subduction zones, focusing on along-strike variation of the collision zone. Of particular concern were the consequences for the geometry and kinematics of the transition zones between segments of contrasting subduction direction. Although the model design to some extent was inspired by the configuration along the Iberian - Eurasian suture zone, the results are also of significance for other orogens with complex along-strike geometries. The experiments were set up to explore the initial state of subduction only, and were accordingly terminated before slab subduction occurred. The model wasbuilt from layers of silicone putty and sand, tailored to simulate the assumed lithospheric geometries and strength-viscosity profiles along the plate boundary zone prior to contraction, and comprises two 'continental' plates separated by a thinner 'oceanic' plate that represents the narrow seaway. The experiment floats on a substrate of sodiumpolytungstate, representing mantle. 24 experimental runs were performed, varying the thickness (and thus strength) of the upper mantle lithosphere, as well as the strain rate. Keeping all other parameters identical for each experiment, the models were shortened by a computer-controlled jackscrew while time-lapse images were

  16. Precollisional, multistage exhumation of subducted continental crust: The Sesia Zone, western Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babist, J.; Handy, M. R.; Konrad-Schmolke, M.; Hammerschmidt, K.

    2006-12-01

    The Sesia Zone within the Tertiary arc of the western Alps is a relic of the subducted part of the Adriatic continental margin along the SE border of the Tethyan ocean. The Sesia Zone comprises three basement nappes which individuated during Late Cretaceous (65-80 Ma) subduction to different depths at high-pressure (HP, blueschist, eclogite facies) conditions (peak pressures of 1.0-1.2, 1.0-1.5, and 1.5-2.0 GPa). The thrusts bounding these nappes developed where the crust was previously thinned during Jurassic rifting. Crustal-scale shear zones partly overprinted these early thrusts and exhumed coherent slices of crust containing HP rocks. Initial exhumation of the internal part of the accreted margin involved thrusting (D1) and transpressional shearing (D2) along a subvertical, E-W trending mylonitic shear zone under retrograde blueschist- to greenschist-facies conditions. This exhumation was nearly isothermal to a depth of about 25 km, where the basement nappes were juxtaposed. Subsequent exhumation of these nappes to a common depth of about 15-20 km occurred in the footwall of a greenschist-facies, top-SE extensional shear zone (D3) preserved in some of the highest mountain peaks of the Sesia Zone. New Rb-Sr mineral ages constrain D2 to have occurred at about 60-65 Ma and D3 at about 45-55 Ma. Thus top-SE extensional exhumation was broadly coeval with Eocene, SE directed subduction of the Liguro-Piemont oceanic lithosphere beneath the Adriatic margin. Slow cooling and erosional denudation of the Sesia Zone from 45 to 30 Ma occurred in the hanging wall of the Gressoney extensional shear zone (D4), which itself contributed to the exhumation of Eocene HP and ultra-HP oceanic rocks in its footwall. By 30 Ma, HP rocks of the Sesia Zone were intruded by shallow granitic plutons which were eroded and redeposited within volcanoclastic sediments. Oligo-Miocene Insubric backfolding and thrusting (D5) only exhumed northeastern parts of the Sesia Zone, where HP metamorphism

  17. 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.

  18. Osmium isotope constraints on ore metal recycling in subduction zones

    PubMed

    McInnes; McBride; Evans; Lambert; Andrew

    1999-10-15

    Veined peridotite xenoliths from the mantle beneath the giant Ladolam gold deposit on Lihir Island, Papua New Guinea, are 2 to 800 times more enriched in copper, gold, platinum, and palladium than surrounding depleted arc mantle. Gold ores have osmium isotope compositions similar to those of the underlying subduction-modified mantle peridotite source region, indicating that the primary origin of the metals was the mantle. Because the mantle is relatively depleted in gold, copper, and palladium, tectonic processes that enhance the advective transport and concentration of these fluid soluble metals may be a prerequisite for generating porphyry-epithermal copper-gold deposits. PMID:10521343

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-05-01

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

  20. An inverted double seismic zone in chile: evidence of phase transformation in the subducted slab.

    PubMed

    Comte, D; Suárez, G

    1994-01-14

    Data from two microseismic field experiments in northern Chile revealed an elongated cluster of earthquakes in the subducted Nazca plate at a depth of about 100 kilometers in which down-dip tensional events were consistently shallower than a family of compressional earthquakes. This double seismic zone shows a distribution of stresses of opposite polarity relative to that observed in other double seismic zones in the world. The distribution of stresses in northern Chile supports the notion that at depths of between 90 to 150 kilometers, the basalt to eclogite transformation of the subducting oceanic crust induces tensional deformation in the upper part of the subducted slab and compressional deformation in the underlying mantle. PMID:17839180

  1. Lithium isotope fractionation in the southern Cascadia subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magna, Tomáš; Wiechert, Uwe; Grove, Timothy L.; Halliday, Alex N.

    2006-10-01

    We present lithium (Li) abundances and isotope compositions for a suite of anhydrous olivine tholeiites (HAOTs) and hydrous basalt-andesitic (BA) lavas from the Mt. Shasta and Medicine Lake regions, California. The values of δ7Li vary from + 0.9‰ to + 6.4‰ and correlate inversely with distance from the trench. These data are consistent with continuous isotope fractionation of Li during dehydration of the subducted oceanic lithosphere, an interpretation corroborated by uniformly high pre-eruptive H 2O contents in basaltic andesites accompanied by high Li, Rb, Sr, Ba and Pb abundances. The subduction-derived component that was added to these hydrous magmas is shown to be very similar beneath both Mt. Shasta and Medicine Lake volcanoes despite characteristically distinct Li isotope compositions in the magmas themselves. More evolved andesites and dacites from Mt. Shasta have δ7Li from + 2.8 to + 6.9‰ which is identical with the range obtained for HAOTs and BA lavas from Mt. Shasta. Therefore, Li isotopes do not provide evidence for any other crustal component admixed to Mt. Shasta andesites or dacites during magmatic differentiation and magma mixing in the crust.

  2. Seismotectonic implications of the Kyushu-Palau ridge subducting beneaththe westernmost Nankai forearc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, J.-O.; Hori, T.; Kaneda, Y.

    2009-08-01

    The Kyushu-Palau ridge, a remnant arc on the Philippine Sea Plate, subducts beneath the Eurasian Plate along the westernmost part of the Nankai Trough. A seismic reflection profile on strike line images the ˜70-km-wide Kyushu-Palau ridge where it subducts beneath the toe of the forearc accretionary wedge. The geomagnetic anomaly signature, seafloor topographic features, wide-angle refraction data, and on-land geomorphologic evidence enable us to trace the forearc extension of the subducted ridge up to the east Kyushu. The subducted Kyushu-Palau ridge with excess mass may be relatively buoyant, and thus is more likely to resist subduction upon collision with the overriding plate at depth, leading us to speculate that there is locally large tectonic stress at the contact zone between the subducted ridge and base of the overriding plate. The large stress zone is marked by historic thrust-type intermediate-class (magnitude 6 or 7) earthquakes. The flank regions of the subducted buoyant Kyushu-Palau ridge are more likely to tear and result in slab fracturing when the ridge subducts deeper. We propose that the subducted Kyushu-Palau ridge may serve not only as a seismic asperity at depth but also produce the slab fracture as a seismic barrier inhibiting the rupture propagation of the adjacent megathrust earthquakes in the Hyuga segment.

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fletcher, Michael; Wyman, Derek A.

    2015-09-01

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

  5. Is the Chrystalls Beach Accretionary Melange a Fossil Subduction Channel Shear Zone?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fagereng, A.; Sibson, R. H.

    2007-12-01

    In the northeast of the Hikurangi subduction margin, a 1-2 km thick layer of high Vp/Vs, low Qp and distributed microseismicity is present along the subduction megathrust interface (Eberhart-Phillips & Chadwick, 2002). This zone is interpreted as a 'subduction channel' consisting of a fluid-saturated, highly sheared mixture of trench-fill sediments, which have been subducted below (or eroded from) the accretionary prism (von Huene & Scholl, 1991). Seismic style within subduction channels may vary from large megathrust ruptures to aseismic slip associated with microseismic activity. The factors controlling these variations in style are not well understood due to the inaccessible nature of active subduction thrust interfaces. The Chrystalls Beach Complex, SE Otago, New Zealand, is a possible analogue for the seismogenic zone of an active subduction channel. This complex comprises an intensely sheared mixture of chert, terrigenous mud and sand, minor volcanogenic sediments and pillow lavas. It has a 'block-in-matrix' mélange structure, where asymmetric, dismembered beds of sand-rich competent material are enclosed within a relatively incompetent, cleaved pelitic matrix. The rock assemblage has been progressively deformed in a top-to-the-north shear zone, and is pervaded by an anastomosing network of quartz/calcite shear- and extension veins, where individual veins can be traced for tens of metres. The presence of extension veins indicates episodes where the tensile overpressure condition (Pf > σ3) was locally attained. Initially the sediments experienced compaction, volume loss and layer-parallel soft sediment shearing, developing a slaty cleavage and viscous S/C shear structures. The dense vein network developed during subsequent brittle deformation. The mineral assemblage (pumpellyite-chlorite to pumpellyite-actinolite), mica b0 spacing and illite crystallinity indicate deformation in a high pressure - low temperature environment ( ~ 3-6 kbar, ~ 200-300°C). This

  6. Tsunamigenic potential of Mediterranean fault systems and active subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petricca, Patrizio; Babeyko, Andrey

    2016-04-01

    Since the North East Atlantic and Mediterranean Tsunami Warning System (NEAMTWS) is under development by the European scientific community, it becomes necessary to define guidelines for the characterization of the numerous parameters must be taken into account in a fair assessment of the risk. Definition of possible tectonic sources and evaluation of their potential is one of the principal issues. In this study we systematically evaluate tsunamigenic potential of up-to-now known real fault systems and active subduction interfaces in the NEAMTWS region. The task is accomplished by means of numerical modeling of tsunami generation and propagation. We have simulated all possible uniform-slip ruptures populating fault and subduction interfaces with magnitudes ranging from 6.5 up to expected Mmax. A total of 15810 individual ruptures were processed. For each rupture, a tsunami propagation scenario was computed in linear shallow-water approximation on 1-arc minute bathymetric grid (Gebco_08) implying normal reflection boundary conditions. Maximum wave heights at coastal positions (totally - 23236 points of interest) were recorded for four hours of simulation and then classified according to currently adopted warning level thresholds. The resulting dataset allowed us to classify the sources in terms of their tsunamigenic potential as well as to estimate their minimum tsunamigenic magnitude. Our analysis shows that almost every source in the Mediterranean Sea is capable to produce local tsunami at the advisory level (i.e., wave height > 20 cm) starting from magnitude values of Mw=6.6. In respect to the watch level (wave height > 50 cm), the picture is less homogeneous: crustal sources in south-west Mediterranean as well as East-Hellenic arc need larger magnitudes (around Mw=7.0) to trigger watch levels even at the nearby coasts. In the context of the regional warning (i.e., source-to-coast distance > 100 km) faults also behave more heterogeneously in respect to the minimum

  7. A continuum model of continental deformation above subduction zones - Application to the Andes and the Aegean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wdowinski, Shimon; O'Connell, Richard J.; England, Philip

    1989-01-01

    A continuum model of continental deformation above subduction zones was developed that combines the viscous sheet and the corner flow models; the continental lithosphere is described by a two-dimensional sheet model that considers basal drag resulting from the viscous asthenosphere flow underneath, and a corner flow model with a deforming overlying plate and a rigid subducting plate is used to calculate the shear traction that acts on the base of the lithosphere above a subduction zone. The continuum model is applied to the Andes and the Aegean deformations, which represent, respectively, compressional and extensional tectonic environments above subduction zones. The models predict that, in a compressional environment, a broad region of uplifted topography will tend to develop above a more steeply dippping slab, rather than above a shallower slab, in agreement with observations in the various segments of the central Andes. For an extensional environment, the model predicts that a zone of compression can develop near the trench, and that extensional strain rate can increase with distance from the trench, as is observed in the Aegean.

  8. The Neo-Tethyan subduction zone(s,?) in Azerbaijan, NW Iran: preliminary results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lechmann, Anna; Burg, Jean-Pierre; Faridi, Mohammad

    2015-04-01

    Azerbaijan in NW Iran, and in particular the Khoy ophiolitic complex, require more detailed documentation to integrate them as elements of the Alpine-Himalayan orogenic belt. They are attributed to multiple accretion and collision after subduction and closure of the Tethys Ocean and related seaways. We are interested in the pre- to syn-collisional relationships between the ophiolitic, arc and other magmatic units. This work investigates to what extent single or multiple collisions and orogeny have shaped the NW Iranian Plateau. In particular, we want to understand the changes in deformation style within the collision zone and the effects of several possibly coeval events such as closure of two suture zones separated by an arc and possibly followed by slab break-off(s). Fieldwork focused on sampling the different magmatic rock units to specify the structural record and the structural relationships between the various lithological units. Cretaceous to Quaternary, regionally distributed magmatic rocks were collected to have good resolution of their changes in space and time. Petrological, geochemical and isotope studies will characterize magmatic rocks and their sources. Major and trace element geochemistry of mantle and crustal suites of the Khoy ophiolitic complex help to constrain the tectonic setting. Two complexes were defined on the basis of K-Ar dating (Khalatbari-Jafari et al., 2004). An older, probably subducted ophiolite of Triassic-Jurassic age and a younger non-metamorphic ophiolite of Late Cretaceous age. Fossil-bearing sediments provide stratigraphic ages of important contacts. Preliminary results are present in form of bulk rock and trace element chemistry of ultramafic and mafic rocks of the Khoy ophiolite(s, ?) and offer a first possibility to compare the data with already existing publications. Additionally, petrological studies of various magmatic rocks present first products for a starting discussion on the geodynamic evolution of the NW part of

  9. Predicting the permeability of sediments entering subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daigle, Hugh; Screaton, Elizabeth J.

    2015-07-01

    Using end-member permeabilities defined by a worldwide compilation of sediment permeabilities at convergent margins, we compare permeability predictions using a geometric mean and a two-component effective medium theory (EMT). Our implementation of EMT includes a threshold fraction of the high-permeability component that determines whether flow occurs dominantly in the high- or low-permeability component. We find that this threshold fraction in most cases is equal to the silt + sand-sized fraction of the sediment. This suggests that sediments undergoing primary consolidation tend to exhibit flow equally distributed between the high- and low-permeability components. We show that the EMT method predicts permeability better than the weighted geometric mean of the end-member values for clay fractions <0.6. This work provides insight into the microstructural controls on permeability in subducting sediments and valuable guidance for locations which lack site-specific permeability results but have available grain-size information.

  10. Three-dimensional thermal structure of subduction zones: effects of obliquity and curvature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bengtson, A. K.; van Keken, P. E.

    2012-07-01

    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 strongly curved subduction, 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.

  11. Seismicity, shear failure and modes of deformation in deep subduction zones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lundgren, Paul R.; Giardini, Domenico

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    mexican subduction zone therefore suggests that even if the same segments breaks repeatedly, individual earthquakes may or may not be similar. Furthermore, at least some of the segments can participate in larger earthquakes involving adjacent segments. The near trench part has only broken in two known large events, 800 km apart, the 1995 Jalisco (Mw8.0) and the 1996 event in the Ometepec segment. If the near-trench fault area between these two events can rupture seismically, and participate in larger events together with downdip segments, there would be important implications for seismic and tsunami hazard. In this presentation we review the earthquake history of the region and demonstrate the similarity and non-similarity of earthquakes in repeatedly breaking subduction zone segments, with particular emphasis on our recent work on events in the Ometepec segment.

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  17. Along strike variation of tremor activities and thermal structures in various subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yabe, S.; Ide, S.; Yoshioka, S.

    2012-12-01

    A family of slow earthquakes, e.g., deep low frequency tremors, low frequency earthquakes (LFEs), very low frequency earthquakes (VLFs) and slow slip events (SSEs), are observed in various subduction zones. These phenomena represent shear slip on the plate interface, and they are thought to be related to brittle-ductile transition behavior on the plate interface because they are often located near the transition zones of interplate coupling estimated from GPS data. Such slip behavior along the plate interface would be controlled by temperature. Furthermore, tremors are considered to be related to fluid dehydrated from the subducting slab, through temperature dependent chemical reactions. Therefore, tremors occurrences are expected to be influenced by temperature, though some studies have questioned about the relationship between tremor activity and temperature. Here we investigate the source locations of deep tremor using an envelope correlation method and compare them with the temperature and shear strength profiles along the plate interface calculated using a numerical model (Yoshioka and Sanshadokoro, 2002). The study areas include New Zealand, southern Chile, and Mexico, where tremor behavior changes significantly along the strike of the plate interface. Investigating such along-strike variation in individual subduction zone may clarify the temperature dependence of tremor because environmental conditions affecting tremor occurrence are similar, unlike the comparison between different subduction zones. In the Hikurangi subduction zone beneath the North Island, New Zealand, the depth of SSE are quite different along the strike, e.g., deeper in the central region and shallower in the northern region (e.g. Wallace and Beavan, 2010). We reanalyze tremors detected by previous studies (Kim et al., 2011; Ide, 2012) to estimate their absolute depth and confirm that tremors in North Island are on the plate interface in both the central and the northern regions. Thermal

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

    The Hellenic subduction zone is the most seismically active region in Europe [Becker & Meier, 2010]. The spatial and temporal distribution of seismicity as well as the analysis of the magnitude distribution of earthquakes concerning the Hellenic subduction zone, has been studied using the concept of Non-Extensive Statistical Physics (NESP) [Tsallis, 1988 ; Tsallis, 2009]. Non-Extensive Statistical Physics, which is a generalization of Boltzmann-Gibbs statistical physics, seems a suitable framework for studying complex systems (Vallianatos, 2011). Using this concept, Abe & Suzuki (2003;2005) investigated the spatial and temporal properties of the seismicity in California and Japan and recently Darooneh & Dadashinia (2008) in Iran. Furthermore, Telesca (2011) calculated the thermodynamic parameter q of the magnitude distribution of earthquakes of the southern California earthquake catalogue. Using the external seismic zones of 36 seismic sources of shallow earthquakes in the Aegean and the surrounding area [Papazachos, 1990], we formed a dataset concerning the seismicity of shallow earthquakes (focal depth ≤ 60km) of the subduction zone, which is based on the instrumental data of the Geodynamic Institute of the National Observatory of Athens (http://www.gein.noa.gr/, period 1990-2011). The catalogue consists of 12800 seismic events which correspond to 15 polygons of the aforementioned external seismic zones. These polygons define the subduction zone, as they are associated with the compressional stress field which characterizes a subducting regime. For each event, moment magnitude was calculated from ML according to the suggestions of Papazachos et al. (1997). The cumulative distribution functions of the inter-event times and the inter-event distances as well as the magnitude distribution for each seismic zone have been estimated, presenting a variation in the q-triplet along the Hellenic subduction zone. The models used, fit rather well to the observed

  2. Seismic evidence for flow in the hydrated mantle wedge of the Ryukyu subduction zone

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    It is widely accepted that water-rich serpentinite domains are commonly present in the mantle above shallow subducting slabs and play key roles in controlling the geochemical cycling and physical properties of subduction zones. Thermal and petrological models show the dominant serpentine mineral is antigorite. However, there is no good consensus on the amount, distribution and alignment of this mineral. Seismic velocities are commonly used to identify antigorite-rich domains, but antigorite is highly-anisotropic and depending on the seismic ray path, its properties can be very difficult to distinguish from non-hydrated olivine-rich mantle. Here, we utilize this anisotropy and show how an analysis of seismic anisotropy that incorporates measured ray path geometries in the Ryukyu arc can constrain the distribution, orientation and amount of antigorite. We find more than 54% of the wedge must consist of antigorite and the alignment must change from vertically aligned to parallel to the slab. This orientation change suggests convective flow in the hydrated forearc mantle. Shear wave splitting analysis in other subduction zones indicates large-scale serpentinization and forearc mantle convection are likely to be more widespread than generally recognized. The view that the forearc mantle of cold subduction zones is dry needs to be reassessed. PMID:27436676

  3. Seismic evidence for flow in the hydrated mantle wedge of the Ryukyu subduction zone.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    It is widely accepted that water-rich serpentinite domains are commonly present in the mantle above shallow subducting slabs and play key roles in controlling the geochemical cycling and physical properties of subduction zones. Thermal and petrological models show the dominant serpentine mineral is antigorite. However, there is no good consensus on the amount, distribution and alignment of this mineral. Seismic velocities are commonly used to identify antigorite-rich domains, but antigorite is highly-anisotropic and depending on the seismic ray path, its properties can be very difficult to distinguish from non-hydrated olivine-rich mantle. Here, we utilize this anisotropy and show how an analysis of seismic anisotropy that incorporates measured ray path geometries in the Ryukyu arc can constrain the distribution, orientation and amount of antigorite. We find more than 54% of the wedge must consist of antigorite and the alignment must change from vertically aligned to parallel to the slab. This orientation change suggests convective flow in the hydrated forearc mantle. Shear wave splitting analysis in other subduction zones indicates large-scale serpentinization and forearc mantle convection are likely to be more widespread than generally recognized. The view that the forearc mantle of cold subduction zones is dry needs to be reassessed. PMID:27436676

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  6. Seismic evidence for flow in the hydrated mantle wedge of the Ryukyu subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  7. Controls on continental strain partitioning above an oblique subduction zone, Northern Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. The Two Subduction Zones of the Southern Caribbean: Lithosphere Tearing and Continental Margin Recycling in the East, Flat Slab Subduction and Laramide-Style Uplifts in the West

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    The southern Caribbean plate boundary is a complex strike-slip fault system bounded by oppositely vergent subduction zones, the Antilles subduction zone in the east, and a currently locked Caribbean-South American subduction zone in the west (Bilham and Mencin, 2013). Finite-frequency teleseismic P-wave tomography images both the Atlanic (ATL) and the Caribbean (CAR) plates subducting steeply in opposite directions to transition zone depths under northern South America. Ps receiver functions show a depressed 660 discontinuity and thickened transition zone associated with each subducting plate. In the east the oceanic (ATL) part of the South American (SA) plate subducts westward beneath the CAR, initiating the El Pilar-San Sebastian strike slip system, a subduction-transform edge propagator (STEP) fault (Govers and Wortel, 2005). The point at which the ATL tears away from SA as it descends into the mantle is evidenced by the Paria cluster seismicity at depths of 60-110 km (Russo et al, 1993). Body wave tomography and lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) thickness determined from Sp and Ps receiver functions and Rayleigh waves suggest that the descending ATL also viscously removes the bottom third to half of the SA continental margin lithospheric mantle as it descends. This has left thinned continental lithosphere under northern SA in the wake of the eastward migrating Antilles subduction zone. The thinned lithosphere occupies ~70% of the length of the El Pilar-San Sebastian fault system, from ~64oW to ~69oW, and extends inland several hundred kilometers. In northwestern SA the CAR subducts east-southeast at low angle under northern Colombia and western Venezuela. The subducting CAR is at least 200 km wide, extending from northernmost Colombia as far south as the Bucaramanga nest seismicity. The CAR descends steeply under Lake Maracaibo and the Merida Andes. This flat slab is associated with three Neogene basement cored, Laramide-style uplifts: the Santa Marta

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  13. Fluid accumulation along the Costa Rica subduction thrust and development of the seismogenic zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherrod, Brian; Gomberg, Joan

    2014-02-01

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

  18. Using the Vertical Component of the Surface Velocity Field to Map the Locked Zone at Cascadia Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moulas, E.; Brandon, M. T.; Podladchikov, Y.; Bennett, R. A.

    2014-12-01

    At present, our understanding of the locked zone at Cascadia subduction zone is based on thermal modeling and elastic modeling of horizontal GPS velocities. The thermal model by Hyndman and Wang (1995) provided a first-order assessment of where the subduction thrust might be cold enough for stick-slip behavior. The alternative approach by McCaffrey et al. (2007) is to use a Green's function that relates horizontal surface velocities, as recorded by GPS, to interseismic elastic deformation. The thermal modeling approach is limited by a lack of information about the amount of frictional heating occurring on the thrust (Molnar and England, 1990). The GPS approach is limited in that the horizontal velocity component is fairly insensitive to the structure of the locked zone. The vertical velocity component is much more useful for this purpose. We are fortunate in that vertical velocities can now be measured by GPS to a precision of about 0.2 mm/a. The dislocation model predicts that vertical velocities should range up to about 20 percent of the subduction velocity, which means maximum values of ~7 mm/a. The locked zone is generally entirely offshore at Cascadia, except for the Olympic Peninsula region, where the underlying Juan De Fuca plate has an anomalously low dip. Previous thermal and GPS modeling, as well as tide gauge data and episodic tremors indicate the locked zone there extends about 50 to 75 km onland. This situation provides an opportunity to directly study the locked zone. With that objective in mind, we have constructed a full 3D geodynamic model of the Cascadia subduction zone. At present, the model provides a full representation of the interseismic elastic deformation due to variations of slip on the subduction thrust. The model has been benchmarked against the Savage (2D) and Okada (3D) analytical solutions. This model has an important advantage over traditional dislocation modeling in that we include temperature-sensitive viscosity for the upper and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nebel, Oliver; Arculus, Richard; Davies, Rhodri

    2014-05-01

    The isotopic signatures of Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf-Os in mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB) in the Indian Ocean are clearly distinct compared with their Atlantic/Pacific (A/P) counterparts. The origin of this isotopic distinction has been a matter of debate since its discovery by Dupré and Allègre (1983). Current models advocate: (i) delamination of ancient, negatively buoyant lower crust/lithosphere from a supercontinent; (ii) contamination of A/P-style mantle with plumes (the original association with the DUPAL anomaly); or (iii) long-term overprint by a subduction component (SC) surrounding a former supercontinent. The sum of various stable and radiogenic isotope proxies appears to support a delamination scenario, but alternatives, or the combination of the aforementioned scenarios, are possible. Irrespective of the origin of the Indian mantle domain, isotopic signatures similar to those of Indian MORB and hot-spots are observed in arc/back-arc systems associated with western Pacific subduction zones. These isotope signatures have been regarded as unequivocally derived from Indian-type mantle, and accordingly used to trace eastward flow of that type of mantle. Here we show the majority of igneous rocks associated with subduction zone systems mimic Indian-type mantle in Pb isotope space, but are distinct in Hf-Nd isotope co-variations. We suggest isotopic signatures believed to be derived from Indian mantle in subduction zones are the result of medium-term subduction overprint of evolving A/P-type mantle wedges. This feature results from the relative mobility of U-Pb>Sm-Nd>Lu-Hf in subducted slab-derived components and Th/U (k) fractionation in the mantle wedge. Elevation of k in the wedge from 2.6 (MORB) to about 6-12 can account for the shift in Pb isotope space over a duration of ca. 100-200 Myrs; "decoupling" of Hf-Nd isotopes reflect the subduction component vs mantle wedge contribution. More generally, "Pseudo-Indian mantle" is noted as common in subduction zones

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  2. The impact of thick subduction zone sediment input sections on earthquake and tsunami potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNeill, L. C.; Smith, G. L.; Henstock, T.

    2012-12-01

    the trench, generating a wide, partly offshore seismogenic zone beneath the accretionary prism. Integrating an estimated rupture width from thermal structure of the plate boundary with likely rupture length and slip scenarios, generates potential M8.5-9 earthquakes on this margin. Similar thermal modeling of the North Sumatra margin places the updip limit ~30-40 km landward of the trench, broadly in agreement with slip models for the 2004 earthquake and placing a significant part of the seismogenic zone beneath the accretionary prism. This position coincides with structural and morphological changes thought to relate to changes in internal prism and basal fault properties. For subduction plate boundary rupture, the seaward extent of the seismogenic zone has implications for tsunami generation with potential for an increased submarine rupture area and rupture in deeper water. These examples support the idea that the morphology and structure of the forearc can be used to assess the position of the updip seismogenic limit and suggest that other margins with very thick sediment input should be carefully examined for their seismic potential.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  4. Altimetry data and the elastic stress tensor of subduction zones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caputo, Michele

    1987-01-01

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

  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. Forearc deformation and megasplay fault system of the Ryukyu subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, S.; Yeh, Y.; Sibuet, J.; Tsai, C.; Doo, W.

    2011-12-01

    A great tsunami caused by a subduction earthquake had struck south Ryukyu islands and killed ~12000 people in 1771. Here we report the existence of a megasplay fault system along the south Ryukyu forearc. Analyses of deep multi-channel seismic reflection profiles indicate that the megasplay fault system is rising from the summit of a ~1 km high mount sitting on a ~5° landward dipping subducted plate interface. The fault system has accumulated large strain as evidenced by the active and widespread normal faults in the inner wedge. The along-trench length of the megasplay fault system is estimated to be ~450 km. The origin of this south Ryukyu megasplay fault system is linked to the subduction of elevated ridges parallel to the fracture zones. In contrast, no similar splay fault system is found in the west of 125. 5°E where the oblique subduction has produced shear zones along the south Ryukyu forearc. We infer that the megasplay fault system is responsible for the 1771 south Ryukyu tsunami. Likewise, after a quiescence of ~240 years, a near-future great earthquake and tsunami is anticipated as the extensional feature is strongly widespread over the south Ryukyu forearc.

  7. 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.

  8. Important role for organic carbon in subduction-zone fluids in the deep carbon cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sverjensky, Dimitri A.; Stagno, Vincenzo; Huang, Fang

    2014-12-01

    Supercritical aqueous fluids link subducting plates and the return of carbon to Earth's surface in the deep carbon cycle. The amount of carbon in the fluids and the identities of the dissolved carbon species are not known, which leaves the deep carbon budget poorly constrained. Traditional models, which assume that carbon exists in deep fluids as dissolved gas molecules, cannot predict the solubility and ionic speciation of carbon in its silicate rock environment. Recent advances enable these limitations to be overcome when evaluating the deep carbon cycle. Here we use the Deep Earth Water theoretical model to calculate carbon speciation and solubility in fluids under upper mantle conditions. We find that fluids in equilibrium with mantle peridotite minerals generally contain carbon in a dissolved gas molecule form. However, fluids in equilibrium with diamonds and eclogitic minerals in the subducting slab contain abundant dissolved organic and inorganic ionic carbon species. The high concentrations of dissolved carbon species provide a mechanism to transport large amounts of carbon out of the subduction zone, where the ionic carbon species may influence the oxidation state of the mantle wedge. Our results also identify novel mechanisms that can lead to diamond formation and the variability of carbon isotopic composition via precipitation of the dissolved organic carbon species in the subduction-zone fluids.

  9. 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

  10. Zircon solubility and of Zr species in subduction zone fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilke, M.; Schmidt, C.; Rickers, K.; Pascarelli, S.; Manning, C. E.; Stechern, A.

    2009-12-01

    The geochemical signature of igneous rocks at convergent plate margins is thought to result from complex melt formation processes involving aqueous solutions derived from dehydration of the subducted slab. In these processes, the depletion of high-field-strength elements (HFSE) may be controlled by the presence of accessory phases such as zircon and rutile, which can strongly fractionate these elements; however, the stability and solubility of these phases depends strongly on the fluid composition, including concentration and stoichiometry of Na-Al silicate components. Here we present new data on the influence of the fluid composition on zircon solubility as well as data on the Zr complexation in these fluids at P&T. Experiments were conducted using a modified hydrothermal diamond-anvil cell (HDAC). Zr contents at P&T were determined using SR-µXRF spectra. Zr K-edge X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (XAFS) spectra were acquired to investigate the Zr complexation in-situ at P&T. A grain of synthetic crystalline zircon was equilibrated with an aqueous fluid containing Na2Si2O5 or Na2Si2O5 + Al2O3 components. XAFS and SR-µXRF spectra were taken at the dispersive beamline ID24 of the ESRF, Grenoble, France. Some additional SR-µXRF spectra were taken at HASYLAB, Hamburg, beamline L. The observed Zr concentrations in fluids containing 7-33 wt% Na2Si2O5 and variable Al contents were between 75 and 720 ppm at 500 to 750°C and ~300 MPa to ~700 MPa. These values match expected solubilities calculated from linear interpolation of the maximum solubility in pure H2O (from the detection limit) and the solubility in the most alkaline high-silica melts reported by Ellison and Hess (1986, CMP, 94, 343). The high Zr solubility in sodium silicate-bearing solutions signifies that aqueous fluids with alkali silicates offer an efficient mechanism for HFSE transport. This can be explained by complexation of HFSE with Si, Na, and perhaps also Al, via formation of polymerized solutes

  11. 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.

  12. Water cycling beneath subduction zones in 2D and 3D numerical models (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rupke, L.; Iyer, K. H.; Hasenclever, J.; Morgan, J.

    2013-12-01

    Tracing the cycling of fluids and volatiles through subduction zones continues to be a challenging task with budgets still having large error bars attached to them. In this contribution we show how numerical models can help to integrate various geological, geophysical, and geochemical datasets and how they can be used to put better bounds on the likely amounts of water being subducted, released into the arc and back-arc melting regions, and recycled to the deeper mantle. To achieve this task we use a suite of numerical models. Bending related faulting and hydration of the incoming lithosphere is resolved using a reactive flow model that solves for crustal scale fluid flow and mantle serpentinization using reaction kinetics. Seismic tomography studies from offshore Chile and Central America are used to evaluate and constrain the effective reaction rate. These rates are then used to assess the contribution of serpentinization to the water budget at subduction zones. The pattern of hydration is controlled by the reaction kinetics and serpentinization is most intense around the 270°C isotherm. The depth of this isotherm correlates well with the dominant spacing of double seismic zones observed globally. Comparison of the results with heat flow data suggests that observed seafloor temperature gradients in the bend-fault region are too low to be caused by ';one-pass' downward water flow into the serpentinizing lithosphere, but rather suggest that bend-faults are areas of active hydrothermal circulation. This implies that serpentine-sourced vents and chemosynthetic vent communities should be found in this deep-sea environment as well. Dehydration reactions are resolved with a 2D kinematic subduction zone model that computes the temperature field and the likely locations and volumes of slab fluid release due to metamorphic dehydration reactions. Here we find that up to 1/3 of the subducted water may be transported into the deeper mantle for the coldest subduction zones

  13. Building a Framework Earthquake Cycle Deformational Model for Subduction Megathrust Zones: Integrating Observations with Numerical Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furlong, Kevin P.; Govers, Rob; Herman, Matthew

    2016-04-01

    Subduction zone megathrusts host the largest and deadliest earthquakes on the planet. Over the past decades (primarily since the 2004 Sumatra event) our abilities to observe the build-up in slip deficit along these plate boundary zones has improved substantially with the development of relatively dense observing systems along major subduction zones. One, perhaps unexpected, result from these observations is a range of present-day behavior along the boundaries. Some regions show displacements (almost always observed on the upper plate along the boundary) that are consistent with elastic deformation driven by a fully locked plate interface, while other plate boundary segments (oftentimes along the same plate boundary system) show little or no plate motion directed displacements. This latter case is often interpreted as reflecting little to no coupling along the plate boundary interface. What is unclear is whether this spatial variation in apparent plate boundary interface behavior reflects true spatial differences in plate interface properties and mechanics, or may rather reflect temporal behavior of the plate boundary during the earthquake cycle. In our integrated observational and modeling analyses, we have come to the conclusion that much of what is seen as diverse behavior along subduction margins represents different time in the earthquake cycle (relative to recurrence rate and material properties) rather than fundamental differences between subduction zone mechanics. Our model-constrained conceptual model accounts for the following generalized observations: 1. Coseismic displacements are enhanced in "near-trench" region 2. Post-seismic relaxation varies with time and position landward - i.e. there is a propagation of the transition point from "post" (i.e. trenchward) to "inter" (i.e. landward) seismic displacement behavior. 3. Displacements immediately post-EQ (interpreted to be associated with "after slip" on megathrust?). 4. The post-EQ transient response can

  14. Slab Geometry Control on Mantle Flow Regime: A case study from Central South America Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biryol, C. B.; Beck, S. L.; Zandt, G.; Wagner, L. S.

    2013-12-01

    The subduction of oceanic lithosphere along convergent plate margins plays an important role in the dynamics of the upper mantle beneath convergent margins and major orogenic belts. Many studies of mantle dynamics show that the flow pattern of the mantle varies greatly between different subduction zones as well as within the same subduction zone. The factors that control such variations are poorly understood and need to be investigated further in order to develop a better understanding of various subduction zone processes such as the deformation of mantle beneath convergent plate margins and transport of melts and volatiles in the mantle wedge above subducting slabs. Earlier studies of mantle flow inferred from seismic anisotropy via shear-wave splitting analysis indicated that the dynamics and deformation of subducting and overriding plates as well as the slab geometry have important roles on mantle flow regime. In an effort to test the significance of these factors in constraining the mantle dynamics along the central South America subduction zone, we carried out a shear-wave splitting analysis. Our study area covers southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia encompassing the northernmost Altiplano plateau where subduction of the Nazca plate begins to gradually flatten towards the north. The major part of the data for our analysis comes from the CAUGHT temporary seismic deployment (2010 - 2012) with 49 three-component broadband seismometers. In our study we used SKS, SKKS and PKS arrivals from over 80 teleseismic earthquakes, located between the distance-range of 60 to 140 degrees. We determined polarization direction and delay-time of shear-wave arrivals that are polarized into fast and slow components and split in time. The resultant fast polarization directions indicate the direction of mantle flow beneath the study area and the delay-times show the strength and depth extend of the associated seismic anisotropy. The results of our analysis revealed a

  15. High-resolution seismic imaging of the western Hellenic subduction zone using teleseismic scattered waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suckale, J.; Rondenay, S.; Sachpazi, M.; Charalampakis, M.; Hosa, A.; Royden, L. H.

    2009-08-01

    The active Hellenic subduction system has long been considered an ideal setting for studying subduction dynamics because it is easily accessible and of limited spatial extent. It has been the focus of numerous seismological studies over the last few decades but, nonetheless, the detailed structure of both the slab and the surrounding mantle remain poorly constrained in an intermediate depth range from 30 to 150 km. The objective of this paper is to fill this gap. The intermediate depth regime is of particular interest because it is pivotal for improving our understanding of the dynamic interaction between subducting lithosphere and the surrounding mantle. An interdisciplinary effort aimed at addressing this challenge is currently undertaken by the `Multidisciplinary Experiments for Dynamic Understanding of Subduction under the Aegean Sea' (MEDUSA) project. As part of the MEDUSA initiative, a temporary array consisting of 40 densely spaced broad-band seismometers from the IRIS-PASSCAL pool has been deployed in southern Greece. We process the teleseismic data recorded by this array with a migration algorithm based on the generalized radon transform to obtain high-resolution images of the subduction zone in 2-D. The images reveal a sharp Mohorovičić discontinuity (Moho) at depths ranging from 30 km beneath the western margin of the Aegean Sea to 40 km beneath the central Peloponnesus, where it outlines the crustal root of the Hellenides. To the west of the Hellenides, the continental Moho is not identified, but we interpret a pronounced discontinuity imaged at ~20 km depth as the contact between low-velocity sediments and high-velocity crystalline basement. The images also show the subducted oceanic crust as a low-velocity layer that plunges at a constant angle of 21° from west to east. The oceanic crust exhibits low velocities to at least 90 km depth, indicating that the bulk of fluid transfer from the subducted slab into the mantle wedge occurs below this depth

  16. Electromagnetic Precursors Leading to Triangulation of Future Earthquakes and Imaging of the Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    We investigate the relationship between subduction processes and related seismicity for the Lesser Antilles Arc using the Gutenberg-Richter law. This power law describes the earthquake-magnitude distribution, with the gradient of the cumulative magnitude distribution being commonly known as the b-value. The Lesser Antilles Arc was chosen because of its along-strike variability in sediment subduction and the transition from subduction to strike-slip movement towards its northern and southern ends. The data are derived from the seismicity catalogues from the Seismic Research Centre of The University of the West Indies and the Observatoires Volcanologiques et Sismologiques of the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris and consist of subcrustal events primarily from the slab interface. The b-value is found using a Kolmogorov-Smirnov test for a maximum-likelihood straight line-fitting routine. We investigate spatial variations in b-values using a grid-search with circular cells as well as an along-arc projection. Tests with different algorithms and the two independent earthquake cataloges provide confidence in the robustness of our results. We observe a strong spatial variability of the b-value that cannot be explained by the uncertainties. Rather than obtaining a simple north-south b-value distribution suggestive of the dominant control on earthquake triggering being water released from the sedimentary cover on the incoming American Plates, or a b-value distribution that correlates with on the obliquity of subduction, we obtain a series of discrete, high b-value `bull's-eyes' along strike. These bull's-eyes, which indicate stress release through a higher fraction of small earthquakes, coincide with the locations of known incoming oceanic fracture zones on the American Plates. We interpret the results in terms of water being delivered to the Lesser Antilles subduction zone in the vicinity of fracture zones providing lubrication and thus changing the character of the

  18. Zagros blueschists: Episodic underplating and long-lived cooling of a subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  19. Zagros blueschists: Episodic underplating and long-lived cooling of a subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Huene, Roland

    2010-05-01

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

  1. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ben-Avraham, Z.; Nur, A.

    1980-08-10

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

  3. Geodetic Observations of Interseismic Strain Segmentation at the Sumatra Subduction Zone

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

    New combined P receiver functions and seismicity data obtained from the EGELADOS network employing 65 seismological stations within the Aegean constrained new information on the geometry of the Hellenic subduction zone. The dense network and large data set enabled us to estimate the Moho depth of the continental Aegean plate across the whole area. Presence of a negative contrast at the Moho boundary indicating the serpentinized mantle wedge above the subducting African plate was seen along the entire forearc. Furthermore, low seismicity was observed within the serpentinized mantle wedge. We found a relatively thick continental crust (30-43 km) with a maximum thickness of about 48 km beneath the Peloponnese Peninsula, whereas a thinner crust of about 27-30 km was observed beneath western Turkey. The crust of the overriding plate is thinning beneath the southern and central Aegean and reaches 23-27 km. Unusual low Vp / Vs ratios were estimated beneath the central Aegean, which most likely represent indications on the pronounced felsic character of the extended continental Aegean crust. Moreover, P receiver functions imaged the subducted African Moho as a strong converted phase down to a depth of about 100 km. However, the converted Moho phase appears to be weak for the deeper parts of the African plate suggesting nearly complete phase transitions of crustal material into denser phases. We show the subducting African crust along eight profiles covering the whole southern and central Aegean. Seismicity of the western Hellenic subduction zone was taken from the relocated EHB-ISC catalogue, whereas for the eastern Hellenic subduction zone, we used the catalogues of manually picked hypocentre locations of temporary networks within the Aegean. Accurate hypocentre locations reveal a significant change in the dip angle of the Wadati-Benioff zone (WBZ) from west (~ 25°) to the eastern part (~ 35°) of the Hellenic subduction zone. Furthermore, a zone of high deformation can

  5. 15 Years Of Ecuadorian-French Research Along The Ecuadorian Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charvis, P.

    2015-12-01

    The Ecuadorian segment of the Nazca/South America subduction zone is an outstanding laboratory to study the seismic cycle. Central Ecuador where the Carnegie ridge enters the subduction marks a transition between a highly coupled segment that hosted one of the largest seismic sequence during the 20thcentury and a ~1200-km long weakly coupled segment encompassing southern Ecuador and northern Peru. A shallow dipping subduction interface and a short trench-coast line distance ranging from 45 to 80 km, together with La Plata Island located only 33 km from the trench axis, allow to document subduction processes in the near field with an exceptional resolution. Since 2000, a close cooperation between the Institute of Geophysics (Quito), INOCAR (Oceanographic Institute of the Ecuadorian Navy) with French groups allowed us to conduct up to 6 marine geophysics cruises to survey the convergent margin and jointly develop dense GPS and seismological networks. This fruitful collaboration now takes place in the framework of an International Joint Laboratory "Earthquakes and Volcanoes in the Northern Andes" (LMI SVAN), which eases coordinating research projects and exchanges of Ecuadorian and French scientists and students. This long-term investigation has already provided a unique view on the structure of the margin, which exhibits a highly variable subduction channel along strike. It allowed us to evidence the contrast between creeping and coupled segments of subduction at various scale, and the existence of large continental slivers whose motion accommodates the obliquity of the Nazca/South America convergence. Finally, we could evidence the first Slow Slip Events (SSE) that oppositely to most SSE documented so far, are accompanied with intense micro-seismicity. The recent support of the French National Research Agency and the Ecuadorian Agency for Sciences and Technology (Senescyt) will enable us to integrate the already obtained results, in an attempt to develop an

  6. 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.

  7. Aseismic Slip on the Northern Cascadia Subduction Zone: A Regular but Unique Process?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dragert, H.; Wang, K.; James, T. S.; Schmidt, M.

    2002-12-01

    Our closer re-examination of 1994 to 2002 data from continuous GPS sites in southwestern British Columbia and northern Washington State has confirmed the occurrence of seven aseismic slip events on the deeper subduction interface underlying the inner margin of the northern Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ). At any given site in the region of detection, the transient surface displacements observed for each event are strikingly similar in amplitude, direction, and duration, indicating a repetitive process within a confined location. The areal patterns of total surface displacements that accompany each slip suggest that this location is centered beneath southern Vancouver Is. and the eastern Olympic Plateau. The augmented rates of strain accumulation between slip events also appear uniform from one inter-slip period to the next, again suggesting a recurring process that is spatially confined. To date, this pronounced "sawtooth" displacement pattern caused by elevated stress accumulation for a period of about 60 to 70 weeks followed by a two-week period of aseismic stress reduction has not been observed in other subduction zones or even in the southern CSZ. It is possible that the arch in the subducting Juan de Fuca plate and the contact with hydrated mantle material on the deeper (25 to 45 km) subduction interface are two factors contributing to this (possibly) unique behaviour. At these depths, temperatures exceed 550° C and it is conceivable that the release of fluids from metamorphic reactions involving hydrated minerals corrodes inter-granular shear strength, ultimately resulting in aseismic slip, followed by an escape of fluids, a resulting rapid cooling, and a subsequent recovery of shear strength.

  8. Characterizing Seismic Anisotropy across the Peruvian Flat-Slab Subduction Zone: Shear Wave Splitting from PULSE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  9. Shallow seismicity patterns in the northwestern section of the Mexico Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbott, Elizabeth R.; Brudzinski, Michael R.

    2015-11-01

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

  10. Deep Structure of the Northern Cascadia Subduction Zone From Reflection, Tomography and Seismicity Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nedimović, M. R.; Ramachandran, K.; Hyndman, R. D.

    2002-12-01

    To study the structure of southwestern British Columbia and northwestern Washington State, a multidisciplinary seismic survey named SHIPS (Seismic Hazards Investigation in Puget Sound) was carried out in 1998. The main objective was to map active crustal faults in the high seismicity region of Strait of Juan de Fuca, Georgia Strait and Puget Sound, and to gather information about other earthquake controlling structures such as are the position and nature of the subducted Juan de Fuca oceanic plate. We carried out a comparative analysis of the reflection, tomography and seismicity results for the Strait of Juan de Fuca region. Shallow forearc sedimentary basins of glacial and tectonic origin are well outlined on reflection sections. Leech River Fault and southern Whidbey Island Fault are imaged directly. Devils Mountain Fault is indirectly imaged on several profiles by an offset in the basement structure. At greater depth, a thick group of gently landward dipping events is present in the reflection images: The "E" reflection zone previously detected on Lithoprobe data. We believe that this reflection band, earlier interpreted as a shear zone, is situated just above the subducted slab. We use it to map the topography of the subducted oceanic crust. Because oceanic Moho is visible on reflection profiles only within the western edge of the survey area, we also use tomography and seismicity results to delineate it. The reflection, tomography and seismicity results are in good agreement and confirm the existence of an upward bulge in the subducting oceanic crust beneath northwestern Washington. By integrating our results with previous reflection profiles across the accreted wedge and Vancouver Island, we study the structure of the subducted Juan de Fuca oceanic slab and the nature of its contact with the overriding North America plate, from the deformation front to the forearc Moho.

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weston, J.; Shirzaei, M.

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Tidal Triggering of Earthquakes in the Alaska-Aleutian Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Y. J.; Tolstoy, M.

    2014-12-01

    Significant tidal triggering of earthquakes has been observed precursory to the Tohoku and Sumatra megathrust earthquakes (Tanaka 2010; 2012). The appearance of high correlation between tidally-induced stresses and earthquake occurrence frequency several to ten years before these megathrust earthquakes suggests that such statistical analysis could be useful in improving forecasting of future subduction zone earthquakes. Using this statistical method, we analyzed the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone which has been known to produce devastating tsunamigenic earthquakes, and specifically the Semidi Segment that is probably late in its earthquake cycle (Davies et. al. 1981). Our study aims to understand if significant tidal triggering of earthquakes were present precursory to historical great earthquakes in this region. We also aim to understand if any segment along the subduction zone is currently displaying statistically significant tidal triggering of earthquakes and whether such observations are indicative of the stress state of the segment. Finally, we test if the strength of tidal triggering captured by this statistical method is sensitive to the tidal stress azimuth used. Such sensitivity could be indicative of the predominant fault slip direction in the specific segment.

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

    PubMed

    Foley, Stephen; Tiepolo, Massimo; Vannucci, Riccardo

    2002-06-20

    It is thought that the first continental crust formed by melting of either eclogite or amphibolite, either at subduction zones or on the underside of thick oceanic crust. However, the observed compositions of early crustal rocks and experimental studies have been unable to distinguish between these possibilities. Here we show a clear contrast in trace-element ratios of melts derived from amphibolites and those from eclogites. Partial melting of low-magnesium amphibolite can explain the low niobium/tantalum and high zirconium/samarium ratios in melts, as required for the early continental crust, whereas the melting of eclogite cannot. This indicates that the earliest continental crust formed by melting of amphibolites in subduction-zone environments and not by the melting of eclogite or magnesium-rich amphibolites in the lower part of thick oceanic crust. Moreover, the low niobium/tantalum ratio seen in subduction-zone igneous rocks of all ages is evidence that the melting of rutile-eclogite has never been a volumetrically important process. PMID:12075348

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    Boron Isotope Evidence for Shallow Fluid Transfer Across Subduction Zones by Serpentinized Mantle M. Scambelluri (1), S. Tonarini (2), S. Agostini (2), E. Cannaò (1) (1) Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Ambiente e vita, University of Genova, Italy (2) Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse-CNR, Pisa, Italy In subduction zones, fluid-mediated chemical exchange between slabs and mantle dictates volatile and incompatible element cycles and influences arc magmatism. Outstanding issues concern the sources of water for arc magmas and its slab-to-mantle wedge transport. Does it occur by slab dehydration beneath arc fronts, or by hydration of fore-arc mantle and subsequent subduction of the hydrated mantle? So far, the deep slab dehydration hypothesis had strong support, but the hydrated mantle wedge idea is advancing supported by studies of fluid-mobile elements in serpentinized wedge peridotites and their subducted high-pressure (HP) equivalents. Serpentinites are volatile and fluid-mobile element reservoirs for subduction: their dehydration causes large fluid and element flux to the mantle.However, direct evidence for their key role in arc magmatism and identification of dehydration environments has been elusive and boron isotopes can trace the process. Until recently, the altered oceanic crust (AOC) was considered the 11B reservoir for arcs, which largely display positive δ11B. However, shallow slab dehydration transfers 11B to the fore-arc mantle and leaves the residual AOC very depleted in 11B below arcs. Here we present high positive δ11B of HP serpentinized peridotites from Erro Tobbio (Ligurian Alps), recording subduction metamorphism from hydration at low-grade to eclogite-facies dehydration. We show a connection among serpentinite dehydration, release of 11B-rich fluids and arc magmatism. The dataset is completed by B isotope data on other HP Alpine serpentinites from Liguria and Lanzo Massif. In general, the δ11B of these rocks is heavy (16 to + 30 permil

  16. Subduction of the Tehuantepec oceanic fracture zone and the relationship with a seismic gap in southern Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Constantin Manea, Vlad; Manea, Marina; Taras, Gerya; Valenzuela, Raul W.

    2016-04-01

    It is accepted that key constraints on the size and recurrence time of large subduction earthquakes originate from the degree of locking between the subducting and overriding plates. Since the interseismic locking degree is influenced by the rheological properties of crustal and mantle rocks, any variations along strike will result in significant changes in seismic behavior due to a change in frictional stability. Additionally, recent seismic studies show that the subduction of hydrothermally altered oceanic fracture zones induces strong pore-fluid pressure variations that control the degree of interseismic locking. The Mexico Subduction Zone (MSZ) is characterized by major along-strike changes in subduction geometry, as well as important structural variations of the incoming oceanic plate. One of the main tectonic features of the Cocos plate is the Tehuantepec fracture zone (FZ) that is currently subducting beneath southern Mexico. The analysis of seismicity revealed that the area around where Tehuantepec fracture zone is currently subducting is conspicuously quiet and considered a seismic gap. Here, no significant quake (Ms ≥ 7.0) has occurred in more than 100 years, and the origin of Tehuantepec Seismic Gap (TSG) has not been elucidated yet. Based on the dimensions of the Tehuantepec gap (125 km length and 80 km width), an earthquake of Mw = 8.0 may be possible. This study aims to shed some light on the relationship between the TSG with the subduction of Tehuantepec oceanic fracture zone. Previous studies show that the uppermost oceanic lithosphere beneath the Tehuantepec FZ is partially serpentinized due to seawater infiltrations along faults. Using high-resolution three-dimensional coupled petrological-thermomechanical numerical simulations specifically tailored for the subduction of the Tehuantepec FZ at MSZ we show that the weakened serpentinized fracture zone is partially scraped out in the forearc region because of its low strength and positive buoyancy

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Separate zones of sulfate and sulfide release from subducted mafic oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomkins, Andrew G.; Evans, Katy A.

    2015-10-01

    Liberation of fluids during subduction of oceanic crust is thought to transfer sulfur into the overlying sub-arc mantle. However, despite the importance of sulfur cycling through magmatic arcs to climate change, magma oxidation and ore formation, there has been little investigation of the metamorphic reactions responsible for sulfur release from subducting slabs. Here, we investigate the relative stability of anhydrite (CaSO4) and pyrite (FeS2) in subducted basaltic oceanic crust, the largest contributor to the subducted sulfur budget, to place constraints on the processes controlling sulfur release. Our analysis of anhydrite stability at high pressures suggests that this mineral should dominantly dissolve into metamorphic fluids released across the transition from blueschist to eclogite facies (∼450-650 °C), disappearing at lower temperatures on colder geothermal trajectories. In contrast, we suggest that sulfur release via conversion of pyrite to pyrrhotite occurs at temperatures above 750 °C. This higher temperature stability is indicated by the preservation of pyrite-bornite inclusions in coesite-bearing eclogites from the Sulu Belt in China, which reached temperatures of at least 750 °C. Thus, sulfur may be released from subducting slabs in two separate pulses; (1) varying proportions of SO2, HSO4- and H2S are released via anhydrite breakdown at the blueschist-eclogite transition, promoting oxidation of remaining silicates in some domains, and (2) H2S is released via pyrite breakdown well into the eclogite facies, which may in some circumstances coincide with slab melting or supercritical liquid generation driven by influx of serpentinite-derived fluids. These results imply that the metallogenic potential in the sub-arc mantle above the subducting slab varies as a function of subduction depth, having the greatest potential above the blueschist-eclogite transition given the association between oxidised magmas and porphyry Cu(-Au-Mo) deposits. We speculate

  20. Empirical relationships between instrumental ground motions and observed intensities for two great Chilean subduction zone earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cilia, M. G.; Baker, L. M.

    2015-12-01

    We determine empirical relationships between instrumental peak ground motions and observed intensities for two great Chilean subduction earthquakes: the 2010 Mw8.8 Maule earthquake and the 2014 Mw8.2 Iquique earthquake. Both occurred immediately offshore on the primary plate boundary interface between the Nazca and South America plates. They are among the largest earthquakes to be instrumentally recorded; the 2010 Maule event is the second largest earthquake to produce strong motion recordings. Ground motion to intensity conversion equations (GMICEs) are used to reconstruct the distribution of shaking for historical earthquakes by using intensities estimated from contemporary accounts. Most great (M>8) earthquakes, like these, occur within subduction zones, yet few GMICEs exist for subduction earthquakes. It is unclear whether GMICEs developed for active crustal regions, such as California, can be scaled up to the large M of subduction zone events, or if new data sets must be analyzed to develop separate subduction GMICEs. To address this question, we pair instrumental peak ground motions, both acceleration (PGA) and velocity (PGV), with intensities derived from onsite surveys of earthquake damage made in the weeks after the events and internet-derived felt reports. We fit a linear predictive equation between the geometric mean of the maximum PGA or PGV of the two horizontal components and intensity, using linear least squares. We use a weighting scheme to express the uncertainty of the pairings based on a station's proximity to the nearest intensity observation. The intensity data derived from the onsite surveys is a complete, high-quality investigation of the earthquake damage. We perform the computations using both the survey data and community decimal intensities (CDI) calculated from felt reports volunteered by citizens (USGS "Did You Feel It", DYFI) and compare the results. We compare the GMICEs we developed to the most widely used GMICEs from California and

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

    PubMed

    Rogers, Garry; Dragert, Herb

    2003-06-20

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

  2. Forearc deformation and great subduction earthquakes: implications for cascadia offshore earthquake potential.

    PubMed

    McCaffrey, R; Goldfinger, C

    1995-02-10

    The maximum size of thrust earthquakes at the world's subduction zones appears to be limited by anelastic deformation of the overriding plate. Anelastic strain in weak forearcs and roughness of the plate interface produced by faults cutting the forearc may limit the size of thrust earthquakes by inhibiting the buildup of elastic strain energy or slip propagation or both. Recently discovered active strike-slip faults in the submarine forearc of the Cascadia subduction zone show that the upper plate there deforms rapidly in response to arc-parallel shear. Thus, Cascadia, as a result of its weak, deforming upper plate, may be the type of subduction zone at which great (moment magnitude approximately 9) thrust earthquakes do not occur. PMID:17813913

  3. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1989-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Regional P wave velocity structure of the Northern Cascadia Subduction Zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramachandran, K.; Hyndman, R.D.; Brocher, T.M.

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents the first regional three-dimensional, P wave velocity model for the Northern Cascadia Subduction. Zone (SW British Columbia and NW Washington State) constructed through tomographic inversion of first-arrival traveltime data from active source experiments together with earthquake traveltime data recorded at permanent stations. The velocity model images the structure of the subducting Juan de Fuca plate, megathrust, and the fore-arc crust and upper mantle. Beneath southern Vancouver Island the megathrust above the Juan de Fuca plate is characterized by a broad zone (25-35 km depth) having relatively low velocities of 6.4-6.6 km/s. This relative low velocity zone coincides with the location of most of the episodic tremors recently mapped beneath Vancouver Island, and its low velocity may also partially reflect the presence of trapped fluids and sheared lower crustal rocks. The rocks of the Olympic Subduction Complex are inferred to deform aseismically as evidenced by the lack of earthquakes withi the low-velocity rocks. The fore-arc upper mantle beneath the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound is characterized by velocities of 7.2-7.6 km/s. Such low velocities represent regional serpentinization of the upper fore-arc mantle and provide evidence for slab dewatering and densification. Tertiary sedimentary basins in the Strait of Georgia and Puget Lowland imaged by the velocity model lie above the inferred region of slab dewatering and densification and may therefore partly result from a higher rate of slab sinking. In contrast, sedimentary basins in the Strait of Juan de Fuca lie in a synclinal depression in the Crescent Terrane. The correlation of in-slab earthquake hypocenters M>4 with P wave velocities greater than 7.8 km/s at the hypocenters suggests that they originate near the oceanic Moho of the subducting Juan de Fuca plate. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

  7. Carbonate-Iron Interaction: Kinetic Approach for Carbonate Subduction Down to the Mantle Transition Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martirosyan, N.; Yoshino, T.; Shatskiy, A.; Litasov, K. D.; Chanyshev, A.

    2015-12-01

    One of the principal redox exchange reactions at the slab-mantle interface during subduction is CaCO3-Fe0 interaction. Using uniaxial press multianvil apparatus, we investigate this reaction at temperatures from 650 to 1400 °C, and pressures from 4 to 16 GPa. These conditions are representative for the PT path of the slab from the surface to the mantle transition zone. Based on our results, redox reaction can be written as: 3 CaCO3 (aragonite) + 13 Fe0 (metal) = Fe7C3 (carbide) + 3 CaFe2O3 (Ca-wüstite). It is a diffusion-controlled process with the reaction rate constant (k) being log-linear in 1/T. The experimental results allow to calculate the length scale over which the reaction kinetics between aragonite and metallic iron is likely effective. Using relatively simple relationship between the characteristic distance of diffusion as a function of k and duration of the process, we estimate the length scale of the reaction for time scales 4-16 Myr, which corresponds to subduction rates of 2-8 cm/year from 250 km (metal-saturation boundary) to 470 km, for different slab PT-profiles. Assuming that carbonates are in a direct contact with iron, the maximum degree of carbonate reduction can be evaluated using the results of our study and the data on CO2 distribution in altered oceanic basalts. The estimates suggest that up to 0.5, 12, and 20 vol. % of carbonates can be reduced in such case during subduction down to the mantle transition zone at the conditions of cold, medium and hot geotherms, respectively. The sluggish kinetics of established CaCO3-Fe0 interaction suggests that even over the entire history of the Earth, carbonates could survive during subduction from metal saturation boundary near 250 km depth, down to the transition zone, and presumably to the lower mantle.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  9. An International Coastline Collaboratory to Broaden Scientific Impacts of a Subduction Zone Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodin, P.

    2015-12-01

    A global Subduction Zone Observatory (SZO) presents an exciting opportunity to broaden involvement in scientific research and to ensure multidisciplinary impact. Most subduction zones feature dynamic interactions of the seafloor, the coastline, and the onshore environments also being perturbed by global climate change. Tectonic deformation, physical environment changes (temperature and chemistry), and resulting ecological shifts (intertidal population redistribution, etc.) are all basic observables for important scientific investigation. Yet even simple baseline studies like repeated transects of intertidal biological communities are rare. A coordinated program of such studies would document the local variability across time and spatial scales, permit comparisons with other subducting coastlines, and extend the reach and importance of other SZO studies. One goal is to document the patterns, and separate the component causes of, coastal uplift and subsidence and ecological response to a subduction zone earthquake using a database of pre-event biological and surveying observations. Observations would be directed by local scientists using students and trained volunteers as observers, under the auspices of local educational entities and using standardized sampling and reporting methods. The observations would be added to the global, Internet-accessible, database for use by the entire scientific community. Data acquisition and analysis supports the educational missions of local schools and universities, forming the basis for educational programs. All local programs would be coordinated by an international panel convened by the SZO. The facility would include a web-hosted lecture series and an annual web conference to aid organization and collaboration. Small grants could support more needy areas. This SZO collaboratory advances not only scientific literacy, but also multinational collaboration and scholarship, and (most importantly) produces important scientific results.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vizán, Haroldo; Van Zele, María Andrea

    2008-02-01

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

  11. Slab2 - Providing updated subduction zone geometries and modeling tools to the community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

    Teleseismic studies have found that, for a given seismic moment M0, the radiated energy ES of an earthquake can range over two orders of magnitude. Intraplate and intraslab earthquakes having unusually elevated radiated energy are largely confined to specific high-deformation tectonic settings, an observation which can lead to improving estimates of seismic hazard potential (Choy et al., GJI, 2002, 2004). In contrast, the population of interplate thrust subduction earthquakes has the lowest average ES/M0 ratio among plate-boundary earthquakes. Nevertheless, among subduction plate-boundary earthquakes, there is considerable variability in this ratio. For example, some large earthquakes of this type have anomalously low energy (i.e., low ES/M0 ratio), a characteristic associated with tsunamigenic events involving slow rupture. In a global reconnaissance of the radiated energies of more than 1300 large shallow thrust earthquakes (magnitude greater than about 5.5 and depth < 70 km) that occurred from 1987 to 2006 in subduction zones, we found 270 earthquakes with anomalously low energy radiation comparable to that of tsunamigenic slow earthquakes. The enervated (low energy) earthquakes have a magnitude differential Δ M > 0.5 (where Δ M is the difference between energy magnitude Me and moment magnitude Mw). This reconnaissance also found 152 earthquakes with anomalously high energy radiation. These energetic thrust events have Δ M values less than about -0.2. The global distributions of energetic and enervated events are not random and typically do not overlap. Enervated events are nearly always located at the top surface of a Wadati-Benioff zone defining a narrow zone that can be interpreted as the slab interface. Energetic events occur in high-deformation tectonic settings, such as some marine collision zones involving seamount chains, submerged continent-continent collisions, colliding slabs, regions of complex plate interactions, and slab distortions. Some of

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-02-01

    Subduction zone metamorphism (SZM) and behaviors of chemical elements in response to this process are important for both arc magmatism and mantle compositional heterogeneity. In this paper, we report the results of our petrographic and geochemical studies on blueschist and eclogite facies rocks of sedimentary and basaltic protoliths from two metamorphic sub-belts with different metamorphic histories in the North Qilian Mountain, Northwest China. The protolith of low-grade blueschists is basaltic in composition and is most likely produced in a back-arc setting, while the protoliths of high-grade blueschists/eclogites geochemically resemble the present-day normal and enriched mid-oceanic ridge basalts plus some volcanic arc rocks. The meta-sedimentary rocks, including meta-graywacke, meta-pelite, meta-chert and marble, show geochemical similarity to global oceanic (subducted) sediments. Assuming that high field strength elements (HFSEs) are relatively immobile, the correlated variations of rare earth elements (REEs) and Th with HFSEs suggest that all these elements are probably also immobile, whereas Pb and Sr are mobile in rocks of both basaltic and sedimentary protoliths during SZM. Ba, Cs and Rb are immobile in rocks of sedimentary protoliths and mobile in rocks of basaltic protolith. The apparent mobility of U in rocks of basaltic protolith may be inherited from seafloor alterations rather than caused by SZM. On the basis of in situ mineral compositional analysis (both major and trace elements), the most significant trace element storage minerals in these subduction-zone metamorphic rocks are: lawsonite, pumpellyite, apatite, garnet and epidote group minerals for REEs, white micas (both phengite and paragonite) for large ion lithophile elements, rutile and titanite for HFSEs. The presence and stability of these minerals exert the primary controls on the geochemical behaviors of most of these elements during SZM. The immobility of REEs, Th and U owing to their

  15. Empirical ground-motion relations for subduction-zone earthquakes and their application to Cascadia and other regions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  16. High and Ultrahigh pressure peridotites: fossil reservoirs of subduction zone processes and deep crust-mantle wedge interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scambelluri, Marco

    2010-05-01

    The large-scale mass transfer allied with subduction recycles surface volatiles and crustal materials into the mantle, to affect its composition and rheology. Most geological processes related to subduction thus originate from an interplay between subducting plates and overlying lithospheric and asthenospheric mantle. Much information on phase relations during subduction has been provided by experiments and by studies of natural high- (HP) and ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) rocks and fluids. In contrast, knowledge on supra-subduction mantle wedges is much less. Here, the interaction between slab fluids and mantle rocks at variable subduction depths is discussed considering two case-studies: the UHP garnet websterites from Bardane (Western Gneiss Region, Norway) and the HP garnet peridotites from the Ulten Zone (Eastern Alps). The Bardane websterites derive from cold Archean subcontinental mantle involved in Scandian subduction to UHP. Subduction metamorphism was promoted by slab fluid infiltration in the overlying mantle up to P of 6.5 - 7 GPa (c.a. 200 km depth), as witnessed by micro-diamond-bearing inclusions and by crystallization of majoritic garnet in veins. The Ulten peridotites are slices of Variscan mantle wedge which experienced infiltration of metasomatic subduction fluids. These favoured transformation of spinel-peridotites into garnet + amphibole + dolomite peridotites at P < 3GPa. Formation of metasomatized garnet peridotite mylonites suggest channelled influx of subduction fluids. The high XMg and the incompatible element-enriched composition of subduction minerals in Bardane indicate that previously depleted websterites were refertilized by COH subduction fluids. Comparison with the Ulten garnet + amphibole + dolomite peridotites outlines relevant similarity in the metasomatic fingerprints and in the COH fluid phase involved. This calls for concomitant subduction of the continental crust, to provide carbon and incompatible element-enriched fluids. For

  17. Episodic Tremor and Slip in the Cascadia Subduction Zone: A Story of Discovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dragert, H.

    2003-12-01

    For more than two decades, seismologists at the Pacific Geoscience Centre puzzled over the episodic appearance of simultaneous "noise" on seismographs from stations located over the Cascadia subduction zone in southwestern British Columbia. With the 1992 initiation of continuous GPS monitoring in Victoria, B.C., another puzzle presented itself in an inexplicable 5-mm westward displacement of the then solitary regional continuous GPS monument over a period of about a week in October 1994. These observations remained unexplained (and unrelated) until recently. Beginning in 1996, as a result of improvements in GPS orbits and regional densification of continuous GPS networks, transient aseismic crustal motions lasting from periods of a few days to over a year were starting to be recognized. For the Pacific Northwest, detailed analyses of continuous GPS data successfully resolved a spatially coherent, transient signal that occurred in August 1999. Unrelated to after-slip that can follow great thrust earthquakes or to shallow slow-slip "tsunami" earthquakes, this signal, detected at 7 contiguous GPS sites, was characterized by a change in site positions ranging from 2 to 5 mm over a period of 6 to 15 days in a direction opposite to long-term deformation motions. This brief reversal was modeled by ˜2 cm of slip on the plate interface, providing the first evidence for discrete "silent" slip events occurring on the deeper Cascadia subduction zone. In early 2002, researchers at Central Washington University established the surprising regularity of Cascadia slip events on the plate interface underlying southern Vancouver Is. and northwestern Washington State. Eight slip events were identified between 1992 and 2002, with a recurrence interval of 14.5 +/-2 months. Next, Japanese scientists discovered the episodic occurrence of unique, non-volcanic tremors at average depths of about 30 km along the Nankai Subduction Zone. The similarity of the average depth of slip and the

  18. Earthquake Production by Subduction Zones is Not Linear in Relative Plate Velocity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bird, P.; Kagan, Y. Y.; Jackson, D. D.; Schoenberg, F. P.; Werner, M. J.

    2007-12-01

    The ratio of \\{long-term-average seismic moment production per unit length of plate boundary\\} to \\{relative plate velocity\\} is determined by the "coupled thickness" of seismogenic lithosphere, and also by elastic moduli and geometric factors that are fairly well known. It is generally assumed that coupled thickness is constant within a given class of plate boundary, such as Bird's [2003, G3]: CCB Continental Convergent Boundary, CRB Continental Rift Boundary, CTF Continental Transform Fault, OCB Oceanic Convergent Boundary, OSR Oceanic Spreading Ridge, OTF Oceanic Transform Fault, or SUB Subduction zone. However, Bird et al. [2002, Geodyn. Ser.] and Bird & Kagan [2004, BSSA] found two exceptions: OSR and OTF both have greater coupled thickness at low relative plate velocities. We test for variation of coupled thickness with relative plate velocity in each of the 7 classes of plate boundary. We use shallow (<70 km) earthquakes from the Harvard CMT catalog, 1982.01.01-2007.03.31, above magnitude MW threshold of 5.51 or 5.66. In order to reduce the influence of aftershock swarms, we estimate the probability of independence of each earthquake according to the likelihood stochastic declustering method of Kagan & Jackson [1991; GJI] and use this as a weight. We use the algorithm of Bird & Kagan [2004, BSSA] to assign 95% of shallow earthquakes to plate boundary steps and plate boundary classes, rejecting all earthquakes that fall into one of the 13 orogens of Bird [2003, G3]. We order the plate-boundary steps outside orogens in each class by relative plate velocity according to the PB2002 model of Bird [2003]. Then, we plot cumulative earthquake count as a function of cumulative model tectonic moment (assuming constant coupled thickness and other parameters within each plate boundary class). The null hypothesis is a linear relation; we use 2 measures (Kolmogorov-Smirnov, and Cramer-von Mises) to quantify departures from this line. We use 10,000 simulations of each

  19. Seismic evidence for deep fluid circulation in the overriding plate of subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tauzin, B.; Reynard, B.; Bodin, T.; Perrillat, J. P.; Debayle, E.

    2015-12-01

    In subduction zones, non-volcanic tremors are associated with fluid circulations (Obara, 2002). Their sources are often located on the interplate boundary (Rogers and Dragert, 2003; Shelly et al, 2006; La Rocca, 2009), consistent with fluids released by the dehydration of subducted plates (Hacker et al., 2003). Reports of tremors in the overriding continental crust of several subduction zones in the world (Kao et al., 2005; Payero et al., 2008; Ide, 2012) suggest fluid circulation at shallower depths but potential fluid paths are poorly documented. Here we obtained seismic observations from receiver functions that evidence the close association between the shallow tremor zone, electrical conductivity, and tectonic features of the Cascadia overriding plate. A seismic discontinuity near 15 km depth in the crust of the overriding North American plate is attributed to the Conrad discontinuity. This interface is segmented, and its interruption is spatially correlated with conductive regions and shallow swarms of seismicity and non-volcanic tremors. These observations suggest that shallow fluid circulation, tremors and seismicity are controlled by fault zones limiting blocks of accreted terranes in the overriding plate (Brudzinski and Allen, 2007). These zones constitute fluid "escape" routes that may contribute unloading fluid pressure on the megathrust. Obara, K. (2002). Science, 296, 1679-1681. Rogers, G., & Dragert, H. (2003). Science, 300, 1942-1943. Shelly, D. R., et al. (2006). Nature, 442, 188-191. La Rocca, M., et al. (2009). Science, 323, 620-623. Kao, H., et al. (2005). Nature, 436, 841-844. Payero, J. S., et al. (2008). Geophysical Research Letters, 35. Ide, S. (2012). Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 117. Brudzinski, M. R., & Allen, R. M. (2007). Geology, 35, 907-910.

  20. Geochemistry, Sr-Nd-Pb isotopes and geochronology of amphibole- and mica-bearing lamprophyres in northwestern Iran: Implications for mantle wedge heterogeneity in a palaeo-subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aghazadeh, Mehraj; Prelević, Dejan; Badrzadeh, Zahra; Braschi, Eleonora; van den Bogaard, Paul; Conticelli, Sandro

    2015-02-01

    Lamprophyres of different age showing distinctive mineralogy, geochemistry and isotopic ratios are exposed in northwestern Iran. They can be divided into Late Cretaceous sannaite, Late Oligocene-Early Miocene camptonite (amphibole-bearing) and Late Miocene minette (mica-bearing) and spessartite (amphibole-bearing) lamprophyres. Sannaites have high-Ti amphibole along with high-Ti and Al clinopyroxene, and they are characterised by homogeneous enrichment in incompatible trace elements with troughs at Pb. Spessartites have hornblende and low-Al and Ti clinopyroxene, and they are characterised by enriched incompatible trace element pattern with depletions of Nb, Ta, Pb, and Ti with respect to large ion lithophile elements. Minettes have high-Ti and Al brown mica and low-Al and Ti clinopyroxene, and similar to spessartite, are characterised by fractionation of high field strength elements with respect to large ion lithophile elements, with troughs at Nb, Ta, and Ti and a peak at Pb. Minettes show high initial 87Sr/86Sr values up to 0.70760 and low initial 143Nd/144Nd down to 0.512463 with a negative correlation, consistent with the trace element distribution related with an enriched mantle source modified after sediment recycling during subduction and continental collision. Cretaceous sannaites and Early Miocene spessartites show low initial 87Sr/86Sr approaching 0.70447 and high 143Nd/144Nd values up to 0.512667, which are consistent with a depleted within-plate mantle source. Minette and spessartite lamprophyres show high initial 206Pb/204Pb, 207Pb/204Pb, and 208Pb/204Pb values, whereas sannaites have lower, but variable, initial 206Pb/204Pb, 207Pb/204Pb, and 208Pb/204Pb values with respect to those of calc-alkaline lamprophyres. Minettes originated by partial melting of a metasomatised lithospheric mantle following siliciclastic sediment recycling by subduction. In contrast, sannaites were generated from the partial melting of a similar lithospheric mantle that was

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  2. Dynamic triggering of low magnitude earthquakes in the Middle American Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Escudero, C. R.; Velasco, A. A.

    2010-12-01

    We analyze global and Middle American Subduction Zone (MASZ) seismicity from 1998 to 2008 to quantify the transient stresses effects at teleseismic distances. We use the Bulletin of the International Seismological Centre Catalog (ISCCD) published by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS). To identify MASZ seismicity changes due to distant, large (Mw >7) earthquakes, we first identify local earthquakes that occurred before and after the mainshocks. We then group the local earthquakes within a cluster radius between 75 to 200 km. We obtain statistics based on characteristics of both mainshocks and local earthquakes clusters, such as local cluster-mainshock azimuth, mainshock focal mechanism, and local earthquakes clusters within the MASZ. Due to lateral variations of the dip along the subducted oceanic plate, we divide the Mexican subduction zone in four segments. We then apply the Paired Samples Statistical Test (PSST) to the sorted data to identify increment, decrement or either in the local seismicity associated with distant large earthquakes. We identify dynamic triggering for all MASZ segments produced by large earthquakes emerging from specific azimuths, as well as, a decrease for some cases. We find no depend of seismicity changes due to focal mainshock mechanism.

  3. A recent phase of accretion along the southern Costa Rican subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

    In 2011 we acquired a 3D seismic reflection volume across the Costa Rica margin NW of the Osa Peninsula to investigate the complex structure and the development of the seismogenic zone within the Costa Rican subduction zone in the vicinity of recent International Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) drilling. In contrast to previous interpretations, these newly acquired seismic images show that the margin wedge is composed of a layered fabric that is consistent with clastic sediments, similar to materials recovered from IODP drilling, that have been thrust and thickened into thrust-bounded folded sequences. These structures are consistent with a balanced sequence that has been frontally accreted in the context of an accretionary model. We interpret these sequences as sediment originally deposited on the subducting crust in a trench basin created by the southward migration of the Cocos-Nazca-Caribbean triple junction, and accreted during recent margin subduction that also accelerated with passage of the triple junction. The margin is composed of relatively rapidly accreted sediment that was added to the margin during a phase of accretion within the last ∼5 Ma that was probably preceded throughout the Neogene by periods of non-accretion or erosion.

  4. Interferometric Redatuming and Imaging of Low Frequency Earthquakes for Fine-Scale Subduction Zone Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowack, R. L.; Bostock, M. G.

    2012-12-01

    We investigate the application of interferometric redatuming of seismic waveforms from low frequency earthquakes (LFE's) for fine-scale subduction zone structure. In this approach, seismic waveform data from two LFE sources recorded by an array at the Earth's surface are interferometrically redatumed to replace one of the sources at depth in the Earth by a virtual receiver. With many LFE sources along the top of a subducting plate, virtual source-receiver gathers can be constructed along the top of the plate boundary. Similar, but more involved approaches can also be applied to Wadati-Benioff seismic events which possess a wider depth distribution within the subducting plate. The construction of virtual shot-receiver profiles in the sub-surface has the advantage of effectively removing the distortion effects of the shallow structure above the plate and so affords the potential of providing more detailed images of the subduction zone structure itself. Here we perform initial numerical experiments for LFE sources and stations along a linear profile similar to that found in northern Cascadia. We first redatum synthetic P waveforms of LFE sources for a layered subduction zone structure including a dipping low velocity zone (LVZ) layer. The synthetic waveforms recorded at the surface array from a number of LFE sources are then redatumed to obtain a series of virtual common-source gathers along the top of the plate boundary, which can then be used for fine-scale imaging and velocity analysis of the plate itself. A second series of numerical experiments are performed using P waveforms of surface data from LFE sources to obtain virtual zero-offset profiles redatumed to the top of the plate structure. In these experiments a laterally varying lower boundary of the LVZ structure is imaged by the virtual zero-offset profiles at depth. In order to apply the redatuming approach to three-component seismic data recorded by LFE sources, an elastic formulation is required, however

  5. The geochemical behaviour of W in subduction zones: constraints from high precision isotope dilution measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konig, S.; Munker, C.; Schuth, S.

    2007-12-01

    Assessing the behaviour of W during silicate Earth's differentiation is hampered by low abundances of W in terrestrial reservoirs, making sufficiently precise and accurate measurements difficult. Previous results (e.g., Newsom et al. 1996) indicate a lower W/Th of the mantle (ca. 0.19) compared to the Earth's crust, (ca. 0.26), suggesting that W appears to be more incompatible than Th. New data for MORB (Munker et al. 2007), however, demonstrate that W/Th is not significantly fractionated during dry peridotite melting, tentatively suggesting a fractionation of the two elements during crust formation by subduction related processes. We present high precision W and Nb-Ta, Zr-Hf data obtained by isotope dilution, using a mixed 183W-180Ta- 94Zr-180Hf-176Lu tracer and multiple collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS). This enables the direct determination of W and HFSE from one sample digestion. For some samples, a "nugget effect" as previously reported for PGE was observed, reflecting sample heterogeneity. Measured Ta and W abundances determined in basaltic glasses and whole rock powders from various island arc settings yield Ta/W ratios of 0.6 to 1.7, significantly lower than the values reported for MORB (4-6). In contrast, Nb/Ta for the samples overlap with MORB values, suggesting that Nb and Ta were not mobile in the magma sources. These systematic differences indicate that W does not behave as other HFSE (Nb-Ta, Zr-Hf) in subduction zones but rather displays a higher mobility in slab components. Intra-oceanic arc suites involving subducted pelagic sediment in their sources generally display higher W/Th compared to magmas without sediment-derived components in their sources, reflecting the higher initial W abundances in subducted pelagic sediments. A fractionation of W/Th during crust formation could consequently be explained by a selective W enrichment relative to Th during subduction processes.

  6. Effect of hydrothermal circulation on slab dehydration for the subduction zone of Costa Rica and Nicaragua

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosas, Juan Carlos; Currie, Claire A.; Harris, Robert N.; He, Jiangheng

    2016-06-01

    Dehydration of subducting oceanic plates is associated with mantle wedge melting, arc volcanism, intraslab earthquakes through dehydration embrittlement, and the flux of water into the mantle. In this study, we present two-dimensional thermal models of the Costa Rica-Nicaragua subduction zone to investigate dehydration reactions within the subducting Cocos plate. Seismic and geochemical observations indicate that the mantle wedge below Nicaragua is more hydrated than that below Costa Rica. These trends have been hypothesized to be due to a variation in either the thermal state or the hydration state of the subducting slab. Despite only small variations in plate age along strike, heat flow measurements near the deformation front reveal significantly lower heat flow offshore Nicaragua than offshore Costa Rica. These measurements are interpreted to reflect an along-strike change in the efficiency of hydrothermal circulation in the oceanic crust. We parameterize thermal models in terms of efficient and inefficient hydrothermal circulation and explore their impact on slab temperature in the context of dehydration models. Relative to models without fluid flow, efficient hydrothermal circulation reduces slab temperature by as much at 60 °C to depths of ∼75 km and increases the predicted depth of eclogitization by ∼15 km. Inefficient hydrothermal circulation has a commensurately smaller influence on slab temperatures and the depth of eclogitization. For both regions, the change in eclogitization depth better fits the observed intraslab crustal seismicity, but there is not a strong contrast in the slab thermal structure or location of the main dehydration reactions. Consistent with other studies, these results suggest that observed along-strike differences in mantle wedge hydration may be better explained by a northwestward increase in the hydration state of the Cocos plate before it is subducted.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, B.T.R. ); Cochrane, G.C. )

    1990-06-10

    Chemosynthetic benthic communities, which live symbiotically with microbes capable of metabolizing nutrients dissolved in water seeping out of the seafloor, are widespread along the Cascadia subduction zone. These seeps and vents are therefore indicative of one mode of fluid migration out of the subduction zone sediments. The authors have used deep-towed seismic methods, including hydrophones mounted on Alvin, to examine the detailed geologic structure under two of these vent sites. At one of the sites, located on a seaward dipping thrust zone, the benthic communities are associated with a disruption of the subsurface acoustic layering in the thrust zone. It appears that at this site, dewatering is occurring along fractures in the disrupted sediments which connect to permeable layers in the undeformed sediments and not along the main thrust fault. The other site is located near the top of a ridge which has been uplifted by thrusting along a landward dipping thrust. Most of the benthic communities are found to exist at the outcrop of a steeply dipping unconformity between recent slope-basin sediments and the older uplifted sediments, with the unconformity serving as the fluid pathway. Underlying this unconformity at the most active dewatering location is a complexly deformed structure which appears to enhance the flow of fluid to the unconformity. The source of the fluids could be the older uplifted sediments or the recent slope-basin turbidites. In either case the source is shallow, less than about 1 km.

  10. Resonant slow fault slip in subduction zones forced by climatic load stress.

    PubMed

    Lowry, Anthony R

    2006-08-17

    Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements at subduction plate boundaries often record fault movements similar to earthquakes but much slower, occurring over timescales of approximately 1 week to approximately 1 year. These 'slow slip events' have been observed in Japan, Cascadia, Mexico, Alaska and New Zealand. The phenomenon is poorly understood, but several observations hint at the processes underlying slow slip. Although slip itself is silent, seismic instruments often record coincident low-amplitude tremor in a narrow (1-5 cycles per second) frequency range. Also, modelling of GPS data and estimates of tremor location indicate that slip focuses near the transition from unstable ('stick-slip') to stable friction at the deep limit of the earthquake-producing seismogenic zone. Perhaps most intriguingly, slow slip is periodic at several locations, with recurrence varying from 6 to 18 months depending on which subduction zone (or even segment) is examined. Here I show that such periodic slow fault slip may be a resonant response to climate-driven stress perturbations. Fault slip resonance helps to explain why slip events are periodic, why periods differ from place to place, and why slip focuses near the base of the seismogenic zone. Resonant slip should initiate within the rupture zone of future great earthquakes, suggesting that slow slip may illuminate fault properties that control earthquake slip. PMID:16915286

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  12. Dynamic Linkages Between the Transition Zone & Surface Plate Motion in 2D Models of Subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arredondo, K.; Billen, M. I.

    2014-12-01

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

  13. Rheological control in subduction zones: slab dynamics, fluid flow and seismic anisotropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Keken, P. E.; Spiegelman, M.; Wilson, C. R.

    2011-12-01

    The strong temperature, strain-rate and compositional gradients in subduction zones provide extreme challenges to the modeling of their dynamics. Major questions remain regarding the state of stress in the slab, the nature of the downdip transition of the seismogenic zone, the rheological control on the release of fluids and the role of fluids in magma generation, earthquake source processes and the formation of seismic anisotropy. We use high resolution finite element models of convergent margins to address some of these topics. First, we explore the role of fluids on wedge rheology and how the presence or absence of fluids changes the dynamics of the wedge. The presence of fluids in the cold fore-arc may be the cause of trench-parallel anisotropy due to B-type olivine fabric or due to shape preferred orientation by the alignment of serpentinite filled cracks. Second, The cold fore-arc generally extends to where the slab is at ~80 km depth. This depth has a strong sensitivity to the depth where the overriding wedge couples with the slab. Weak phases such as chlorite, serpentinite and talc may play a critical control on the region where the slab remains decoupled, but the strong non-linearities involved make it difficult to determine a single process for all subduction zones. Finally, the increasing metamorphic grade of rocks in the subducting slab cause progressive fluid production, which has been linked to intermediate depth seismicity. The fluids also are considered the primary cause for arc volcanism, but it is not yet clear how the fluids escape from the slab and travel to the zones of arc magmatism. We use a new set of coupled solid state and porous flow models to determine how fluids affect the shear and bulk viscosity of these rocks and how this in turn controls the flow of fluids from the slab.

  14. Seismicity and shallow slab geometry in the central Vanuatu subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baillard, Christian; Crawford, Wayne C.; Ballu, Valérie; Régnier, Marc; Pelletier, Bernard; Garaebiti, Esline

    2015-08-01

    The Vanuatu arc in the southwest Pacific Ocean is one of the world's most seismically active regions, with almost 39 magnitude 7+ earthquakes in the past 43 years. Convergence rates are around 90-120 mm/yr along most of the arc, but drop to 25-43 mm/yr in the central section, probably due to the subduction of the d'Entrecasteaux ridge. We characterize the slab geometry and tectonic state in this central section by analyzing data from a 10 month deployment of 30 seismometers over this section. We located more than 30,000 events (all less than magnitude 5.5), constructed an improved 1-D velocity model, calculated focal mechanisms and cluster geometries, and determined the 3-D geometry of the interplate seismogenic zone. The seismogenic zone has a shallow bulge in front of the d'Entrecasteaux ridge, which could be explained by the ridge's buoyancy contributing to the uplift of the fore-arc islands. The seismogenic zone extends to ~45 km depth, significantly below the 26-27 km depth of the fore-arc Moho, indicating that the upper mantle wedge is not significantly serpentinized, which is consistent with the relatively high thermal parameter of the subducting plate. The maximum width of the seismogenic zone is 80 km, indicating an upper earthquake magnitude limit of Mw 7.85 ± 0.4, assuming standard rupture zone aspect ratios. The data also reveal a double seismic zone, 20 to 30 km below the seismogenic zone, which is presumably caused by flexure of the downgoing plate.

  15. Imaging the Middle America subduction zone with body waves extracted from ambient noise by seismic interferometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  17. Rock strength and fault rheology at the Nankai subduction zone: Insight from laboratory experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitajima, H.; Saffer, D. M.; Takahashi, M.; Otsubo, M.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the wide spectrum of fault slip behaviors observed in continental and subduction faults zones requires investigation of absolute fault strength and fault rheology that are controlled by in-situ stress, strain, pressure, temperature, and chemical conditions. Because the deformation mode and strength of porous rocks are dependent on porosity and effective stress, rapid reduction of sediment porosity from 60-70% to less than 5% should strongly affect deformation style in the shallow portion of subduction zones. Here, we present the results of laboratory experimental studies on modern clay-rich sediments subducting at the Nankai Trough and rocks from the exhumed Shimanto accretionary complex near the Nobeoka thrust, which is an ancient out-of-sequence-thrust, to constrain porosity, rock strength and fault rheology in the Nankai subduction zone. Based on uniaxial and triaxial experiments on mudstones, combined with seismic velocity data from geophysical surveys in the Nankai Trough, estimated porosity along the plate boundary decreases from ~40% at the trench, to ~5% at 50 km from the trench (~8 km depth). This porosity reduction is faster than that expected in a basinal environment, and can be attributed to the effects of horizontal tectonic loading. The phyllites and cataclasites (2-5% porosity) across the Nobeoka thrust fault deform brittlely with a peak strength of 80-90 MPa, followed by strain weakening to residual strengths of 40-60 MPa at effective pressure of 20 MPa and temperature of 250°C. At effective pressure of 120 MPa, on the other hand, they exhibit strain hardening and their strength at 10% strain reaches ~300 MPa. The extrapolation of a brittle-ductile transition for the Nankai mudstones as a function of porosity and confining stress is consistent with the behavior of the ancient prism samples, which serve as an analog for the mechanical behavior of rocks at seismogenic depth in the modern Nankai Trough. These results suggest that as the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suarez, G.; Mortera, C.

    2013-05-01

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

  19. Defining the worst case scenario for the Makran Subduction Zone: the 1008 AD tsunami

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffmann, Goesta

    2016-04-01

    The Makran Subduction Zone is located within the Arabian Sea (Northern Indian Ocean) and marks the boundary between the Arabian and the Eurasian plate. The sinistral strike-slip Sonne fault separates the subduction zone in an eastern and western segment. The convergence rate is about 40 mm/yr and slightly faster in the east than in the west. The seismicity is low in general and the few documented seismic events are concentrated in the eastern segment. No seismic activity is known from the western segment in historic times. The hazard potential is enigmatic as the only documented and recorded tsunamigenic earthquake (MW 8.1) within the subduction zone occurred in Nov 1945. However, thermal modelling suggests a wide potential seismogenic zone, apparently capable of generating very significant (>MW 8.5) tsunamigenic earthquakes. Furthermore, submarine slumping is another tsunami trigger which has to be taken into account. We used the modelling results as a hypothesis and mapped extreme wave event deposits along the coastline of Oman, bordering the Arabian Sea. We were able to document extensive boulder fields along rocky parts of the coastline. These boulders are decorated with marine sessile organism such as e.g oysters or barnacles testifying for an intertidal setting of the boulder prior to dislocation. The organism remains were used for radiocarbon dating assuming that the death of the organism was related to the relocation of the boulder. Storm-induced boulder movement is possible as the coastline is subject to infrequent tropical cyclone impact. However, boulder movement was not observed during the strongest storm on record in 2007. The dating exercise revealed a cluster of dates around 1000 AD, coinciding with a potential earthquake event known from a historic Persian text dating to the year 1008 AD. Archaeological evidence, mainly pottery artefacts found along the sea shore near the capital area Muscat/Oman also indicate a catastrophic event which may be

  20. Permeability anisotropy of serpentinite and fluid pathways in a subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Subduction zones are the only sites where water is transported into the Earth's deep interior. Although the fluid released into the mantle wedge is generally believed to ascend under buoyancy, it is possible that fluid movement is influenced by anisotropic permeability in localized shear zones. The mantle rocks at the plate interface of a subducting slab are subjected to non-coaxial stress and commonly develop a strong foliation. Indeed, the existence of foliated serpentinite is indicated by strong seismic anisotropy in the forearc mantle wedge (e.g., Katayama et al., 2009; Bezacier et al., 2010). Therefore, fluid pathways in the mantle wedge may be controlled by the preferred orientation of highly anisotropic minerals. In this study, we measured the permeability of highly foliated natural serpentinite, in directions parallel and perpendicular to the foliation, and we discuss the influence of permeability anisotropy on fluid flow in subduction zones. The permeability was measured by an intra-vessel deformation and fluid flow apparatus housed at Hiroshima University. In the measurements, we used nitrogen gas as a pore fluid and maintained constant pore pressure during the measurements (Pp < 6 MPa). The obtained gas permeability was then converted to intrinsic permeability using the Klinkenberg effect, which is known to be insensitive to the type of pore fluid. Under low confining pressure, all the experiments show similar permeability, in the order of 10-19 m2. However, permeability anisotropy appears under high confining pressures, with the specimens oriented parallel to the foliation having higher permeability than those oriented normal to the foliation. At a confining pressure of 50 MPa, the difference in permeability between the samples with contrasting orientations reaches several orders of magnitude, possibly reflecting the pore tortuosity of the highly sheared serpentinite, as indicated by the Kozeny-Carman relation. The present experimental data show that

  1. Relationships between Slow Slip and Earthquakes at the Brittle-Ductile Transition of Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brudzinski, M. R.; Colella, H.; Skoumal, R.; Cabral-Cano, E.; Arciniega-Ceballos, A.; Graham, S. E.; DeMets, C.; Sit, S. M.; Holtkamp, S. G.

    2014-12-01

    Following the discovery of episodic tremor and slip, one of the key questions raised is whether the phenomena can be a harbinger of megathrust earthquakes. Several recent large subduction earthquakes have provided an opportunity to investigate this question. The March 20, 2012 Mw 7.4 Ometepec earthquake in southern Mexico represents one such opportunity as it occurred in an area with a joint seismic and geodetic network in the source region that can examine whether patterns in the episodic tremor and slip were related to the earthquake. GPS data indicate that a 5-month-long slow slip episode (SSE) migrated toward and reached the vicinity of the mainshock source zone a few weeks before the earthquake. With multi-station waveform matching of templates constructed from visible aftershock signals, we find an increase in seismic activity during the SSE. The fault patches represented by these templates fill in the gap between the earthquake epicenter and the primary SSE. Analysis of other seismic swarms in Oaxaca near the down-dip end of the seismogenic zone with multi-station template matching also shows an increase in seismicity during SSEs. This evidence adds to a growing number of published accounts that indicate slow slip, whether geodetically or seismically inferred, is becoming a more commonly observed pre-earthquake signature. We use RSQSim earthquake simulations to model these scenarios using a subduction interface with a shallow seismogenic zone, deep SSE zone, and a microseismicity zone in between. Simulations where the microseismicity zone is assigned varying effective normal stresses and slip speeds over small distances generate cases in which microseismicity primarily occurs when a SSE migrates up-dip to the point enough stress is transferred to nucleate an earthquake on elements with a higher effective normal stress. Together these observations support the notion that SSE can trigger traditional earthquakes, not just tremor and low-frequency earthquakes.

  2. Storage of fluids and melts at subduction zones detectable by seismic tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luehr, B. G.; Koulakov, I.; Rabbel, W.; Brotopuspito, K. S.; Surono, S.

    2015-12-01

    During the last decades investigations at active continental margins discovered the link between the subduction of fluid saturated oceanic plates and the process of ascent of these fluids and partial melts forming a magmatic system that leads to volcanism at the earth surface. For this purpose the geophysical structure of the mantle and crustal range above the down going slap has been imaged. Information is required about the slap, the ascent paths, as well as the reservoires of fluids and partial melts in the mantle and the crust up to the volcanoes at the surface. Statistically the distance between the volcanoes of volcanic arcs down to their Wadati Benioff zone results of approximately 100 kilometers in mean value. Surprisingly, this depth range shows pronounced seismicity at most of all subduction zones. Additionally, mineralogical laboratory investigations have shown that dehydration of the diving plate has a maximum at temperature and pressure conditions we find at around 100 km depth. The ascent of the fluids and the appearance of partial melts as well as the distribution of these materials in the crust can be resolved by seismic tomographic methods using records of local natural seismicity. With these methods these areas are corresponding to lowered seismic velocities, high Vp/Vs ratios, as well as increased attenuation of seismic shear waves. The anomalies and their time dependence are controlled by the fluids. The seismic velocity anomalies detected so far are within a range of a few per cent to more than 30% reduction. But, to explore plate boundaries large and complex amphibious experiments are required, in which active and passive seismic investigations should be combined to achieve best results. The seismic station distribution should cover an area from before the trench up to far behind the volcanic chain, to provide under favorable conditions information down to 150 km depth. Findings of different subduction zones will be compared and discussed.

  3. Rupture Dynamics Simulations Along Subduction Zones: Bimaterial Interfaces and Free Surface Interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scala, A.; Vilotte, J. P.; Festa, G.

    2015-12-01

    Largest earthquakes occur along subduction zones, where normal and tangential stress coupling drives the earthquake rupture due to the geometry of the subduction interface between dissimilar materials and the interaction with waves reflected from free surface as the rupture propagates toward the trench. We numerically investigate these effects in the context of dynamic rupture simulations. We revisit the problem of in-plane interface rupture propagation between dissimilar elastic media, in the case of slip-weakening friction, by performing a numerical study using the Spectral Element Method with a non-smooth contact formulation. For classical slip-weakening friction, the problem is ill posed due to a missing length or time scale in the response of the frictional shear stress to dynamic normal stress perturbations. We first perform a parametric study of the regularization formulation proposed by Rubin and Ampuero (2007). We show that the dynamic regularization, driven by local slip rate does not allow for a proper modeling of the asymptotic rupture propagation. We propose a new regularization approach based on the non-local length scale, associated to the actual size of the process zone. Numerical results are shown to be consistent with mathematical modeling of dynamic interface rupture propagation with a process zone ahead of the rupture front. The numerical study is extended to inclined ruptures intersecting a free surface at different angles. We investigate interaction between rupture propagation and stress changes induced by waves reflected from the free surface, in the generation of large interface slip, transient healing and opening effects. Finally, preliminary in-plane dynamic simulations of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, incorporating the along-dip structure and geometry of the subduction interface, are presented enlightening the role of the geometry of the bi-material interface and of the free surface in the rupture propagation and radiation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. Testing mechanisms of subduction zone segmentation and seismogenesis with slip distributions from recent Andean earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loveless, J. P.; Pritchard, M. E.; Kukowski, N.

    2010-11-01

    A long-standing goal of subduction zone earthquake studies is to determine whether or not there are physical processes that control seismogenesis and the along-strike segmentation of the megathrust. Studies of individual earthquakes and global compilations of earthquakes find favorable comparison between coseismic interplate slip distributions and several different long-lived forearc characteristics, such as bathymetry, coastline morphology, crustal structure, and interplate frictional properties, but no single explanation seems to govern the location and slip distribution of all earthquakes. One possible reason for the lack of a unifying explanation is that the inferred earthquake parameters, most importantly the slip distribution, calculated in some areas were inaccurate, blurring correlation between earthquake and physical parameters. In this paper, we seek to test this possibility by comparing accurate slip distributions constrained by multiple datasets along several segments of a single subduction zone with the various physical properties that have been proposed to control or correlate with seismogenesis. We examine the rupture area and slip distribution of 6 recent and historical large ( Mw > 7) earthquakes on the Peru-northern Chile subduction zone. This analysis includes a new slip distribution of the 14 November 2007 Mw = 7.7 earthquake offshore Tocopilla, Chile constrained by teleseismic body wave and InSAR data. In studying the 6 events, we find that no single mechanism can explain the location or extent of rupture of all earthquakes, but analysis of the forearc gravity field and its gradients shows correlation with many of the observed slip patterns, as suggested by previous studies. Additionally, large-scale morphological features including the Nazca Ridge, Arica Bend, Mejillones Peninsula, and transverse crustal fault systems serve as boundaries between distinct earthquake segments.

  6. Inner forearc response to subduction of the Panama Fracture Zone, southern Central America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morell, Kristin D.; Fisher, Donald M.; Gardner, Thomas W.

    2008-01-01

    Subduction of the right-lateral Panama Fracture Zone, along the convergent margin of Central America creates abrupt lateral variations in convergence rate, obliquity, and subducting crustal thickness at its intersection with the Middle America Trench. This intersection, known as the Panama (CO-NZ-CA) Triple Junction, is migrating to the southeast at a rate of 55 mm/yr, and currently coincides with the lateral termination of the Fila Costeña Thrust Belt in the inner forearc of the overriding plate. Mapping in the inner forearc in the area that straddles the subducting Panama Fracture Zone reveals that Cocos-Caribbean convergence west of the triple junction leads to the development of an inner forearc thrust belt inboard of the colliding Cocos Ridge, while little deformation is evident inboard of Nazca-Caribbean convergence, east of the triple junction. This results in the lateral termination of the Fila Costeña Thrust Belt in the region of the forearc that projects over the Panama Fracture Zone, where four out of five mapped thrust faults tip out and are buried by lahars. Three new balanced cross-sections indicate a stee