Science.gov

Sample records for active intra-continental subduction

  1. Tracing Lithospheric Structure Using Flexural Rigidity in South America: Implications for Intra-Continental Deformation and Subduction Geometry.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez-Gussinye, M.; Lowry, A. R.; Watts, A. B.; Phipps Morgan, J.

    2006-12-01

    The effective elastic thickness of the lithosphere, Te, is a proxy for its flexural rigidity, which primarily depends on thermal gradient and composition. As such Te maps reflect lithospheric structure. We present here a new Te map of South America generated using a compilation of satellite and terrestrial gravity data and a multitapered Bouguer coherence technique. Our Te map reflects the terrane structure of the continent, and correlates well with other published proxies for lithospheric structure: areas with high Te have, in general, high mantle shear wave velocity and low heat flow. Te is high (> 70 km) within the old, stable cratonic nuclei (> ~ 1.5 Ga old); lower Te occurs in areas repeatedly reactivated as major sutures, rift zones and at sites of hotspot magmatism. These areas concentrate most of the intracontinental seismicity and have high heat flow and low seismic velocity, implying that intra-continental deformation repeatedly focuses within thin, hot and hence weak lithosphere and that cratonic interiors are strong enough to inhibit tectonism. Along the Andean chain, Te illuminates interactions between the subducting slab and the pre-existing terrane structure. In the forearc, conductive cooling of the upper plate by the subducting slab primarily controls the rigidity, so that Te is largest (~ 40 km) where the oceanic plate is oldest and coldest (~ 20° S). In the central Andes, Te is relatively low (~ 20 km) along the volcanic chain and the Altiplano and Puna plateaus. We interpret these low Te values to reflect a shallow (70-100 km), hot and possible water-saturated asthenosphere that may extend to the western limit of the Eastern cordillera. Finally, regions of flat slab, located to the North and South of the plateaus, are characterized by high Te. Based on published tomographic results which indicate that the upper plate in the Chile flat slab segment is cratonic, we suggest that the lithospheric structure of the upper plate may influence the

  2. Continental subduction induced tremor activity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tai, H. J.; Chen, K. H.; Ide, S.; Mouyen, M.; Byrne, T. B.

    2015-12-01

    Southern Central Range of Taiwan, a place where deep-seated tectonic tremors (a proxy of slow slip) and earthquake swarms are closely located in space and highly correlated in time, provides rare opportunity towards the understanding of physical mechanisms governing different style of slip. To identify tremor events, we used the identification scheme similar to Ide et al. (2015) but applied slightly different techniques: (1) Higher waveform cross-correlation coefficient (>0.6) (2) careful visual inspection for excluding local earthquakes and short-lasted event (duration < 60 s) (3) Signal to noise ratio higher than 1.2 and lower than 30 (4) No spatio-temporal clustering technique used. During the study period of 2007-2012, we identified 2320 tremor events with duration ranging from 60 s to 1550 s. They are located underneath southern Central Range, forming a NS-striking and SE-dipping pipe-like structure at a depth of 20-40 km. The up-dip extension of this tremor structure reaches an aseismic zone under the western flank of Central Range at shallow depths, where is an area characterized by high heat flow, low Vp and Vs anomaly. Such seismic gap was explained by the buoyancy induced crust detachment during continental subduction of Eurasian Plate. This detachment may open a new channel for hot and ductile material ascending to shallow depth, producing high temperatures along the way. This provides a common mechanism for down-dip tremor and up-dip shallow seismic gap along the same eastern dipping channel. In addition, the tremor events are found to be mostly occurred in high tides and exhibit higher correlation with tide data from west coast of Taiwan. This may again imply the association between tremor activity and subduction of Eurasian Plate.

  3. The Characteristics of Intra-continental Deformation and Hydrocarbon Distribution Controlled by the Himalayan Tectonic Movements in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    JIA, Chengzao

    Based on previous studies and the latest insights from recent petroleum exploration programs, we propose that the characteristics of intra-continental deformation and its distribution, caused by the Himalayan tectonic movements, are controlled by basement framework formed by a collage of microcratons and lithotectonic terranes and dynamic factors such as the Indian/Eurasia collision and subduction of the Pacific plate. The evolution of Himalayan tectonic movements can be resolved by three principal dynamic mechanisms: (1) the uplift of Tibetan Plateau, (2) the coupling of orogenic belts and basins surrounding the Tibetan Plateau, and (3) extensional tectonics in eastern China. The tectonic framework and deformation that resulted from the Himalayan tectonic movements are mainly embodied in four tectonic domains: (1) the uplifted regions of the Tibetan Plateau, (2) the basin-and-range coupling of peripheral Tibetan Plateau, (3) stable regions, and (4) regions of active rifting along the western circum-Pacific margin. Sedimentary basins formed during the Himalayan tectonic movements, can be assorted into three categories: (1) rift basins due to extensional tectonics in east China, such as Bohai Bay Basin and Songliao Basin; (2) basins in central China, controlled by eastward compression of the Tibetan Plateau, which are characteristic of thrusting of basin margin and uplift-denudation in basins; (3) basins in west China such as the Tarim, Junggar and Qaidam Basins, which are associated with north-directed compression and exhibit thrust movements and flexural subsidence along basin margins. Their structural style is that of basin-and-range type. We conclude that Himalayan tectonic movements may have controlled the late hydrocarbon accumulation in China.

  4. Evidence for Active Subduction Beneath Gibraltar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutscher, M.; Malod, J. A.; Rehault, J.; Contrucci, I. M.; Klingelhoefer, F.; Victor, L. M.; Spakman, W.

    2002-12-01

    The Gibraltar arc encompasses the Betic - Rif mountain belts with outward directed thrusting, surrounding a zone of strong Neogene subsidence and crustal thinning in the Western Alboran Sea. The SISMAR marine seismic survey conducted in April 2001 acquired over 3000 km of 360-channel seismic data with a 4.5 km long streamer and 1000 km of wide-angle data recorded by ocean bottom seismometers (OBS), completely spanning the actively deforming region between the margins of Portugal and northwest Morocco. We report on results from this seismic survey which reveal a thick chaotic sedimentary mass west of Gibraltar to be an actively deforming accretionary wedge, with east dipping thrust faults disrupting the seafloor and soleing out to an east dipping decollement. New travel-time tomographic results image a continuous east dipping body with high seismic velocities (i.e. a cold slab of oceanic lithosphere) descending from the Atlantic domain of the Gulf of Cadiz, passing through intermediate depth (60 - 120 km) seismicity beneath the Gibraltar Arc and Western Alboran Sea, and merging with a region of deep focus earthquakes 600 - 660 km below Granada Spain. Together these provide compelling evidence for an active east dipping subduction zone. Slab rollback towards the west provides a plausible mechanism for extension and subsidence in the Alboran Sea, while the associated westward advance of the Gibraltar Arc drives compressional deformation in the accretionary wedge where active mud volcanoes have recently been discovered. Active subduction beneath Gibraltar should be considered as a possible candidate for the source of the destructive Lisbon great earthquake (M 8.5-9) and tsunami of 1755 which ravaged the coast of the Gulf of Cadiz.

  5. Subduction Variability Along the Active Chilean Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reichert, C. J.; Barckhausen, U.; Bartsch, H.; Block, M.; Boennemann, C.; Diaz-Naveas, J. L.; Flueh, E. R.; Delisle, G.; Gaedicke, C.; Kopp, H.; Krawczyk, C. M.; Kus, J.; Ladage, S.; Ranero, C.; Schreckenberger, B.; Stoll, J. B.; Urbina, O.; Wiedicke-Hombach, M.

    2002-12-01

    The presence of different subduction modes in the convergence process between the Nazca and South-American plates along the Chilean margin is known from previous investigations. In order to study this variability in detail a comprehensive combined off- and onshore geo-scientific survey (SPOC) was recently conducted between Coquimbo and Valdivia in collaboration between a number of German and Chilean institutions. Major focus was also put on the structure of the sedimentary forearc basins and the distribution of gas hydrates along the slope. SPOC is the successor project to a similar experiment named CINCA that was earlier performed in the far north of Chile between Arica and Taltal. The SPOC results clearly show a change in subduction mode at about 33 deg S where the Juan Fernandez Ridge presently strikes the margin. North of that latitude, structural features such as extensional fracturing of the continental slope, very little or almost no sedimentary trench fill, intensive block faulting of the oceanic crust, a missing accretionary wedge, a very narrow shelf and other facts provide evidence for subduction erosion in that region. South of 33 deg S, we observed significantly steeper frontal slope angles and much less inclination of the oceanic crust toward the trench. In general, the topography of the oceanic crust is relatively smooth with the exception of several seamounts and fracture zones. Moreover, the width of the trench and of the shelf significantly widens toward the south, and pronounced forearc basins developed. Compared to the thick sedimentary trench fill of up to 2 km a very narrow accretionary wedge was encountered. Preliminary mass balancing combined with the assumption that the high present convergence rate occurred also in the past suggests that the bulk of the trench sediments is removed by subduction. Thus, accretionary processes can play only a subordinate or intermittent role. Geological seafloor samples support the assumption that small- to

  6. The Cryogenian intra-continental rifting of Rodinia: Evidence from the Laurentian margin in eastern North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McClellan, Elizabeth; Gazel, Esteban

    2014-10-01

    The geologic history of the eastern North American (Laurentian) margin encompasses two complete Wilson cycles that brought about the assembly and subsequent disaggregation of two supercontinents, Rodinia and Pangea. In the southern and central Appalachian region, basement rocks were affected by two episodes of crustal extension separated by > 100 m.y.; a Cryogenian phase spanning the interval 765-700 Ma and an Ediacaran event at ~ 565 Ma. During the Cryogenian phase, the Mesoproterozoic continental crust was intruded by numerous A-type felsic plutons and extensional mafic dikes. At ~ 760-750 Ma a bimodal volcanic sequence erupted onto the uplifted and eroded basement. This sequence, known as the Mount Rogers Formation (MRF), comprises a bimodal basalt-rhyolite lower section and an upper section of dominantly peralkaline rhyolitic sheets. Here, we provide new geochemical evidence from the well-preserved volcanic rocks of the Cryogenian lower MRF, with the goal of elucidating the process that induced the initial stage of the break-up of Rodinia and how this affected the evolution of the eastern Laurentian margin. The geochemical compositions of the Cryogenian lavas are remarkably similar to modern continental intra-plate settings (e.g., East African Rift, Yellowstone-Snake River Plain). Geochemical, geophysical and tectonic evidence suggests that the common denominator controlling the melting processes in these settings is deep mantle plume activity. Thus, evidence from the MRF suggests that the initial phase of extension of the Laurentian margin at ~ 760-750 Ma was possibly triggered by mantle plume activity. It is possible that lithospheric weakness caused by a mantle plume that impacted Rodinia triggered the regional extension and produced the intra-continental rifting that preceded the breakup of the Laurentian margin.

  7. The Southern Mariana Forearc: An Active Subduction Initiation (SI) Analogue

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, R. J.; Bloomer, S. H.; Brounce, M. N.; Ishii, T.; Ishizuka, O.; Kelley, K. A.; Martinez, F.; Ohara, Y.; Pujana, I.; Reagan, M. K.; Ribeiro, J.

    2014-12-01

    It is important to understand how new subduction zones form. Some subduction zones begin spontaneously, with sinking of dense oceanic lithosphere adjacent to a lithospheric weakness. The Eocene evolution of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana convergent margin is the type example of this process, with an increasingly well-documented evolution including results from IODP 352 drilling. A lack of any active examples of spontaneous SI hinders our understanding, but our studies of the evolution of the southernmost Mariana convergent margin provides important insights. Here the Mariana Trough backarc basin terminates against the Challenger Deep trench segment, where it has opened ~250 km in the past ~4 Ma. This corresponds to GPS opening rate of ~4.5cm/y at the latitude of Guam (Kato et al., 2003). This newly formed and rapidy widening margin faces the NW-converging Pacific plate and causes it to contort and tear. Pacific plate continues to move NW but the upper plate response is illustrative of a newly formed subduction zone. Slab-related earthquakes can be identified to ~200 km deep beneath this margin; with convergence rate of 3cm/yr, this may reflect no more than 7 Ma of subduction. The usual well-defined magmatic arc is missing; its position ~100 km above the subducted slab is occupied by the magma-rich (inflated) Malaguana-Gadao Ridge (MGR), and hydrous MORB-like basalts with ~2 wt. % H2O have erupted unusually close to the trench where they overly mantle peridotites ~6 km water depth. HMR-1 sonar backscatter mapping reveals a chaotic fabric that is at a high angle to the trend of the MGR to the east but is concordant to the west. This unusual spreading fabric may have formed by chaotic upper plate extension in response to rapid rollback of the short, narrow Pacific slab in a manner similar to that thought to occur during SI. Further interdisciplinary studies are needed to understand this rapidly-evolving tectono-magmatic province and what it can teach us about SI.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Active Subduction on Both Coasts of Costa Rica Does not Represent an Important Tsunami Hazard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Protti, M.; Gonzalez, V.

    2007-05-01

    Costa Rica, on the southern terminus of the Middle American Trench is being affected by active subduction on both, along the Pacific coast as well as on its Caribbean coast. Three main subduction segments can be recognized along the Pacific coast: 1) under northwestern Costa Rica, off Papagayo Gulf and Nicoya peninsula, the Cocos plate is subducting under the Caribbean plate; 2) under southern Costa Rica (Osa and Burica peninsulas) the Cocos plate subducts under the Panama Block and 3) in the central Pacific coast (between Nicoya and Osa peninsulas) the Cocos plate subducts under a shear zone that marks the transition between the Caribbean and the Cocos plate. Along the Caribbean coast, south of Puerto Limon, the Caribbean plate subducts under the Panama block. Large subduction earthquakes occur under the Nicoya peninsula, Osa peninsula and south of Limon. Most of the rupture area of these large events lies below land so the deformation of the ocean floor is minimal and therefore the tsunamis they generate are small. No large subduction earthquakes occur under the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica due to the subduction of small sea mounts that act as small asperities without potential to accumulate large amounts of slip. For this reason the region between Nicoya and Osa peninsulas is not an important tsunamigenic zone.

  11. High -Temperature melting in intra-continental settings - insight from numerical modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorczyk, Weronika; Hobbs, Bruce; Gonzalez, Christopher; Smithies, Hugh

    2015-04-01

    Most of intra-continental melting is associated with interaction of deep mantle plume with mantle lithosphere. Vast amount of mafic/felsic intra-plate intrusions are located along post-collisional lines, where for longer periods of time regional tectonic conditions are more likely to be (weakly) compressional to transpressional, and more rarely extensional. Arrival of the asthenosphere-derived plume would suggest initiation of extension along the weak/post-collision zone. Alternatively, in compressional regime a surprisingly large range of instabilities can develop that lead to melting of the lower crust and mantle lithosphere. Unexpected structural complexity arises which is quite sensitive to the geometry and rheological properties. This has dramatic effects on melting and devolatilisation within the lithosphere and hence in the localisation of and melt emplacement. Melts extracted in theses circumstances lead to emplacement of all variety of magmas: mafic, intermediate and felsic, from wide range of PT conditions. In order to investigate theses intra-plate sites of deformation, melt production and crustal growth in relation to pre-worked lithospheric crust we performed a series of 2D numerical experiments by using a coupled petrological - thermomechanical numerical model. The model includes, stable mineralogy, aqueous fluid transport, partial melting, melt extraction and melt emplacement in form of extrusive volcanics and intrusive plutons. As a case study we will present Musgrave Orogeny in Central Australia. The Musgrave Province developed at the nexus of the North, West and South Australian cratons and its Mesoproterozoic evolution incorporates a 100 Ma period of ultra-high temperature (UHT) metamorphism from ca. 1220 to ca. 1120 Ma. This was accompanied by high-temperature A-type granitic magmatism over an 80 Ma period, sourced in part from mantle-derived components and emplaced as a series of pulsed events that also coincide with peaks in UHT metamorphism

  12. Locked and loading megathrust linked to active subduction beneath the Indo-Burman Ranges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steckler, Michael S.; Mondal, Dhiman Ranjan; Akhter, Syed Humayun; Seeber, Leonardo; Feng, Lujia; Gale, Jonathan; Hill, Emma M.; Howe, Michael

    2016-08-01

    The Indo-Burman mountain ranges mark the boundary between the Indian and Eurasian plates, north of the Sumatra-Andaman subduction zone. Whether subduction still occurs along this subaerial section of the plate boundary, with 46 mm yr-1 of highly oblique motion, is contentious. About 21 mm yr-1 of shear motion is taken up along the Sagaing Fault, on the eastern margin of the deformation zone. It has been suggested that the remainder of the relative motion is taken up largely or entirely by horizontal strike-slip faulting and that subduction has stopped. Here we present GPS measurements of plate motions in Bangladesh, combined with measurements from Myanmar and northeast India, taking advantage of a more than 300 km subaerial accretionary prism spanning the Indo-Burman Ranges to the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta. They reveal 13-17 mm yr-1 of plate convergence on an active, shallowly dipping and locked megathrust fault. Most of the strike-slip motion occurs on a few steep faults, consistent with patterns of strain partitioning in subduction zones. Our results strongly suggest that subduction in this region is active, despite the highly oblique plate motion and thick sediments. We suggest that the presence of a locked megathrust plate boundary represents an underappreciated hazard in one of the most densely populated regions of the world.

  13. 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

    2016-10-01

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynard, Bruno

    2013-04-01

    inclusions in arc lavas. High electrical conductivities up to 1 S/m in the hydrated wedge of the hot subductions (Ryukyu, Kyushu, Cascadia) reflect high fluid concentration, while low to moderate (<0.01 S/m) conductivities in the cold subductions (N-E Japan, Bolivia) reflect low fluid flow. This is consistent with the seismic observations of extensive shallow serpentinization in hot subduction zones, while serpentinization is sluggish in cold subduction zones. Bezacier, L., et al. 2010. Elasticity of antigorite, seismic detection of serpentinites, and anisotropy in subduction zones. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 289, 198-208. Reynard, B., 2012. Serpentine in active subduction zones. Lithos, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lithos.2012.10.012. Reynard, B., Mibe, K. & Van de Moortele, B., 2011. Electrical conductivity of the serpentinised mantle and fluid flow in subduction zones. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 307, 387-394. Reynard, B., Nakajima, J. & Kawakatsu, H., 2010. Earthquakes and plastic deformation of anhydrous slab mantle in double Wadati-Benioff zones. Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L24309.

  15. Imaging the transition from Aleutian subduction to Yakutat collision in central Alaska, with local earthquakes and active source data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eberhart-Phillips, D.; Christensen, D.H.; Brocher, T.M.; Hansen, R.; Ruppert, N.A.; Haeussler, P.J.; Abers, G.A.

    2006-01-01

    In southern and central Alaska the subduction and active volcanism of the Aleutian subduction zone give way to a broad plate boundary zone with mountain building and strike-slip faulting, where the Yakutat terrane joins the subducting Pacific plate. The interplay of these tectonic elements can be best understood by considering the entire region in three dimensions. We image three-dimensional seismic velocity using abundant local earthquakes, supplemented by active source data. Crustal low-velocity correlates with basins. The Denali fault zone is a dominant feature with a change in crustal thickness across the fault. A relatively high-velocity subducted slab and a low-velocity mantle wedge are observed, and high Vp/Vs beneath the active volcanic systems, which indicates focusing of partial melt. North of Cook Inlet, the subducted Yakutat slab is characterized by a thick low-velocity, high-Vp/Vs, crust. High-velocity material above the Yakutat slab may represent a residual older slab, which inhibits vertical flow of Yakutat subduction fluids. Alternate lateral flow allows Yakutat subduction fluids to contribute to Cook Inlet volcanism and the Wrangell volcanic field. The apparent northeast edge of the subducted Yakutat slab is southwest of the Wrangell volcanics, which have adakitic composition consistent with melting of this Yakutat slab edge. In the mantle, the Yakutat slab is subducting with the Pacific plate, while at shallower depths the Yakutat slab overthrusts the shallow Pacific plate along the Transition fault. This region of crustal doubling within the shallow slab is associated with extremely strong plate coupling and the primary asperity of the Mw 9.2 great 1964 earthquake. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

  16. Geomorphic Indices in the Assessment of Tectonic Activity in Forearc of the Active Mexican Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaidzik, K.; Ramirez-Herrera, M. T.

    2015-12-01

    Rapid development of GIS techniques and constant advancement of digital elevation models significantly improved the accuracy of extraction of information on active tectonics from landscape features. Numerous attempts were made to quantitatively evaluate recent tectonic activity using GIS and DEMs, and a set of geomorphic indices (GI), however these studies focused mainly on sub-basins or small-scale areal units. In forearc regions where crustal deformation is usually large-scale and do not concentrate only along one specific fault, an assessment of the complete basin is more accurate. We present here the first attempt to implement thirteen GI in the assessment of active tectonics of a forearc region of an active convergent margin using the entire river basins. The GIs were divided into groups: BTAI - basin geomorphic indices (reflecting areal erosion vs. tectonics) and STAI - stream geomorphic indices (reflecting vertical erosion vs. tectonics). We calculated selected indices for 9 large (> 450 km2) drainage basins. Then we categorized the obtained results of each index into three classes of relative tectonic activity: 1 - high, 2 - moderate, and 3 - low. Finally we averaged these classes for each basin to determine the tectonic activity level (TAI). The analysis for the case study area, the Guerrero sector at the Mexican subduction zone, revealed high tectonic activity in this area, particularly in its central and, to a lesser degree, eastern part. This pattern agrees with and is supported by interpretation of satellite images and DEM, and field observations. The results proved that the proposed approach indeed allows identification and recognition of areas witnessing recent tectonic deformation. Moreover, our results indicated that, even though no large earthquake has been recorded in this sector for more than 100 years, the area is highly active and may represent a seismic hazard for the region.

  17. Models of Active Glacial Isostasy Roofing Warm Subduction: Case of the South Patagonian Ice Field

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klemann, Volker; Ivins, Erik R.; Martinec, Zdenek; Wolf, Detlef

    2007-01-01

    Modern geodetic techniques such as precise Global Positioning System (GPS) and high-resolution space gravity mapping (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, GRACE) make it possible to measure the present-day rate of viscoelastic gravitational Earth response to present and past glacier mass changes. The Andes of Patagonia contain glacial environments of dramatic mass change. These mass load changes occur near a tectonically active boundary between the Antarctic and South American plates. The mechanical strength of the continental side of this boundary is influenced by Neogene ridge subduction and by the subduction of a youthful oceanic slab. A ridge of young volcanos parallels the Pacific coastline. Release of volatiles (such as water) at depth along this ridge creates a unique rheological environment. To assess the influence of this rheological ridge structure on the observational land uplift rate, we apply a two dimensional viscoelastic Earth model. A numerical study is presented which examines the sensitivity of the glacial loading-unloading response to the complex structure at depth related to the subducting slab, the viscous wedge between slab and continental lithosphere, and the increase of elastic thickness from oceanic to continental lithosphere. A key feature revealed by our numerical experiments is a continuum flow wherein the slab subdues the material transport toward oceanic mantle and crust. The restricted flow is sensitive to the details of slab mechanical strength and penetration into the upper mantle. The reduced viscosity within the mantle wedge, however, enhances the load-induced material transport everywhere within the asthenosphere.

  18. Deformation of the Calabrian Arc subduction complex and its relation to STEP activity at depth.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polonia, Alina; Wortel, Rinus; Nijholt, Nicolai; Govers, Rob; Torelli, Luigi

    2015-04-01

    Propagating tear faults at the edge of subducted slabs ("Subduction transform edge propagator", STEP) are an intrinsic part of lithospheric plate dynamics. The surface expression of a STEP is generally not known yet, and is expected to vary significantly from one region to the other. We choose the Sicily -Calabria-Ionian Sea region, of which the lithosphere-upper mantle structure has the characteristics of a STEP zone, as a study area. The area has a very prominent accretionary wedge, the formation and subsequent deformation of which presumably were affected by the STEP activity at depth. In this contribution, we use seismic data on the near surface structure and deformation in combination with numerical model results to investigate the relation between deep STEP activity and near surface expression. Prominent features in the surface tectonics are the Malta escarpment (with predominantly normal faulting), the newly identified Ionian Fault and Alfeo-Etna fault system, and a distinct longitudinal division of the wedge into a western and an eastern lobe (Polonia et al., Tectonics, 2011). The two lobes are characterized by different structural style, deformation rates and basal detachment depths. Numerical model results indicate that the regional lithospheric structure, such as the orientation of the eastern passive (albeit subsequently activated) margin of Sicily relative to the Calabrian subduction zone, has a profound effect on possible fault activity along the Malta escarpment. Fault activity along the above primary fault structures may have varied in time, implying the possibility of intermittent activity. Interpreting seismicity in the context of a possible STEP, and the accompanying deformation zone at or near the surface, is not (yet) straightforward. Although direct evidence for recognizing all aspects of STEP activity is - as usual - lacking, a comparison with two well-known STEP regions, the northern part of the Tonga subduction zone and southern part of the

  19. Evidence for crustal contamination in intra-continental OIB-like basalts from West Qinling, central China: A Re-Os perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiaowei; Li, Jie; Bader, Thomas; Mo, Xuanxue; Scheltens, Mark; Chen, Zhenyu; Xu, Jifeng; Yu, Xuehui; Huang, Xiongfei

    2015-02-01

    The magnitude of crustal contamination in intra-continental OIB-like basalts is commonly difficult to assess in terms of major, trace-element and Pb-Sr-Nd isotopes. However, the Re-Os isotope system is a very sensitive tracer of the crustal component during formation of basaltic rocks. Here we report new Sr-Nd-Pb-Os geochemical and isotopic data from the Cretaceous Duofutun Volcanic Rocks (DVRs) of West Qinling, central China. The DVRs exhibit low Os abundances (4.46-42.02 ppt) with Re abundances ranging from 45.58 to 812.98 ppt, variably high Re/Os (3-126), and high initial 187Os/188Os ratios (0.2112-0.6784). We propose that the degree of partial melting is responsible for the first-order control on the variation of Os concentrations. Even the least radiogenic sample still possesses a higher initial 187Os/188Os ratio than the primitive upper mantle, implying a non-negligible contribution from high Re/Os and 187Os/188Os reservoir(s). Both the crust and pyroxenite-rich mantle are reliable candidates, but the latter cannot be reconciled with the Os mass balance between pyroxenite and ambient peridotite. Hence, we contend that these rocks were contaminated by crustal materials en route to the surface. Assimilation/fractional crystallization modeling manifests the observed isotopic variations can be produced by minor assimilation of the Proterozoic mafic lower crust. In addition, the intra-continental OIB-like basalts show a relatively wider range of 187Os/188Os ratios in comparison with MORB and OIB, confirming the continental crust can have a higher concentration of radioactive Os, which is induced by time-integrated growth.

  20. Earthquake swarm activity in the Oaxaca segment of Middle American Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Upper plate deformation and seismic barrier in front of Nazca subduction zone: The Chololo Fault System and active tectonics along the Coastal Cordillera, southern Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Audin, Laurence; Lacan, Pierre; Tavera, Hernando; Bondoux, Francis

    2008-11-01

    The South America plate boundary is one of the most active subduction zone. The recent Mw = 8.4 Arequipa 2001 earthquake ruptured the subduction plane toward the south over 400 km and stopped abruptly on the Ilo Peninsula. In this exact region, the subduction seismic crisis induced the reactivation of continental fault systems in the coastal area. We studied the main reactivated fault system that trends perpendicular to the trench by detailed mapping of fault related-geomorphic features. Also, at a longer time scale, a recurrent Quaternary transtensive tectonic activity of the CFS is expressed by offset river gullies and alluvial fans. The presence of such extensional fault systems trending orthogonal to the trench along the Coastal Cordillera in southern Peru is interpreted to reflect a strong coupling between the two plates. In this particular case, stress transfer to the upper plate, at least along the coastal fringe, appears to have induced crustal seismic events that were initiated mainly during and after the 2001 earthquake. The seafloor roughness of the subducting plate is usually thought to be a cause of segmentation along subduction zones. However, after comparing and discussing the role of inherited structures within the upper plate to the subduction zone segmentation in southern Peru, we suggest that the continental structure itself may exert some feedback control on the segmentation of the subduction zone and thus participate to define the rupture pattern of major subduction earthquakes along the southern Peru continental margin.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Halogenated organic matter buried in marine subsurface sediment may serve as a source of electron acceptors for anaerobic respiration of subseafloor microbes. Detection of a diverse array of reductive dehalogenase-homologous (rdhA) genes suggests that subseafloor organohalide-respiring microbial communities may play significant ecological roles in the biogeochemical carbon and halogen cycle in the subseafloor biosphere. We report here the spatial distribution of dehalogenation activity in the Nankai Trough plate-subduction zone of the northwest Pacific off the Kii Peninsula of Japan. Incubation experiments with slurries of sediment collected at various depths and locations showed that degradation of several organohalides tested only occurred in the shallow sedimentary basin, down to 4.7 metres below the seafloor, despite detection of rdhA in the deeper sediments. We studied the phylogenetic diversity of the metabolically active microbes in positive enrichment cultures by extracting RNA, and found that Desulfuromonadales bacteria predominate. In addition, for the isolation of genes involved in the dehalogenation reaction, we performed a substrate-induced gene expression screening on DNA extracted from the enrichment cultures. Diverse DNA fragments were obtained and some of them showed best BLAST hit to known organohalide respirers such as Dehalococcoides, whereas no functionally known dehalogenation-related genes such as rdhA were found, indicating the need to improve the molecular approach to assess functional genes for organohalide respiration. PMID:23479745

  4. Subduction & orogeny: Introduction to the special volume

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rolland, Y.; Bosch, D.; Guillot, S.; de Sigoyer, J.; Martinod, J.; Agard, P.; Yamato, P.

    2016-05-01

    Subduction processes play a major role in plate tectonics and the subsequent geological evolution of Earth. This special issue focuses on ongoing research in subduction dynamics to a large extent (oceanic subduction, continental subduction, obduction…) for both past and active subduction zones and into mountain building processes and the early evolution of orogens. It puts together various approaches combining geophysics (imaging of subduction zones), petrology/geochemistry (metamorphic analysis of HP-UHP rocks, fluid geochemistry and magmatic signal, geochronology), seismology and geodesy (present-day evolution of subduction zones, active tectonics), structural geology (structure and evolution of mountain belts), and numerical modelling to provide a full spectrum of tools that can be used to constrain the nature and evolution of subduction processes and orogeny. Studies presented in this special issue range from the long-term (orogenic cycle) to short-term (seismic cycle).

  5. Active and passive-source imaging of the Cascadia subduction zone using both onshore and offshore data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janiszewski, H. A.; Abers, G. A.; Carton, H. D.; Webb, S. C.; Gaherty, J. B.; Trehu, A. M.

    2013-12-01

    The Cascadia subduction zone is characterized by the subduction of young lithosphere with relatively little seismicity, despite evidence of prehistoric earthquakes, and a thick incoming sediment section that feeds the plate interface. It has been suggested that the thrust zone forms a high-porosity channel of near-lithostatic pressure to 40 km depth, but stronger metasediments may also explain many observations. To test these hypotheses, we analyze new data and integrate results from both active and passive-source seismic studies of Cascadia that sample the interplate thrust zone. In June-July 2012, fifteen seismometers were deployed in Washington from the coast to 140 km inland to record airguns from the R/V Langseth along a linear trench-perpendicular profile. We also analyze broadband data from the coincident onshore CAFE (2006-08) broadband high-density array, which provided high-resolution receiver function images of the downgoing plate, and with the offshore Grays Harbor array of the Cascadia Initiative (CI). In the active-source data, arrivals are observed at up to 140 km offset from the stations, the farthest of which are likely turning waves that travel in the slab mantle. Signals from all but the farthest inland stations are dominated by strong reverberating signals at 20-90 km offset. Preliminary calculations indicate that some of these signals have apparent velocity and timing consistent with waves that reflect off the plate interface or just above it. Bounce points for these rays map a zone of high reflectivity extending ~15-20 km on either side of the coastline. Some aspects of the signals may indicate an origin on or near the plate boundary. In addition, these reflections directly underlie CAFE stations where receiver functions have been obtained on land and the CI broadband stations where receiver functions are being obtained offshore, allowing for direct comparison and integration of all three datasets. The CI stations present several challenges

  6. Active Tectonics of Western Turkmenistan; Implications for the Onset of South Caspian Subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollingsworth, J.; Jackson, J.; Priestley, K.

    2007-12-01

    The Kopeh Dagh and Balkan mountain ranges of West Turkmenistan are actively deforming as a result of Arabia- Eurasia collision. We combine observations of the geomorphology made from satellite and topographic data, with historical and recent seismicity to identify major active faults, and how they contribute to regional shortening. Between 55--57.5°E, partitioned (north-vergent) thrust and right-lateral strike-slip fault segments, comprising the Ashkabad fault zone, accommodate regional shortening and the westward-extrusion of the NW Kopeh Dagh-South Caspian block, relative to Central Iran and Eurasia. Reconstruction of displaced geology indicates 35~km total right-lateral motion across the Ashkabad fault zone. The Balkan region lies along-strike of the Ashkabad fault zone, west of 55°E. Fault plane solutions indicate shortening is partitioned onto the Balkan thrust and right-lateral Kum-Dagh fault zones. Thrust earthquakes are relatively deep (30--45~km) and lie along a north-dipping plane which extends 40±5~km north beneath the Balkan anticline. Receiver function data from Turkmenbashi and Nebit Dagh indicate these earthquakes occur in the base of the crust, and may therefore be related to bending of the NW Kopeh Dagh-South Caspian lithosphere as it is overthrust by Eurasia. Movement on a north-dipping blind thrust fault is consistent with the broad asymmetric (south-vergent) fold structure of the Balkan range. Recent uplift is also indicated by extensional faults which displace Quaternary geomorphology along the range crest. South of the Balkan range, right-lateral shear occurs across the Kum-Dagh fault zone which is expressed as a series of right-stepping anticlines (affecting Pliocene Red Series and younger sediments), forming important traps for hydrocarbons. An important structural change occurs near 55°E. To the west, Eurasia overthrusts the NW Kopeh Dagh- South Caspian block, while to the east the polarity of thrusting changes and the Kopeh Dagh

  7. Using glacial morphology to constrain the impact of the Chile active spreading ridge subduction in Central Patagonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scalabrino, B.; Ritz, J. F.; Lagabrielle, Y.

    2009-04-01

    The Central Patagonian Cordillera is a unique laboratory to study interaction between oceanic and continental lithospheres during the subduction of an active spreading ridge beneath a continent. The subduction of the South Chile spreading Ridge, which separates the Nazca plate from the Antarctic plate, started ca. 15-14 Ma at the southern tip of Patagonia (55°S latitude). The northwards migration of the Chile Triple Junction induces the subduction of several segments especially around 46°S latitude. There, three segments subducted at ca. 6, 3 and 0.3 Ma, leading to the formation of a large asthenospheric slab-window beneath Central Patagonia. Contemporaneously, the Central Patagonia reliefs are undergoing major glacial events since at least 7 Ma. These events are evidenced to the east of the Central Patagonian morphotectonic front within perched relict surfaces. Inset in these perched glacial surfaces are found mid-Pleistocene glacial valleys, as the Lake General Carrera-Buenos Aires amphitheatre (LGCBA), which formed between 1.1 Ma and 16 ka. We used the relationships between the glacial valleys and the volcanism associated with the asthenospheric slab-window to better constraints the structural evolution of the Patagonian Cordillera related to the subduction of the Chili active spreading Ridge. The present work focused within two well-preserved perched flat surfaces named Meseta del Lago Buenos Aires and Meseta del Cerro Galera: (i) The meseta del Lago Buenos Aires defines a plateau made of interbedded units of tills and lavas dated between 12 Ma and 3 Ma. The top surface of the meseta, ˜2000 meters high is dated at 3 Ma, and is shaped by four NE-SW trending glacial lobes characterized with kettles, lineations and moraines. The glacial valleys are beheaded westwards and define perched valleys 200 to 400 meters higher than the western Cordillera. This suggests recent vertical movement along N160 extensive/transtensive corridor located between the morphotectonic

  8. Lithosphere-Mantle Interactions Associated with Flat-Slab Subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerault, M.; Becker, T. W.; Husson, L.; Humphreys, E.

    2014-12-01

    Episodes of flat-slab subduction along the western margin of the Americas may have lead to the formation of intra-continental basins and seas, as well as mountain belts and continental plateaux. Here, we explore some of the consequences of a flat slab morphology, linking dynamic topography and stress patterns in continents to slab and mantle dynamics. Using a 2-D cylindrical code, we develop general models and apply them to the North and South America plates. The results are primarily controlled by the coupling along the slab-continent interface (due to geometry and viscosity), the viscosity of the mantle wedge, and the buoyancy of the subducted lithosphere. All models predict broad subsidence, large deviatoric stresses, and horizontal compression above the tip of the flat slab and the deep slab hinge. In models where the slab lays horizontally for hundreds of kilometers, overriding plate compression focuses on both ends of the flat segment, where normal-dip subduction exerts a direct downward pull. In between, a broad low-stress region gets uplifted proportionally to the amount of coupling between the slab and the continent. Anomalously buoyant seafloor enhances this effect but is not required. The downward bending of the flat slab extremities causes its upper part to undergo extension and the lower part to compress. These results have potential for explaining the existence of relatively undeformed, uplifted regions surrounded by mountain belts, such as in the western U.S. and parts of the Andes. Adequately modeling topography and stress in the unusual setting of southwestern Mexico requires a low-viscosity subduction interface and mantle wedge. Our results are only partially controlled by the buoyancy of the subducting plate, suggesting that the viscosity and the morphology of the slab are important, and that the often-used low resolution and "Stokeslet" models may be missing substantial effects.

  9. Transition from collision to subduction in Western Greece: the Katouna-Stamna active fault system and regional kinematics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérouse, E.; Sébrier, M.; Braucher, R.; Chamot-Rooke, N.; Bourlès, D.; Briole, P.; Sorel, D.; Dimitrov, D.; Arsenikos, S.

    2016-06-01

    Transition from subduction to collision occurs in Western Greece and is accommodated along the downgoing plate by the Kefalonia right-lateral fault that transfers the Hellenic subduction front to the Apulian collision front. Here we present an active tectonic study of Aitolo-Akarnania (Western Greece) that highlights how such a transition is accommodated in the overriding plate. Based on new multi-scale geomorphic and tectonic observations, we performed an accurate active fault trace mapping in the region, and provide evidence for active normal and left-lateral faulting along the Katouna-Stamna Fault (KSF), a 65-km-long NNW-striking fault system connecting the Amvrakikos Gulf to the Patras Gulf. We further show that the Cenozoic Hellenide thrusts located west of the KSF are no longer active, either in field observation or in GPS data, leading us to propose that the KSF forms the northeastern boundary of a rigid Ionian Islands-Akarnania Block (IAB). Cosmic ray exposure measurements of 10Be and 36Cl were performed on a Quaternary alluvial fan offset along the KSF (~50 m left-lateral offset). A maximum abandonment age of ~12-14 ka for the alluvial fan surface can be determined, giving an estimated KSF minimum geological left-lateral slip rate of ~4 mm year-1, in agreement with high GPS slip rates (~10 mm year-1). Despite this high slip rate, the KSF is characterized by subdued morphological evidence of tectonic activity, a gypsum-breccia bedrock and a low level of seismicity, suggesting a dominantly creeping behavior for this fault. Finally, we discuss how the IAB appears to have been progressively individualized during the Pleistocene (younger than ~1.5 Ma).

  10. Online Classroom Research and Analysis Activities Using MARGINS-Related Resources for the Izu-Bonin-Mariana Subduction System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, J. G.

    2007-12-01

    Students today have online access to nearly unlimited scientific information in an entirely unfiltered state. As such, they need guidance and training in identifying and assessing high-quality information resources for educational and research use. The extensive research data resources available online for the Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) subduction system that have been developed with MARGINS Program and related NSF funding are an ideal venue for focused Web research exercises that can be tailored to a range of undergraduate geoscience courses. This presentation highlights student web research activities examining: a) The 2003-2005 eruptions of Anatahan Volcano in the Mariana volcanic arc. MARGINS-supported geophysical research teams were in the region when the eruption initiated, permitting a unique "event response" data collection and analysis process, with preliminary results presented online at websites linked to the MARGINS homepage, and ultimately published in a special issue of the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. In this activity, students will conduct a directed Web surf/search effort for information on and datasets from the Anatahan arc volcano, which they will use in an interpretive study of recent magmatic activity in the Mariana arc. This activity is designed as a homework exercise for use in a junior-senior level Petrology course, but could easily be taken into greater depth for the benefit of graduate-level volcanology or geochemistry offerings. b) Geochemical and mineralogical results from ODP Legs 125 and 195 focused on diapiric serpentinite mud volcanoes, which erupt cold, high pH fluids, serpentine muds, and serpentinized ultramafic clasts at a number of sites in the forearc region of the Mariana subduction zone. The focus of this activity is an examination of the trace element chemistry of the forearc serpentines and their associated upwelling porefluids as a means of understanding the roles of ionic radius, valence, and system

  11. Is the Venusian lithosphere subducting?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandwell, David T.; Schubert, Gerald

    1992-01-01

    Using data collected by the Magellan spacecraft, we are exploring the hypothesis that the cooler and more rigid outer layer of Venus (i.e., the lithosphere) is sinking (subducting) into the interior of Venus. If this process is occurring, it provides a mechanism for cooling the interior of Venus and also for recycling the lighter crustal rocks back into the interior. In addition, since subduction zones drive the plate tectonic motion on the Earth, evidence for lithospheric subduction on Venus raises the possibility of limited plate tectonic-like activity on Venus.

  12. Upper plate responses to active spreading ridge/transform subduction: The tectonics, basin evolution, and seismicity of the Taita area, Chile Triple Junction

    SciTech Connect

    Flint, S.; Prior, D. ); Styles, P.; Murdie, R. ); Agar, S.; Turner, P. )

    1993-02-01

    Integrated field geophysical, structural and stratigraphic studies are attempting to elucidate the mechanisms and consequences of the Late Miocene-present day subduction of the Chile Ridge triple junction system. Preliminary data indicate a shallow plane of seismicity at about 15 km to 20 km depth below the Taitao peninsula. The depths correspond to the predicted depth range of subducted upper ocean crust. The calculated Bouguer anomaly map cannot be explained by the upper plate geology, suggesting that gravity is influenced by heterogeneities in the subducting oceanic plate. Seismic data imply that a subducted transform system underlying the inner Taitao Peninsula is still an active structure. A series of Middle-Late Tertiary sedimentary basins lie inboard of the triple junction. Within the Cosmelli basin, abrupt marine to continental facies transitions give clear evidence of base level changes. The amount of basinward shift of facies across sequence boundaries gets progressively greater up stratigraphy, indicating progressively greater base level changes. The lower part of the basin fill is folded and then thrusted eastward as a series of imbricates, while the overlying, greater thickness of fluvial sediments are only gently tilted westwards. We provisionally interpret this geometry to indicate that the early basin fill was deforming due to contractional tectonics while the later basin fill was being deposited. This complex basin history may reflect initiation and development of triple junction subduction.

  13. Active slivering of oceanic crust along the Molucca ridge (Indonesia-Philippine): Implication for ophiolite incorporation in a subduction wedge?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bader, Anne GaëLle; Pubellier, Manuel; Rangin, Claude; Deplus, Christine; Louat, RéMy

    1999-08-01

    A recent marine geophysical survey in the northern Molucca Sea revealed the structure to be that of a classical active convergent margin. We observe from west to east a volcanic arc (Sangihe), a forearc basin resting on an outer ridge (the Molucca ridge), which serves as a buttress for an accretionary wedge, and a composite downgoing plate (Snellius Ridge and Philippine Sea Basin). Gravity modeling indicates a strong negative anomaly above the wedge, which cannot be explained with reasonable density values. Modeling imposes a basement deepening and a rupture of the 700-km-long subducting lithosphere. This process individualized the lithospheric slab from the Snellius Ridge, which in turn was separated recently from the south Philippine Basin by the incipient Philippine Trench. This induces a deformation of the forearc region with backthrusting of the outer ridge and forearc basin, visible on bathymetry and seismic data. We extrapolate the tectonic emplacement of such oceanic blocks to the Oligocene times in order to explain the origin of the Pujada Miangas outer ridge as a sliver previously incorporated to the margin, and we discuss the possibility of this deformation process being fabric for terrane accretion.

  14. Geoscience: Subduction undone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodges, Kip V.

    2017-03-01

    Rocks are subjected to increased pressure as they are buried during subduction. Contrary to general belief, a study suggests that peak pressures recorded in subducted rocks might not reflect their maximum burial depths.

  15. Repeated remobilisation of submarine landslide debris on an active subduction margin interpreted from multibeam bathymetry and multichannel seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mountjoy, J. J.; Barnes, P. M.; McKean, J.; Pettinga, J. R.

    2008-12-01

    EM300 multibeam and multichannel seismic data reveal a 230 square kilometre submarine landslide complex which exhibits many of the characteristic features of equivalent terrestrial creeping earthflow complexes. Slope failures are sourced from the shelf edge/upper slope of the Poverty Bay reentrant on the active Hikurangi subduction margin of New Zealand where tectonic deformation, via major thrust faults with slip rates of c. 3-4 mm/yr, exerts a controlling influence on seafloor physiography. Individual landslides within this submarine complex are up to 14 km long over a vertical elevation drop of 700 m. Debris streams are in excess of 2 km wide with a debris thickness of 100 m. While multibeam data is limited to c. 10 m resolution, the scale of submarine landslide features allows us to resolve internal debris detail equivalent to terrestrial landslide examples using terrestrial techniques (e.g. airborne lidar). DEM derivative surface roughness techniques are employed to delineate the geomorphic expression of features including active and abandoned lateral shears, and contractional and extensional deformation of the landslide debris. From these interpretations multiple internal failures are recognised along the length of the landslide debris. Debris deformation is also imaged in high fold multichannel seismic data and correlated to the imaged surface geomorphic features, providing insight into the failure mechanics of the landslides. Failures initiate and evolve within the quasi-stable prograding sediment wedge built onto the upper slope during lowstand sealevels. Landslides within the greater complex are at different stages of development providing information on their spatial and temporal evolution headward and laterally along the transition from shelf to upper slope margin. We infer that failures are triggered and evolve in response to sealevel rise, and/or the frequent occurrence large earthquakes along the margin.

  16. Kolumbo submarine volcano (Greece): An active window into the Aegean subduction system.

    PubMed

    Rizzo, Andrea Luca; Caracausi, Antonio; Chavagnac, Valèrie; Nomikou, Paraskevi; Polymenakou, Paraskevi N; Mandalakis, Manolis; Kotoulas, Georgios; Magoulas, Antonios; Castillo, Alain; Lampridou, Danai

    2016-06-17

    Submarine volcanism represents ~80% of the volcanic activity on Earth and is an important source of mantle-derived gases. These gases are of basic importance for the comprehension of mantle characteristics in areas where subaerial volcanism is missing or strongly modified by the presence of crustal/atmospheric components. Though, the study of submarine volcanism remains a challenge due to their hazardousness and sea-depth. Here, we report (3)He/(4)He measurements in CO2-dominated gases discharged at 500 m below sea level from the high-temperature (~220 °C) hydrothermal system of the Kolumbo submarine volcano (Greece), located 7 km northeast off Santorini Island in the central part of the Hellenic Volcanic Arc (HVA). We highlight that the mantle below Kolumbo and Santorini has a (3)He/(4)He signature of at least 7.0 Ra (being Ra the (3)He/(4)He ratio of atmospheric He equal to 1.39×10(-6)), 3 Ra units higher than actually known for gases-rocks from Santorini. This ratio is also the highest measured across the HVA and is indicative of the direct degassing of a Mid-Ocean-Ridge-Basalts (MORB)-like mantle through lithospheric faults. We finally highlight that the degassing of high-temperature fluids with a MORB-like (3)He/(4)He ratio corroborates a vigorous outgassing of mantle-derived volatiles with potential hazard at the Kolumbo submarine volcano.

  17. Kolumbo submarine volcano (Greece): An active window into the Aegean subduction system

    PubMed Central

    Rizzo, Andrea Luca; Caracausi, Antonio; Chavagnac, Valèrie; Nomikou, Paraskevi; Polymenakou, Paraskevi N.; Mandalakis, Manolis; Kotoulas, Georgios; Magoulas, Antonios; Castillo, Alain; Lampridou, Danai

    2016-01-01

    Submarine volcanism represents ~80% of the volcanic activity on Earth and is an important source of mantle-derived gases. These gases are of basic importance for the comprehension of mantle characteristics in areas where subaerial volcanism is missing or strongly modified by the presence of crustal/atmospheric components. Though, the study of submarine volcanism remains a challenge due to their hazardousness and sea-depth. Here, we report 3He/4He measurements in CO2–dominated gases discharged at 500 m below sea level from the high-temperature (~220 °C) hydrothermal system of the Kolumbo submarine volcano (Greece), located 7 km northeast off Santorini Island in the central part of the Hellenic Volcanic Arc (HVA). We highlight that the mantle below Kolumbo and Santorini has a 3He/4He signature of at least 7.0 Ra (being Ra the 3He/4He ratio of atmospheric He equal to 1.39×10−6), 3 Ra units higher than actually known for gases-rocks from Santorini. This ratio is also the highest measured across the HVA and is indicative of the direct degassing of a Mid-Ocean-Ridge-Basalts (MORB)-like mantle through lithospheric faults. We finally highlight that the degassing of high-temperature fluids with a MORB-like 3He/4He ratio corroborates a vigorous outgassing of mantle-derived volatiles with potential hazard at the Kolumbo submarine volcano. PMID:27311383

  18. Kolumbo submarine volcano (Greece): An active window into the Aegean subduction system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rizzo, Andrea Luca; Caracausi, Antonio; Chavagnac, Valèrie; Nomikou, Paraskevi; Polymenakou, Paraskevi N.; Mandalakis, Manolis; Kotoulas, Georgios; Magoulas, Antonios; Castillo, Alain; Lampridou, Danai

    2016-06-01

    Submarine volcanism represents ~80% of the volcanic activity on Earth and is an important source of mantle-derived gases. These gases are of basic importance for the comprehension of mantle characteristics in areas where subaerial volcanism is missing or strongly modified by the presence of crustal/atmospheric components. Though, the study of submarine volcanism remains a challenge due to their hazardousness and sea-depth. Here, we report 3He/4He measurements in CO2–dominated gases discharged at 500 m below sea level from the high-temperature (~220 °C) hydrothermal system of the Kolumbo submarine volcano (Greece), located 7 km northeast off Santorini Island in the central part of the Hellenic Volcanic Arc (HVA). We highlight that the mantle below Kolumbo and Santorini has a 3He/4He signature of at least 7.0 Ra (being Ra the 3He/4He ratio of atmospheric He equal to 1.39×10‑6), 3 Ra units higher than actually known for gases-rocks from Santorini. This ratio is also the highest measured across the HVA and is indicative of the direct degassing of a Mid-Ocean-Ridge-Basalts (MORB)-like mantle through lithospheric faults. We finally highlight that the degassing of high-temperature fluids with a MORB-like 3He/4He ratio corroborates a vigorous outgassing of mantle-derived volatiles with potential hazard at the Kolumbo submarine volcano.

  19. Dynamics and Preservation Potential of Subduction Complexes in Continental Sutures: A Case Study from the Sedimentary-Marix Mélange of the Indus-Yarlung Suture Zone in Southern Tibet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metcalf, K.; Kapp, P. A.; Orme, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    Intra-continental sutures are the geologic record of ancient subduction zones. Subduction complexes are a useful record of ancient continental collisions because they preserve sediments and/or blocks from units which have since eroded and are the first point of contact during collision. The India-Asia collision is one of the most-studied collisional orogens, but how much of the original subduction complex is preserved and what we can determine about the dynamics of the ancient subduction zone along the southern margin of Asia is poorly understood. Compared to other subduction complexes around the world, the complex preserved in the Indus Yarlung Suture Zone (IYSZ) of southern Tibet is anomalous. Blueschist facies metamorphism, a prominent mineral assemblage along intra-continental suture zones, is common in the northwest Himalaya, but not found along the central segment of the IYSZ. Most of the subduction complex is greenschist facies, inconsistent with the geotherm for a subduction zone. We present a metamorphic history for the greenschist facies rocks to reconcile this contradiction. A deep forearc basin (~5-8 km) developed during the Cretaceous, requiring an accretionary subduction zone, a topographic or structural outer forearc high behind which to trap sediment, and/or basal subduction erosion. The preserved subduction complex is almost entirely tectonic sedimentary-matrix mélange with minor outcrops of overlying turbidites. We present evidence from detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology of sandstones that indicate along-strike variability in the provenance of the sedimentary-matrix mélange. For example, both lower and upper plate material are present near the town of Ngamring, while regions along-strike to the west contain little to no upper plate material. The blocks in the sedimentary-matrix mélange are well-mixed throughout kilometers of exposed width. Sandstone blocks of Tethyan affinity, which could have entered the trench only at the onset of collision

  20. Subduction of fracture zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

    Since Wilson proposed in 1965 the existence of a new class of faults on the ocean floor, namely transform faults, the geodynamic effects and importance of fracture zone subduction is still little studied. It is known that oceanic plates are characterized by numerous fracture zones, and some of them have the potential to transport into subduction zones large volumes of water-rich serpentinite, providing a fertile water source for magma generated in subduction-related arc volcanoes. In most previous geodynamic studies, subducting plates are considered to be homogeneous, and there is no clear indication how the subduction of a fracture zone influences the melting pattern in the mantle wedge and the slab-derived fluids distribution in the subarc mantle. Here we show that subduction of serpentinized fracture zones plays a significant role in distribution of melt and fluids in the mantle wedge above the slab. Using high-resolution tree-dimensional coupled petrological-termomechanical simulations of subduction, we show that fluids, including melts and water, vary dramatically in the region where a serpentinized fracture zone enters into subduction. Our models show that substantial hydration and partial melting tend to concentrate where fracture zones are being subducted, creating favorable conditions for partially molten hydrous plumes to develop. These results are consistent with the along-arc variability in magma source compositions and processes in several regions, as the Aleutian Arc, the Cascades, the Southern Mexican Volcanic Arc, and the Andean Southern Volcanic Zone.

  1. Fluid flow and water-rock interaction across the active Nankai Trough subduction zone forearc revealed by boron isotope geochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hüpers, Andre; Kasemann, Simone A.; Kopf, Achim J.; Meixner, Anette; Toki, Tomohiro; Shinjo, Ryuichi; Wheat, C. Geoffrey; You, Chen-Feng

    2016-11-01

    Compositional changes, dehydration reactions and fluid flow in subducted sediments influence seismogenesis and arc magmatism in subduction zones. To identify fluid flow and water-rock interaction processes in the western Nankai Trough subduction zone (SW Japan) we analyzed boron concentration and boron isotope composition (δ11B) of pore fluids sampled across the subduction zone forearc from depths of up to ∼922 m below seafloor during four Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expeditions. The major structural regimes that were sampled by coring include: (1) sedimentary inputs, (2) the frontal thrust zone, (3) the megasplay fault zone, and (4) the forearc basin. From mass balance consideration we find that consumption of boron (B) by ash alteration and desorption of B from the solid phase, mediated by organic matter degradation, produces a net decrease in B concentrations with depth down to ∼120 μM and variable δ11B values in the range of ∼+20‰ and +49‰. Interstitial water in sediments on the incoming oceanic plate are influenced by more efficient mobilization of exchangeable B from the solid phase due to higher temperatures and alteration of the oceanic crust that acts as a sink for 10B. At the tip of the megasplay fault zone, elevated B concentration and B isotopic composition suggest that underthrust coarse-grained slope sediments provide a pathway for fluids out of the upper (<2 km) accretionary prism. Silt and sand layers in the underthrust section of the downgoing plate favor fluid escape in seaward direction from depths equivalent to the temperature range of 60-150 °C. At both locations the δ11B signature evolves during updip migration through re-adsorption. Mass balance considerations suggest a shallower fluid source depth compared to pore fluids sampled previously near the décollement zone along the central portion of the Nankai margin.

  2. New features revealed by multi-method seismic imaging of the seismic structure and activity of the Lesser Antilles and Hellenic subduction zones, and their comparison with Tohoku

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirn, A.; Laigle, M.; Sachpazi, M.; Charvis, P.; Flueh, E. R.; Becel, A.; Diaz, J.; Gesret, A.; Galvé, A.; Sapin, M.; Charalampakis, M.; Lebrun, J.; Evain, M.; Ruiz, M.; Kopp, H.; Hello, Y.; Gallart, J.; Kissling, E. H.; Nicolich, R.; Raffaele, R.

    2012-12-01

    The densely populated two subduction zones on the European Union territory, in the western Hellenic and the Lesser Antilles regions have been currently considered as having a low seismic coupling, that is aseismic from the point of view of megathrust earthquakes which have been commonly unexpected there. The occurrence of the 2004 megathrust event in Sumatra, also unexpected, prompted support to our research projects submitted before. The unexpected occurrence of the Tohoku 2011 event since, provides terms of comparison for our results. We applied to both subduction zones specific approaches to the seismic structure and activity by a cluster of active and passive offshore-onshore seismic experiments with Research Vessels, OBS (Ocean Bottom Seismometers) and land seismometer arrays and funding from several countries, coordinated within the "Thales was right" proposal to the European Union action (see also Laigle et al. in session T02, and Sachpazi et al. in the present session). Each of the two studies allows comparing different seismic methods, in their resolution-penetration, and building on their joint use: i) MCS multichannel reflection seismics, ii) OBS and offshore-onshore refraction seismics and shot tomography, iii) Teleseismic converted waves imaging of deep and steep interfaces (e.g. RF, receiver-function), iv) local earthquakes high-resolution location by OBS and land arrays, v) search for non-volcanic tremor and low-frequency earthquakes. A number of features revealed in spite of the much lower level of current seismic activity share a similarity with those originally interpreted in the frame of a largely aseismic subduction zone in Tohoku, for which the occurrence of the 2011 event imposed another view. Such features are: i) the extent of the crust on crust subduction thrust, proxy to the downdip extent of the seismogenic, could be identified and mapped much landward than commonly considered, ii) furthermore, the Tohoku rupture showed the seismogenic

  3. Dynamics of Intra-Continental Convergence Between the Western Tarim Basin and Central Tien Shan Constrained by Centroid Moment Tensors of Regional Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Guo-chin Dino; Roecker, Steven W.; Levin, Vadim; Wang, Haitao; Li, Zhihai

    2016-11-01

    Among the outstanding tectonic questions regarding the convergence between the Tien Shan and Tarim basin in northwestern China are the manner in which deformation is accommodated within their lithospheres, and the extent that the Tarim lithosphere underthrusts the Tien Shan. In particular, the amount and type of deformation within the Tarim basin is poorly understood. It is also uncertain if the convergence between the Tarim and the Tien Shan takes place mainly along a discrete boundary, or if the Tarim lithosphere simply indents into the Kazach shield, forming the Tien Shan through crustal thickening accommodated by a distributed series of thrust faults. In this study we use hypocenters from published earthquake catalogs and waveforms recorded by regional seismic networks to determine earthquake source parameters through regional centroid moment tensor inversion. The entire dataset consists of 160 earthquakes that occurred between 1969 and 2009 and with moment magnitudes between 3.5 and 7 distributed throughout the central Tien Shan and northwestern Tarim Basin. The estimated focal depths of these earthquakes range from the near-surface to about 44 km. Focal mechanisms throughout much of the Tien Shan indicate active deformation accommodated by thrust faults from at least the upper crust to 30 km depth. South of the Tien Shan, the Jia-shi earthquake sequence within the Tarim basin suggests that both crustal shortening and localized flexure are part of a complicated process involving rotational convergence. Inside the Tarim basin, two earthquakes with thrust faulting mechanisms near the crust-mantle boundary beneath the Bachu uplift imply a brittle rheology of the lower crust. High-angle thrust events occur broadly across the Tien Shan, suggesting that the Tarim lithosphere as a whole is strong and indents into the Kazach shield to create the mountain range.

  4. Fluid pathways in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

    A large amount of water captured in the oceanic crust and mantle is recycled in subduction zones. Upon compaction and heating most fluids are expelled, but a significant amount of water can be carried in hydrated mineral phases and point defects. While the qualitative role of volatiles and dehydration reactions is well appreciated in the mechanisms for intermediate depth seismicity, mantle wedge melting and arc volcanism, the quantitative details of the metamorphic reactions and the pathways of fluids and melts in the slab are poorly understood. We provide finite element models, combined with thermodynamic and mineralogical constraints, to estimate the water release and migration from the subducting slab to overlying arc. We use models from a selection of warm (e.g., Cascadia), cold (Central Honshu) and intermediate (Nicaragua) subduction zones, using slab geometries constrained from seismological observations. The fluid release is predicted from the breakdown of hydrated phases in sediments, oceanic crust and slab mantle. We use newly developed high resolution models for the flow of these released fluids that take into account permeability and compaction pressures. While the detailed structure depends on the chosen rheology and permeability, we find that for reasonable assumptions of permeability, a significant amount of fluids can travel through the wedge along nearly vertical pathways at rates and paths, consistent with geochronological and geochemical constraints. For models considered to date, we find that the principal source of fluids that feed the wedge come from the hydrated oceanic crust and particularly the hydrated slab mantle. Fluids released from the sediments and shallow crust, tend to travel along high permeability zones in the subducting slab before being released to hydrate the cold corner of subduction zones, suggesting that the cold and hydrated forearc region that is imaged in many subduction zones is maintained by an active hydrological cycle

  5. Shallow structure and its formation process of an active flexure in the forearc basin of the central Nankai subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashi, J.; Ikehara, K.; Omura, A.; Ojima, T.; Murayama, M.

    2013-12-01

    ENE-WSW trending active faults, named Enshu fault system, are developed in the forearc basins of the eastern and central Nankai subduction zone. Three parallel faults developed in the Enshu forearc basin of the eastern Nankai have right lateral slip on the basis of dextral displacement of the canyon axis. Moreover, bathymetry data and side-scan sonar imageries indicate relative uplift of the northern region and the multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection profiles show northward dipping fault planes. In the central Nankai subuduction zone, an ENE-WSW trending step is distributed at the northern part of the Kumano forearc basin and is regarded as the western extension of the Enshu fault system. Although MCS records show deformations including an anticlinal fold beneath the bathymetric step, they have less resolution to identify deformation of basin sequence just below the seafloor. In contrast, deformation seems to reach to the seafloor on a profile by SBP mounted on a mother ship. Investigation of shallow deformation structures is significant for understanding of recent tectonic activity. We carried out deep towed SBP survey by ROV NSS (Navigable Sampling System) during Hakuho-maru KH-11-9 cruise. High resolution mapping of shallow structures was successfully conducted by a chirp SBP system of EdgeTech DW-106. ROV NSS also has capability to take a long core with a pinpoint accuracy around complex topographic region. The Kumano forearc basin is topographically divided into the northern part at a water depth of 2038 m and the other major region at a depth of 2042 m by the ENE-WSW linear step. Three deep towed SBP lines intersected this topographical step and revealed the following structures. This step is composed of 100 m wide gentle slope with an inclination of about 8 degrees. An anticlinal axis is located beneath the upper edge of this slope. Sedimentary layers continue at this slope region without any abut/termination and rapidly increase their thickness toward the

  6. Bi-directional subduction of the South Tianshan Ocean during the Late Silurian: Magmatic records from both the southern Central Tianshan Block and northern Tarim Craton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Meng; Zhang, Jinjiang; Zhang, Bo; Liu, Kai; Ge, Maohui

    2016-10-01

    The subduction polarity of the South Tianshan Ocean (STO) is a matter of debate, primarily in that the Paleozoic structures of Tianshan orogenic belt have been strongly overprinted by the Cenozoic intra-continental deformation. Indentifying the arc-related magmatic rocks may provide a convincible clue for understanding the closure process of the STO. In this study, whole-rock geochemistry, zircon U-Pb dating and Hf isotope were presented on the andesite and monzonite from the Bayanbulak area of the southern Central Tianshan Block (CTB) and on the quartz diorite from the Ouxidaban area of the northern Tarim Craton. Geochemically, all the samples are Na-rich, enriched in light rare earth elements and large ion lithophile elements (Rb, Ba, U, K and Pb), and depleted in high strength field elements (Nb, Ta and Ti), like most arc-type igneous rocks. The Bayanbulak andesite samples display high MgO, Fe2O3T, TiO2 and Mg# values, and positive εHf(t) values, indicating magma source from the wedge mantle. But the existence of xenocrystic zircons implies that continental crust material were involved during magma ascend, suggesting a continental arc setting for the Bayanbulak andesite. The Bayanbulak monzonite and the Ouxidaban quartz diorite samples display relatively higher SiO2 contents, and lower MgO, Fe2O3T and TiO2 concentrations, indicating crustal sources. But the Mg# values of the Bayanbulak monzonite and the Ouxidaban quartz diorite are 48.76-51.85 and 50.31-53.73, and the εHf(t) values are -2.5 to 8.7 and -1.7 to 4.1, indicating that their magma sources were also mixed by mantle-derived components. LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb dating results reveal that the Bayanbulak andesite, the Bayanbulak monzonite and the Ouxidaban quartz diorite were formed at 423, 424 Ma, and 421 Ma, respectively. The age and geochemical data indicate that both the southern CTB and northern Tarim Craton were active continental margins during the Late Silurian, favoring a bi-directional subduction

  7. Peridotites of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana forearc and the Eastern Mirdita ophiolite (Albania) : implications for igneous activity during subduction initiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morishita, T.; Tani, K.; Dilek, Y.

    2011-12-01

    There have been few studies of the mantle evolution related to igneous activity in the earliest stages of subduction initiation. We examined peridotites recovered from an exhumed crust/mantle section exposed along the landward slopes of the northern Izu-Bonin Trench (Morishita et al., Geology, 2011) and peridotite bodies in the Eastern Mirdita ophiolite, Albania (Morishita et al., Lithos, 2011). Based on the Cr# (=Cr/(Cr+Al) atomic ratio) of spinel in the IBM, two distinctive groups, (1) High-Cr# (> 0.8) dunite and (2) Medium-Cr# (0.4-0.6) dunite, occur close to each other and are associated with refractory harzburgite. Two distinctive melts were in equilibrium with these dunites. In the case of the Eastern Mirdita ophiolite, cpx porphyroclast-bearing harzburgite (Cpx-harzburgite) occurs structurally in the lower parts of the peridotite massifs, whereas harzburgite and dunite are more abundant towards the upper parts. The Cpx-harzburgite was formed as the residue of less-flux partial melting, which are similar to those in abyssal peridotites from MOR systems. On the other hand, harzburgite was produced as a result of enhanced partial melting of depleted peridotites due to infiltration of hydrous LREE-enriched fluids/melts. The wide range of variation in dunites from the IBM forearc and the uppermost section of the EMO probably reflects changing melt compositions from MORB-like melts to boninitic melts in the forearc setting due to an increase of slab-derived hydrous fluids/melts during subduction initiation. This scenario is consistent with the temporal and spatial variation of volcanic rocks in the Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) arc (Reagan et al., G-cubed, 2010). If the "MORB-like" FAB is a ubiquitous phenomenon during the initiation of subduction, we should reconsider our interpretation of the ophiolites.

  8. Subduction of the South Chile active spreading ridge: A 17 Ma to 3 Ma magmatic record in central Patagonia (western edge of Meseta del Lago Buenos Aires, Argentina)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boutonnet, E.; Arnaud, N.; Guivel, C.; Lagabrielle, Y.; Scalabrino, B.; Espinoza, F.

    2010-01-01

    The Chile Triple Junction is a natural laboratory to study the interactions between magmatism and tectonics during the subduction of an active spreading ridge beneath a continent. The MLBA plateau (Meseta del Lago Buenos Aires) is one of the Neogene alkali basaltic plateaus located in the back-arc region of the Andean Cordillera at the latitude of the current Chile Triple Junction. The genesis of MLBA can be related with successive opening of slabs windows beneath Patagonia: within the subducting Nazca Plate itself and between the Nazca and Antarctic plates. Detailed 40Ar/ 39Ar dating and geochemical analysis of bimodal magmatism from the western flank of the MLBA show major changes in the back-arc magmatism which occurred between 14.5 Ma and 12.5 Ma with the transition from calc-alkaline lavas (Cerro Plomo) to alkaline lavas (MLBA) in relation with slab window opening. In a second step, at 4-3 Ma, alkaline felsic intrusions were emplaced in the western flank of the MLBA coevally with the MLBA basalts with which they are genetically related. These late OIB-like alkaline to transitional basalts were generated by partial melting of the subslab asthenosphere of the subducting Nazca plate during the opening of the South Chile spreading ridge-related slab window. These basalts differentiated with small amounts of assimilation in shallow magma chambers emplaced along transtensional to extensional zones. The close association of bimodal magmatism with extensional tectonic features in the western MLBA is a strong support to the model of Patagonian collapse event proposed to have taken place between 5 and 3 Ma as a consequence of the presence of the asthenospheric window (SCR-1 segment of South Chile Ridge) below the MLBA area.

  9. A Finite Element Model for the Active Extension in the Central Part of the Trans Mexican Volcanic Belt: Control of Subduction on Intra-arc Deformation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Contreras, J.

    2005-12-01

    An extensional strain field of normal faults with a preferred E-W orientation dominates the central part of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB). Faults lay west of 99 W meridian. These faults tend to form tectonic depressions filled with lake sediments and volcanic rocks. Typically these faults have lengths < 50 km, are disconnected, and are seismically active. The origin of the extension is enigmatic and has been attributed to collapse of the volcanic belt (Suter, 2001), partition of deformation induced by subduction (Alanis et al., 1998), end recently to mantle plumes and rift dynamics (Marquez et al, 1999; Verma, 2002). This work uses a finite element model to explain the origin of the extension based on the dynamical subduction model proposed by Scholz and Campos (1995). These authors demonstrated that resistive forces in the mantle as well as slab pull control the coupling of the plates. They also showed that in some arcs these forces put in tension the interior of the overriding plate leading to back-arc extension. The model used here incorporates an iso-viscous mantle whose flow is forced by subduction of the Rivera and Cocos plates; deformation in North America plate (central Mexico) is modeled by an elastic plate; weakening of the elastic plate by heat flow is also considered. Boundary conditions and geometries in the model are constrained by geological observations like convergence rates, geometry of the Wadati-Benioff zone, heat-flow measurements, and gravity modeling in central-south Mexico. Two 2D-models are presented: one cutting through the Mexican state of Michoacan, characterized by a high subduction angle, and a second one through Guerrero, in southern Mexico, which has a sub-horizontal angle. Hypocenters of earthquakes, however, indicate that the subducted plate bends under the TMVB, increasing its subduction angle. Results from the model show that mantle corner flow under Michoacan drags downwards the edge of North America, inducing upward

  10. Boundary layer theory and subduction

    SciTech Connect

    Fowler, A.C.

    1993-12-01

    Numerical models of thermally activated convective flow in Earth`s mantle do not resemble active plate tectonics because of their inability to model successfully the process of subduction, other than by the inclusion of artificial weak zones. Here we show, using a boundary layer argument, how the `rigid lid` style of convection favored by thermoviscous fluids leads to lithospheric stresses which may realistically exceed the yield stress and thus cause subduction ot occur through the visoc-plastic failure of lithospheric rock. An explicit criterion for the failure of the lid is given, which is sensitive to the internal viscosity eta(sub a) below the lid. For numbers appropriate to Earth`s mantle, this criterion is approximately eta(sub a) greater than 10(exp 21) Pa s.

  11. The implications of revised Quaternary palaeoshoreline chronologies for the rates of active extension and uplift in the upper plate of subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, G. P.; Meschis, M.; Houghton, S.; Underwood, C.; Briant, R. M.

    2013-10-01

    We demonstrate a synchronous correlation technique to determine the chronology of Quaternary palaeoshorelines to test proposed relationships between tectonics, climate and sea-level change. The elevations of marine palaeoshorelines in Calabria around the active Vibo normal fault have been measured from TIN DEM 10 m data and fieldwork and correlated with global sea-level curves. A synchronous correlation method and new U/Th dates are used to ascertain how the slip-rate on the fault relates to uplift rates across the region. Regional uplift, possibly associated with subduction along the Calabrian trench or due to the cumulative effect of closely-spaced active normal faults, is rapid enough to uplift even the hangingwall of the Vibo normal fault; the actual value for the rate of background uplift can only be ascertained once the rate of slip on the Vibo fault is subtracted. Synchronous correlation of multiple palaeoshorelines sampled along 29 elevation profiles with global sea-levels shows that the resultant uplift rate (background uplift minus local hangingwall subsidence) is constant through time from 0 to 340 ka, and not fluctuating by a factor of 4 as previously suggested. The uplift rate increases from 0.4 mm/yr at the centre of the hangingwall of the fault to 1.75 mm/yr in the hangingwall in the vicinity of the fault tip. Palaeoshorelines can be traced from the hangingwall to the footwall around the fault tip and hence correlated across the fault. The throw-rate on the fault averaged over 340 ka decreases from a maximum at the centre of the fault (1 mm/yr) to zero at the tip. This gradient in throw-rate explains the spatial variation in resultant uplift rates along the fault. We interpret the 1.75 mm/yr resultant uplift rate at and beyond the fault tip as the signature of a regional uplift, presumably related to subduction, although we cannot exclude the possibility that other local faults influence this uplift; the lower uplift rates in the hangingwall of the

  12. Structural and thermal control of seismic activity and megathrust rupture dynamics in subduction zones: Lessons from the Mw 9.0, 2011 Tohoku earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satriano, Claudio; Dionicio, Viviana; Miyake, Hiroe; Uchida, Naoki; Vilotte, Jean-Pierre; Bernard, Pascal

    2014-10-01

    The 2011 Tohoku megathrust earthquake ruptured a vast region of the northeast Japan Trench subduction zone in a way that had not been enough anticipated by earthquake and tsunami risk scenarios. We analyzed the Tohoku rupture combining high-frequency back-projection analysis with low frequency kinematic inversion of the co-seismic slip. Results support the to-day well-accepted broadband characteristics of this earthquake. Most of the seismic moment is released during the first 100 s, with large co-seismic slip (up to 55 m) offshore Miyagi in a compact region on the landward side of the trench. Coherent high-frequency radiation areas and relatively low co-seismic slip are a distinctive signature of the slab-mantle interface. The broadband characteristics of the Tohoku rupture are interpreted, integrating the seismic activity and structure information on the NE Japan forearc region, as a signature of along-dip segmentation and segment interactions, that result from thermal structure, plate geometry, material composition and fracture heterogeneities along the plate boundary interface. Deep mantle corner flow and low dehydration rates along the cold subduction slab interface lead to an extended seismogenic slab-mantle interface, with strong bi-material contrast controlling larger propagation distance in the downdip preferred rupture direction. Off Miyagi, plate bending below the mantle wedge, ∼142.3°E at ∼25 km depth, is associated with the eastern limit of the deep M7-8-class thrust-earthquakes, and of the strongest coherent high-frequency generation areas. The region of the slab-crust interface between the mantle wedge limit, ∼142.7°E at ∼20 km depth, and a trenchward plate bending, ∼143.2°E at ∼15 km, acted as an effective barrier resisting for many centuries to stress-loading gradient induced by deep stable sliding and large earthquakes along the slab-mantle interface. The 2011 Tohoku earthquake, whose hypocenter is located on the east side of the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Shallow subduction, ridge subduction, and the evolution of continental lithosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Helmstaedt, H.; Dixon, J.M.; Farrar, E.; Carmichael, D.M.

    1985-01-01

    Subduction of oceanic lithosphere beneath continental crust at a shallow angle has occurred throughout the Phanerozoic Eon. Ridge subduction often follows shallow subduction and causes bimodal volcanism and crustal rifting, forming back-arc basins. Recent models for Archean plate tectonics propose very fast rates of spreading (400-800 km/Ma) and convergence, and sinking rates comparable to or slower (<10 km/Ma) than those of today. As faster convergence and slower sinking correspond to subduction at shallower angles, shallow subduction and ridge subduction must have been ubiquitous during the Archean permobile regime. This is compatible with a back-arc-basin origin for Archean greenstone belts. The common coexistence of tholeiitic and calc-alkaline igneous rocks in Archean greenstone belts, also implies ridge subduction. The authors envisage a transition, between 2.4 and 1.8 Ga., from a regime dominated by shallow subduction and repeated ridge subduction to one of normal plate tectonics with steeper subduction. Spreading rates decreased; continental plates became larger and stable shelves could develop at trailing margins. Shallow subduction became the exception, restricted to episodes of abnormally fast convergence; nevertheless, the long span of post-Archean time makes it unlikely that any part of the continental crust has escaped shallow subduction and ridge subduction. These processes recycle much volatile-rich oceanic crust into the sub-continental upper mantle, thereby underplating the crust, effecting upper-mantle metasomatism and affecting intraplate magmatism.

  15. Active upper crust deformation pattern along the southern edge of the Tyrrhenian subduction zone (NE Sicily): Insights from a multidisciplinary approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palano, Mimmo; Schiavone, Domenico; Loddo, Mariano; Neri, Marco; Presti, Debora; Quarto, Ruggiero; Totaro, Cristina; Neri, Giancarlo

    2015-08-01

    Using a multidisciplinary dataset based on gravimetric, seismic, geodetic and geological observations, we provide an improved picture of the shallow structure and dynamics of the southern edge of the Tyrrhenian subduction zone. With a local earthquake tomography we clearly identify two main crustal domains in the upper 15 km characterized by different P-wave velocity values: a high-velocity domain comprising southeasternmost Tyrrhenian Sea, NE Sicily and Messina Straits, and a low-velocity domain comprising Mt. Etna and eastern Sicily. The transition between the two domains shows a good spatial correspondence with a wider set of faults including the Taormina Fault System (TFS) and the Aeolian-Tindari-Letojanni Fault System (ATLFS), two nearly SE-striking fault systems crossing northeastern Sicily and ending on the Ionian shoreline of Sicily according to many investigators. Within this set of faults, most of the deformation/seismicity occurs along the northern and central segments of ATLFS, compared to low activity along TFS. A lack of seismicity (both recent and historical) is observed in the southern sector of ATLFS where, however, geodetic data reveal significant deformation. Our multidisciplinary dataset including offshore observations suggests the southeastward continuation of the ATLFS into the Ionian Sea until joining with the faults cutting the Ionian accretionary wedge described in the recent literature. Our findings imply the existence of a highly segmented crustal shear zone extending from the Aeolian Islands to the Ionian Abyssal plain, that we believe plays the role of accommodating differential motion between the Southern Tyrrhenian unit and the western compressional domain of Sicily. The ATLFS, which is a main part of the inferred shear zone, behaves similarly to what often observed at the edges of retreating subduction slabs, where the overriding plate drifts with a highly non-uniform transform motion along the lateral borders.

  16. Inside the Subduction Factory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eiler, John

    Subduction zones helped nucleate and grow the continents, they fertilize and lubricate the earth's interior, they are the site of most subaerial volcanism and many major earthquakes, and they yield a large fraction of the earth's precious metals. They are obvious targets for study—almost anything you learn is likely to impact important problems—yet arriving at a general understanding is notoriously difficult: Each subduction zone is distinct, differing in some important aspect from other subduction zones; fundamental aspects of their mechanics and igneous processes differ from those in other, relatively well-understood parts of the earth; and there are few direct samples of some of their most important metamorphic and metasomatic processes. As a result, even first-order features of subduction zones have generated conflict and apparent paradox. A central question about convergent margins, for instance—how vigorous magmatism can occur where plates sink and the mantle cools—has a host of mutually inconsistent answers: Early suggestions that magmatism resulted from melting subducted crust have been emphatically disproved and recently just as emphatically revived; the idea that melting is fluxed by fluid released from subducted crust is widely held but cannot explain the temperatures and volatile contents of many arc magmas; generations of kinematic and dynamic models have told us the mantle sinks at convergent margins, yet strong evidence suggests that melting there is often driven by upwelling. In contrast, our understanding ofwhy volcanoes appear at ocean ridges and "hotspots"—although still presenting their own chestnuts—are fundamentally solved problems.

  17. Seismic Characterization of the Transition from Continental to Oceanic Subduction along the western Hellenic Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearce, F. D.; Rondenay, S.; Zhang, H.; Sachpazi, M.; Charalampakis, M.; Royden, L.

    2010-12-01

    The Hellenic subduction zone is located in the east-central Mediterranean region and exhibits large variations in convergence rate along its western edge. Differences in the lithosphere entering the subduction zone are believed to drive the different rates of convergence. While seismic reflection data has shown a transition from continental to oceanic lithosphere along the foreland, no detailed images of the mantle-wedge structure have been available to test this hypothesis. Here, we use high-resolution seismic images across northern and southern Greece to investigate differences in the subducted crust along the western Hellenic subduction zone. We deployed 40 broadband seismometers from the IRIS PASSCAL pool across Greece in a northern line (NL, across Northern Greece) and southern line (SL, across Peloponnesus, Attica, and Evia), each roughly perpendicular to the trench axis. We recorded over 50 high-quality teleseismic events with good azimuthal coverage from each line. We processed them using a 2D teleseismic migration algorithm based on the Generalized Radon Transform and a 3D receiver function algorithm that includes dipping interfaces. In addition, we constructed a 3D velocity model by applying double-difference tomography to ~5000 local earthquakes. The 3D velocity model was used to construct an optimal background model for the teleseismic imaging. Migration and RF images reveal N60E dipping low-velocity layers beneath both NL and SL. From high-resolution migration images, we interpret an ~8 km thick low-velocity layer beneath SL as subducted oceanic crust and a ~20 km thick low-velocity layer beneath NL as subducted continental crust. Relocated earthquakes show that the NL subducted crust is seismically active near the foreland down to 50 km depth presumably as a result of slab flexure. Beyond this region, the subducted crust is aseismic until its signal disappears at ~70 km depth. In contrast, the SL subducted crust is marked by seismicity that extends

  18. Crustal growth in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogt, Katharina; Castro, Antonio; Gerya, Taras

    2015-04-01

    There is a broad interest in understanding the physical principles leading to arc magmatisim at active continental margins and different mechanisms have been proposed to account for the composition and evolution of the continental crust. It is widely accepted that water released from the subducting plate lowers the melting temperature of the overlying mantle allowing for "flux melting" of the hydrated mantle. However, relamination of subducted crustal material to the base of the continental crust has been recently suggested to account for the growth and composition of the continental crust. We use petrological-thermo-mechanical models of active subduction zones to demonstrate that subduction of crustal material to sublithospheric depth may result in the formation of a tectonic rock mélange composed of basalt, sediment and hydrated /serpentinized mantle. This rock mélange may evolve into a partially molten diapir at asthenospheric depth and rise through the mantle because of its intrinsic buoyancy prior to emplacement at crustal levels (relamination). This process can be episodic and long-lived, forming successive diapirs that represent multiple magma pulses. Recent laboratory experiments of Castro et al. (2013) have demonstrated that reactions between these crustal components (i.e. basalt and sediment) produce andesitic melt typical for rocks of the continental crust. However, melt derived from a composite diapir will inherit the geochemical characteristics of its source and show distinct temporal variations of radiogenic isotopes based on the proportions of basalt and sediment in the source (Vogt et al., 2013). Hence, partial melting of a composite diapir is expected to produce melt with a constant major element composition, but substantial changes in terms of radiogenic isotopes. However, crustal growth at active continental margins may also involve accretionary processes by which new material is added to the continental crust. Oceanic plateaus and other

  19. Subduction modelling with ASPECT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glerum, Anne; Thieulot, Cédric; Spakman, Wim; Quinquis, Matthieu; Buiter, Susanne

    2013-04-01

    ASPECT (Advanced Solver for Problems in Earth's ConvecTion) is a promising new code designed for modelling thermal convection in the mantle (Kronbichler et al. 2012). The code uses state-of-the-art numerical methods, such as high performance solvers and adaptive mesh refinement. It builds on tried-and-well-tested libraries and works with plug-ins allowing easy extension to fine-tune it to the user's specific needs. We make use of the promising features of ASPECT, especially Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR), for modelling lithosphere subduction in 2D and 3D geometries. The AMR allows for mesh refinement where needed and mesh coarsening in regions less important to the parameters under investigation. In the context of subduction, this amounts to having very small grid cells at material interfaces and larger cells in more uniform mantle regions. As lithosphere subduction modelling is not standard to ASPECT, we explore the necessary adaptive grid refinement and test ASPECT with widely accepted benchmarks. We showcase examples of mechanical and thermo-mechanical oceanic subduction in which we vary the number of materials making up the overriding and subducting plates as well as the rheology (from linear viscous to more complicated rheologies). Both 2D and 3D geometries are used, as ASPECT easily extends to three dimensions (Kronbichler et al. 2012). Based on these models, we discuss the advection of compositional fields coupled to material properties and the ability of AMR to trace the slab's path through the mantle. Kronbichler, M., T. Heister and W. Bangerth (2012), High Accuracy Mantle Convection Simulation through Modern Numerical Methods, Geophysical Journal International, 191, 12-29.

  20. On the initiation of subduction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mueller, Steve; Phillips, Roger J.

    1991-01-01

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

  1. On the initiation of subduction

    SciTech Connect

    Mueller, S.; Phillips, R.J. )

    1991-01-10

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

  2. Subduction Initiation at Oceanic Detachment Faults and the Origin of Supra-subduction Ophiolites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maffione, M.; Thieulot, C.; Van Hinsbergen, D. J. J.; Morris, A.; Spakman, W.; Plümper, O.

    2015-12-01

    Subduction initiation is a critical link in the plate tectonic cycle. Intra-oceanic 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- 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 supra-subduction 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.

  3. Observations at convergent margins concerning sediment subduction, subduction erosion, and the growth of continental crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

    At ocean margins where two plates converge, the oceanic plate sinks or is subducted beneath an upper one topped by a layer of terrestrial crust. This crust is constructed of continental or island arc material. The subduction process either builds juvenile masses of terrestrial crust through arc volcanism or new areas of crust through the piling up of accretionary masses (prisms) of sedimentary deposits and fragments of thicker crustal bodies scraped off the subducting lower plate. At convergent margins, terrestrial material can also bypass the accretionary prism as a result of sediment subduction, and terrestrial matter can be removed from the upper plate by processes of subduction erosion. Sediment subduction occurs where sediment remains attached to the subducting oceanic plate and underthrusts the seaward position of the upper plate's resistive buttress (backstop) of consolidated sediment and rock. Sediment subduction occurs at two types of convergent margins: type 1 margins where accretionary prisms form and type 2 margins where little net accretion takes place. At type 2 margins (???19,000 km in global length), effectively all incoming sediment is subducted beneath the massif of basement or framework rocks forming the landward trench slope. At accreting or type 1 margins, sediment subduction begins at the seaward position of an active buttress of consolidated accretionary material that accumulated in front of a starting or core buttress of framework rocks. Where small-to-mediumsized prisms have formed (???16,300 km), approximately 20% of the incoming sediment is skimmed off a detachment surface or decollement and frontally accreted to the active buttress. The remaining 80% subducts beneath the buttress and may either underplate older parts of the frontal body or bypass the prism entirely and underthrust the leading edge of the margin's rock framework. At margins bordered by large prisms (???8,200 km), roughly 70% of the incoming trench floor section is

  4. Introduction: Subduction's sharpest arrow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eichelberger, John C.

    In the center of the 6000-km reach of Kurile-Kamchatka-Aleutian-Alaska subduction is arguably Earth's most remarkable subduction cusp. The Kamchatka-Aleutian junction is a sharp arrowhead mounted on the shaft of the Emperor Seamount Chain. This collection of papers provides context, definition, and suggestions for the origin of the junction, but a comprehensive understanding remains elusive, in part because of the newness of international collaborations. Necessary cross-border syntheses have been impeded by the adversarial international relations that characterized the 20th century. For much of this period, Kamchatka and the Kurile Islands were part of the Soviet Union, a mostly closed country. The entire region was swept by World War II, abundant remnants of which are wrecked ships and planes, unexploded ordnance, and Rommel stakes.

  5. Cascadia Subduction Zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Frankel, Arthur D.; Petersen, Mark D.

    2008-01-01

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

  6. How was the Iapetus infected with subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waldron, John; Schofield, David; Brendan Murphy, J.; Thomas, Chris

    2015-04-01

    The history of the Iapetus Ocean is the archetype for the "Wilson cycle". The most poorly understood part of the Wilson cycle is the transition between ocean opening and ocean closing. It is often assumed that subduction is initiated by subsidence of old, cold ocean floor at passive margins. However, in the best modern analogue, Atlantic margins formed at ~180 Ma are still passive, suggesting that some other mechanism is required to initiate subduction. In most tectonic reconstructions of the Appalachian-Caledonide orogen, the continental blocks (Laurentia, Baltica, and Amazonia - West Africa), which separated to form the Iapetus during the breakup of Rodinia, are the same three continents that subsequently collided during closure, making the Iapetus a test case for models of subduction initiation. The margin of Laurentia underwent protracted rifting from ~615 Ma to at least 550 Ma, and perhaps later. The earliest "drift" successions on the Newfoundland margin are as young as ~515 Ma. Subduction, recorded by arc volcanics preserved in the orogen, began relatively early in the history of the new ocean at ~515-505 Ma, and the earliest collisional events are recorded almost simultaneously in peri-Laurentian and peri-Gondwanan microcontinents around 490-480 Ma. However, the stable passive margin of Laurentia survived until after 470 Ma before being converted to an active margin. Closure of the ocean between Avalonia and Laurentia was complete by ~425 Ma. These relationships are difficult to reconcile with a classic Wilson cycle in which subduction is initiated by inversion of an extensional margin. It is much more likely that closure was initiated at a subduction zone migrating westward into the Iapetus, analogous to the eastward Mesozoic-Cenozoic entry of the Caribbean and Scotia plates into the Atlantic realm. This process was probably initiated at a transform boundary between the "internal" ocean formed during the breakup of Rodinia, and "external" Panthalassan

  7. Active tectonics of the Calabrian subduction revealed by new multi-beam bathymetric data and high-resolution seismic profiles in the Ionian Sea (Central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutscher, Marc-André; Kopp, Heidrun; Krastel, Sebastian; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Garlan, Thierry; Zaragosi, Sebastien; Klaucke, Ingo; Wintersteller, Paul; Loubrieu, Benoit; Le Faou, Yann; San Pedro, Laurine; Dominguez, Stephane; Rovere, Marzia; Mercier de Lepinay, Bernard; Ranero, Cesar; Sallares, Valenti

    2017-03-01

    Ionian abyssal plain (foreland) and the Calabrian-Peloritan backstop caused by active subduction.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butler, Jared P.; Beaumont, Christopher

    2017-04-01

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

  9. Slab pull and the seismotectonics of subducting lithosphere

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spence, William

    1987-01-01

    This synthesis links many seismic and tectonic processes at subduction zones, including great subduction earthquakes, to the sinking of subducted plate. Earthquake data and tectonic modeling for subduction zones indicate that the slab pull force is much larger than the ridge push force. Interactions between the forces that drive and resist plate motions cause spatially and temporally localized stresses that lead to characteristic earthquake activity, providing details on how subduction occurs. Compression is localized across a locked interface thrust zone, because both the ridge push and the slab pull forces are resisted there. The slab pull force increases with increasing plate age; thus because the slab pull force tends to bend subducted plate downward and decrease the force acting normal to the interface thrust zone, the characteristic maximum earthquake at a given interface thrust zone is inversely related to the age of the subducted plate. The 1960 Chile earthquake (Mw 9.5), the largest earthquake to occur in historic times, began its rupture at an interface bounding oceanic plate <30 m.y. old. However, this rupture initiation was associated with the locally oldest subducting lithosphere (weakest coupling); the rupture propagated southward along an interface bounding progressively younger oceanic lithosphere, terminating near the subducting Chile Rise. Prior to a great subduction earthquake, the sinking subducted slab will cause increased tension at depths of 50–200 km, with greatest tension near the shallow zone resisting plate subduction. Plate sinking not only leads to compressional stresses at a locked interface thrust zone but may load compressional stresses at plate depths of 260–350 km, provided that the shallow sinking occurs faster than the relaxation time of the deeper mantle. This explains K. Mogi's observations of M ≥ 7 thrust earthquakes at depths of 260–350 km, immediately downdip and within 3 years prior to five great, shallow

  10. Estimation of past intermittent methane seep activity using radiocarbon dating of Calyptogena shells in the eastern Nankai subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yagasaki, K.; Ashi, J.; Yokoyama, Y.; Miyairi, Y.; Kuramoto, S.

    2013-12-01

    Radioisotope carbon dating samples from the deep ocean has always been a difficult phenomenon due to the carbon offset present. This research presents a way of utilizing such method to date shell samples in order to study past fault activities. The research presented will be based on the preliminary data collected thus far. The Nankai and the Tokai regions are common areas for cold seeps, where seepage of hydrogen sulfide and methane rich fluid occurs. These various substances encourage the growth of Calyptogena colonies to flourish at these sites. Cold seeps generally occur at tectonically active continental margins and are mostly ephemeral. This suggests that the cold seep events are possibly influenced by the tectonic activity during the plate divergence. In 1997, a submersible dive by Shinkai 2000 discovered an unusually large Calyptogena colony ranging over 200 m2 off Daini Tenryu Knoll. Majority of the shells were fossilized with few live shells remaining. It is assumed that past tectonic events in the region may have caused a high flux of methane fluid or gas to be released, making it possible to support such a vast scale colony to survive until their eventual death. Previous attempt to reconstruct the cold seep activity history through amino acid racemisation dating revealed two different age grouped shells. Further data using a different method is required to prove its reliability, as acid racemization dating technique can easily be affected by seawater temperature changes and microbial activity. This consequently alters the protein structure of the sample and its overall age. As 14C radioisotope dating is not affected by temperature change, it will provide additional information to the accuracy of the acid racemisation dating of the shell. However, the possibility of contamination is likely due to the shells incorporating older carbon from the sediments during their early stages of growth. The old carbon value can be calculated by subtracting the formerly

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  12. Buoyant subduction on Venus: Implications for subduction around coronae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burt, J. D.; Head, J. W.

    1993-03-01

    Potentially low lithospheric densities, caused by high Venus surface and perhaps mantle temperatures, could inhibit the development of negative buoyancy-driven subduction and a global system of plate tectonics/crustal recycling on that planet. No evidence for a global plate tectonic system was found so far, however, specific features strongly resembling terrestrial subduction zones in planform and topographic cross-section were described, including trenches around large coronae and chasmata in eastern Aphrodite Terra. The cause for the absence, or an altered expression, of plate tectonics on Venus remains to be found. Slab buoyancy may play a role in this difference, with higher lithospheric temperatures and a tendency toward positive buoyancy acting to oppose the descent of slabs and favoring under thrusting instead. The effect of slab buoyancy on subduction was explored and the conditions which would lead to under thrusting versus those allowing the formation of trenches and self-perpetuating subduction were defined. Applying a finite element code to assess the effects of buoyant forces on slabs subducting into a viscous mantle, it was found that mantle flow induced by horizontal motion of the convergent lithosphere greatly influences subduction angle, while buoyancy forces produce a lesser effect. Induced mantle flow tends to decrease subduction angle to near an under thrusting position when the subducting lithosphere converges on a stationary overriding lithosphere. When the overriding lithosphere is in motion, as in the case of an expanding corona, subduction angles are expected to increase. An initial stage involved estimating the changes in slab buoyancy due to slab healing and pressurization over the course of subduction. Modeling a slab, descending at a fixed angle and heated by conduction, radioactivity, and the heat released in phase changes, slab material density changes due to changing temperature, phase, and pressure were derived.

  13. Buoyant subduction on Venus: Implications for subduction around coronae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burt, J. D.; Head, J. W.

    1993-01-01

    Potentially low lithospheric densities, caused by high Venus surface and perhaps mantle temperatures, could inhibit the development of negative buoyancy-driven subduction and a global system of plate tectonics/crustal recycling on that planet. No evidence for a global plate tectonic system was found so far, however, specific features strongly resembling terrestrial subduction zones in planform and topographic cross-section were described, including trenches around large coronae and chasmata in eastern Aphrodite Terra. The cause for the absence, or an altered expression, of plate tectonics on Venus remains to be found. Slab buoyancy may play a role in this difference, with higher lithospheric temperatures and a tendency toward positive buoyancy acting to oppose the descent of slabs and favoring under thrusting instead. The effect of slab buoyancy on subduction was explored and the conditions which would lead to under thrusting versus those allowing the formation of trenches and self-perpetuating subduction were defined. Applying a finite element code to assess the effects of buoyant forces on slabs subducting into a viscous mantle, it was found that mantle flow induced by horizontal motion of the convergent lithosphere greatly influences subduction angle, while buoyancy forces produce a lesser effect. Induced mantle flow tends to decrease subduction angle to near an under thrusting position when the subducting lithosphere converges on a stationary overriding lithosphere. When the overriding lithosphere is in motion, as in the case of an expanding corona, subduction angles are expected to increase. An initial stage involved estimating the changes in slab buoyancy due to slab healing and pressurization over the course of subduction. Modeling a slab, descending at a fixed angle and heated by conduction, radioactivity, and the heat released in phase changes, slab material density changes due to changing temperature, phase, and pressure were derived.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. The Role of Slab Windows in Subduction Cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorkelson, D. J.; Breitsprecher, K.

    2011-12-01

    Active continental margins are enduring features which commonly record a history of subduction spanning tens of millions of years. A subduction history is commonly divisible into distinct intervals of subduction activity separated by periods of non-subduction. The intervals of non-subduction are dominated by transform, transtensional or transpressional regimes. The recognition of subduction cycles as a normal pattern of active continental margins was an essential step forward in the understanding of ancient continental margin assemblages, plate evolution and global tectonics. The causes of interruptions of subduction are varied, and include collision of island arcs or oceanic plateaus, swerves in the motions of large plates, plate deformation and microplate formation, and subduction of oceanic spreading ridges. These processes punctuate subduction that may have occurred unbroken for millions or tens of millions of years, but do not necessarily lead to destruction of the continental margin as fundamentally convergent and active. The intersection of a mid-ocean spreading ridge with a subduction zone brings two distinctive tectono-magmatic systems together at the same location. The style of ridge-subduction zone interaction varies considerably, depending on factors such as the obliquity of ridge-trench intersection, relative plate motions, plate integrity and thermal conditions. Where the ridge intersects the trench, a triple junction exists which, in most cases, migrates along the continental margin. The two oceanic plates that flank the spreading ridge naturally have different motion vectors relative to the overriding plate, and as the triple junction migrates, a given part of the continental margin will be in contact with one plate, and at a later time, the other plate. One or both of the oceanic plates may be convergent with the continent but in all cases a gap in the extent of the subducted slab, termed a slab window, will develop beneath the continent in the

  17. Zircon from Mesoproterozoic sediments sheds light on the subduction-collision history at the eastern active continental margin of the Archaean Kalahari-Grunehogna Craton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marschall, H.; Hawkesworth, C. J.; Leat, P. T.; Dhuime, B.; Storey, C.

    2013-12-01

    The Grunehogna Craton (East Antarctica) was a part of the Archean Kalahari Craton of southern Africa prior to Gondwana breakup. Granite from the basement of the craton has been dated by U-Pb zircon dating to 3,067 Ma with inherited grains showing ages of up to 3,433 Ma [1]. At the eastern margin of the craton, the Ahlmannryggen nunataks comprise an ~2000 m thick pile of clastic and volcanic sediments of the Ritscherflya Supergroup. These were sourced from eroding a proximal active continental arc as demonstrated through the age distribution and internal zoning of detrital zircon [2]. Detrital zircon grains from the Ritscherflya Supergroup show an age distribution with a dominant age peak at ~1,130 Ma, i.e., close to the sedimentation age. Older age peaks include those at 1370 Ma, 1725 Ma, 1880 Ma, 2050 Ma, and 2700 Ma. Palaeo- and Mesoarchaean zircon grains (2800-3445 Ma) were also discovered, corresponding to the age of the Kalahari-Grunehogna Craton basement. Most significantly we found a number of inherited Archaean cores in ~1130 Ma zircons. They demonstrate that the volcanic arc was indeed located on Archaean continental crust, rather than in Mesoproterozoic, intra-oceanic island arcs. The age spectrum of the zircons bears strong evidence for (i) derivation of the entire Ritscherflya sediment sequence from an active continental convergent margin; (ii) a cratonic provenance of part of the sediments from population peaks coinciding with major tectono-thermal events in the Kalahari Craton; (iii) at least some of the active volcanism being located on cratonic basement rather than a juvenile island arc. Detrital zircons in the ~1130 Ma age group show several distinct populations in their Hf isotopic compositions. The dominant group shows negative ɛHf values of -11.5 corresponding to a model age (TDM) of ~2700 Ma (average crustal 176Lu/177Hf = 0.015). A smaller group shows ɛHf values of +2 to +6, which may represent mantle-derived subduction-zone volcanism at

  18. 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.

  19. Hydrocarbon micro-inclusions in olivine in high-P titanoclinohumite-bearing dunites: hydrocarbon activity in a subduction zone and Ti mobility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arai, S.; Ishimaru, S.; Mizukami, T.

    2012-04-01

    Micro-inclusions of methane and propane were examined in olivine and titanoclinohumite in dunites from Fujiwara, Sanbagawa high-P metamorphic belt, Japan, in order to understand the behavior of hydrocarbons in the subduction zone and mantle wedge. In the Fujiwara dunite, olivines coexist with magnetite and exhibit a wide range of chemical compositions (Fo88-96 and 0.2-0.6 wt% NiO), possibly indicating a deserpentinization origin for the dunite (Ishibashi et al., 1978; Enami, 1980). The primary chromian spinel shows an intermediate Cr/(Cr + Al) atomic ratio, 0.5-0.6, and 1 to 3 wt% TiO2, and are enclosed by its alteration phases (ferritechromite and magnetite) that contain less than 0.8 wt% TiO2. Hydrocarbons are usually associated with serpentine and brucite, with or without magnetite, in individual micro-inclusions, suggesting initial entrapment of hydrocarbon-rich aqueous fluids and subsequent reaction only between their water component and the wall olivine or titanoclinohumite. It is evident that they were not in-situ formed via reaction of olivine and trapped (H2O + CO2) (Miura et al., 2010). The primary rock for the Fujiwara dunite was originally formed as a cumulate from intra-plate magma (Arai et al., 2011), essentially composed of olivine of Fo85-86 and the Ti-rich chromian spinel. After uplift to the surface by some tectonism, it was serpentinized and brecciated to contain carbonaceous matter in the matrix part before incorporation in the subduction zone. The hydrocarbons possibly formed with maturation of the carbonaceous matter in the process of subduction (e.g., Itaya, 1981). The continuously formed hydrocarbons mobilized Ti released upon serpentinization from the primary chromian spinel to leave low-Ti ferritechromite and magnetite in the Fujiwara dunite. Ti was finally stabilized as titanoclinohumite and other Ti-rich minerals during deserpentinization in the Fujiwara dunite within the subduction zone. Ti is possibly mobile within the mantle wedge

  20. Seismicity and the subduction process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruff, L.; Kanamori, H.

    1980-01-01

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

  1. Volcanism and Subduction: The Kamchatka Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eichelberger, John; Gordeev, Evgenii; Izbekov, Pavel; Kasahara, Minoru; Lees, Jonathan

    The Kamchatka Peninsula and contiguous North Pacific Rim is among the most active regions in the world. Kamchatka itself contains 29 active volcanoes, 4 now in a state of semi-continuous eruption, and I has experienced 14 magnitude 7 or greater earthquakes since accurate recording began in 1962. At its heart is the uniquely acute subduction cusp where the Kamchatka and Aleutian Arcs and Emperor Seamount Chain meet. Volcanism and Subduction covers coupled magmatism and tectonics in this spectacular region, where the torn North Pacific slab dives into hot mantle. Senior Russian and American authors grapple with the dynamics of the cusp with perspectives from the west and east of it, respectively, while careful tephrostratigraphy yields a remarkably precise record of behavior of storied volcanoes such as Kliuchevskoi and Shiveluch. Towards the south, Japanese researchers elucidate subduction earthquake processes with unprecedented geodetic resolution. Looking eastward, new insights on caldera formation, monitoring, and magma ascent are presented for the Aleutians. This is one of the first books of its kind printed in the English language. Students and scientists beginning research in the region will find in this book a useful context and introduction to the region's scientific leaders. Others who wish to apply lessons learned in the North Pacific to their areas of interest will find the volume a valuable reference.

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maesano, Francesco Emanuele; 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.

  4. Role of H2O in Generating Subduction Zone Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasegawa, A.

    2017-03-01

    A dense nationwide seismic network and high seismic activity in Japan have provided a large volume of high-quality data, enabling high-resolution imaging of the seismic structures defining the Japanese subduction zones. Here, the role of H2O in generating earthquakes in subduction zones is discussed based mainly on recent seismic studies in Japan using these high-quality data. Locations of intermediate-depth intraslab earthquakes and seismic velocity and attenuation structures within the subducted slab provide evidence that strongly supports intermediate-depth intraslab earthquakes, although the details leading to the earthquake rupture are still poorly understood. Coseismic rotations of the principal stress axes observed after great megathrust earthquakes demonstrate that the plate interface is very weak, which is probably caused by overpressured fluids. Detailed tomographic imaging of the seismic velocity structure in and around plate boundary zones suggests that interplate coupling is affected by local fluid overpressure. Seismic tomography studies also show the presence of inclined sheet-like seismic low-velocity, high-attenuation zones in the mantle wedge. These may correspond to the upwelling flow portion of subduction-induced secondary convection in the mantle wedge. The upwelling flows reach the arc Moho directly beneath the volcanic areas, suggesting a direct relationship. H2O originally liberated from the subducted slab is transported by this upwelling flow to the arc crust. The H2O that reaches the crust is overpressured above hydrostatic values, weakening the surrounding crustal rocks and decreasing the shear strength of faults, thereby inducing shallow inland earthquakes. These observations suggest that H2O expelled from the subducting slab plays an important role in generating subduction zone earthquakes both within the subduction zone itself and within the magmatic arc occupying its hanging wall.

  5. 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.

  6. Subduction of the South-Chile active spreading ridge: a 17 Ma to 3 Ma magmatic record in central Patagonia (western edge of Meseta del Lago Buenos Aires, Argentina)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boutonnet, Emmanuelle; Arnaud, Nicolas; Guivel, Christèle; Lagabrielle, Yves; Scalabrino, Bruno; Espinoza, Felipe

    2010-05-01

    The Chile Triple Junction is a natural laboratory to study the interactions between magmatism and tectonics during the subduction of an active spreading ridge beneath a continent. The MLBA plateau (Meseta del Lago Buenos Aires) is one of the Neogene alkali basaltic plateaus located in the back-arc region of the Andean Cordillera at the latitude of the current Chile Triple Junction. The genesis of MLBA can be related with successive opening of slabs windows beneath Patagonia: within the subducting Nazca Plate itself and between the Nazca and Antarctic plates. Detailed 40Ar/39Ar dating and geochemical analysis of bimodal magmatism from the western flank of the MLBA show major changes in the back-arc magmatism which occurred between 14.5 Ma and 12.5 Ma with the transition from calc-alkaline lavas (Cerro Plomo) to alkaline lavas (MLBA) in relation with slab window opening. In a second step, at 4- 3 Ma, alkaline felsic intrusions were emplaced in the western flank of the MLBA coevally with the MLBA basalts with which they are genetically related. These late OIB-like alkaline to transitional basalts were generated by partial melting of the subslab asthenosphere of the subducting Nazca plate during the opening of the South Chile spreading ridge-related slab window. These basalts differentiated with small amounts of assimilation in shallow magma chambers emplaced along transtensional to extensional zones. The close association of bimodal magmatism with extensional tectonic features in the western MLBA is a strong support to the model of Patagonian collapse event proposed to have taken place between 5 and 3 Ma as a consequence of the presence of the asthenospheric window (SCR-1 segment of South Chile Ridge) below the MLBA area.

  7. 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.

  8. Uplift rate transients at subduction margins due to earthquake clustering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mouslopoulou, Vasiliki; Oncken, Onno; Hainzl, Sebastian; Nicol, Andrew

    2016-10-01

    Coastal uplift is common in continental fore-arc systems, with elevated paleoshorelines indicating that uplift rates can vary dramatically over time on individual margins. The origins of these changes in uplift rates are examined using a global data set of paleoshorelines together with 2-D numerical models of subduction systems. Empirical paleoshoreline data (N = 282) from eight subduction margins indicate that uplift rates are generally not steady state and varied by up to a factor of 20 during the late Quaternary (≤125 ka). On many subduction margins uplift rates increase to the present day, a finding which we attribute to sampling bias toward those locations where Holocene uplift rates have been highest (with respect to other global margins which have undergone fast subsidence or no vertical motion—e.g., a property akin to the so-called Sadler effect). Paleoshorelines and 2-D models suggest that transient uplift rates at subduction margins are mainly a short-term (<20 ka) phenomenon that cannot be accounted for by plate-boundary scale processes such as changes in the rates of plate convergence, sediment underplating or isostatic unloading. Instead, time-variable uplift rates are ascribed to temporal clustering of large-magnitude earthquakes on upper plate faults and, to a lesser extent, the subduction thrust. The potential for future damaging earthquakes and tsunamis may have been underestimated at active subduction margins with no measureable Holocene uplift, and in such cases, late Quaternary paleoshorelines could provide an important constraint for hazard analysis.

  9. Hydro-mechanical regimes of deforming subduction interface: modeling versus observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, L.; Gerya, T.; May, D.

    2015-12-01

    A lot of evidence indicates that fluid flows exist in the subduction interface, including seismic observation, magnetotelluric imaging, heat flow modeling, etc. Fluid percolation should strongly modify rock deformation affected by fluid-induced weakening within the subduction interface. Hence, we study the fluid-rock interaction along the subduction interface using a visco-plastic hydro-mechanical model, in which rock deformation and fluid percolation are self-consistently coupled. Based on a series of 2D numerical experiments, we found two typical hydro-mechanical regimes of deforming subduction interface: (1) coupled and (2) decoupled. In the case of the coupled regime, the tectonic movement of the subduction interface is divided into blocks; newly generated faults are distributed uniformly , say fault band; fluid activity concentrates inside the faults. In the case of the decoupled regime, the upper layer of the subduction interface stops moving while the lower layer continues moving along with the subduction slab; a primary fault is generated at the centre of the subduction interface, or namely decoupled interface. Available observations suggests that both coupled and decoupled regimes can be observed in the nature at different scales. Systematic parameter study suggests that it is mainly the magnitude of the yield strength of subducted rocks depending on their cohesion and friction coefficient, which control the transition between the coupled and decoupled subduction interface regimes.

  10. Multi-stage barites in partially melted UHP eclogite: implications for fluid/melt activities during deep continental subduction in the Sulu orogenic belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Songjie; Wang, Lu

    2015-04-01

    Barite (BaSO4) is well-known from deep-sea sedimentary environments but has received less attention to its presence in high-grade metamorphic rocks. Recently, barite in ultrahigh pressure (UHP) eclogite has drawn increasing attention from geologists, especially in the Dabie-Sulu orogen, since it is an important indicator for high-salinity fluid events, thus aiding in further understanding HP-UHP fluid / melt evolution. However, its formation time and mechanism in UHP eclogite are still controversial, with three representative viewpoints: (1) Liu et al. (2000) found barite-anhydrite-coesite inclusions in zircon and interpreted them to have formed by UHP metamorphic fluids; (2) Zeng et al. (2007) recognized isolated barite within K-feldspar (Kfs) and Quartz (Qz) surrounded by radial cracks in omphacite, and interpreted Kfs+Qz to be reaction products of potassium-rich fluid/melt and coesite, with the barite formed by prograde metamorphic fluids; (3) Gao et al. (2012) and Chen et al. (2014) found barite-bearing Multiphase Solid (MS) inclusions within garnet and omphacite and assumed that the barite formed by phengite breakdown possibly caused by eclogite partial melting during exhumation, though no direct evidence were proposed. The controversy above is mainly due to the lack of direct formation evidence and absence of a clear link with the metamorphic evolution of UHP eclogite along the subduction-exhumation path. We report detailed petrological and micro-structural analyses revealing four types of barites clearly linked with (1) the prograde, (2) earlier stage of partial melting and (3) later stage of crystallization differentiation, as well as (4) high-grade amphibolite-facies retrogression of a deeply subducted and partially melted intergranular coesite-bearing eclogite from Yangkou Bay, Sulu Orogen. Round barite inclusions (type-I) within UHP-stage garnet and omphacite are formed by internally buffered fluids from mineral dehydration during prograde metamorphism

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Subduction initiation and Obduction: insights from analog models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agard, P.; Zuo, X.; Funiciello, F.; Bellahsen, N.; Faccenna, C.; Savva, D.

    2013-12-01

    Subduction initiation and obduction are two poorly constrained geodynamic processes which are interrelated in a number of natural settings. Subduction initiation can be viewed as the result of a regional-scale change in plate convergence partitioning between the set of existing subduction (and collision or obduction) zones worldwide. Intraoceanic subduction initiation may also ultimately lead to obduction of dense oceanic "ophiolites" atop light continental plates. A classic example is the short-lived Peri-Arabic obduction, which took place along thousands of km almost synchronously (within ~5-10 myr), from Turkey to Oman, while the subduction zone beneath Eurasia became temporarily jammed. We herein present analog models designed to study both processes and more specifically (1) subduction initiation through the partitioning of deformation between two convergent zones (a preexisting and a potential one) and, as a consequence, (2) the possible development of obduction, which has so far never been modeled. These models explore the mechanisms of subduction initiation and obduction and test various triggering hypotheses (i.e., plate acceleration, slab crossing the 660 km discontinuity, ridge subduction; Agard et al., 2007). The experimental setup comprises an upper mantle modelled as a low-viscosity transparent Newtonian glucose syrup filling a rigid Plexiglas tank and high-viscosity silicone plates. Convergence is simulated by pushing on a piston at one end of the model with plate tectonics like velocities (1-10 cm/yr) onto (i) a continental margin, (ii) a weakness zone with variable resistance and dip (W), (iii) an oceanic plate - with or without a spreading ridge, (iv) a subduction zone (S) dipping away from the piston and (v) an upper active continental margin, below which the oceanic plate is being subducted at the start of the experiment (as for the Oman case). Several configurations were tested over thirty-five parametric experiments. Special emphasis was

  16. Subduction Drive of Plate Tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, W. B.

    2003-12-01

    Don Anderson emphasizes that plate tectonics is self-organizing and is driven by subduction, which rights the density inversion generated as oceanic lithosphere forms by cooling of asthenosphere from the top. The following synthesis owes much to many discussions with him. Hinge rollback is the key to kinematics, and, like the rest of actual plate behavior, is incompatible with bottom-up convection drive. Subduction hinges (which are under, not in front of, thin leading parts of arcs and overriding plates) roll back into subducting plates. The Pacific shrinks because bounding hinges roll back into it. Colliding arcs, increasing arc curvatures, back-arc spreading, and advance of small arcs into large plates also require rollback. Forearcs of overriding plates commonly bear basins which preclude shortening of thin plate fronts throughout periods recorded by basin strata (100 Ma for Cretaceous and Paleogene California). This requires subequal rates of advance and rollback, and control of both by subduction. Convergence rate is equal to rates of rollback and advance in many systems but is greater in others. Plate-related circulation probably is closed above 650 km. Despite the popularity of concepts of plumes from, and subduction into, lower mantle, there is no convincing evidence for, and much evidence against, penetration of the 650 in either direction. That barrier not only has a crossing-inhibiting negative Clapeyron slope but also is a compositional boundary between fractionated (not "primitive"), sluggish lower mantle and fertile, mobile upper mantle. Slabs sink more steeply than they dip. Slabs older than about 60 Ma when their subduction began sink to, and lie down on and depress, the 650-km discontinuity, and are overpassed, whereas younger slabs become neutrally buoyant in mid-upper mantle, into which they are mixed as they too are overpassed. Broadside-sinking old slabs push all upper mantle, from base of oceanic lithosphere down to the 650, back under

  17. Mantle flow field in the southern Ryukyu subduction system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, S.; Kuo, B.

    2012-12-01

    The Okinawa trough in the Ryukyu subduction system is the only active back arc basin formed within a continental lithosphere. Recent shear-wave splitting measurements show variable fast directions along the trough suggesting complex three-dimensional flow field in the mantle wedge. In this study we use numerical subduction models to explore the effects of plate thickness variations caused by non-uniform lithospheric stretching on the dynamics in the southern Ryukyu subduction system. We calculate orientations of infinite strain axes as a proxy for olivine lattice preferred orientations and orientations of seismic anisotropy. Our models demonstrate that flow patterns may vary significantly with depth near the plate edge as a result of the along-arc variations in lithospheric thickness. The model results show that the toroidal circulation around the lateral slab edge predominates at greater depths. The thick neighboring lithosphere acts as an effective barrier of the lateral mass exchanges in the shallow portion of the mantle wedge. The wedge material is drawn in horizontally toward the plate edge from the central region of the subduction zone induced by pressure gradients, opposite to the inwards lateral flow at greater depths. Model predictions for the lattice preferred orientations of olivine aggregates agree reasonably well with the observed shear-wave splitting patterns. The results suggest that the depth-varying flow field near the subduction zone edge and the westward flow components in the shallow portion of the mantle wedge may contribute to complex patterns of seismic anisotropy and arc isotopic systematics.

  18. Curie depth vs. flat subduction in Central Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manea, Marina; Constantin Manea, Vlad

    2010-05-01

    Forearcs located above active subduction zones are generally characterized by low heat flow values, and this is considered a consequence of the subduction of cold slabs beneath continental plates. In the case of Central Mexico, the geometry of the subducting Cocos plate is quite unusual, the slab runs flat for several hundreds of kilometers before plunging into the asthenosphere. This particular geometry has a strong influence on the temperature distribution of the overriding plate where very low heatflow values are recorded (15-30 mW/m2). In this paper we use the aeromagnetic map of Mexico in order to infer the maximum depth of magnetic source, regarded as Curie depth and corresponding to a temperature of 575-600C°. Our spectral analysis revealed the existence of a deep magnetic source (30-40 km). We compare these results with the thermal structure associated with flat slab subduction in the area. We obtained a good agreement between the two estimates and we conclude that flat slab subduction in Central Mexico controls the maximum depth of magnetic sources in the overriding plate.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Subduction-Driven Recycling of Continental Margin Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levander, Alan; Bezada, Maximiliano; Niu, Fenglin; Palomeras, Imma; Humphreys, Eugene; Carbonell, Ramon; Gallart, Josep; Schmitz, Michael; Miller, Meghan

    2016-04-01

    Subduction recycling of oceanic lithosphere, a central theme of plate tectonics, is relatively well understood. Recycling continental lithosphere is more difficult to recognize, can take a number of different forms, and appears to require an external trigger for initiation. Delamination and localized convective downwelling are two processes invoked to explain the removal of lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts. We describe a related process that can lead to the loss of continental lithosphere adjacent to a subduction zone: Subducting oceanic plates can entrain and recycle lithospheric mantle from an adjacent continent and disrupt the continental lithosphere far inland from the subduction zone. Body wave tomograms from dense broadband seismograph arrays in northeastern South America (SA) and the western Mediterranean show larger than expected volumes of positive velocity anomalies which we identify as the subducted Atlantic slab under northeastern SA, and the Alboran slab beneath the Gibraltar arc (GA). The positive anomalies lie under and are aligned with the continental margins at sublithospheric depths. The continental margins along which the subduction zones have traversed, i.e. the northeastern SA plate boundary and east of GA, have significantly thinner lithosphere than expected. The thinner than expected lithosphere extends inland as far as the edges of nearby cratons as determined from receiver function images and surface wave tomography. These observations suggest that subducting oceanic plates viscously entrain and remove continental mantle lithosphere from beneath adjacent continental margins, modulating the surface tectonics and pre-conditioning the margins for further deformation. The latter can include delamination of the entire lithospheric mantle and include the lower crust, as around GA, inferred by results from active and passive seismic experiments. Viscous removal of continental margin lithosphere creates LAB topography leading

  2. Propagation of back-arc extension in the arc of the southern New Hebrides Subduction Zone (South West Pacific) and possible relation to subduction initiation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fabre, M.; Patriat, M.; Collot, J.; Danyushevsky, L. V.; Meffre, S.; Falloon, T.; Rouillard, P.; Pelletier, B.; Roach, M. J.; Fournier, M.

    2015-12-01

    Geophysical data acquired during three expeditions of the R/V Southern Surveyor allows us to characterize the deformation of the upper plate at the southern termination of the New Hebrides subduction zone where it bends 90° eastward along the Hunter Ridge. As shown by GPS measurements and earthquake slip vectors systematically orthogonal to the trench, this 90° bend does not mark a transition from subduction to strike slip as usually observed at subduction termination. Here the convergence direction remains continuously orthogonal to the trench notwithstanding its bend. Multibeam bathymetric data acquired in the North Fiji Basin reveals active deformation and fragmentation of the upper plate. It shows the southward propagation of a N-S back-arc spreading ridge into the pre-existing volcanic arc, and the connection of the southern end of the spreading axis with an oblique active rift in the active arc. Ultimately the active arc lithosphere is sheared as spreading progressively supersedes rifting. Consequently to such incursion of back-arc basin extension into the arc, peeled off and drifted pieces of arc crust are progressively isolated into the back-arc basin. Another consequence is that the New Hebrides arc is split in two distinct microplates, which move independently relative to the lower plate, and thereby define two different subduction systems. We suggest arc fragmentation could be a consequence of the incipient collision of the Loyalty Ridge with the New Hebrides Arc. We further speculate that this kinematic change could have resulted, less than two million year ago, in the initiation of a new subduction orthogonal to the New Hebrides Subduction possibly along the paleo STEP fault. In this geodynamic setting, with an oceanic lithosphere subducting beneath a sheared volcanic arc, a particularly wide range of primitive subduction-related magmas have been produced including adakites, island arc tholeiites, back-arc basin basalts, and medium-K subduction

  3. 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

  4. Driving forces: Slab subduction and mantle convection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hager, Bradford H.

    1988-01-01

    Mantle convection is the mechanism ultimately responsible for most geological activity at Earth's surface. To zeroth order, the lithosphere is the cold outer thermal boundary layer of the convecting mantle. Subduction of cold dense lithosphere provides tha major source of negative buoyancy driving mantle convection and, hence, surface tectonics. There are, however, importnat differences between plate tectonics and the more familiar convecting systems observed in the laboratory. Most important, the temperature dependence of the effective viscosity of mantle rocks makes the thermal boundary layer mechanically strong, leading to nearly rigid plates. This strength stabilizes the cold boundary layer against small amplitude perturbations and allows it to store substantial gravitational potential energy. Paradoxically, through going faults at subduction zones make the lithosphere there locally weak, allowing rapid convergence, unlike what is observed in laboratory experiments using fluids with temperature dependent viscosities. This bimodal strength distribution of the lithosphere distinguishes plate tectonics from simple convection experiments. In addition, Earth has a buoyant, relatively weak layer (the crust) occupying the upper part of the thermal boundary layer. Phase changes lead to extra sources of heat and bouyancy. These phenomena lead to observed richness of behavior of the plate tectonic style of mantle convection.

  5. Geodynamics of the northern Andes: Subductions and intracontinental deformation (Colombia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taboada, Alfredo; Rivera, Luis A.; Fuenzalida, AndréS.; Cisternas, Armando; Philip, Hervé; Bijwaard, Harmen; Olaya, José; Rivera, Clara

    2000-10-01

    New regional seismological data acquired in Colombia during 1993 to 1996 and tectonic field data from the Eastern Cordillera (EC) permit a reexamination of the complex geodynamics of northwestern South America. The effect of the accretion of the Baudó-Panama oceanic arc, which began 12 Myr ago, is highlighted in connection with mountain building in the EC. The Istmina and Ibagué faults in the south and the Santa Marta-Bucaramanga fault to the northeast limit an E-SE moving continental wedge. Progressive indentation of the wedge is absorbed along reverse faults located in the foothills of the Cordilleras (northward of 5°N) and transpressive deformation in the Santander Massif. Crustal seismicity in Colombia is accurately correlated with active faults showing neotectonic morphological evidences. Intermediate seismicity allows to identify a N-NE trending subduction segment beneath the EC, which plunges toward the E-SE. This subduction is interpreted as a remnant of the paleo-Caribbean plateau (PCP) as suggested by geological and tomographic profiles. The PCP shows a low-angle subduction northward of 5.2°N and is limited southward by a major E-W transpressive shear zone. Normal oceanic subduction of the Nazca plate (NP) ends abruptly at the southern limit of the Baudó Range. Northward, the NP subducts beneath the Chocó block, overlapping the southern part of the PCP. Cenozoic shortening in the EC estimated from a balanced section is ˜120 km. Stress analysis of fault slip data in the EC (northward of 4°N), indicates an ˜E-SE orientation of σ1 in agreement with the PCP subduction direction. Northward, near Bucaramanga, two stress solutions were observed: (1) a late Andean N80°E compression and (2) an early Andean NW-SE compression.

  6. Friction and stress coupling on the subduction interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, E.; Lavier, L.; van Avendonk, H.

    2011-12-01

    At a subduction zone, the down-going oceanic plate slides underneath the overriding plate. The frictional resistance to the relative motion between the plates generates great earthquakes along the subduction interface, which can cause tremendous damage in the civil life and property. There is a strong incentive to understand the frictional strength of the subduction interface. One fundamental question of mechanics of subuction is the degree of coupling between the plates, which is linked to the size of earthquakes. It has been noted that the trench-parallel (along-strike) gravity variation correlates positively with the trench-parallel topography anomaly and negatively with the activity of great earthquake (Song and Simons, 2003). Regions with a negative trench-parallel gravity anomaly are more likely to have great earthquakes. The interpretation of such correlation is that strong coupling along subduction interface will drag down the for-arc region of the overriding plate, which generates the gravity and topography anomalies, and could store more strain energy to be released during a great earthquake. We developed a 2D numerical thermo-mechanical code for modeling subduction. The numerical method is based on an explicit finite element method similar to the Fast Lagrangian Analysis of Continua (FLAC) technique. The constitutive law is visco-elasti-plastic with strain weakening. The cohesion and friction angle are reduced with increasing plastic strain after yielding. To track different petrologic phases, Lagrangian particles are distributed in the domain. Basalt-eclogite, sediment-schist and peridotite-serpentinite phase changes are included in the model. Our numerical models show that the degree of coupling negatively correlates with the coefficient of friction. In the low friction case, the subduction interface has very shallow dipping angle, which helps to elastically couple the downing plate with the overriding plate. The topography and gravity anomalies of the

  7. New observations of the active deformation along the oblique collision/subduction boundary zone between the North American and Caribbean plates (northern Hispaniola offshore margin)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carbó-Gorosabel, Andrés; Granja Bruña, José Luis; Rodríguez Zurrunero, Álvaro; Gómez de la Peña, Laura; Muñoz-Martín, Alfonso; Gómez Ballesteros, María; Gorosabel Araus, José Miguel; Espinosa, Salvador; Pazos, Anatonio; Catalán, Manuel; Yamil Rodríguez Asilis, Hector; Nuñez, José Luis; Muñoz, Santiago; ten Brink, Uri S.; Quijano, Jesús; Llanes Estrada, Pilar; Martín Dávila, José; Druet, María

    2015-04-01

    The Caribbean plate is moving relative to the North American plate at a rate of 20.0 ± 0.4 mm/y towards 074° ± 1°. This eastward motion has been taking place during most of the Cenozoic developing a 250 km-wide band of deformation, in which microplate and block tectonics take place. The eastward motion of the Hispaniola block is being impeded relative to the motion of the Caribbean plate's interior due to the collision with the Bahamas banks. This collision has resulted in the development of the Northern Hispaniola deformed belt along the northern Hispaniola offshore margin. A series of large (M6.2-M8.1) thrust earthquakes from 1943-1953, and two significant events in 1994 (M5.6) and 2003 (M6.4) occurred close to the city of Puerto Plata have been attributed to oblique collision/subduction of the North America plate and Bahamas banks beneath the northern Hispaniola. 300 km of 2D multi-channel seismic (MCS) reflection data and approximately 15000 km2 of high-resolution, systematic swath bathymetry data were recorded in the northern Hispaniola offshore margin as part of a larger survey carried out in November-December of 2013 aboard the Spanish R/V Sarmiento de Gamboa. MCS profiles were collected shooting a GI gun array (GGUN-II®) of 1750 ci. every 37.5 m and the signal recorded in a 3000 m-long streamer with 240 channels (Sentinel Sercel®). Differential GPS navigated high-resolution bathymetry data were collected using the hull-mounted Hydrosweep ATLAS DS echo-sounder system. Using new high-resolution multibeam bathymetry and MCS data, combined with previous 2D seismic data, we have studied the along- and across-strike variations of the geomorphology and shallower structure of the northern Hispaniola offshore margin. Here we present preliminary results focused on the identification and characterization of recent tectonic features in the region and provide well-defined targets to carry out future studies for seismic and tsunamigenic hazard assessment.

  8. The proportionality between relative plate velocity and seismicity in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ide, Satoshi

    2013-09-01

    Maximum earthquake magnitude and the rate of seismic activity apparently differ among subduction zones. This variation is attributed to factors such as subduction zone temperature and stress, and the type of material being subducted. The relative velocity between the downgoing and overriding plates controls their tectonic deformation. It is also thought to correlate with seismicity. Here I use the epidemic type aftershock sequence model to calculate the background seismicity rate--the frequency of seismic events above magnitude 4.5--for 117 sections of subduction zones worldwide, during the past century. I demonstrate a proportionality relationship whereby relative plate velocity correlates positively with seismicity rate. This relationship is prominent in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. However, although seismically active, this region has not experienced a magnitude 9 earthquake since 1900. In contrast, the Cascadia, Nankai, southern Chilean and Alaskan subduction zones exhibit low background seismicity rates, yet have experienced magnitude 9 earthquakes in the past century. Slow slip occurs in many of these regions, implying that slow deformation may aid nucleation of very large earthquakes. The proportionality relationship could be used to assess the seismic risk between two endmembers: active subduction zones that generate moderate earthquakes and quiet subduction zones that generate extremely large earthquakes.

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. Variability of South Pacific Tropical Water Subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, X.; Fine, R. A.; Qu, T.

    2014-12-01

    Collection of Argo data provides an opportunity to carefully examine South Pacific Tropical Water (SPTW) subduction rate variability. SPTW is characterized by a vertical salinity maximum exceeding 36.2 psu centered at 20°S and 120°W and lying in the upper thermocline between 24.0 and 25.0 σθ. Subduction rates for SPTW for two different periods are calculated using two methods. Monthly one degree by one degree Argo data covering the South Pacific are used to calculate subduction rates from September 2005 to August 2013, also lateral induction and vertical pumping are calculated. There are two spatial subduction maxima, and the lateral induction process dominates in both maxima. Subduction rates from Argo data vary from 15 to 26 m/yr +/- 7.5% during the 8 year period. Subduction rates are shown to be positively and highly correlated with Southern Oscillation Index. Additionally, using CFC-12 data from the 1990s World Ocean Circulation Experiment, average subduction rate is calculated to be 35 +/- 16.5 m/yr. Some of the difference between Argo and tracer rates is due to a difference in the methods, and some difference may be due to decadal variability. Thus, SPTW subduction rates are shown to vary on interannual and possible decadal time scales.

  12. Evidence for retrograde lithospheric subduction on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandwell, David T.; Schubert, Gerald

    1992-01-01

    Though there is no plate tectonics per se on Venus, recent Magellan radar images and topographic profiles of the planet suggest the occurrence of the plate tectonic processes of lithospheric subduction and back-arc spreading. The perimeters of several large coronae (e.g., Latona, Artemis, and Eithinoha) resemble Earth subduction zones in both their planform and topographic profile. The planform of arcuate structures in Eastern Aphrodite were compared with subduction zones of the East Indies. The venusian structures have radii of curvature that are similar to those of terrestrial subduction zones. Moreover, the topography of the venusian ridge/trench structures is highly asymmetric with a ridge on the concave side and a trough on the convex side; Earth subduction zones generally display the same asymmetry.

  13. Subduction dynamics: Constraints from gravity field observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcadoo, D. C.

    1985-01-01

    Satellite systems do the best job of resolving the long wavelength components of the Earth's gravity field. Over the oceans, satellite-borne radar altimeters such as SEASAT provide the best resolution observations of the intermediate wavelength components. Satellite observations of gravity contributed to the understanding of the dynamics of subduction. Large, long wavelength geoidal highs generally occur over subduction zones. These highs are attributed to the superposition of two effects of subduction: (1) the positive mass anomalies of subducting slabs themselves; and (2) the surface deformations such as the trenches convectively inducted by these slabs as they sink into the mantle. Models of this subduction process suggest that the mantle behaves as a nonNewtonian fluid, its effective viscosity increases significantly with depth, and that large positive mass anomalies may occur beneath the seismically defined Benioff zones.

  14. 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

  15. Flat Subduction and Dynamic Topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lithgow-Bertelloni, C. R.; Dávila, F. M.; Eakin, C. M.; Crameri, F.

    2014-12-01

    Mantle dynamics manifests at the surface via the horizontal motions of plates and the vertical deflections that influence topography and the non-hydrostatic geoid. The pioneering work of Mitrovica et al. (1989) and Gurnis (1990) on this dynamic topography revolutionized our understanding of sedimentary basin formation, sea level changes and continental flooding. The temporal evolution of subduction can explain the migration of basins and even the drainage reversal of the Amazon (Shephard et al., 2012; Eakin et al., 2014). Until recently, flat subduction has been seen as enhancing downward deflection of the overriding plate and increasing flooding. However, this interpretation depends crucially on the details of the morphology and density structure of the slab, which controls the loci and amplitude of the deflection. We tend to ignore morphological details in mantle dynamics because flow can smooth out short wavelength variations. We have shown instead that details matter! Using South America as a natural laboratory because of the large changes in morphology of the Nazca slab along strike, we show that downward deflection of the overriding plate and hence basin formation, do not occur over flat segments but at the leading edge, where slabs plunge back into the mantle. This is true in both Argentina and Peru. The temporal evolution from a 'normally' dipplng slab to a flat slab leads to uplift over flat segments rather than enhanced subsidence. Critical for this result is the use of a detailed morphological model of the present-day Nazca slab with a spatial resolution of 50-100 km and based on relocated seismicity and magnetotelluric results. The density structure of the slab, due to age and the presence of overthickened crust from aseismic ridge subduction is essential. Overthickened crust leads to buoyant slabs. We reproduce formation and deposition of the Acres-Solimoes basin and the evolution of the Amazon drainage basin in Peru as well as the Mar Chiquita

  16. Convective Removal of Continental Margin Lithosphere at the Edges of Subducting Oceanic Plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levander, A.; Bezada, M. J.; Palomeras, I.; Masy, J.; Humphreys, E.; Niu, F.

    2013-12-01

    Although oceanic lithosphere is continuously recycled to the deeper mantle by subduction, the rates and manner in which different types of continental lithospheric mantle are recycled is unclear. Cratonic mantle can be chemically reworked and essentially decratonized, although the frequency of decratonization is unclear. Lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts can be lost to the deeper mantle by convective downwellings and delamination phenomena. Here we describe how subduction related processes at the edges of oceanic plates adjacent to passive continental margins removes the mantle lithosphere from beneath the margin and from the continental interior. This appears to be a widespread means of recycling non-cratonic continental mantle. Lithospheric removal requires the edge of a subducting oceanic plate to be at a relatively high angle to an adjacent passive continental margin. From Rayleigh wave and body wave tomography, and receiver function images from the BOLIVAR and PICASSO experiments, we infer large-scale removal of continental margin lithospheric mantle from beneath 1) the northern South American plate margin due to Atlantic subduction, and 2) the Iberian and North African margins due to Alboran plate subduction. In both cases lithospheric mantle appears to have been removed several hundred kilometers inland from the subduction zones. This type of ';plate-edge' tectonics either accompanies or pre-conditions continental margins for orogenic activity by thinning and weakening the lithosphere. These processes show the importance of relatively small convective structures, i.e. small subducting plates, in formation of orogenic belts.

  17. 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

  18. Origin and dynamics of depositionary subduction margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vannucchi, Paola; Morgan, Jason P.; Silver, Eli A.; Kluesner, Jared W.

    2016-06-01

    Here we propose a new framework for forearc evolution that focuses on the potential feedbacks between subduction tectonics, sedimentation, and geomorphology that take place during an extreme event of subduction erosion. These feedbacks can lead to the creation of a "depositionary forearc," a forearc structure that extends the traditional division of forearcs into accretionary or erosive subduction margins by demonstrating a mode of rapid basin accretion during an erosive event at a subduction margin. A depositionary mode of forearc evolution occurs when terrigenous sediments are deposited directly on the forearc while it is being removed from below by subduction erosion. In the most extreme case, an entire forearc can be removed by a single subduction erosion event followed by depositionary replacement without involving transfer of sediments from the incoming plate. We need to further recognize that subduction forearcs are often shaped by interactions between slow, long-term processes, and sudden extreme events reflecting the sudden influences of large-scale morphological variations in the incoming plate. Both types of processes contribute to the large-scale architecture of the forearc, with extreme events associated with a replacive depositionary mode that rapidly creates sections of a typical forearc margin. The persistent upward diversion of the megathrust is likely to affect its geometry, frictional nature, and hydrogeology. Therefore, the stresses along the fault and individual earthquake rupture characteristics are also expected to be more variable in these erosive systems than in systems with long-lived megathrust surfaces.

  19. Origin and dynamics of depositionary subduction margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vannucchi, Paola; Morgan, Jason P.; Silver, Eli; Kluesner, Jared

    2016-01-01

    Here we propose a new framework for forearc evolution that focuses on the potential feedbacks between subduction tectonics, sedimentation, and geomorphology that take place during an extreme event of subduction erosion. These feedbacks can lead to the creation of a “depositionary forearc,” a forearc structure that extends the traditional division of forearcs into accretionary or erosive subduction margins by demonstrating a mode of rapid basin accretion during an erosive event at a subduction margin. A depositionary mode of forearc evolution occurs when terrigenous sediments are deposited directly on the forearc while it is being removed from below by subduction erosion. In the most extreme case, an entire forearc can be removed by a single subduction erosion event followed by depositionary replacement without involving transfer of sediments from the incoming plate. We need to further recognize that subduction forearcs are often shaped by interactions between slow, long-term processes, and sudden extreme events reflecting the sudden influences of large-scale morphological variations in the incoming plate. Both types of processes contribute to the large-scale architecture of the forearc, with extreme events associated with a replacive depositionary mode that rapidly creates sections of a typical forearc margin. The persistent upward diversion of the megathrust is likely to affect its geometry, frictional nature, and hydrogeology. Therefore, the stresses along the fault and individual earthquake rupture characteristics are also expected to be more variable in these erosive systems than in systems with long-lived megathrust surfaces.

  20. Advancing Subduction Zone Science After a Big Quake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beck, Susan; Rietbrock, Andreas; Tilmann, Frederik; Barrientos, Sergio; Meltzer, Anne; Oncken, Onno; Bataille, Klause; Roecker, Steven; Vilotte, Jean-Pierre; Russo, Raymond M.

    2014-06-01

    After a long quiet period for earthquake activity with magnitude greater than 8.5, several great subduction megathrust earthquakes occurred during the past decade: Sumatra in 2004 and 2005, Chile in 2010, and Japan in 2011. Each of these events caused loss of life and damage to critical infrastructure on an enormous scale. And, in April, a Mw 8.2 earthquake occurred off the Chilean coast.

  1. Seismic anisotropy above a subducting plate

    SciTech Connect

    Shih, X.R.; Meyer, R.P. ); Schneider, J.F. )

    1991-08-01

    Shear-wave splitting observed in northeastern Colombia has provided evidence of seismic anisotropy in a shear zone immediately above a subducting plate. In an upper mantle composed mainly of olivine (57%) and orthopyroxene (17%), the splitting can be interpreted by wave propagation in an anisotropic medium of orthorhombic symmetry that results from alignment of these intrinsically anisotropic minerals. The mechanism of alignment is most likely the shearing associated with the subduction, aided by fluids migrating from the subducting plate when the plate exceeds 100 km in depth.

  2. New access to the deep interior of the Nankai accretionary complex and comprehensive characterization of subduction inputs and recent mega splay fault activity (IODP-NanTroSEIZE Expedition 338)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strasser, Michael; Moore, Gregory F.; Kanagawa, Kyuichi; Dugan, Brandon; Fabbri, Olivier; Toczko, Sean; Maeda, Lena

    2013-04-01

    The Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment (NanTroSEIZE) is a coordinated, multi-expedition Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) drilling project designed to investigate fault mechanics and seismogenesis along subduction megathrusts through direct sampling, in situ measurements, and long-term monitoring in conjunction with allied laboratory and numerical modeling studies. IODP Expedition 338 (1 October 2012 - 13 January 2013), extended riser Hole C0002F from 856 meters below the sea floor (mbsf) to 2005 mbsf. Site C0002 is the centerpiece of the NanTroSEIZE project, and is planned to be deepened to eventually reach the seismogenic fault zone during upcoming drilling expeditions. The original Exp. 338 operational plan to case the hole to 3600 mbsf had to be revised as sudden changes in sea conditions resulted in damage to parts of the riser system, thus the hole was suspended at 2005 mbsf but left for future re-entry. The revised operation plan included additional riserless logging and coring of key targets not sampled during previous NanTroSEIZE expeditions, but relevant to comprehensively characterize the alteration stage of the oceanic basement input to the subduction zone, the early stage of Kumano Basin evolution and the recent activity of the shallow mega splay fault zone system and submarine landslides. Here we present preliminary results from IODP Exp. 338: Logging While Drilling (LWD), mud gas monitoring and analysis on cuttings from the deep riser hole characterize two lithological units within the internal accretionary prism, separated by a prominent fault zone at ~1640 mbsf. Internal style of deformation, downhole increase of thermogenically formed formation gas and evidence for mechanical compaction and cementation document a complex structural evolution and provide unprecedented insights into the mechanical state and behavior of the wedge at depth. Additionally, multiple samples of the unconformity between the Kumano Basin and accretionary prism

  3. Metamorphic Perspectives of Subduction Zone Volatiles Cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bebout, G. E.

    2008-12-01

    Field study of HP/UHP metamorphic rocks provides "ground-truthing" for experimental and theoretical petrologic studies estimating extents of deep volatiles subduction, and provides information regarding devolatilization and deep subduction-zone fluid flow that can be used to reconcile estimates of subduction inputs and arc volcanic outputs for volatiles such as H2O, N, and C. Considerable attention has been paid to H2O subduction in various bulk compositions, and, based on calculated phase assemblages, it is thought that a large fraction of the initially structurally bound H2O is subducted to, and beyond, subarc regions in most modern subduction zones (Hacker, 2008, G-cubed). Field studies of HP/UHP mafic and sedimentary rocks demonstrate the impressive retention of volatiles (and fluid-mobile elements) to depths approaching those beneath arcs. At the slab-mantle interface, high-variance lithologies containing hydrous phases such as mica, amphibole, talc, and chlorite could further stabilize H2O to great depth. Trench hydration in sub-crustal parts of oceanic lithosphere could profoundly increase subduction inputs of particularly H2O, and massive flux of H2O-rich fluids from these regions into the slab-mantle interface could lead to extensive metasomatism. Consideration of sedimentary N concentrations and δ15N at ODP Site 1039 (Li and Bebout, 2005, JGR), together with estimates of the N concentration of subducting altered oceanic crust (AOC), indicates that ~42% of the N subducting beneath Nicaragua is returned in the corresponding volcanic arc (Elkins et al., 2006, GCA). Study of N in HP/UHP sedimentary and basaltic rocks indicates that much of the N initially subducted in these lithologies would be retained to depths approaching 100 km and thus available for addition to arcs. The more altered upper part of subducting oceanic crust most likely to contribute to arcs has sediment-like δ15NAir (0 to +10 per mil; Li et al., 2007, GCA), and study of HP/UHP eclogites

  4. Geological record of fluid flow and seismogenesis along an erosive subducting plate boundary.

    PubMed

    Vannucchi, Paola; Remitti, Francesca; Bettelli, Giuseppe

    2008-02-07

    Tectonic erosion of the overriding plate by the downgoing slab is believed to occur at half the Earth's subduction zones. In situ investigation of the geological processes at active erosive margins is extremely difficult owing to the deep marine environment and the net loss of forearc crust to deeper levels in the subduction zone. Until now, a fossil erosive subduction channel-the shear zone marking the plate boundary-has not been recognized in the field, so that seismic observations have provided the only information on plate boundary processes at erosive margins. Here we show that a fossil erosive margin is preserved in the Northern Apennines of Italy. It formed during the Tertiary transition from oceanic subduction to continental collision, and was preserved by the late deactivation and fossilization of the plate boundary. The outcropping erosive subduction channel is approximately 500 m thick. It is representative of the first 5 km of depth, with its deeper portions reaching approximately 150 degrees C. The fossil zone records several surprises. Two décollements were simultaneously active at the top and base of the subduction channel. Both deeper basal erosion and near-surface frontal erosion occurred. At shallow depths extension was a key deformation component within this erosive convergent plate boundary, and slip occurred without an observable fluid pressure cycle. At depths greater than about 3 km a fluid cycle is clearly shown by the development of veins and the alternation of fast (co-seismic) and slow (inter-seismic) slip. In the deepest portions of the outcropping subduction channel, extension is finally overprinted by compressional structures. In modern subduction zones the onset of seismic activity is believed to occur at approximately 150 degrees C, but in the fossil channel the onset occurred at cooler palaeo-temperatures.

  5. Subducted slabs and the geoid: Constraints on mantle rheology and flow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hager, B. H.

    1983-01-01

    The total geoid anomaly which is the result of a given density contrast in a convecting viscous earth is affected by the mass anomalies associated with the flow induced deformation of the upper surface and internal compositional boundaries, as well as by the density contrast itself is discussed. If the internal density contrasts can be estimated, the depth and variation of viscosity with depth of the convecting system can be constrained. The observed long wavelength geoid is highly correlated with that predicted by a density model for seismically active subducted slabs. The amplitude of the correlation is explained if the density contrasts associated with subduction extend into the lower mantle or if subducted slabs exceeding 350 km in thickness are piled up over horizontal distances of thousands of km at the base of the upper mantle. Mantle wide convection in a mantle that has a viscosity increasing with depth provides the explanation of the long-wavelength geoid anomalies over subduction zones.

  6. Oblique subduction modelling indicates along-trench tectonic transport of sediments.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Convergent plate margins are currently distinguished as 'accretional' or 'erosional', depending on the tendency to accumulate sediments, or not, at the trench. Accretion and erosion can coexist along the same margin and we have noticed that this mostly occurs where subduction is oblique. Here we show that at oblique subduction zones, sediments that enter the trench are first buried, and later migrate laterally parallel to the trench and at various depths. Lateral migration of sediments continues until they reach a physical barrier where they begin to accumulate. The accretionary wedge size decreases along the trench moving away from the barrier. We therefore suggest that the gradual variation of the accretionary wedge size and sediment amount at the trench along one single subduction zone, as observed in many active plate margins worldwide, can be explained by the lateral tectonic migration of sediments driven by obliquity of subduction as well.

  7. Evidence for a large-scale remnant of subducted lithosphere beneath Fiji.

    PubMed

    Chen, W P; Brudzinski, M R

    2001-06-29

    We combine spatial variations of P- and S-wave speeds, 1000 fault plane solutions, and 6600 well-determined hypocenters to investigate the nature of subducted lithosphere and deep earthquakes beneath the Tonga back-arc. We show that perplexing patterns in seismicity and fault plane solutions can be accounted for by the juxtaposition of a steep-dipping Wadati-Benioff zone and a subhorizontal remnant of slab that is no longer attached to the actively subducting lithosphere. The detached slab may be from a previous episode of subduction along the fossil Vitiaz trench about 5 to 8 million years ago. The juxtaposition of slabs retains a large amount of subducted material in the transition zone of the mantle. Such a configuration, if common in the past, would allow the preservation of a primordial component in the lower mantle.

  8. Subduction signature in backarc mantle?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, W. R.; Snow, J. E.; Brandon, A. D.; Ohara, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Abyssal peridotites exposed during seafloor extension provide a rare glimpse into the processes occurring within the oceanic mantle. Whole rock and mineral-scale major element data from abyssal peridotites record processes intimately associated with melt-depletion and melt-rock interaction occurring just prior to exposure of the mantle at the surface. Isotopic data, however, can provide insight into the long-term evolution of the oceanic mantle. A number of studies of mantle material exposed along mid-ocean ridges have demonstrated that abyssal peridotites from Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Gakkel Ridge, and Southwest Indian Ridge commonly display a range of whole rock Os isotopic ratios (187Os/188Os = 0.118- 0.130; Brandon et al., 2000; Standish et al., 2002; Alard et al., 2005; Harvey et al., 2006; Liu et al., 2008). The range of isotopic values in each region demonstrates that the oceanic mantle does not melt uniformly over time. Instead, anciently depleted regions (187Os/188Os ≈ 0.118) are juxtaposed against relatively fertile regions (187Os/188Os ≈ 0.130) that are isotopically similar to established primitive mantle values (187Os/188Os = 0.1296; Meisel et al. 2001). Abyssal peridotites from the Godzilla Megamullion and Chaotic Terrain in the backarc Parece Vela Basin (Philippine Sea) display a range of Os isotopic values extending to similar unradiogenic values. However, some of the backarc basin abyssal peridotites record more radiogenic 187Os/188Os values (0.135-0.170) than mid-ocean ridge peridotites. Comparable radiogenic signatures are reported only in highly weathered abyssal peridotites (187Os/188Os ≤ 0.17, Standish et al., 2002) and subduction-related volcanic arc peridotites (187Os/188Os ≤ 0.16, Brandon et al., 1996; Widom et al., 2003). In both the weathered peridotites and arc peridotites, the 187Os/188Os value is negatively correlated with Os abundance: the most radiogenic value has the lowest Os abundance (< 1 ppb) making them highly susceptible to

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  12. 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

  13. A global view of shear wave splitting and mantle flow in subduction systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Maureen; Silver, Paul; Hanna, Jenny; Wirth, Erin; Kincaid, Chris; Montesi, Laurent

    2010-05-01

    The character of the mantle flow field in subduction zone regions remains poorly understood, despite its importance for our understanding of subduction dynamics. Observations of seismic anisotropy, which manifests itself in shear wave splitting, can shed light on the geometry of mantle flow in subduction zones, but placing constraints on anisotropy in various parts of the subduction system (including the overriding plate, the mantle wedge, the subducting slab, and the sub-slab mantle) remains challenging from an observational point of view. In order to identify dynamic processes that make first-order contributions to the pattern of mantle flow in subduction zones, we analyze a global compilation of shear wave splitting measurements for a variety of ray paths, including SK(K)S and teleseismic S phases as well as local S and source-side splitting from slab earthquakes. Key challenges associated with assembling such a compilation include correctly assessing and accounting for any dependence of local S splitting parameters on frequency and correctly characterizing any contribution to SKS splitting measurements from anisotropy within the subducting slab that is unrelated to active mantle flow. We present local case studies from the Japan and Izu-Bonin-Marianas subduction zones that explore frequency-dependent splitting due to heterogeneous anisotropy in the mantle wedge and that use a variety of raypath combinations to isolate the contribution from anisotropy within the slab. Keeping these results in mind, we have compiled shear wave splitting measurements from subduction zones globally from the literature and from our own work to produce estimates of average shear wave splitting parameters - and their spatial variation - for the mantle wedge and the sub-wedge region for individual subduction segments. These estimates are then compared to other parameters that describe subduction. The sub-wedge splitting signal is relatively simple and is dominated by trench

  14. Magmatic consequences of the transition from orthogonal to oblique subduction in Panama

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rooney, Tyrone O.; Morell, Kristin D.; Hidalgo, Paulo; Fraceschi, Pastora

    2015-12-01

    The closure of the Central American Seaway is linked with tectonic and magmatic processes that have controlled the evolution of the Isthmus of Panama. We focus on the terminal stages of arc activity in the Central Panama region, and present new geochemical data from ˜9 Ma explosive silicic volcanism preserved in three syngenetic tuff beds from the Gatun. The magmatic evolution of the Gatun Formation is controlled by a series of magma mushes where pyroxene is the dominant early forming mafic mineral, with amphibole appearing only relatively late in the fractionation sequence. Our data show Gatun lavas exhibit a strong subduction signature, consistent with plate reconstruction models showing arc-normal subduction from Costa Rica to Panama pre-8.5 Ma. However, large ion lithophile elements are depleted in the Gatun Formation in comparison to other regional suites, indicative of a lower flux of subduction fluid to the Gatun Formation mantle source, which is explained by a shift toward magma generation by decompression following the collision of the arc with South America. Oblique subduction commencing ˜8.5 Ma resulted in the shutdown of normal arc activity throughout Panama. We interpret subsequent regional Quaternary adakitic volcanism as a response to this oblique subduction. The now more refractory mantle wedge required greater fluid flux in order to melt. The resultant volatile-rich melts were more prone to deep fractionation of amphibole and garnet cumulates forming adakites. Deep fractionation was potentially enhanced by changing stress regimes on the upper plate caused by oblique subduction.

  15. Detection of earthquake swarms in subduction zones around Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishikawa, T.; Ide, S.

    2015-12-01

    Earthquake swarms in subduction zones are likely to be related with slow slip events (SSEs) and locking on the plate interface. In the Boso-Oki region in central Japan, swarms repeatedly occur accompanying SSEs (e.g, Hirose et al., 2012). It is pointed out that ruptures of great earthquakes tend to terminate in regions with recurring swarm activity because of reduced and heterogeneous locking there (Holtkamp and Brudzinsiki, 2014). Given these observations, we may be able to infer aseismic slips and spatial variations in locking on the plate interface by investigating swarm activity in subduction zones. It is known that swarms do not follow Omori's law and have much higher seismicity rates than predicted by the ETAS model (e.g., Llenos et al., 2009). Here, we devised a statistical method to detect unexpectedly frequent earthquakes using the space-time ETAS model (Zhuang et al., 2002). We applied this method to subduction zones around Japan (Tohoku, Ibaraki-Boso-oki, Hokkaido, Izu, Tonankai, Nankai, and Kyushu) and detected swarms in JMA catalog (M ≥ 3) from 2001 to 2010. We detected recurring swarm activities as expected in the Boso-Oki region and also in the Ibaraki-Oki region (see Figures), where intensive foreshock activity was found by Maeda and Hirose (2011). In Tohoku, regions with intensive foreshock activity also appear to roughly correspond to regions with recurring swarm activity. Given that both foreshocks and swarms are triggered by SSEs (e.g., Bouchon et al., 2013), these results suggest that the regions with foreshock activity and swarm activity such as the Ibaraki-Oki region are characterized by extensive occurrences of SSEs just like the Boso-Oki region. Besides Ibaraki-Oki and Boso-Oki, we detected many swarms in Tohoku, Hokkaido, Izu, and Kyushu. On the other hand, swarms are rare in the rupture areas of the 1944 Tonankai and 1946 Nankai earthquakes. These variations in swarm activity may reflect variations in SSE activity among subduction zones

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mookherjee, M.; Mainprice, D.

    2014-12-01

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

  17. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-14

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Crust and subduction zone structure of Southwestern Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  2. Crustal deformation dynamics and stress evolution during seamount subduction: High-resolution 3-D numerical modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruh, Jonas B.; Sallarès, Valentí; Ranero, César R.; Gerya, Taras

    2016-09-01

    Seamounts or submarine volcanoes frequently collide with the overriding crust along presently active subduction zones locally modifying stress and permanent deformation patterns. Dynamics of this process is not fully understood, and several end-member scenarios of seamount-crust interaction are proposed. Here we use high-resolution 3-D numerical models to investigate evolution of crustal deformation and stress distribution within the upper plate induced by the underthrusting of subducting seamounts. The dynamical effects of the upper plate strength, subduction interface strength, and strain weakening of the crust are investigated. Experiment results demonstrate that characteristic crustal fracturing patterns formed in response to different seamount-crust interaction scenarios. Indenting seamounts strongly deform the overriding plate along a corridor as wide as the underthrusting seamount by constantly shifting subvertical shear zones rooted at the seamount extensions. A reentrant develops during initial seamount collision. A topographic bulge atop the seamount and lateral ridges emerge from further seamount subduction. Obtained stress pattern shows areas of large overpressure above the rearward and large underpressure above the trenchward flank of the seamount. Results of numerical experiments are consistent with seismic reflection images and seismic velocity models of the upper plate in areas of seamount subduction along the Middle America Trench and give important insights into the long-lasting question, whether subducting seamounts and rough seafloor act as barriers or asperities for megathrust earthquakes.

  3. Subduction Zone Redox and the Deep Earth Cycles of Sulfur and Chalcophile Elements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canil, D.

    2013-12-01

    Subduction at convergent plate margins is a return flux to the mantle of rocks influenced by weathering, hydrothermal activity, atmospheric exchange, or bio-mineralization in the exosphere. The latter exogenic processes modify the long-term abundance and behaviour of certain elements in the deeper earth that can be traced over time in the chemistry of mantle-derived magmas. The redox budget of subduction is controlled by the flux of oxidized versus reduced forms of Fe, S, H, or C, and impacts the long-term evolution of oxygen on the planet, critical for life in the exosphere. In particular, the sulfur cycle is specifically tied to the evolution of oxygen on Earth's surface over time and critical to biogeochemical cycles on the surface. The behaviour of sulfur in the exogenic system is well-studied and fairly well understood using sedimentary records. An originally sulfidic ocean on Earth gave way with time and oxygenation to one that is sulfate dominated over the last two billion years. In contrast, far less is known of the deep earth cycle of S, and more so its history. The record of the endogenic cycle can only be monitored via what comes out of the mantle (magmas and their gases), or what goes down via subduction (hydrothermally-altered or weathered subducted lithosphere). Interest in the endogenic cycle of S is not new but several outstanding conundrums remain for sulfur in arc magmas that point to the importance of the subduction process. A hitherto ignored component of the paradox of the sulfur cycle is the sedimentary veneer that sits atop the subducted oceanic basalt crust. Compilations show only 0.12 wt% S in altered ocean basalt crust, but up to 10 times that amount in oceanic sediments, tied to their Fe content (in pyrite). These abundances may seem trivial, but the behaviour of this small amount of S in subduction is not fully appreciated and its oxidation potential in the arc mantle is enormous. The conversion of subducted sulfide to sulfate is a 8

  4. The Interdependence of Plate Coupling Processes, Subduction Rate, and Asthenospheric Pressure Drop across Subducting Slabs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Royden, L.; Holt, A.; Becker, T. W.

    2015-12-01

    One advantage of analytical models, in which analytic expressions are used for the various components of the subduction system, is the efficient exploration of parameter space and identification of the physical mechanisms controlling a wide breadth of slab kinematics. We show that, despite subtle differences in how plate interfaces and boundary conditions are implemented, results for single subduction from a 3-D semi-analytical model for subduction FAST (Royden & Husson, 2006; Jagoutz et al., 2015) and from the numerical finite-element model CitcomCU (Moresi & Gurnis, 1996, Zhong et al., 2006) are in excellent agreement when plate coupling (via shear stress on the plate interface) takes place in the FAST without the development of topographic relief at the plate boundary. Results from the two models are consistent across a variety of geometries, with fixed upper plate, fixed lower plate, and stress-free plate ends. When the analytical model is modified to include the development of topography above the subduction boundary, subduction rates are greatly increased, indicating a strong sensitivity of subduction to the mode of plate coupling. Rates of subduction also correlate strongly with the asthenospheric pressure drop across the subducting slab, which drives toroidal flow of the asthenosphere around the slab. When the lower plate is fixed, subduction is relatively slow and the pressure drop from below to above the slab is large, inhibiting subduction and slab roll-back. When the upper plate is fixed and when the plate ends are stress-free, subduction rates are approximately 50% faster and the corresponding asthenospheric pressure drop from below to above the slab is small, facilitating rapid subduction. This qualitative correlation between plate coupling processes, asthenospheric pressure drop, and rates of subduction can be extended to systems with more than one subduction zone (Holt et al., 2015 AGU Fall Abstract). Jagoutz, O., Royden, L., Holt, A. & Becker, T. W

  5. Graphite formation by carbonate reduction during subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galvez, Matthieu E.; Beyssac, Olivier; Martinez, Isabelle; Benzerara, Karim; Chaduteau, Carine; Malvoisin, Benjamin; Malavieille, Jacques

    2013-06-01

    Carbon is transported from Earth's surface into its interior at subduction zones. Carbonates in sediments overlying hydrothermally altered rocks (including serpentinites) within the subducted slab are the main carriers of this carbon. Part of the carbon is recycled back to the surface by volcanism, but some is transferred to the deep Earth. Redox transformations during shallow subduction control the transfer and long-term fate of carbon, but are poorly explored. Here we use carbon stable isotopes and Raman spectroscopy to analyse the reduction of carbonate in an exhumed serpentinite-sediment contact in Alpine Corsica, France. We find that highly crystalline graphite was formed during subduction metamorphism and was concentrated in the sediment, within a reaction zone in direct contact with the serpentinite. The graphite in this reaction zone has a carbon isotopic signature (δ13C) of up to 0.8+/-0.1‰, similar to that of the original calcite that composed the sediments, and is texturally associated with the calcium-bearing mineral wollastonite that is also formed in the process. We use mass-balance calculations to show that about 9% of the total carbonaceous matter in the sedimentary unit results from complete calcite reduction in the reaction zone. We conclude that graphite formation, under reducing and low-temperature conditions, provides a mechanism to retain carbon in a subducting slab, aiding transport of carbon into the deeper Earth.

  6. What really causes flat slab subduction?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manea, V. C.; Perez-Gussinye, M.; Manea, M.

    2014-12-01

    How flat slab geometries are generated has been long debated. It has been suggested thattrenchward motion of thick cratons in some areas of South America and Cenozoic NorthAmerica progressively closed the asthenospheric wedge and induced flat subduction. Here wedevelop time-dependent numerical experiments to explore how trenchward motion of thickcratons may result in flat subduction. We find that as the craton approaches the trench andthe wedge closes, two opposite phenomena control slab geometry: the suction between oceanand continent increases, favoring slab flattening, while the mantle confined within the closingwedge dynamically pushes the slab backward and steepens it. When the slab retreats, as inthe Peru and Chile flat slabs, the wedge closure rate and dynamic push are small and suctionforces generate, in some cases, flat subduction. We model the past 30 m.y. of subduction in theChilean flat slab area and demonstrate that trenchward motion of thick lithosphere, 200-300km, currently ~700-800 km away from the Peru-Chile Trench, reproduces a slab geometrythat fits the stress pattern, seismicity distribution, and temporal and spatial evolution ofdeformation and volcanism in the region. We also suggest that varying trench kinematics mayexplain some differing slab geometries along South America. When the trench is stationaryor advances, the mantle flow within the closing wedge strongly pushes the slab backward andsteepens it, possibly explaining the absence of flat subduction in the Bolivian orocline.

  7. New Insights Into the Dynamics of Wedge Areas from a 2d Numerical Study of the Effects of Shear Heating and Mantle Hydration on AN Ocean-Continent Subduction System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regorda, A.; Roda, M.; Marotta, A. M.; Spalla, M. I.

    2015-12-01

    To obtain new insights regarding the mechanisms that favor the exhumation of buried crustal material during ocean-continent subduction, we have developed a 2D finite element model that investigates the effects of shear heating and mantle hydration on the dynamics of wedge areas. The development of the model consists of an initial phase of active oceanic subduction and a second phase, after collision, of pure gravitational evolution; in addition, it considers 3 different velocities of active subduction. Our results show that accounting for mantle hydration is essential to produce small-scale convective flows in a wedge area with the consequent recycling and exhumation of subducted material. In addition, the dynamics of hydrated areas are strictly correlated to the thermal state at the external boundaries of the mantle wedge, and the extension of hydrated areas is independent from the subduction velocities when mantle hydration and shear heating are simultaneously considered during the active subduction phase. During the pure gravitational phase, the hydrated portion of the wedge undergoes a progressive enlargement for models with a high subduction velocity during the previous active phase. Finally, a comparison between the predicted P/T ratios and the P-T conditions recorded by markers during subduction, which show metamorphic gradients that are traditionally considered to be distinctive examples of different phases of evolution in an ocean/continent subduction complex, supports the notion that contrasting P-T conditions can contemporaneously characterize different portions of the subduction system during successive phases of modeled subduction-collision.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-07-01

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

  9. Exploring a Link Between Great and Giant Megathrust Earthquakes and Relative Thickness of Sediment and Eroded Debris in the Subduction Channel to Roughness of Subducted Relief

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholl, D. W.; Kirby, S. H.; von Huene, R.

    2011-12-01

    zones. These SZs also exhibit evidence of active basal subduction erosion and the progressive tilting of the margin downward toward the trench and the consequent shedding of avalanche and slide debris to the trench floor. Pilling of material along the landward side of trench buries underthrusting relief, including that of horst and graben bathymetry. Frontal subduction erosion and sediment subduction convey this material into the subduction channel. As documented by von Huene et al (1994, JGR v. 99, n. B11, p. 22, 349), these inferred megathrust-conditioning processes and an exceptionally smooth underthrusting oceanic plate are applicable to the Tohoku-Oki rupture area. We conjecture that at sediment-poor SZs tectonic erosion and mass wasting can thicken the subduction channel adequately to overwhelm and smother low underthrusting bathymetric roughness and thus contribute favorably to lengthy megathrusting rupturing.

  10. Lower crustal rocks in the Norwegian Caledonides: field analogues for understanding the geodynamics of continental subduction and UHP exhumation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersen, Torgeir B.

    2010-05-01

    The Scandinavian Caledonides and their counterparts in East-Greenland represent the best ancient example of a Himalayan-type continental collision orogen on the Earth. The mountain- and plateau areas that formed in response to the Scandian continental collision and the extensional tectonics in the Late Silurian to Devonian were comparable in size to the present-day Himalayas and the Tibetan plateau, with a strike length close to 2000 km and a width of more than 500 km. The collision also affected areas within the overriding continent far behind the collision zone, which gave rise to intra-continental mountains in Arctic Canada. The Iapetus ocean intervening Baltica-Avalonia and Laurentia was consumed by rapid subduction (>12 cm/yr) and closed by the Middle Silurian (~430 Ma). The rapid convergence resulted in deep burial of continental lithosphere to (ultra) high-pressure [(U)HP] conditions. Syn-convergent thrust-stacking and upper crust-extension in the late Silurian to early Devonian was succeeded by buoyant eduction of the deeply buried, but still mostly coherent slab of continental rocks and some included lenses of mantle peridotite. These exhumed lower crustal rocks record a pressure-temperature gradient from amphibolite facies immediately below the Caledonian nappes via a wide belt of eclogite facies rocks (600C; 1.8-2 GPa) to coesite eclogites (700-800C; 2.7-2.8 GPa) across the ca 250 km wide Western Gneiss Region. Although the superstructure of the Scandian mountain belt is only rudimentarily preserved restoration of the SE-NW cross-sections can be used to constrain crustal thicknesses during the collision. These restored cross-sections allow explanation of burial and exhumation of coesite eclogite without direct conversion of pressure to burial. The exhumation of the very local and extreme UHP conditions recorded by micro-diamonds, majorite in peridotite garnet and ortho-pyroxene eclogite barometry cannot, however, be adequately explained by the available

  11. Subduction, collision and initiation of hominin dispersal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schattner, Uri; Lazar, Michael

    2009-09-01

    Subduction is the main driving force of plate tectonics controlling the physiography of the Earth. The northward subduction of the Sinai plate was interrupted during the Early Pleistocene when the Eratosthenes Seamount began to collide with the Cyprian arc. A series of synchronous structural deformations was triggered across the entire eastern Mediterranean, and local topography was drastically accentuation along the Levantine corridor - one of the main pathways of hominin dispersal out of Africa. However, the choice of this preferred pathway and timing of dispersal has not been resolved. Though causes for dispersal out of Africa are in debate, we show that the transition from subduction to collision in the eastern Mediterranean set the route.

  12. Evidence for retrograde lithospheric subduction on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandwell, David T.; Schubert, Gerald

    1992-01-01

    Annular moats and outer rises around large Venus coronas such as Artemis, Latona, and Eithinoha are similar in arcuate planform and topography to the trenches and outer rises of terrestrial subduction zones. On earth, trenches and outer rises are modeled as the flexural response of a thin elastic lithosphere to the bending moment of the subducted slab; this lithospheric flexure model also accounts for the trenches and outer rises outboard of the major coronas on Venus. Accordingly, it is proposed that retrograde lithospheric subduction may be occurring on the margins of the large Venus coronas while compensating back-arc extension is occurring in the expanding coronas interiors. Similar processes may be taking place at other deep arcuate trenches or chasmata on Venus such as those in the Dali-Diana chasmata area of aestern Aphrodite Terra.

  13. Predicting the Isotopic Composition of Subduction-Filtered Subducted Oceanic Crust and Sediment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, W. M.

    2010-12-01

    The chemical and isotopic character of mantle plumes, which produce oceanic island volcanoes, are widely thought to reflect the presence of recycled oceanic crust and sediment. Isotopic systematics suggest the “cycle time” for this process is 1 Ga or longer, but it should be possible to use a simple mass balance approach to discern how the presently operating subduction zone filter affects the ratios of radioactive parent to radiogenic daughter isotopes. Simple uniformitarian assumptions can then be used to predict the present isotopic composition of anciently subducted lithosphere. Our underlying assumption in deciphering the subduction zone filter is that the flux of an element into the deep mantle is simply equal to the flux of element into the subduction zone less the flux of that element into subduction zone magmas. The former is readily calculated from published data. The latter can be calculated by estimating parental magma compositions, arc accretion rates, and the assumption that arc magma compositions differ from MORB only because of material derived from subducting crust and sediment. Using this approach for 8 intra-oceanic subduction zones, we find 73% of Th and Pb, 79% of U, 80% of Rb and Sr, 93% of Nd and 98% of Sm survive the subduction zone filter. The subduction zone filter systematically increases Sm/Nd ratios in all subduction zones, but the effect is small, with a weighted mean increase of 1.5%. The effect of subduction is to decrease the Sm/Nd of the mantle, but only slightly. The effect of subduction is to increase the Rb/Sr of the mantle, but the subduction zone filter does not have a systematic effect on Rb/Sr ratios: it significantly increases in Rb/Sr in 3 subduction zones and significantly decreases it in one; the weighted mean shows no significant change. The effect of the subduction zone filter on U/Pb is also not systematic. U/Pb ratios in the mantle fluxes are bimodal, with values equal to or lower than the bulk Earth value in 4

  14. Some aspects of the tectonics of subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aubouin, Jean

    1989-03-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Subduction trench migration since the Cretaceous

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, S.; Flament, N. E.; Müller, D.; Butterworth, N. P.

    2015-12-01

    Much of our knowledge about subduction zone processes is derived from analyzing present-day Earth. Several studies of contemporary plate motions have investigated the balance between retreating and advancing trenches and shown that subduction zone kinematics are sensitive to the choice of Absolute Plate Motion (APM) model (or "reference frame"). For past times, the absolute motions of the lithospheric plates relative to the Earth's deep interior over tens of millions of years are commonly constrained using observations from paleomagnetism and age-progressive seamount trails. In contrast, a reference frame linking surface plate motions to subducted slab remnants mapped from seismic tomography has recently been proposed. APM models derived using different methodologies, different subsets of hotspots, or differing assumptions of hotspot motion, have contrasting implications for parameters that describe the long term state of the plate-mantle system, such as the balance between advance and retreat of subduction zones, plate velocities, and net lithospheric rotation. Here we quantitatively compare the subduction zone kinematics, net lithospheric rotation and fit to hotspot trails derived the last 130 Myr for a range of alternative reference frames and a single relative plate motion model. We find that hotspot and tomographic slab-remnant reference frames yield similar results for the last 70 Myr. For the period between 130 and 70 Ma, when hotspot trails become scarce, hotspot reference frames yield a much more dispersed distribution of slab advance and retreat velocities, which is considered geodynamically less plausible. By contrast, plate motions calculated using the slab-remnant reference frame, or using a reference frame designed to minimise net rotation, yield more consistent subduction zone kinematics for times older than 70 Ma. Introducing the global minimisation of trench migration rates as a key criterion in the construction of APM models forms the foundation

  17. The Cascadia Subduction Zone and related subduction systems: seismic structure, intraslab earthquakes and processes, and earthquake hazards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirby, Stephen H.; Wang, Kelin; Dunlop, Susan

    2002-01-01

    The following report is the principal product of an international workshop titled “Intraslab Earthquakes in the Cascadia Subduction System: Science and Hazards” and was sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Geological Survey of Canada and the University of Victoria. This meeting was held at the University of Victoria’s Dunsmuir Lodge, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada on September 18–21, 2000 and brought 46 participants from the U.S., Canada, Latin America and Japan. This gathering was organized to bring together active research investigators in the science of subduction and intraslab earthquake hazards. Special emphasis was given to “warm-slab” subduction systems, i.e., those systems involving young oceanic lithosphere subducting at moderate to slow rates, such as the Cascadia system in the U.S. and Canada, and the Nankai system in Japan. All the speakers and poster presenters provided abstracts of their presentations that were a made available in an abstract volume at the workshop. Most of the authors subsequently provided full articles or extended abstracts for this volume on the topics that they discussed at the workshop. Where updated versions were not provided, the original workshop abstracts have been included. By organizing this workshop and assembling this volume, our aim is to provide a global perspective on the science of warm-slab subduction, to thereby advance our understanding of internal slab processes and to use this understanding to improve appraisals of the hazards associated with large intraslab earthquakes in the Cascadia system. These events have been the most frequent and damaging earthquakes in western Washington State over the last century. As if to underscore this fact, just six months after this workshop was held, the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually earthquake occurred on February 28th, 2001 at a depth of about 55 km in the Juan de Fuca slab beneath the southern Puget Sound region of western Washington. The Governor

  18. The proportionality between relative plate velocity and seismicity in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ide, S.

    2013-12-01

    Seismic activity differs among subduction zones due to various factors such as relative plate velocity, temperature, stress, and subducting materials. Relative plate velocity has a direct control on tectonic deformation and an overall correlation with seismicity has been suggested, as a global average or for large regions. Here I show a positive correlation between relative plate velocity and seismicity by estimating the background seismicity rate for 117 sections of subduction zones worldwide using the epidemic type aftershock sequence (ETAS) model. The background rate is stably estimated even for the period following M9-class earthquakes in Chile and Japan. A prominent proportional relationship is evident in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. Given that M9-class earthquakes occur independently of one another, the lack of M9 earthquakes in the southwestern Pacific Ocean over the last century is difficult to explain by chance. On the other hand, some subduction zones have extremely low background seismicity, and have experienced very large earthquakes. Slow earthquakes have been discovered in many of these quiet zones. Thus, this proportionality relation may be useful in assessing the seismic risk in subduction zones worldwide between two apparently confusing end members: 'active and moderate' and 'quiet and extreme'.

  19. Geochemical constraints on possible subduction components in lavas of Mayon and Taal Volcanoes, Southern Luzon, Philippines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Castillo, P.R.; Newhall, C.G.

    2004-01-01

    Mayon is the most active volcano along the east margin of southern Luzon, Philippines. Petrographic and major element data indicate that Mayon has produced a basaltic to andesitic lava series by fractional crystallization and magma mixing. Trace element data indicate that the parental basalts came from a heterogeneous mantle source. The unmodified composition of the mantle wedge is similar to that beneath the Indian Ocean. To this mantle was added a subduction component consisting of melt from subducted pelagic sediment and aqueous fluid dehydrated from the subducted basaltic crust. Lavas from the highly active Taal Volcano on the west margin of southern Luzon are compositionally more variable than Mayon lavas. Taal lavas also originated from a mantle wedge metasomatized by aqueous fluid dehydrated from the subducted basaltic crust and melt plus fluid derived from the subducted terrigenous sediment. More sediment is involved in the generation of Taal lavas. Lead isotopes argue against crustal contamination. Some heterogeneity of the unmodified mantle wedge and differences in whether the sediment signature is transferred into the lava source through an aqueous fluid or melt phase are needed to explain the regional compositional variation of Philippine arc lavas. ?? Oxford University Press 2004; all rights reserved.

  20. Fluid-assisted deformation of the subduction interface: Coupled and decoupled regimes from 2-D hydromechanical modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Liang; May, Dave; Gerya, Taras; Bostock, Michael

    2016-08-01

    Shear deformation, accompanied with fluid activity inside the subduction interface, is related to many tectonic energy-releasing events, including regular and slow earthquakes. We have numerically examined the fluid-rock interactions inside a deforming subduction interface using state-of-the-art 2-D hydromechanical numerical models, which incorporate the rock fracturing behavior as a plastic rheology which is dependent on the pore fluid pressure. Our modeling results suggest that two typical dynamical regimes of the deforming subduction interface exist, namely, a "coupled" and a "decoupled" regime. In the coupled regime the subduction interface is subdivided into multiple rigid blocks, each separated by a narrow shear zone inclined at an angle of 15-20° with respect to the slab surface. In contrast, in the decoupled regime the subduction interface is divided into two distinct layers moving relative to each other along a pervasive slab surface-parallel shear zone. Through a systematic parameter study, we observe that the tensile strength (cohesion) of the material within the subduction interface dictates the resulting style of deformation within the interface: high cohesion (~60 MPa) results in the coupled regime, while low cohesion (~10 MPa) leads to the decoupled regime. We also demonstrate that the lithostatic pressure and inflow/outflow fluid fluxes (i.e., fluid-fluxed boundary condition) influence the location and orientation of faults. Predictions from our numerical models are supported by experimental laboratory studies, geological data, and geophysical observations from modern subduction settings.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Hardebeck, Jeanne L

    2015-09-11

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

  3. Earth's oldest mantle fabrics indicate Eoarchaean subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaczmarek, Mary-Alix; Reddy, Steven M.; Nutman, Allen P.; Friend, Clark R. L.; Bennett, Vickie C.

    2016-02-01

    The extension of subduction processes into the Eoarchaean era (4.0-3.6 Ga) is controversial. The oldest reported terrestrial olivine, from two dunite lenses within the ~3,720 Ma Isua supracrustal belt in Greenland, record a shape-preferred orientation of olivine crystals defining a weak foliation and a well-defined lattice-preferred orientation (LPO). [001] parallel to the maximum finite elongation direction and (010) perpendicular to the foliation plane define a B-type LPO. In the modern Earth such fabrics are associated with deformation of mantle rocks in the hanging wall of subduction systems; an interpretation supported by experiments. Here we show that the presence of B-type fabrics in the studied Isua dunites is consistent with a mantle origin and a supra-subduction mantle wedge setting, the latter supported by compositional data from nearby mafic rocks. Our results provide independent microstructural data consistent with the operation of Eoarchaean subduction and indicate that microstructural analyses of ancient ultramafic rocks provide a valuable record of Archaean geodynamics.

  4. Earth's oldest mantle fabrics indicate Eoarchaean subduction

    PubMed Central

    Kaczmarek, Mary-Alix; Reddy, Steven M.; Nutman, Allen P.; Friend, Clark R. L.; Bennett, Vickie C.

    2016-01-01

    The extension of subduction processes into the Eoarchaean era (4.0–3.6 Ga) is controversial. The oldest reported terrestrial olivine, from two dunite lenses within the ∼3,720 Ma Isua supracrustal belt in Greenland, record a shape-preferred orientation of olivine crystals defining a weak foliation and a well-defined lattice-preferred orientation (LPO). [001] parallel to the maximum finite elongation direction and (010) perpendicular to the foliation plane define a B-type LPO. In the modern Earth such fabrics are associated with deformation of mantle rocks in the hanging wall of subduction systems; an interpretation supported by experiments. Here we show that the presence of B-type fabrics in the studied Isua dunites is consistent with a mantle origin and a supra-subduction mantle wedge setting, the latter supported by compositional data from nearby mafic rocks. Our results provide independent microstructural data consistent with the operation of Eoarchaean subduction and indicate that microstructural analyses of ancient ultramafic rocks provide a valuable record of Archaean geodynamics. PMID:26879892

  5. The role of viscoelasticity in subducting plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrington, R. J.; Moresi, L.-N.; Capitanio, F. A.

    2014-11-01

    of tectonic plates into Earth's mantle occurs when one plate bends beneath another at convergent plate boundaries. The characteristic time of deformation at these convergent boundaries approximates the Maxwell relaxation time for olivine at lithospheric temperatures and pressures, it is therefore by definition a viscoelastic process. While this is widely acknowledged, the large-scale features of subduction can, and have been, successfully reproduced assuming the plate deforms by a viscous mechanism alone. However, the energy rates and stress profile within convergent margins are influenced by viscoelastic deformation. In this study, viscoelastic stresses have been systematically introduced into numerical models of free subduction, using both the viscosity and shear modulus to control the Maxwell relaxation time. The introduction of an elastic deformation mechanism into subduction models produces deviations in both the stress profile and energy rates within the subduction hinge when compared to viscous only models. These variations result in an apparent viscosity that is variable throughout the length of the plate, decreasing upon approach and increasing upon leaving the hinge. At realistic Earth parameters, we show that viscoelastic stresses have a minor effect on morphology yet are less dissipative at depth and result in an energy transfer between the energy stored during bending and the energy released during unbending. We conclude that elasticity is important during both bending and unbending within the slab hinge with the resulting stress loading and energy profile indicating that slabs maintain larger deformation rates at smaller stresses during bending and retain their strength during unbending at depth.

  6. Subduction and volatile recycling in Earth's mantle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    King, S. D.; Ita, J. J.; Staudigel, H.

    1994-01-01

    The subduction of water and other volatiles into the mantle from oceanic sediments and altered oceanic crust is the major source of volatile recycling in the mantle. Until now, the geotherms that have been used to estimate the amount of volatiles that are recycled at subduction zones have been produced using the hypothesis that the slab is rigid and undergoes no internal deformation. On the other hand, most fluid dynamical mantle flow calculations assume that the slab has no greater strength than the surrounding mantle. Both of these views are inconsistent with laboratory work on the deformation of mantle minerals at high pressures. We consider the effects of the strength of the slab using two-dimensional calculations of a slab-like thermal downwelling with an endothermic phase change. Because the rheology and composition of subducting slabs are uncertain, we consider a range of Clapeyron slopes which bound current laboratory estimates of the spinel to perovskite plus magnesiowustite phase transition and simple temperature-dependent rheologies based on an Arrhenius law diffusion mechanism. In uniform viscosity convection models, subducted material piles up above the phase change until the pile becomes gravitationally unstable and sinks into the lower mantle (the avalanche). Strong slabs moderate the 'catastrophic' effects of the instabilities seen in many constant-viscosity convection calculations; however, even in the strongest slabs we consider, there is some retardation of the slab descent due to the presence of the phase change.

  7. Earth's oldest mantle fabrics indicate Eoarchaean subduction.

    PubMed

    Kaczmarek, Mary-Alix; Reddy, Steven M; Nutman, Allen P; Friend, Clark R L; Bennett, Vickie C

    2016-02-16

    The extension of subduction processes into the Eoarchaean era (4.0-3.6 Ga) is controversial. The oldest reported terrestrial olivine, from two dunite lenses within the ∼3,720 Ma Isua supracrustal belt in Greenland, record a shape-preferred orientation of olivine crystals defining a weak foliation and a well-defined lattice-preferred orientation (LPO). [001] parallel to the maximum finite elongation direction and (010) perpendicular to the foliation plane define a B-type LPO. In the modern Earth such fabrics are associated with deformation of mantle rocks in the hanging wall of subduction systems; an interpretation supported by experiments. Here we show that the presence of B-type fabrics in the studied Isua dunites is consistent with a mantle origin and a supra-subduction mantle wedge setting, the latter supported by compositional data from nearby mafic rocks. Our results provide independent microstructural data consistent with the operation of Eoarchaean subduction and indicate that microstructural analyses of ancient ultramafic rocks provide a valuable record of Archaean geodynamics.

  8. 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.

  9. 3D Numerical simulations of oblique subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishii, T.

    2015-12-01

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

  12. Subducted sediment thickness and Mw 9 earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seno, Tetsuzo

    2017-01-01

    I measure the thickness of subducted sediment (Δss) beneath the décollement in the fore-arc wedge and show that the average value of Δss over a subduction zone segment (Δss>¯) is greater than 1.3 km in segments where Mw ≥ 9 earthquakes have occurred and less than 1.2 km in segments without such large earthquakes. In a previous study, I showed that the stress drop (Δσ) of large earthquakes (Mw ≥ 7) averaged over a subduction zone segment (Δσ>¯) is larger in segments where Mw ≥ 9 earthquakes have occurred than in segments without such an event. It has also been shown that Δσ>¯ is linearly related to 1 - λ (λ = the pore fluid pressure ratio in the interplate megathrust). In this study, I revise the previous estimates of Δσ>¯ and λ and show that there is a positive correlation between Δss>¯, Δσ>¯, and 1 - λ. I present a model that relates Δss to 1 - λ based on the porous flow of H2O in the subducted sediments, which gives a theoretical basis for the correlation between Δss>¯ and Δσ>¯. The combination of these parameters thus provides a better indicator for identifying segments where Mw ≥ 9 earthquakes may occur. Based on this, I propose that the tectonic environments where such huge events are likely to occur are (1) near collision zones, (2) near subduction of spreading centers, and (3) erosive margins with compressional fore arcs. Near the Japanese islands, SE Hokkaido is prone to such an event, but the Nankai Trough is not.

  13. Metamorphic records for subduction erosion and subsequent underplating processes revealed by garnet-staurolite-muscovite schists in central Qiangtang, Tibet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiu-Zheng; Dong, Yong-Sheng; Wang, Qiang; Dan, Wei; Zhang, Chunfu; Xu, Wang; Huang, Ming-Liang

    2017-01-01

    Subduction erosion is confirmed as a crucial geodynamic process of crustal recycling based on geological, geochemical, and geophysical observations at modern convergent plate margins. So far, not a single metamorphic record has been used for constraining a general tectonic evolution for subduction erosion. Here we first revealed metamorphic records for a subduction erosion process based on our study of the Late Paleozoic garnet-staurolite-muscovite schists in the central Qiangtang block, Tibet. Provenance analyses suggest that the protoliths of garnet-staurolite-muscovite schists have the Northern Qiangtang-affinity and were deposited in an active continental margin setting. Mineral inclusion data show that the early metamorphic stage (M1) recorded blueschist facies pressure-temperature (P-T) conditions of 0.8-1.1 GPa and 402-441°C, indicating that a part of the material from the overriding plate had been abraded into the subduction channel and undergone high-pressure/low-temperature metamorphism. The peak metamorphic stage (M2) recorded amphibolite facies P-T conditions of 0.3-0.5 GPa and 470-520°C. The 40Ar/39Ar cooling ages (263-259 Ma) yielded from muscovite suggest the amphibolite facies metamorphism (>263 Ma) occurred at oceanic subduction stage. The distinctly staged metamorphism defines a clockwise and warming decompression P-T-t path which reveals an underplating process following the early subduction erosion. During the tectonic process, the eroded low-density material escaped from the cold subduction channel and rise upward into the warm middle-lower crust of the upper plate, undergoing amphibolite facies metamorphism. Our new results revealed a complete evolutional process from the early subduction erosion to the subsequent underplating during the northward subduction of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spinelli, G.A.; Wang, K.

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Neotectonics of a subduction/strike-slip transition: the northeastern Dominican Republic

    SciTech Connect

    Winslow, M.A.; McCann, W.R.

    1985-01-01

    The Septentrional fault system in the northeastern Dominican Republic marks the zone where the North American-Carribean plate boundary is evolving from subduction to strike-slip motion, and where terranes appear to be forming and migrating laterally in a subduction complex/forearc region. On the Island of Hispaniola, slip vectors are oblique to the strike of the Puerto Rico trench, and oblique subduction thrusts the upper plate over normal seafloor. The offshore geology and seismicity of the northern Caribbean suggest that uplift, broad crustal warping, thrusting, and strike-slip faulting (ie. collisional tectonics) should be present in the northern part of the Dominican Republic. The high topography (>1000m), high levels of seismicity, and large earthquakes support the hypothesis of contemporary deformation in Hispaniola. In this region, the subduction regime dies out toward the west, and deformation is transferred to onshore, oblique-slip faults. As this change in tectonic style has occurred in Neogene to Recent times, we are investigating the modern evolution of a plate boundary. We have already documented: (1) the presence of a strike-slip faulting in the northeastern Dominican Republic; (2) an anomalous push-up structure; and (3) a region of numerous splay faults. In conclusion, recent seismicity suggest a wide zone of deformation and variations in interplate motions near Hispaniola. This island lies at the western limit of active underthrusting and at the eastern limit of onshore faulting, i.e., at an important transition from a subduction to strike-slip regime.

  16. The golden transformation of the Cretaceous plate subduction in the west Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Weidong; Ding, Xing; Hu, Yan-Hua; Li, Xian-Hua

    2007-10-01

    Long-term couplings between the subducting and overlying plates are very important to understanding plate tectonics, in particular intraplate evolutions. Geological records of this coupling however, are usually not well preserved. Here we show a good example in eastern China where Cretaceous tectonic evolution matches remarkably well with the drifting history of the Pacific plate. The most pronounced phenomenon is that the eastern China large-scale orogenic lode gold (Au) mineralization occurred contemporaneously with an abrupt change of ~ 80° in the drifting direction of the subducting Pacific plate, concurrent with the formation of the Ontong Java Plateau. Given that lode Au deposits usually form at the onset of compressional or transpressional deformations, the Au deposits dated the major tectonic change from extension to transpression in eastern China, coherent with the subduction regime. The Cretaceous drifting history of the Pacific plate also tallies with other major geological events in eastern China, e.g., the evolution of the Tan-Lu fault and magmatic activities, suggesting that the major geological events in eastern China in the Cretaceous were mainly controlled by the subduction of the Pacific plate, and that plate interactions during subduction are important driving forces for geological evolution in eastern China and intraplate tectonics in general.

  17. 3D Finite-Difference Modeling of Scattered Teleseismic Wavefields in a Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozov, I. B.; Zheng, H.

    2005-12-01

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

  18. A 2-D tomographic model of the Juan de Fuca plate from accretion at axial seamount to subduction at the Cascadia margin from an active source ocean bottom seismometer survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horning, G.; Canales, J. P.; Carbotte, S. M.; Han, S.; Carton, H.; Nedimović, M. R.; Keken, P. E.

    2016-08-01

    We report results from a wide-angle controlled source seismic experiment across the Juan de Fuca plate designed to investigate the evolution of the plate from accretion at the Juan de Fuca ridge to subduction at the Cascadia margin. A two-dimensional velocity model of the crust and upper mantle is derived from a joint reflection-refraction traveltime inversion. To interpret our tomography results, we first generate a plausible baseline velocity model, assuming a plate cooling model and realistic oceanic lithologies. We then use an effective medium theory to infer from our tomography results the extent of porosity, alteration, and water content that would be required to explain the departure from the baseline model. In crust of ages >1 Ma and away from propagator wakes and regions of faulting due to plate bending, we obtain estimates of upper crustal hydration of 0.5-2.1 wt % and find mostly dry lower crust and upper mantle. In sections of the crust affected by propagator wakes we find upper estimates of upper crustal, lower crustal, and upper mantle hydration of 3.1, 0.8, and 1.8 wt %, respectively. At the Cascadia deformation front, we find that the amount of water stored at uppermost mantle levels in the downgoing JdF plate is very limited (<0.3 wt %), with most of the water carried into the subduction zone being stored in the oceanic crust.

  19. Analog Modeling of Continental Lithosphere Subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willingshofer, E.; Sokoutis, D.; Luth, S.; Beekman, F.; Cloetingh, S.

    2012-12-01

    Lithospheric-scale analog modeling sheds light on the consequences of decoupling within the continental lithosphere and along plate interfaces during continental collision. The model results provide valuable information in terms of strain localization, deformation of the subducting slab and the evolution and architecture of the overlying mountain belt and its topography. A weak layer has been implemented in three-layer models to simulate decoupling along the plate interface and at different levels of the lithosphere (brittle-ductile transition, entire lower crust, crust-mantle boundary). Additionally, varying the strength of the mantle lithosphere of both the upper as well as the lower plate regulated the degree of plate coupling. Plate boundaries were orthogonal to the convergence direction. All models emphasize that strong decoupling at the plate interface is a pre-requisite for the subduction of continental lithosphere. In addition, deformation of the subducting slab was found to be sensitive to the strength contrast between the subduction zone and the mantle lithosphere of the downgoing as well as the upper plate. As such, a low strength contrast between the plate interface and the lower plate leads to deformation of the subducting slab by thickening and the development of a shallow slab. Conversely, when the strength contrast is high, deep slabs evolve which undergo relatively less deformation. Furthermore, the level of decoupling in the downgoing plate governs how much continental crust is subducted together with the mantle lithosphere. Shallow decoupling, at the brittle-ductile transition, results in subduction of the lower crust whereas small amounts of lower crust are subducted when decoupling occurs at the level of the Moho. Weak plate coupling and a weak lower crust of the lower plate steer the evolution of mountain belts such that deformation propagates outward, in the direction of the incoming plate, by successive imbrication of upper crustal thrust

  20. Development of common conversion point stacking of receiver functions for detecting subducted slabs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abe, Y.; Ohkura, T.; Hirahara, K.; Shibutani, T.

    2010-12-01

    In subduction zones, the subducting slabs are thought to convey fluid into the mantle wedge to cause arc volcanism (Hasegawa et al., 2008. Iwamori, 2007). Kawakatsu & Watada (2007) examined the Pacific slab subducting beneath northeast Japan with receiver function (RF) analysis, and revealed where the hydrated oceanic crust and the serpentinized mantle wedge exist. In the other subduction zones, it is also essential to examine subducting slabs for better understanding of water transportation and volcanic activities. In this study, we develop a new method to migrate RFs in order to examine subducting slabs with high dip angle (Abe et al., submitted to GJI) and apply this method to examination of the Philippine Sea slab (PHS). The RF technique is one of the useful methods to obtain seismic velocity discontinuities. Ps phases converted at discontinuities in a teleseismic coda can be detected by RF analysis. RFs are usually converted to depth domain assuming a 1-d velocity structure, and the geometry of discontinuities is obtained (e.g. Yamauchi et al., 2003). In subduction zones, however, subducting slabs usually dip, and we should take into account the refraction of seismic waves at dipping interfaces. Therefore, we use the multi-stage fast marching method (FMM, de Kool et al., 2006) to convert RFs into depth domain. We stack transverse RFs, since polarity of them does not change depending on their dip angles and they are better at detecting phases converted at dipping interfaces than radial RFs. We have confirmed that this method works properly with synthetic test. We apply our method to waveform data observed in Kyushu, Japan, where PHS is subducting toward WNW and the Wadati-Benioff zone dips at 30° at depths up to 80 km, and dips at 70° at depths between 80 km and 170 km. We obtain a vertical section, on which RF amplitude is projected, across central part of Kyushu perpendicular to the depth contour of the Wadati-Benioff zone. On the section, positive peaks of

  1. Deep crustal fracture zones control fluid escape and the seismic cycle in the Cascadia subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tauzin, Benoît; Reynard, Bruno; Perrillat, Jean-Philippe; Debayle, Eric; Bodin, Thomas

    2017-02-01

    Seismic activity and non-volcanic tremors are often associated with fluid circulation resulting from the dehydration of subducting plates. Tremors in the overriding continental crust of several subduction zones suggest fluid circulation at shallower depths, but potential fluid pathways are still poorly documented. Using receiver function analysis in the Cascadia subduction zone, we provide evidence for a seismic discontinuity near 15 km depth in the crust of the overriding North American plate. This interface is segmented, and its interruptions are spatially correlated with conductive regions of the forearc and shallow swarms of seismicity and non-volcanic tremors. These observations suggest that fluid circulation in the overriding plate is controlled by fault zones separating blocks of accreted terranes. These zones constitute fluid escape routes that may influence the seismic cycle by releasing fluid pressure from the megathrust.

  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.

  3. Modelling Subduction Dynamics: The South American Salsa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hale, A. J.; Shephard, G.; Müller, D.; Liu, L.; Gurnis, M.

    2009-12-01

    Plate kinematic and seismic tomography models imply a gradual overriding of the Phoenix and Farallon slabs by the westward movement of the South American plate. This westward translation over the subducted slabs, and the currently subducting Nazca Plate, is expected to generate a dynamic surface topography effect, leading to time-progressive vertical motions and tilting of sedimentary basins and their hinterlands. We have set up a workflow to model these processes including ground-truthing with geological and geophysical data. A combination of geodynamic modelling software, CitcomS, GPlates (gplates.org) software and the Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) facilitates the modelling and visualisation of linked plate kinematics and mantle convection processes. The CitcomS software also allows us to alternatively use forward models, backward models, or combined forward and adjoint models. Forward models are driven by an imposed plate kinematic model and assumed initial subdution structure, whereas backwards models use mantle tomography as an input and run the model backwards by reversing the gravity field. Similarly, adjoint models use tomography as input, but iterate backwards and forwards in time to reach convergence upon present-day mantle structures. Model outputs include time-dependent mantle temperature, viscosity, and surface dynamic topography. Forward model results show that slab evolution under South America are strongly driven by the age of the subducting lithosphere. Hence, we can simulate flat-slab subduction and in regions close to the Chile triple junction we see a slab window developing, detaching older slab material from more recently subducted material. However, the forward model relies on an accurate description of the initial slab geometry at 140Ma to generate the initial slab pull. Forward and adjoint model results both suggest an alternative mechanism for major Miocene changes in paleo-Amazon river drainage. An eastward-sweeping negative dynamic

  4. Decoupling of Pacific subduction zone guided waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garth, T.; Rietbrock, A.

    2010-12-01

    Subduction zone guided wave arrivals have been observed in many circum Pacific subduction zones and have been attributed to the presence of a low velocity layer (LVL) in the subducting slab. This LVL acts as a waveguide for the high frequency energy, while lower frequency energy is not retained and travels in the higher velocity surrounding mantle. This leads to the characteristic dispersion of seismic waves observed. The commonly accepted model for the LVL is the persistence of basaltic oceanic crust to a depth of greater than 150 km. This basaltic oceanic crust has not yet undergone phase transformation to eclogite due to kinetic hindering, and so still has a distinguishably lower velocity than the surrounding mantle. It has been shown that guided waves are only seen from events that occur in or near to the low velocity layer. Similarly it would be expected that guided waves are only seen when the receiver is on the wave guide. However in a subduction zone setting it has been shown that guided wave energy is decoupled from the waveguide, due to the bend of the slab (Martin et al., 2003). Therefore high frequency guided wave energy escapes the waveguide and so can be observed at receivers placed in specific positions on the overriding plate. This decoupling mechanism allows guided waves from intermediate and deep Wadati-Benioff zone earthquakes to be observed. We use a two dimensional finite difference model to investigate the decoupling of wave guide energy due to the geometry of various Pacific subduction zones in order to predict the occurrence of guided wave arrivals along up-dip and along-strike propagation paths. The slab geometry is inferred from the USGS slab contour model slab 1.0. An explosive source is used so that frequency effects of the source do not complicate the results. The thickness of the LVL is inferred from published observations of Pacific subduction zone guided waves. For the along-strike profile we concentrate on the observations of guided

  5. Seismotectonics of the southern boundary of Anatolia, Eastern Mediterranean region: subduction, collision, and arc jumping

    SciTech Connect

    Rotstein, Y.; Kafka, A.L.

    1982-09-10

    The pattern of seismicity and fault plane solutions of earthquakes are used to outline the tectonic features of the southern boundary of Anatolia in the eastern Mediterranean and southeastern Turkey. The results of this study show that this boundary is composed of two distinct parts. One, in southeastern Turkey and Syria, is a wide and complex zone of continental collision. The other, in the Levantine basin of the eastern Mediterranean, is a zone of oceanic subduction. In the region of continental collision three zones of seismicity are observed. Most of the seismic activity in this region follows the Bitlis zone and is associated with a zone of thrusting and mountain building. This appears to be the zone of most active deformation and plate consumption in the plate boundary region between Arabia and Turkey. A less active zone of seismicity to the north of the Bitlis zone is interpreted to have been more active in the past whereas another active zone of seismicity to the south is interpreted to be a zone which may be more active in the future as the main zone of plate consumption jumps to the south. In the subduction zone of the eastern Mediterranean the depth of the subducted slab and the rate of seismicity generally increease from east to west. The zone of present-day convergence between Africa and Turkey in the Levantine basin can be best outlined by the northern edge of the Mediterranean ridge. Deep seismic activity near the Gulf of Antalya is associated with a detached subducted slab north of the Anaximander Mountains that is distinctly different from the seismic trend which is associated with present-day active subduction. Most of the focal mechanisms of the earthquakes along the entire southern boundary of Anatolia indicate that N to NNW thrusting is the dominant mode of seismic deformation.

  6. A geodynamical perspective on the subduction of Cocos and Rivera plates beneath Mexico and Central America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manea, V. C.; Manea, M.; Ferrari, L.

    2013-12-01

    The Middle America subduction zone (MASZ) is one of the world’ most complex convergent margins as it involves the subduction of the Rivera and Cocos young oceanic plates beneath the North American and Caribbean plates and is bounded by the Gulf of California rift and the Panama slab window. Characterized by contorted and unusual slab geometry, irregularly distributed seismicity and volcanism, exceptionally large slow slip events (SSE) and non-volcanic tremors (NVT), this subduction system represents a great natural laboratory for better understanding geodynamic processes at a fundamental level. Based on a solid observational foundation, and incorporating the latest experimental results into a coherent geodynamical framework, we shed light on the main processes controlling the subduction system evolution in this region. The tectonics, volcanism, slab geometry and segmentation along the margin are reviewed from a geodynamical perspective. We proposed and discussed a series of evolutionary scenarios for the Mexican and Central American subduction zones, providing a coherent starting base for future geodynamical modeling studies tailored to this active margin. We discuss comparatively the recently discovered SSEs and NVTs along the MASZ, and try to differentiate among the proposed mechanisms responsible for these observations. Finally we discuss the recent seismic anisotropy observations in a geodynamic context, offering an integrated view of mantle flow pattern along the entire active margin. Although the MASZ as a whole may be considered a fairly complicated region with many unusual features and sometimes controversial interpretations, its complexity and unusual characteristics can improve our knowledge about the linkage between deep and surface processes associated with subduction zone dynamics.

  7. A Geodynamical Perspective on the Subduction of Cocos and Rivera plates beneath Mexico and Central America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manea, V.; Manea, M.; Ferrari, L.

    2013-05-01

    The Middle America subduction zone (MASZ) is one of the world most complex convergent margins as it involves the subduction of the Rivera and Cocos young oceanic plates beneath the North American and Caribbean plates and is bounded by the Gulf of California rift and the Panama slab window. Characterized by contorted and unusual slab geometry, irregularly distributed seismicity and volcanism, exceptionally large slow slip events (SSE) and non-volcanic tremors (NVT), this subduction system represents a great natural laboratory for better understanding geodynamic processes at a fundamental level. Based on a solid observational foundation, and incorporating the latest experimental results into a coherent geodynamical framework, we shed light on the main processes controlling the subduction system evolution in this region. The tectonics, volcanism, slab geometry and segmentation along the margin are reviewed from a geodynamical perspective. We proposed and discussed a series of evolutionary scenarios for the Mexican and Central American subduction zones, providing a coherent starting base for future geodynamical modeling studies tailored to this active margin. We discuss comparatively the recently discovered SSEs and NVTs along the MASZ, and try to differentiate among the proposed mechanisms responsible for these observations. Finally we discuss the recent seismic anisotropy observations in a geodynamic context, offering an integrated view of mantle flow pattern along the entire active margin. Although the MASZ as a whole may be considered a fairly complicated region with many unusual features and sometimes controversial interpretations, its complexity and unusual characteristics can improve our knowledge about the linkage between deep and surface processes associated with subduction zone dynamics.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  9. A Geodynamical Perspective on the Subduction of Cocos and Rivera plates beneath Mexico and Central America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Constantin Manea, Vlad; Manea, Marina; Ferrari, Luca

    2013-04-01

    The Middle America subduction zone (MASZ) is one of the world most complex convergent margins as it involves the subduction of the Rivera and Cocos young oceanic plates beneath the North American and Caribbean plates and is bounded by the Gulf of California rift and the Panama slab window. Characterized by contorted and unusual slab geometry, irregularly distributed seismicity and volcanism, exceptionally large slow slip events (SSE) and non-volcanic tremors (NVT), this subduction system represents a great natural laboratory for better understanding geodynamic processes at a fundamental level. Based on a solid observational foundation, and incorporating the latest experimental results into a coherent geodynamical framework, we shed light on the main processes controlling the subduction system evolution in this region. The tectonics, volcanism, slab geometry and segmentation along the margin are reviewed from a geodynamical perspective. We proposed and discussed a series of evolutionary scenarios for the Mexican and Central American subduction zones, providing a coherent starting base for future geodynamical modeling studies tailored to this active margin. We discuss comparatively the recently discovered SSEs and NVTs along the MASZ, and try to differentiate among the proposed mechanisms responsible for these observations. Finally we discuss the recent seismic anisotropy observations in a geodynamic context, offering an integrated view of mantle flow pattern along the entire active margin. Although the MASZ as a whole may be considered a fairly complicated region with many unusual features and sometimes controversial interpretations, its complexity and unusual characteristics can improve our knowledge about the linkage between deep and surface processes associated with subduction zone dynamics.

  10. Characteristic magnitude of subduction earthquake and upper plate stiffness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakaguchi, A.; Yamamoto, Y.; Hashimoto, Y.; Harris, R. N.; Vannucchi, P.; Petronotis, K. E.

    2013-12-01

    Variations in earthquake magnitude and recurrence intervals of fault behavior are best understood in the context of regional tectonics. Convergent margins may be divided into two end-member types termed erosive and accretionary plate boundaries (e.g. von Huene and Scholl, 1991; Clift and Vannucchi, 2004). These margins often differ greatly in in lithology, physical properties and thermal conditions. The Nankai accretionary margin has a 1300-year historical earthquake record with a recurrence interval of 100-150 years (Ando, 1975). Great earthquakes at Nankai are typically tsunamigenic and include the 1944 Tonankai (Mw=8.1) and 1946 Nankaido (Mw=8.1) earthquakes (Kanamori, 1977). In contrast, the Middle America trench offshore Costa Rica events of M=7.6 reoccur on average of every 40 years. Comparisons between these margins may produce insights into mechanisms that influence characteristic magnitudes and recurrence intervals of subduction earthquakes. The IODP Costa-Rica Seismogenesis Program (CRISP) has carried out the first step toward the deep riser drilling by characterizing the shallow lithologic, hydrologic, stress, and thermal state at offshore Osa Peninsula (Vannucchi et al., 2011; Harris et al., 2013). CRISP drilling reveals that the shallow basement of upper plate crust is forearc basin material consisting of lithic sedimentary units with terrigenous sediment accumulated at a high rate. A large sediment flux to the forearc may have originated from the uplifted back-arc Talamanca Cordillera due to Cocos-Ridge subduction (Lonsdale and Klitgord, 1978; van Andel et al., 1971). Both drilling area of the Nankai and Costa-Rica, off Osa are characterized by the subduction of young oceanic crust with high heat flow and active fluid flow (Spinelli and Wang, 2008; Spinelli and Harris, 2011; Harris et al., 2010). The P-wave velocity structure shows that upper plate body of Costa Rica is much more lithified than the Nankai margin. In frictional stick-slip system, the

  11. Postglacial rebound at the northern Cascadia subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, Thomas S.; Clague, John J.; Wang, Kelin; Hutchinson, Ian

    2000-10-01

    Postglacial rebound is the response of the Earth to the decay of ice-sheets. A postglacial rebound model explains crustal tilting and rapid uplift at the northern Cascadia subduction zone that occurred during retreat of the Cordilleran ice-sheet. Observations explained by the model include the shoreline tilts of two proglacial lakes that formed at 13.5-14 ka ( 14C yr ago) and rapid sea level fall (land uplift) at 12-12.5 ka. Modelled mantle viscosity values range from 5×10 18 to 5×10 19 Pa s, and are consistent with previous viscosity inferences from observations of crustal deformation following subduction zone earthquakes (10 18-10 19 Pa s). No lower limit to subduction zone mantle viscosity is apparent from our model, but viscosity values equal to or larger than 10 20 Pa s are definitely ruled out. Our modelled subduction zone viscosity values are smaller than most upper-mantle viscosity estimates derived from postglacial rebound studies of tectonically less-active regions (10 20-10 21 Pa s). The rapid observed uplift at 12 ka requires, in addition to a low mantle viscosity, rapid unloading from a sudden collapse of remaining coastal portions of the southern Cordilleran ice-sheet. The sudden collapse provides 0.18 m of global eustatic sea level rise, approximately 0.7% of the sea level rise associated with melt-water pulse IA. Predictions of a global postglacial rebound model (ICE-3G) with a 10 21 Pa s upper-mantle viscosity were previously applied to geodetic data from this region to isolate signals associated with the earthquake cycle. Owing to the low-viscosity values, and resulting rapid recovery of glacial deformation, our model predicts present-day postglacial rebound uplift rates at least 10 times smaller than ICE-3G (less than about 0.1 mm/yr). As the ICE-3G adjustments were substantial, this indicates the need for re-evaluation of the geodetic data.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Methane and propane micro-inclusions in olivine in titanoclinohumite-bearing dunites from the Sanbagawa high-P metamorphic belt, Japan: Hydrocarbon activity in a subduction zone and Ti mobility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arai, Shoji; Ishimaru, Satoko; Mizukami, Tomoyuki

    2012-11-01

    Micro-inclusions of methane and propane were examined in olivine and titanoclinohumite in dunite from Fujiwara, Sanbagawa high-P/T metamorphic belt, Japan, in order to understand the behavior of hydrocarbons in the subduction zone and mantle wedge. In the Fujiwara dunite, olivines coexist with magnetite and exhibit a wide range of chemical compositions (Fo88-96 and 0.2-0.6 wt% NiO), possibly indicating a deserpentinization origin for the dunite. The primary chromian spinel shows an intermediate Cr/(Cr+Al) atomic ratio, 0.5-0.6, and 1-3 wt% TiO2, and are enclosed by its alteration phases (ferritechromite and magnetite) that contain less than 0.8 wt% TiO2. Titanoclinohumite is frequently accompanied with the altered spinels, suggesting its Ti was provided by spinel alteration. Thin (<1 cm) titanoclinohumite veinlets are commonly found, indicating Ti was mobile during the metamorphic formation of the Fujiwara meta-dunite. Hydrocarbons are usually associated with serpentine and brucite, almost free of magnetite, in individual micro-inclusions, suggesting initial entrapment of hydrocarbon-rich aqueous fluids and subsequent reaction only between their water component and the wall olivine. The primary dunite of Fujiwara, originally formed as a cumulate from intra-plate magma, and was serpentinized and brecciated to contain carbonaceous matter in the matrix part before incorporation in the subduction zone. The hydrocarbons possibly formed with maturation of the carbonaceous matter in the process of subduction. The continuously formed hydrocarbons mobilized Ti from chromian spinel to leave low-Ti ferritechromite and magnetite in the Fujiwara dunite, and finally stabilized as titanoclinohumite and other Ti-rich minerals during deserpentinization at high pressures. The titanoclinohumite veinlet formation suggests the Ti mobility, although in a short distance in this specific case. Ti is possibly mobile within the mantle wedge if hydrocarbons are available from the slab, but

  15. Relationships between subducting bathymetric ridges and significant subduction earthquakes from global geophysical data mining

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, R.; Landgrebe, T. C.

    2012-12-01

    The subduction of linear bathymetric asperities has been linked with the location and rupture characteristics of significant subduction earthquakes in many regions. This suggests that earthquake occurrence is biased toward the subduction of particular types of ocean floor fabric that has formed over 10's or 100's of millions of years, but has only recently been transported into the subduction coupling zone as a consequence of long-term plate tectonic processes. Open-access geophysical data sets offer the opportunity to carry out global investigations of the spatial association between significant earthquakes and well-defined subducting bathymetric features including volcanic ridges, fracture zones and seamount chains. We filter a global significant earthquake database to separate events from the subduction coupling zone only. The coupling zone is established by integrating recent 3-dimensional models of subducting slabs and the lithospheric thickness of overriding plates. A statistical methodology is used to compare spatial associations between subducting linear asperities and significant earthquakes with randomly chosen coupling zone locations to establish sensitivity/specificity relationships as a function of proximity, ruling out random effects and establishing meaningful spatial interpretations for hazard analysis. Our association analysis reveals that significant earthquakes are significantly biased towards localities involving both subducting fracture zones and volcanic ridges/chains. Fracture zone intersections are found to exhibit a stronger association within 50km proximity that rapidly diminishes with increasing distance from the targeted regions, whereas volcanic ridges/chains demonstrate a smaller but broader effect. Fracture zone intersections also display strong relationships with earthquakes with moment magnitudes greater than or equal to 8.5, whereas the opposite is the case for volcanic ridges/seamount chains, associated strongly only with events

  16. Subducting slabs: Jellyfishes in the Earth's mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loiselet, Christelle; Braun, Jean; Husson, Laurent; Le Carlier de Veslud, Christian; Thieulot, Cedric; Yamato, Philippe; Grujic, Djordje

    2010-08-01

    The constantly improving resolution of geophysical data, seismic tomography and seismicity in particular, shows that the lithosphere does not subduct as a slab of uniform thickness but is rather thinned in the upper mantle and thickened around the transition zone between the upper and lower mantle. This observation has traditionally been interpreted as evidence for the buckling and piling of slabs at the boundary between the upper and lower mantle, where a strong contrast in viscosity may exist and cause resistance to the penetration of slabs into the lower mantle. The distribution and character of seismicity reveal, however, that slabs undergo vertical extension in the upper mantle and compression near the transition zone. In this paper, we demonstrate that during the subduction process, the shape of low viscosity slabs (1 to 100 times more viscous than the surrounding mantle) evolves toward an inverted plume shape that we coin jellyfish. Results of a 3D numerical model show that the leading tip of slabs deform toward a rounded head skirted by lateral tentacles that emerge from the sides of the jellyfish head. The head is linked to the body of the subducting slab by a thin tail. A complete parametric study reveals that subducting slabs may achieve a variety of shapes, in good agreement with the diversity of natural slab shapes evidenced by seismic tomography. Our work also suggests that the slab to mantle viscosity ratio in the Earth is most likely to be lower than 100. However, the sensitivity of slab shapes to upper and lower mantle viscosities and densities, which remain poorly constrained by independent evidence, precludes any systematic deciphering of the observations.

  17. Subducting Slabs: Jellyfishes in the Earth's Mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loiselet, C.; Braun, J.; Husson, L.; Le Carlier de Veslud, C.; Thieulot, C.; Yamato, P.; Grujic, D.

    2010-12-01

    The constantly improving resolution of geophysical data, seismic tomography and seismicity in particular, shows that the lithosphere does not subduct as a slab of uniform thickness but is rather thinned in the upper mantle and thickened around the transition zone between the upper and lower mantle. This observation has traditionally been interpreted as evidence for the buckling and piling of slabs at the boundary between the upper and lower mantle, where a strong contrast in viscosity may exist and cause resistance to the penetration of slabs into the lower mantle. The distribution and character of seismicity reveal, however, that slabs undergo vertical extension in the upper mantle and compression near the transition zone. In this paper, we demonstrate that during the subduction process, the shape of low viscosity slabs (1 to 100 times more viscous than the surrounding mantle) evolves toward an inverted plume shape that we coin jellyfish. Results of a 3D numerical model show that the leading tip of slabs deform toward a rounded head skirted by lateral tentacles that emerge from the sides of the jellyfish head. The head is linked to the body of the subducting slab by a thin tail. A complete parametric study reveals that subducting slabs may achieve a variety of shapes, in good agreement with the diversity of natural slab shapes evidenced by seismic tomography. Our work also suggests that the slab to mantle viscosity ratio in the Earth is most likely to be lower than 100. However, the sensitivity of slab shapes to upper and lower mantle viscosities and densities, which remain poorly constrained by independent evidence, precludes any systematic deciphering of the observations.

  18. The Dynamics of Double Slab Subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, A. F.; Royden, L. H.; Becker, T. W.

    2017-01-01

    We use numerical models to investigate the dynamics of two interacting slabs with parallel trenches. Cases considered are: a single slab reference, outward dipping slabs (out-dip), inward dipping slabs (in-dip), and slabs dipping in the same direction (same-dip). Where trenches converge over time (same-dip and out-dip systems), large positive dynamic pressures in the asthenosphere are generated beneath the middle plate, and large trench-normal extensional forces are transmitted through the middle plate. This results in slabs that dip away from the middle plate at depth, independent of trench geometry. The single slab, the front slab in the same-dip case, and both out-dip slabs undergo trench retreat and exhibit stable subduction. However, slabs within the other double subduction systems tend to completely overturn at the base of the upper mantle, and exhibit either trench advance (rear slab in same-dip), or near-stationary trenches (in-dip). For all slabs, the net slab-normal dynamic pressure at 330 km depth is nearly equal to the slab normal force induced by slab buoyancy. For double subduction, the net outward force on the slabs due to dynamic pressure from the asthenosphere is effectively counterbalanced by the net extensional force transmitted through the middle plate. Thus, dynamic pressure at depth, inter-plate coupling, and lithospheric stresses are closely linked and their effects cannot be isolated. Our results provide insights into both the temporal evolution of double slab systems on Earth and, more generally, how the various components of subduction systems, from mantle flow/pressure to inter-plate coupling, are dynamically linked.

  19. Earth Sphericity Effects on Subduction Morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morra, G.; Chatelain, P.; Tackley, P.; Koumoutsakos, P.

    2007-12-01

    We present here the first application in Geodynamics of a Multipole accelerated Boundary Element Method (FMM- BEM) for Stokes Flow. The approach offers the advantage of a reduced number of computational elements and linear scaling with the problem size. We show that this numerical mehod can be fruitfully applied to the simulation of several geodynamic systems at the planetary scale in spheical coordinates and we suggest a general appraoch for modeling combined mantle convection and plate tectonics. The potentialities of the approach are shown investigating the effect played by Earth sphericity on the subduction of a very wide oceanic lithosphere , comparing the morphology of the subducted lithosphere in a spherical and in flat setting. The results show a striking difference between the two models: while the slab on a "flat Earth" shows slight undulation, the same subducting plate on a spherical Earth-like setting presents a distinct folding below the trench far from the edges, with wavelength of (1000km-2000km) as Pacific trenches.

  20. 3-D numerical modeling of plume-induced subduction initiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baes, Marzieh; Gerya, taras; Sobolev, Stephan

    2016-04-01

    Investigation of mechanisms involved in formation of a new subduction zone can help us to better understand plate tectonics. Despite numerous previous studies, it is still unclear how and where an old oceanic plate starts to subduct beneath the other plate. One of the proposed scenarios for nucleation of subduction is plume-induced subduction initiation, which was investigated in detail, using 2-D models, by Ueda et al. (2008). Recently. Gerya et al. (2015), using 3D numerical models, proposed that plume-lithosphere interaction in the Archean led to the subduction initiation and onset of plate tectonic. In this study, we aim to pursue work of Ueda et al. (2008) by incorporation of 3-D thermo-mechanical models to investigate conditions leading to oceanic subduction initiation as a result of thermal-chemical mantle plume-lithosphere interaction in the modern earth. Results of our experiments show four different deformation regimes in response to plume-lithosphere interaction, that are a) self-sustaining subduction initiation where subduction becomes self-sustained, b) freezing subduction initiation where subduction stops at shallow depths, c) slab break-off where subducting circular slab breaks off soon after formation and d) plume underplating where plume does not pass through the lithosphere but spreads beneath it (failed subduction initiation). These different regimes depend on several parameters such as plume's size, composition and temperature, lithospheric brittle/plastic strength, age of the oceanic lithosphere and presence/absence of lithospheric heterogeneities. Results show that subduction initiates and becomes self-sustained when lithosphere is older than 10 Myr and non-dimensional ratio of the plume buoyancy force and lithospheric strength above the plume is higher than 2.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-10-01

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

  2. Overview of Recent Coastal Tectonic Deformation in the Mexican Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramírez-Herrera, M. Teresa; Kostoglodov, Vladimir; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, Jaime

    2011-08-01

    Holocene and Pleistocene tectonic deformation of the coast in the Mexico subudction margin is recorded by geomorphic and stratigraphic markers. We document the spatial and temporal variability of active deformation on the coastal Mexican subduction margin. Pleistocene uplift rates are estimated using wave-cut platforms at ca. 0.7-0.9 m/ka on the Jalisco block coast, Rivera-North America tectonic plate boundary. We examine reported measurements from marine notches and shoreline angle elevations in conjunction with their radiocarbon ages that indicate surface uplift rates increasing during the Holocene up to ca. 3 ± 0.5 m/ka. In contrast, steady rates of uplift (ca. 0.5-1.0 m/ka) in the Pleistocene and Holocene characterize the Michoacan coastal sector, south of El Gordo graben and north of the Orozco Fracture Zone (OFZ), incorporated within the Cocos-North America plate boundary. Significantly higher rates of surface uplift (ca. 7 m/ka) across the OFZ subduction may reflect the roughness of subducting plate. Absence of preserved marine terraces on the coastal sector across El Gordo graben likely reflects slow uplift or coastal subsidence. Stratigraphic markers and their radiocarbon ages show late Holocene (ca. last 6 ka bp) coastal subsidence on the Guerrero gap sector in agreement with a landscape barren of marine terraces and with archeological evidence of coastal subsidence. Temporal and spatial variability in recent deformation rates on the Mexican Pacific coast may be due to differences in tectonic regimes and to localized processes related to subduction, such as crustal faults, subduction erosion and underplating of subducted materials under the southern Mexico continental margin.

  3. Early Paleozoic westward directed subduction at the Pacific margin Of Antartica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinschmidt, G.; Tessensohn, F.

    The tectonic history of the Antarctic continent during the Phanerozoic is best considered as part of the development of the circum-Pacific mobile belts. In early Paleozoic time, the continental margin at the Pacific side of Antarctica formed a 3000-km-long segment of the active Gondwana margin, which also includes Australia and parts of South Africa and South America. In the Antarctic segment, north Victoria Land forms one of the best exposed and investigated areas. This paper develops a plate tectonic reconstruction for this area based on several different lines of evidence; plate tectonic implications of paired metamorphic belts, granite types, submarine volcanism, a subduction complex, sedimentary basins, and thrust belts. It is concluded that a continuous westward directed subduction of oceanic crust under the East Antarctic craton has proceeded from the Early Cambrian to the Late Devonian. Three main episodes are documented by different criteria. Stage I is the early pre-Ross subduction phase; paired metamorphic belts formed the stage in the west and a volcanic island arc in the east; terminates with the accretion of the volcanic arc. Stage II occurs after the outward displacement of the subduction zone, when renewed subduction caused the magmatotectonic culmination of the Ross Orogeny in two steps: (1) Granite Harbour plutonism with S types in the west and I types in the east, associated low-pressure metamorphism and migmatitization being documented in the inner terranes, and (2) maximum of crustal shortening, folding, and thrusting in the outer sedimentary terranes. Stage III occurs when after a possible lull there is again subduction with development of andesitic volcanism and I-type plutonism of the Admiralty Intrusives.

  4. The Central Chilean Margin: Lower Plate Structure and Subduction Zone Geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopp, H.; Flueh, E. R.; Klaeschen, D.; Thierer, P.; Ranero, C.; Gaedicke, C.

    2003-04-01

    The central Chilean margin was the target of a combined on-/offshore seismic experiment using RV SONNE as platform for the marine data acquisition during cruise SO161. The along-strike segmentation of the margin results in areas of reduced slab dip ('Flat slab' segments). Segment boundaries frequently coincide with the active subduction of bathymetric features on the lower plate. There may exist a correlation between the buoyancy of the subducted seafloor relief and the occurrence of shallow subduction. The fundamental effects of ridge subduction on the margin suggest a linkage of the subducting Juan Fernandez chain on the Nazca plate to the flat slab segment of the central Chilean margin, which poses one aspect investigated in the scope of the SPOC project presented here. The study area covers the eastern part of the aseismic Juan Fernandez Ridge and the continental slope off Valparaiso. Four wide-angle profiles were laid out: Two profiles are W-E oriented and located across the subduction complex at latitudes 32S and 31S, respectively. A small accretionary prism has accumulated against a backstop of increased shear strength. The upper slope is underlain by continental basement. 'Normal' oceanic crust enters the trench except where the lower plate is altered by the O'Higgins seamount group which marks the easternmost termination of the Juan Fernandez Ridge. This hotspot ridge is currently entering the trench and poses the target of a tomographic investigation using two perpendicular, densely spaced wide-angle lines. The inversion uses a top-to-bottom approach using first arrivals as well as later phases and includes a mantle inversion to obtain upper mantle velocities. Extrusive type volcanism formed the O'Higgins volcanoes when the plate moved over the hotspot that is currently forming Alexander Selkirk Island at the western termination of Juan Fernandez Ridge. A localized crustal root has evolved, but a downflexing of the crust cannot be observed.

  5. Numerical modeling of mantle wedge processes and exhumation of UHP mantle in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorczyk, W.; Gerya, T. V.; Guillot, S.; Connolly, J. A.; Yuen, D.

    2007-12-01

    The upwelling of subduction generated partially molten rocks is potentially a mechanism for the exhumation of UHP rocks through the mantle wedge. We investigated this processes using a 2-D coupled petrological- thermomechanical model that incorporates slab dehydration and water transport as well as partial melting of mantle and crustal rocks. This approach allows us to study the dynamics of mantle wedge processes including evolution of partially molten plumes and their interaction with surrounding dry mantle. To study the internal structure of the plumes we used ultra-high resolution numerical simulations with 10 billion active markers to detail the internal structure of natural plumes originating from the slab. The plumes consist of partially molten hydrated peridotite, dry solid mantle and subducted oceanic crust, which may comprise up to 12 volume % of the plume. As the plumes grow and mature these materials mix chaotically resulting in attenuation and duplication of the original layering on scales of 1-1000 m. Comparison of numerical results with geological observations from the Horoman ultramafic complex in Japan suggests that mixing and differentiation processes related to development of partially molten plumes above slabs may be responsible for strongly layered lithologically mixed (marble cake) structure of asthenospheric mantle wedges. The recent discovery of garnet bearing peridotites in the subduction zone of the Great Antilles in Hispaniola has raised questions about the process that leads to their exhumation. To evaluate whether upwelling plumes are a plausible exhumation mechanism we investigated the dynamics of subduction of slow spreading ridges. The results show that subduction of strongly serpentinized oceanic plate causes strong dehydration of the slab and leads to a rheological weakening of the interface between subducting and overriding plate. This weakening triggers trench retreat and massive asthenospheric upwelling into the gap between the

  6. Magnesium Isotopic Composition of Subducting Marine Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Y.; Teng, F. Z.; Plank, T. A.; Huang, K. J.

    2015-12-01

    Subducted marine sediments have recently been called upon to explain the heterogeneous Mg isotopic composition (δ26Mg, ‰) found in mantle wehrlites (-0.39 to +0.09 [1]) in the context of a homogeneous mantle (-0.25 ± 0.07 [2]). However, no systematic measurements of δ26Mg on marine sediments are currently available to provide direct support to this model. To characterize the Mg inputs to global subduction zones, we measured δ26Mg data for a total of 90 marine sediments collected from 12 drill sites outboard of the world's major subduction zones. These sediments span a 1.73‰ range in δ26Mg. The detritus-dominated sediments have δ26Mg (-0.59 to +0.53) comparable to those of weathered materials on continents (e.g. -0.52 to +0.92 [3]), while the calcareous oozes yield δ26Mg (as light as -1.20) more similar to the seawater value (-0.83 [4]). The negative correlation between δ26Mg and CaO/Al2O3 in these sediments indicates the primary control of mineralogy over the Mg isotopic distribution among different sediment types, as carbonates are enriched in light Mg isotopes (-5.10 to -0.40 [5]) whereas clay-rich weathering residues generally have heavier δ26Mg (e.g. up to +0.65 in saprolite [6]). In addition, chemical weathering and grain-size sorting drive sediments to a heavier δ26Mg, as indicated by the broad positive trends between δ26Mg with CIA (Chemical Index of Alteration [7]) and Al2O3/SiO2, respectively. Collectively, the arc systems sampled in this study represent ~30% of global arc length and the extrapolated global Mg flux of subducting marine sediments accounts for ~9% of the yearly Mg riverine input with a flux-weighted average δ26Mg at -0.26. Subduction of these heterogeneous sediments may not cause significant mantle heterogeneity on a global scale, but the highly variable Mg fluxes and δ26Mg of sediments delivered to different trenches are capable of producing local mantle variations. Volcanic rocks sourced from these mantle domains are thus

  7. 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

  8. Geomorphic Response to Flat Slab Subduction along the Eastern Foothills of the Colombian Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veloza, G.; Taylor, M. H.; Gosse, J. C.; Mora, A.; Becker, T. W.

    2013-12-01

    It is thought that in northwest South America flat slab subduction plays a key role in the recent development of the eastern Colombian Andes. Here we show that the geomorphic response to flat slab subduction is presently occurring >500 km inboard of the subduction zone plate boundary. The Llanos basin located along the eastern edge of the Colombian Andes is experiencing active uplift along the seismically active Cusiana, Yopal, Paz de Ariporo and Tame thrust faults, which we refer to as the Llanos Foothills thrust system (LFTS). The LFTS is comprised of east-directed thrust faults that are listric in geometry with shallowly west-dipping decollements. Locally, actively growing north-south plunging folds are cored by blind thrust faults, and are being incised by antecedent east-flowing streams. Using a combination of field-based observations on the geometry of faulted and folded fluvial terraces, and geochronology from terrestrial cosmogenic nuclides, we show that the fluvial terraces have been uplifted, and locally, incised >200 meters at incision rates exceeding 3 mm/yr. The field observations in combination with earthquakes and geodynamic simulations can be reconciled by flat slab subduction, but it is presently unknown whether the flat slab has a Caribbean or Nazca plate affinity. Different geodynamic scenarios can be tested to understand how the leading edge of the flat slab interacts with the South American craton, and how that interaction controls upper crustal deformation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Cenozoic convergence between the North Pamir and the Tien Shan is thought to have been primarily accommodated along the south-dipping intracontinental Alai subduction zone. The North Pamir has moved ~300 km north with respect to stable Asia along the surface trace of this subduction, the Main Pamir Thrust (MPT) system, subducting the basin now represented only by the Alai Basin and the westernmost portion of the Tarim Basin. As there is no evidence that the Tien Shan has moved southward during the late Cenozoic, we suggest that significant northward motion of the North Pamir is best explained as a consequence of slab rollback in a contractile setting. The ca. 500 km along-strike width of the North Pamir is extremely short for a subduction zone; the belt is highly concave. Published compilations show that short plate segments are characterized by strong curvature and rapid slab rollback rates. The MPT system has previously been treated as a large overthrust. The hanging wall of such a large structure should have experienced significant exhumation. However, new and previously published thermochronologic data show that the North Pamir experienced only minor late Cenozoic exhumation. If the North Pamir is viewed as the overriding plate in a subduction zone, the lack of significant exhumation may be explained by subduction erosion, which can remove material from the toe of the overriding plate without causing significant crustal thickening. Subduction erosion is common in slab rollback settings. In our model, early-middle Miocene north-south extension in the E-W trending Central Pamir domes is related to back-arc extension, while the 11 Ma Taxkorgan alkali complex and subsequent east-west extension in the N-S trending Kongur detachment are related to slab rollback edge effects. Published studies of the deformation history of the Alai Basin, westernmost Tarim, and Tien Shan suggest two main periods of Cenozoic deformation: in the Oligo-Miocene and since the mid

  11. Velocities of Subducted Sediments and Continents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

    The growing capability to measure seismic velocities in subduction zones has led to unusual observations. For example, although most minerals have VP/ VS ratios around 1.77, ratios <1.7 and >1.8 have been observed. Here we explore the velocities of subducted sediments and continental crust from trench to sub-arc depths using two methods. (1) Mineralogy was calculated as a function of P & T for a range of subducted sediment compositions using Perple_X, and rock velocities were calculated using the methodology of Hacker & Abers [2004]. Calculated slab-top temperatures have 3 distinct depth intervals with different dP/dT gradients that are determined by how coupling between the slab and mantle wedge is modeled. These three depth intervals show concomitant changes in VP and VS: velocities initially increase with depth, then decrease beyond the modeled decoupling depth where induced flow in the wedge causes rapid heating, and increase again at depth. Subducted limestones, composed chiefly of aragonite, show monotonic increases in VP/ VS from 1.63 to 1.72. Cherts show large jumps in VP/ VS from 1.55-1.65 to 1.75 associated with the quartz-coesite transition. Terrigenous sediments dominated by quartz and mica show similar, but more-subdued, transitions from ~1.67 to 1.78. Pelagic sediments dominated by mica and clinopyroxene show near-monotonic increases in VP/ VS from 1.74 to 1.80. Subducted continental crust that is too dry to transform to high-pressure minerals has a VP/ VS ratio of 1.68-1.70. (2) Velocity anisotropy calculations were made for the same P-T dependent mineralogies using the Christoffel equation and crystal preferred orientations measured via electron-backscatter diffraction for typical constituent phases. The calculated velocity anisotropies range from 5-30%. For quartz-rich rocks, the calculated velocities show a distinct depth dependence because crystal slip systems and CPOs change with temperature. In such rocks, the fast VP direction varies from slab

  12. Archean Subduction or Not? The Archean Volcanic Record Re-assessed.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearce, Julian; Peate, David; Smithies, Hugh

    2013-04-01

    Methods of identification of volcanic arc lavas may utilize: (1) the selective enrichment of the mantle wedge by 'subduction-mobile' elements; (2) the distinctive preconditioning of mantle along its flow path to the arc front; (3) the distinctive combination of fluid-flux and decompression melting; and (4) the effects of fluids on crystallization of the resulting magma. It should then be a simple matter uniquely to recognise volcanic arc lavas in the Geological Record and so document past subduction zones. Essentially, this is generally true in the oceans, but generally not on the continents. Even in recent, fresh lavas and with a full battery of element and isotope tools at our disposal, there can be debate over whether an arc-like geochemical signature results from active subduction, an older, inherited subduction component in the lithosphere, or crustal contamination. In the Archean, metamorphism, deformation, a different thermal regime and potential non-uniformitarian tectonic scenarios make the fingerprinting of arc lavas particularly problematic. Not least, the complicating factor of crustal contamination is likely to be much greater given the higher magma and crustal temperatures and higher magma fluxes prevailing. Here, we apply new, high-resolution immobile element fingerprinting methods, based primarily on Th-Nb fractionation, to Archean lavas. In the Pilbara, for example, where there is a volcanic record extending for over >500 m.y., we note that lavas with high Th/Nb (negative Nb anomalies) are common throughout the lava sequence. Many older formations also follow a basalt-andesite-dacite-rhyolite (BADR) sequence resembling present-day arcs. However, back-extrapolation of their compositions to their primitive magmas demonstrates that these were almost certainly crustally-contaminated plume-derived lavas. By contrast, this is not the case in the uppermst part of the sequence where even the most primitive magmas have significant Nb anomalies. The

  13. Subduction processes off chile (SPOC) - results from The amphibious wide-angle seismic experiment across The chilean subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lueth, S.; Spoc Resaerch Group

    2003-04-01

    One component of the onshore-offshore, active-passive seismic experiment SPOC (Krawczyk et al., Stiller et al., this vol.) was a 2-D wide-angle seismic experiment covering the Chilean subduction zone from the Nazca Plate to the Magmatic Arc in the main cordillera. Three W-E-profiles of 52 stations each and up to 240 km long were deployed between 36° and 39° S. These profiles recorded chemical shots at their ends and, in order to extend the onshore profiles, the airgun pulses from RV SONNE cruising simultaneously on offshore profiles. On the southernmost of the three profiles OBHs/OBSs were deployed offshore, thus providing continuous wide-angle seismic data from the Nazca Plate to the South-American continent. Data examples, correlations, and velocity models along the three transects will be presented. The Moho of the subducted oceanic crust can be constrained by PmP-reflections down to 45 km depth under the coastal cordillera. The P-wave velocity field of the crust of the upper plate is characterized by gradually increasing P-wave velocities from East to West. Low seismic velocities (Vp < ~5 km/s) indicate the location of a young accretionary complex at the western tip of the continent. The highest seismic velocities (Vp > ~6.5 km/s below 10 km depth) are observed at the eastern margin of the investigated area.

  14. Subduction in Central Kermadec: Crustal Structures from the Incoming Plate and the Arc- Backarc Region From Wide-Angle Seismics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

    The central part of the 2500-km long Tonga-Kermadec Trench is characterized by the subduction of the Louisville Ridge and unusually large seismicity approximately 200-300 km to the south of this ridge subduction. From this region we show preliminary results which have been derived from the recently acquired interpretation of seismic wide-angle reflection/refraction data. The data were collected along an almost 500-km long transect carried out in April 2007 using the R/V Sonne in order to determine the upper lithospheric structures of the incoming Pacific Plate and the overriding Australian Plate across the Colville and Kermadec Ridges. This transect lies immediately north of Raoul Island, the largest of the Kermadec Islands and which is presently a highly active volcano. This study is part of the MANGO project (Marine Geoscientific Inverstigations on the Input and Output of the Kermadec Subduction Zone) which comprises a 1000-km long working area north of New Zealand's North Island. It covers the transition from subduction of the Hikurangi Plateau in the south to erosive subduction of normal Pacific oceanic crust in the centre and thence accretionary subduction further north. Overall the subduction is accompanied by northward increasing seismicity. The aim of this project is to understand the transition throughout the different regimes, the variation of the structures to explain the accompanying seismicty, and the role and evolution of the stratovolcanoes. This will be achieved by analysing the structures of the sediment, crust and upper mantle and also material transfers from its input and output through subduction zone processes.

  15. Oblique convergence of the Kula plate: dextral transpression following ridge subduction, Chugach metamorphic complex, southern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scharman, M.; Pavlis, T. L.

    2012-12-01

    The Chugach metamorphic complex (CMC), southern Alaska is a Mesozoic accretionary prism that has experienced high-temperature/low-pressure metamorphism due to subduction of the Kula-Farallon (or Kula-Resurrection) ridge in the Eocene. The Border Ranges fault acts as the northern boundary of the accretionary prism, and was active as a strike-slip system through many phases prior to, or during, CMC formation. Oblique plate subduction followed ridge subduction producing a dextral transpression system that is now exposed as a down-plunge view of a mid-crustal section. Dextral transpression and synchronous peak metamorphism produced a narrow gneiss core structurally overlain by amphibolite-facies meta-sedimentary rocks. Oblique subduction was preceded in the CMC by an initial convergence phase (D1) approximately orthogonal to the margin, and a second margin-parallel extension (D2) synchronous with the subducting ridge. D2 was diachronous with oblique subduction of the Kula plate (D3) which followed the trailing edge of the southward migrating triple junction. During D3, strain was partitioned with down-dip lineations and thrust-sense indicators along the southern CMC boundary, and multiple dextral strike-slip shear zones inboard from the former trench. These dextral shear zones produced wrench folding of the S2 foliation in the meta-sedimentary rocks and formation of the narrow gneiss core as a large-scale D3 anticlinorium. Great differences in wavelength of D3 folds between the gneiss core and the overlying meta-sedimentary rocks could indicate formation of a detachment zone during oblique convergence, or strike-slip shear zones that penetrate the gneiss core masked by similar wavelength folds. These D3 dextral shear zones inboard from the former trench suggest a distribution of dextral shear that accommodated the margin parallel motion component of Kula plate oblique subduction. Border Ranges fault dextral slip was effectively replaced during this brief Eocene period

  16. Subducting fracture zones control earthquake distribution and upper plate properties: examples from Sumatra and Kamchatka

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaedicke, C.; Freitag, R.; Barckhausen, U.; Franke, D.; Ladage, S.; Schnabel, M.; Tsukanov, N.

    2010-12-01

    With newly acquired marine geophysical data from the oceanic crust off Sumatra and Kamchatka (SO186 and SO201) we investigate the influence of the relief of the downgoing plate on seismicity and fore arc structure, architecture and properties along two different active margins, namely the Sumatra and the Kamchatka subduction zones. Off northern Sumatra two mega-thrust events occurred on 26.12.2004 (Mw=9.1-9.3) and on 28.03.2005 (Mw=8.6). Seismological investigations, GPS measurements and in-situ and remote observation of vertical motion on fore arc islands show both, an abrupt southern termination of the large 12/2004 rupture and a sharp northern termination of the rupture zone of the 03/2005 mega-thrust. Wide-angle/refraction seismic and MCS data show an abrupt arc parallel depth change of 3 km within 40 km in the oceanic crust beneath the fore arc SW of Simeulue Island. We interpret the abrupt depth change originates from a ramp or tear in the subducted oceanic crust. The discontinuity in the oceanic crust likely trends NNE and is located east of a continuation of an extinct FZ on the subducting Indo-Australian plate. This indicates a pervasive lower plate control on margin structure, particularly its segmentation. The tear might be the reason for rupture propagation termination of the great Sumatra-Andaman earthquakes. During RV Sonne cruise SO201 we collected geophysical profiles in the NW Pacific off Kamchatka and the Aleutian arc crossing the Emperor Seamount Chain and the Krusenstern FZ. The Krusenstern FZ is being subducted at the Kamchatka margin. It comprises a maximum vertical offset of about 1080 m. From our data we suggest that the Krusenstern FZ is reactivated in the vicinity of the Kamchatka margin due to the load of the subducting/colliding Meiji Guyot. It enters the subduction zone right off Kronotsky Peninsula, where a major segment boundary separates domains of different properties of the fore arc: It differs in terms of exhumation, uplift and

  17. 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.

  18. Active Tectonics in the Central Chilean Andes: 3D Tomography Based on the Aftershock Sequence of the 28 August 2004 Shallow Crustal Earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Comte, D.; Farias, M.; Charrier, R.; Gonzalez, A.

    2008-12-01

    Most of the seismological research in the Andes has been mainly oriented to the detection and understanding of the seismicity associated with megathrust earthquakes that characterize the subduction environment that governs the Andean tectonics. However, deployments of temporary networks have allowed the detection of intense crustal seismicity beneath the Chilean forearc-arc region. The temporary seismic network deployed along the Las Leñas and Pangal river valleys (34°25'S), between January and May 2004 permitted to better constrain the abundant shallow intra-continental seismicity previously detected in that region. Although most of the seismicity is randomly distributed in the region, several microearthquakes occur along the trace of the major El Fierro fault-system. This system is well recognized between 33°30' and 35°15'S and is located at or close to the eastern contact between Mesozoic and Cenozoic deposits in the Principal Cordillera and, locally, below active volcanoes, being considered to have participated in the extension and tectonic inversion of a widely extended (>600 km long) Cenozoic basin along the Principal Cordillera. Further south, at 35°S, a Mw=6.5 strike-slip shallow earthquake occurred on August 28, 2004, near of the headwater of the Teno river, close to the Planchon volcano. A 3D detailed Vp and Vs velocities determination was obtained along the 2004 earthquake aftershock area. The aftershocks are distributed along one branch of the El Fierro fault system, with a NNE-SSW direction and depths lower than 15 km. The rupture zone coincides with a sharp contrast in Vp and Vs, also in coincidence with the presence of hydrothermal fluids, gypsum diapers and the volcanic arc, suggesting rheological contrast controlling deformation. At the surface, this zone present an intense contractive deformation produced during the Neogene, which differs from what can be observed in other regions. Present day deformation related to seismicity has no

  19. Effects of subduction parameters on geothermal gradients in forearcs with an application to Franciscan subduction in California

    SciTech Connect

    Dumitru, T.A. )

    1991-01-10

    Geothermal gradients in forearcs are often suppressed below normal values because of the cooling effect of the relatively cold downgoing plate. In this paper, finite difference thermal modeling is used to evaluate the influence on forearc gradients of variations in six potentially important subduction zone parameters: radiogenic heat production; thermal conductivity of forearc rocks; subduction angle; subduction rate; frictional heat production; and presubduction geothermal gradients. Pressure-temperature conditions of blueschist-facies metamorphism in the Franciscan subduction complex of California are easily explained with typical subduction rates and slab ages with plate contact shear stresses of the order of 10 MPa, but stresses within the range zero to a few tens of megapascals are probably permitted by the thermal constraints. Speculative application of the modeling results assuming a shear stress of 4% of lithostatic pressure to plate motion reconstructions for the Franciscan forearc suggests that forearc gradients were about 8C/km around 85 Ma when the subducting slab was perhaps 145 m.y. old and the subduction rate was perhaps 95 km/m.y. Gradients increased moderately through the latest Cretaceous to middle Tertiary as subduction became slower and the subducting slab became younger, reaching about 16C/km at 28 Ma when the slab age was about 11 m.y. and the subduction rate was about 48 km/m.y. The slab age, subduction rate, and forearc gradient then remained fairly constant until 5 Ma, when subduction slowed to about 32 km/m.y. and the slab age decreased to about 8 m.y., causing gradients to rise to about 20C/km.

  20. 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)

  1. 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.

  2. Subduction Stability: Lithospheric Strength and Roll-back

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patel, P. I.; Lavier, L.; Grand, S.

    2007-12-01

    In exploring the issue of subduction zone stability, we ran a series of simulations representing subduction systems consisting of simple 2D representations of oceanic lithosphere subducting beneath continental lithosphere. Our modelling software utilizes temperature dependent visco-elasto-plastic rheologies as well as a few proxies for significant chemical processes such as ecologitization and hydration. With externally imposed convergence rates, these models evolve from a contrived subduction initiation state to "normal-looking" subduction within approximately 10 million years. The simulations are then allowed to continue to evolve for up to 30 million more years. From our early results, we note that while most systems start with similar subduction geometries, they may deviate from each other over time. Notably, subduction initiated at "cooler" (and therefore stronger) junctures tend to form very stable subduction zones which maintain normal-looking geometries throughout the life of the simulation. However, subduction initiated at warmer margins tend to result in slab rollback relatively quickly. Systems with junctures of intermediate temperature also tend to subduct stably for a substantial amount of time, yet they too eventually result in rollback as the subducting slab entrains and removes some of the cooler lithosphere near the juncture, allowing hotter asthenospheric material into the contact region between the plates. The hot, low-viscosity material sharply reduces the fluid-dynamically derived suction force that partially supports the stable subduction geometry, facilitating the retreat of the subducting slab as well as the rifting of the over-riding slab. These simulations incorporate a variety of approximations and assumptions which may not reflect the actual conditions within the Earth. However, they do offer a chance to observe how a system that at least appears geometrically similar to observed Earth systems may behave when subjected to varying

  3. Subducted slabs and the geoid - Constraints on mantle rheology and flow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hager, B. H.

    1984-01-01

    The total geoid anomaly which is the result of a given density contrast in a convecting viscous earth is affected by the mass anomalies associated with the flow induced deformation of the upper surface and internal compositional boundaries, as well as by the density contrast itself is discussed. If the internal density contrasts can be estimated, the depth and variation of viscosity with depth of the convecting system can be constrained. The observed long wavelength geoid is highly correlated with that predicted by a density model for seismically active subducted slabs. The amplitude of the correlation is explained if the density contrasts associated with subduction extend into the lower mantle or if subducted slabs exceeding 350 km in thickness are piled up over horizontal distances of thousands of km at the base of the upper mantle. Mantle wide convection in a mantle that has a viscosity increasing with depth provides the explanation of the long-wavelength geoid anomalies over subduction zones. Previously announced in STAR as N83-22874

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Development of Forearcs of Intraoceanic Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundberg, Neil

    1983-02-01

    The uplifted Costa Rican forearc landward of the Middle America Trench and the Mariana forearc drilled on IPOD leg 60 both lack the thick clastic sequences, complex deformation, and abundant evidence of accretion which characterize more widely known forearcs that border continents. Both regions contain significant in situ accumulations of pelagic and hemipelagic sediments in place of thick trench and trench slope basin sequences composed of terrigenous turbidites. The Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica contains no significant melange terranes. Deformation of the mafic igneous basement and its thin cover of pelagic, hemipelagic, and first-cycle volcanogenic material is mild overall, with discrete zones of intense deformation disrupting otherwise well-preserved stratigraphic sections. Intraoceanic subduction zones lacking longitudinal trench feed are sites of little or no accretion of sediments, and recently suggested experimental and theoretical models of subduction zone processes involving flow melanges are inappropriate for intraoceanic forearcs. Intraoceanic forearcs generally lack high-grade exotic components such as blueschist and eclogite tectonically incorporated as blocks in lower-grade matrix, although uplift and erosion of the forearc basement may provide detritus of amphibolite and ultramafic rock to the trench and trench slope.

  8. Earthquake nucleation in weak subducted carbonates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurzawski, Robert M.; Stipp, Michael; Niemeijer, André R.; Spiers, Christopher J.; Behrmann, Jan H.

    2016-09-01

    Ocean-floor carbonate- and clay-rich sediments form major inputs to subduction zones, especially at low-latitude convergent plate margins. Therefore, knowledge of their frictional behaviour is fundamental for understanding plate-boundary earthquakes. Here we report results of mechanical tests performed on simulated fault gouges prepared from ocean-floor carbonates and clays, cored during IODP drilling offshore Costa Rica. Clay-rich gouges show internal friction coefficients (that is, the slope of linearized shear stress versus normal stress data) of μint = 0.44 - 0.56, irrespective of temperature and pore-fluid pressure (Pf). By contrast, μint for the carbonate gouge strongly depends on temperature and pore-fluid pressure, with μint decreasing dramatically from 0.84 at room temperature and Pf = 20 MPa to 0.27 at T = 140 °C and Pf = 120 MPa. This effect provides a fundamental mechanism of shear localization and earthquake generation in subduction zones, and makes carbonates likely nucleation sites for plate-boundary earthquakes. Our results imply that rupture nucleation is prompted by a combination of temperature-controlled frictional instability and temperature- and pore-pressure-dependent weakening of calcareous fault gouges.

  9. Viscous Dissipation and Criticality of Subducting Slabs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riedel, Mike; Karato, Shun; Yuen, Dave

    2016-04-01

    Rheology of subducting lithosphere appears to be complicated. In the shallow part, deformation is largely accomodated by brittle failure, whereas at greater depth, at higher confining pressures, ductile creep is expected to control slab strength. The amount of viscous dissipation ΔQ during subduction at greater depth, as constrained by experimental rock mechanics, can be estimated on the basis of a simple bending moment equation [1,2] 2ɛ˙0(z) ∫ +h/2 2 M (z) = h ṡ -h/2 4μ(y,z)y dy , (1) for a complex multi-phase rheology in the mantle transition zone, including the effects of a metastable phase transition as well as the pressure, temperature, grain-size and stress dependency of the relevant creep mechanisms; μ is here the effective viscosity and ɛ˙0(z) is a (reference) strain rate. Numerical analysis shows that the maximum bending moment, Mcrit, that can be sustained by a slab is of the order of 1019 Nm per m according to Mcrit˜=σp ∗h2/4, where σp is the Peierl's stress limit of slab materials and h is the slab thickness. Near Mcrit, the amount of viscous dissipation grows strongly as a consequence of a lattice instability of mantle minerals (dislocation glide in olivine), suggesting that thermo-mechanical instabilities become prone to occur at places where a critical shear-heating rate is exceeded, see figure. This implies that the lithosphere behaves in such cases like a perfectly plastic solid [3]. Recently available detailed data related to deep seismicity [4,5] seems to provide support to our conclusion. It shows, e.g., that thermal shear instabilities, and not transformational faulting, is likely the dominating mechanism for deep-focus earthquakes at the bottom of the transition zone, in accordance with this suggested "deep criticality" model. These new findings are therefore briefly outlined and possible implications are discussed. References [1] Riedel, M. R., Karato, S., Yuen, D. A. Criticality of Subducting Slabs. University of Minnesota

  10. 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

  11. Effects of Two Subducting Slabs on the Temperature Distribution Along the Subduction Faults in the Kanto Region, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wada, I.; He, J.

    2015-12-01

    In this study, we investigate the thermal effects of subduction of two oceanic plates in the Kanto region of Japan, using a 3-D numerical thermal model. The Kanto region lies in the forearc of a subduction system, where the Pacific (PAC) plate and the Philippine Sea (PHS) plate subduct beneath the North American (NA) plate. In a typical subduction setting with one subducting slab, the motion of the slab drives solid-state mantle flow in the overlying mantle wedge, and the flow brings in hot mantle from the backarc towards the forearc. In the Kanto region, however, the presence of the PHS plate between the overlying NA plate and the subducting PAC plate prevents a typical mantle flow pattern. We developed a 3-D thermal model for the Kanto region to simulate the pattern of mantle wedge flow and to quantify its effect on the thermal structure. The model incorporates realistic slab geometries that were delineated from seismological studies. Mantle wedge flow between the PHS slab and the overlying NA plate is expected to be subdued due to the small space and the relatively slow subduction of the PHS slab. We simplify the model by incorporating the results of a 2-D thermal modeling for the subduction of the PHS slab as part of boundary conditions in the 3-D model to approximate the effect of the subdued mantle wedge flow and the subduction of the PHS slab. We use geophysical observations as constraints for the 3-D thermal model and estimate the temperature distributions along the subduction plate interfaces. The model predicts a particularly cold condition in the central part of the Kanto region where the PAC and PHS slabs are in contact with one another, consistent with the observed deeper extent of seismicity along the subduction faults compared to the neighboring regions.

  12. Link between ridge subduction and gold mineralization in southern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haeussler, Peter J.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Goldfarb, Richard; Snee, Lawrence W.; Taylor, Cliff D.

    1995-01-01

    40Ar/39Ar geochronology reveals that turbidite-hosted gold deposits in the southern Alaska accretionary prism are the same age as nearby near-trench plutons. These early Tertiary plutons and gold lodes formed above a slab window during subduction of an oceanic spreading center. Ridge subduction is a previously unrecognized tectonic process for the generation of lode gold.

  13. 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.

  14. Why Archaean TTG cannot be generated by MORB melting in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Hervé; Moyen, Jean-François; Guitreau, Martin; Blichert-Toft, Janne; Le Pennec, Jean-Luc

    2014-06-01

    produced. Consequently, internal recycling of oceanic plateaus does not appear to be a suitable process for the genesis of Archaean continental crust. A possible alternative to this scenario is the subduction of oceanic plateaus. This hypothesis is supported by a present-day analog. In Ecuador, the Carnegie ridge, which is an oceanic plateau resulting from the Galapagos hot spot activity, is being subducted beneath the South American plate. Not only are the resulting magmas adakitic (TTG-like) in composition, but the volcanic productivity is several times greater than in other parts of the Andean volcanic arc. Above the location where the plateau is subducted, the arc is wide and the quaternary volcanoes numerous (about 80 active edifices). The volcanic productivity of each individual volcano also is more intense than away from the subduction focal point with an average output rate of about 0.4-0.5 km3·ka- 1 compared with only about 0.05-0.2 km3·ka- 1 for production rates at volcanoes erupting in the rest of the arc. Consequently, we infer that occasional subduction of oceanic plateaus throughout Earth's history can account for the episodic nature of crustal growth. Additionally, the generation by this mechanism of huge volumes of TTG-like magmas would readily dominate the crustal growth record.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mokhtari, M.

    2009-04-01

    In a plate tectonic setting like that of the Makran Accretionary Complex of Oman Sea, a fairly high earthquake activity would be expected, as in many of the other major Accretionary complexes/subduction zones around the world. But this region which is located between the Zendan-Minab Fault System and Oranch Fault Zone shows relatively low seismicity in comparison with the surrounding region. Better documented tsunami events in the Makran subduction zones are 3, including two events of seismic origin, and one of unknown origin. The latest event is the major earthquake generated tsunami of 1945 in eastern Makran that ruptured approximately one-fifth the length of the subduction zone. It is important to note that, the epicenter of this event is also close to the Sonne Fault which has created segments on the Makran Subduction Zone. The crossing points between Makran Subduction Zone and these oblique fault zones can be a location for occurrence of major earthquake activities. However, more studies are required for further clarification. In contrast to the east, the plate boundary in western Makran has no clear record of historically as well as instrumental great events. The large changes in seismicity between eastern and western Makran suggest segmentation of the subduction zone. This is being supported by Kukowski et al., (2000) where they introduce a new boundary coinciding very well with the Sonne strike-slip fault. As mentioned the western part is characterized by the absence of events. East of the Sonne fault and west of long 64°E is the only region with a clustering of events within the submarine and southernmost onshore part of the Accretionary Wedge, also including the Mw 8.1 event of 1945 (Byrne et al., 1992). Most events in the wedge appear to be pure-thrust earthquakes and are interpreted as plate boundary events (Quittmeyer and Kafka, 1984; Byrne et al., 1992). The earthquake of August 12, 1963, a few tens of kilometers east of the Sonne fault, had a large

  16. 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

  17. Tectonic tremor and slow slip along the northwestern section of the Mexico subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brudzinski, Michael R.; Schlanser, Kristen M.; Kelly, Nicholas J.; DeMets, Charles; Grand, Stephen P.; Márquez-Azúa, Bertha; Cabral-Cano, Enrique

    2016-11-01

    The southwestern coast of Mexico is marked by active subduction of the Rivera and Cocos plates, producing megathrust earthquakes that tend to recur every 50-100 yr. Herein, we use seismic and GPS data from this region to investigate the potential relationship between earthquakes, tectonic (non-volcanic) tremor, and transient slip along the westernmost 200 km of the Mexico subduction zone. Visual examination of seismograms and spectrograms throughout the 18-month-long MARS seismic experiment reveals clear evidence for frequent small episodes of tremor along the Rivera and Cocos subduction zones beneath the states of Jalisco, Colima, and Michoacán. Using a semi-automated process that identifies prominent energy bursts in envelope waveforms of this new data, analyst-refined relative arrival times are inverted for source locations using a 1-D velocity model. The resulting northwest-southeast trending linear band of tremor is located downdip from the rupture zones of the 1995 Mw 8.0 Colima-Jalisco and 2003 Mw 7.2 Tecoman subduction-thrust earthquakes and just below the regions of afterslip triggered by these earthquakes. Despite the close proximity between tremor and megathrust events, there is no evidence that the time since the last great earthquake influences the spatial or temporal pattern of tremor. A well-defined gap in the tremor beneath the western Colima Graben appears to mark a separation along the subducted Rivera-Cocos plate boundary. From the position time series of 19 continuous GPS sites in western Mexico, we present the first evidence that slow slip events occur on the Rivera plate subduction interface. Unlike the widely-recorded, large-amplitude, slow slip events on the nearly horizontal Cocos plate subduction interface below southern Mexico, slow slip events below western Mexico have small amplitudes and are recorded at relatively few, mostly coastal stations. The smaller slow slip beneath western Mexico may be due to the steeper dip, causing a

  18. Flat vs. Normal subduction, Central Chile: insights from regional seismic tomography and rock type modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marot, Marianne; Monfret, Tony; Gerbault, Muriel; Nolet, Guust; Ranalli, Giorgio; Pardo, Mario

    2013-04-01

    The Central Chilean subduction zone (27-35°S) is host to a multitude of unexplained phenomena, all likely linked to one another. Here, the 35 Ma oceanic Nazca plate is subducting beneath South America with a well developed, highly seismic flat slab, very well correlated with the subducting Juan Fernandez seamount Ridge (JFR) track, and also with the absence of volcanism at the surface. The upper plate, currently under compression, is composed of a series of accreted terranes of various origins and ages. Although no general consensus on the formation of this flat slab has been yet achieved, there may have been influence of overthickened oceanic crust, delayed eclogitization and consequent fluid retain within the slab, and slab suction due to the high convergence rate with the thick Rio de Plata craton. Therefore, the main questions we address are: Does the slab dehydrate along the flat subducting segment? If so, how hydrated is the slab, at what depth does slab dehydration occur, where are the fluids transported to, and where are they stored? Is magmatism still active beneath the now inactive arc? Are accreted terranes and suture zones important attributes of this subduction zone? Do they possess their own mantle entities? To answer these questions, we analyzed recorded local seismicity and performed regional 3D seismic tomography for Vp and Vs. Combining seismic tomography with 2D instantaneous thermo-mechanical modeling for the regions of flat and normal subduction, we predict rock compositions for these two regions based on published mineral and rock elastic properties. Here, we present a comparison between the normal subduction zone to the south, reflecting typical and expected features, and the flat slab region to the north, exhibiting heterogeneities. Our results agree with other studies for a dry and cold continental mantle above the flat slab. We distinguish the Cuyania terrane with overthickened crust and/or abnormal mantle beneath it. We notice that the

  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

    2016-06-01

    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

  20. 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

  1. Numerical Modeling of Continental Subduction In Apennines Style Context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toussaint, G.; Burov, E.; Jolivet, L.

    We performed numerical experiments of early stages of continental subduction and slab detachment at the mantle scale, using a 2D thermo-mechanical model which ac- counts for brittle-elasto-ductile behaviour, phase changes and surface processes. Our goal is to study the influence of various parameters on subduction-related orogens (for instance the Apennines) such as density contrasts, convergence rate, thermal state, eclogitisation and intensity of surface processes. The model reproduces the subduction cycle from early stages to penetration of the slab to the 660 km boundary. Depending of the parameters' combination, the evolution of the initiated slab varies from rapid detachment, stagnation of the subduction to stable, oceanic type subduction. An im- portant feature of our experiments is the almost systematic occurrence of underplating of the lower plate crust beneath the upper plate, leading to formation of double-Moho like structures. It appears that the subducted upper crust and sediments may play a role of lubrification layer, like the low friction coefficients used in some previous models, The results show that the main controlling parameter of slab evolution is the density contrast between the slab, subducted crust, and surrounding asthenosphere : for in- stance, when the contrast between the slab and the asthenosphere is larger than 0.02, the sinking rate of the slab is high, and slab detachment can occur within the first mil- lion years after onset of subduction. For smaller contrasts, stable subduction occurs only in case of full crustal metamorphism. The rate of convergence appears to be a second-order parameter, a high rate being able to prevent detachment. The intensity of surface processes predominantly controls the surface topography, and also seems to be able to influence deep processes such as the sinking rate. Thus, the same topography can be maintained for completely different subduction scenarios.

  2. 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.

  3. Effect of Aseismic Ridge Subduction on Volcanism in the NE Lesser Antilles Arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stinton, A. J.; Hatfield, R. G.; McCanta, M. C.

    2014-12-01

    The interaction of aseismic ridges or buoyant crust in subduction zones can affect the volcanism occurring on the overriding plate. Here we describe the affect of the subduction of an aseismic ridge on volcanism in the NE Lesser Antilles. The Lesser Antilles island arc is a result of westward subduction of the North American plate beneath the Caribbean plate and stretches 800 km from Saba in the north to Grenada in the south. From Guadeloupe northwards, the arc bifurcates into an eastern, inactive arc (known as the Limestone Caribees) and a western, active arc (Volcanic Caribees). It has been suggested that this bifurcation is the result of the subduction of buoyant crust in the form of at least two aseismic ridges, in the North American plate. In 2012, IODP Expedition 340 recovered 130 m of core from site U1396, located 55 km SW of Montserrat, Lesser Antilles. The core contains a detailed record of volcanism, in the form of more than 180 tephra layers, that stretches back nearly 4.5 Ma. This is the longest and most complete record of volcanism for the NE Lesser Antilles and provides insight into the evolution and development of the island arc in this region. A variety of techniques are being applied to the tephra layers from U1396 to determine their age, chemistry, components and origin. Here we present preliminary results from paeleomagnetic age determinations for each tephra layer to show how the subduction of aseismic ridges on the North American plate has affected the rate of volcanism and development of the island arc in the NE Lesser Antilles over the last 4.5 Ma.

  4. Seismic imaging of a megathrust splay fault in the North Chilean subduction zone (Central Andes)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Storch, Ina; Buske, Stefan; Schmelzbach, Cedric; Wigger, Peter

    2016-10-01

    Prominent trench-parallel fault systems in the arc and fore-arc of the Chilean subduction zone can be traced for several thousand kilometers in north-south direction. These fault systems possibly crosscut the entire crust above the subduction megathrust and are expected to have a close relationship to transient processes of the subduction earthquake cycles. With the motivation to image and characterize the structural inventory and the processes that occur in the vicinity of these large-scale fault zones, we re-processed the ANCORP'96 controlled-source seismic data set to provide images of the faults at depth and to allow linking geological information at the surface to subsurface structures. The correlation of the imaging results with observed hypocenter locations around these fault systems reveals the origin and the nature of the seismicity bound to these fault systems. Active and passive seismic data together yield a picture of a megathrust splay fault beneath the Longitudinal Valley at mid-crustal level, which can be observed from the top of the subduction plate interface and which seems to be connected to the Precordilleran Fault System (PFS) known at the surface. This result supports a previously proposed tectonic model where a megathrust splay fault defines the Western Altiplano as a crustal-scale fault-bend-fold. Furthermore, we clearly imaged two branches of the Uyuni-Kenayani Fault (UKF) in a depth range between 0 and 20 km. In summary, imaging of these faults is important for a profound understanding of the tectonic evaluation and characterization of the subduction zone environment, for which the results of this study provide a reliable basis.

  5. Tectonic evolution of the Lachlan Fold Belt, southeastern Australia: constraints from coupled numerical models of crustal deformation and surface erosion driven by subduction of the underlying mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braun, Jean; Pauselli, Cristina

    2004-04-01

    We have used a coupled thermo-mechanical finite-element (FE) model of crustal deformation driven by mantle/oceanic subduction to demonstrate that the tectonic evolution of the Lachlan Fold Belt (LFB) during the Mid-Palaeozoic (Late Ordovician to Early Carboniferous) can be linked to continuous subduction along a single subduction zone. This contrasts with most models proposed to date which assume that separate subduction zones were active beneath the western, central and eastern sections of the Lachlan Orogen. We demonstrate how the existing data on the structural, volcanic and erosional evolution of the Lachlan Fold Belt can be accounted for by our model. We focus particularly on the timing of fault movement in the various sectors of the orogen. We demonstrate that the presence of the weak basal decollement on which most of the Lachlan Fold Belt is constructed effectively decouples crustal structures from those in the underlying mantle. The patterns of faulting in the upper crust appears therefore to be controlled by lateral strength contrasts inherited from previous orogenic events rather than the location of one or several subduction zones. The model also predicts that the uplift and deep exhumation of the Wagga-Omeo Metamorphic Belt (WOMB) is associated with the advection of this terrane above the subduction point and is the only tectonic event that gives us direct constraints on the location of the subduction zone. We also discuss the implications of our model for the nature of the basement underlying the present-day orogen.

  6. Deformation and faulting of subduction overriding plate caused by a subducted seamount

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Min; Lin, Jian

    2016-09-01

    We conducted numerical experiments to simulate elastoplastic deformation of the overriding plate caused by a subducted seamount. Calculations revealed development of a distinct pair of fault-like shear zones, including a landward dipping forethrust fault initiated from the seamount top and a seaward dipping backthrust fault from the landward base of the seamount. Significant dome-shaped surface uplift was predicted above the thrust faults. Lesser-developed seaward dipping backthrust faults were calculated to develop under certain conditions. The overriding plate was calculated to deform in two stages: In Stage I, elastic deformation leads to the formation of fault-like shear zones. After major faults have cut through the entire plate, plastic deformation on faults dominates Stage II. On the subduction interface, compressional normal stress was calculated to increase on the landward leading flank of the seamount and decrease on the seaward trailing flank. These changes, together with associated stress singularities at seamount edges, could affect earthquake processes.

  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

    simplified, generic subduction zone similar to the northern Andes. The upper surface is initially defined to resemble the Andes, but is free to deform during the experiments. We consider two main model designs, one with and one without a volcanic arc (weak continental zone). A relatively high angle of convergence obliquity is predicted to favor strain partitioning, but preliminary model results show no strain partitioning for a uniform continental crustal strength with a friction angle of Φ = 15° . However, strain partitioning does occur when including a weak zone in the continental crust resulting from arc volcanic activity with Φ = 5° . This results in margin-parallel northeastward translation of a continental sliver at 3.2 cm/year. The presence of the sliver agrees well with observations of a continental sliver identified by GPS measurements in the Northern Volcanic Zone with a translation velocity of about 1 cm/year, though the GPS-derived velocity may not be representative of the long-term rate of translation depending on whether the observation period includes one or more seismic cycles. Regardless, the observed behavior is consistent with the observed earthquake focal mechanisms and GPS measurements, suggesting significant northeastward transport of Andean crust along the margin of the northern Andes.

  8. Viscosity of fluids in subduction zones.

    PubMed

    Audétat, Andreas; Keppler, Hans

    2004-01-23

    The viscosities of aqueous fluids with 10 to 80 weight percent dissolved silicates have been measured at 600 degrees to 950 degrees C and 1.0 to 2.0 gigapascals by in situ observation of falling spheres in the diamond anvil cell. The viscosities at 800 degrees C range from 10(-4) to 10(0.5) pascal seconds. The combination of low viscosities with a favorable wetting angle makes silicate-rich fluid an efficient agent for material transport at low-volume fractions. Our results therefore suggest that there may be a direct relationship between the position of the volcanic front and the onset of complete miscibility between water and silicate melt in the subducting slab.

  9. The fate of metaclinopyroxenite during serpentinite subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padrón-Navarta, J. A.; Gómez-Pugnaire, M. T.; López Sánchez-Vizcaíno, V.; Garrido, C. J.; Marchesi, C.

    2012-04-01

    Subduction of the partially hydrated section of the lithosphere is widely accepted as the major water carrier to sub-arc depths. Geodynamic models and geochemical mass balances assume that this section is comprised almost exclusively by the maximum hydrated counterpart of harzburgite, i.e. antigorite-serpentinite. The common wisdom gained through the study of oceanic and continental lithospheric sequences indicates, however, that this assumption is an oversimplification and that the widespread occurrence of other lithologies, such as clinopyroxenites, should not be disregarded. It is obvious, however, that the role of these non-conventional lithologies in the subduction factory will also depend on their ability to record hydration and dehydration reactions. Here we report the textural and mineral assemblage evolution of clinopyroxene-tremolite bearing serpentinite, metaclinopyroxenite bodies and associated diopside-chlorite schists interlayered in serpentinites from the Cerro del Almirez (Betic Cordillera, Spain), the only place known where the high-pressure antigorite dehydration front is preserved (Trommsdorff et al., 1998; Padrón-Navarta et al., 2011). Cpx-Tr serpentinite bodies are unevenly distributed at the decametric scale in the serpentinite sequence and occurs as isoclinally foliated layers. Tremolite in these rocks was formed by the reaction: antigorite + diopside = tremolite + olivine + fluid [1] These rocks have been traditionally interpreted as strongly dismembered clinopyroxenite layers finely intermixed at the cm-scale with serpentinite. The following observations regarding the relationship between metaclinopyroxenite bodies and diopside-chlorite schists are, however, against this hypothesis. Detailed observations in almost undeformed coarse grained (cm-sized) metaclinopyroxenite bodies show that incipient transformation of mantle clinopyroxene occurs along former exsolution lamellae by the reaction: clinopyroxene + fluid = diopside + chlorite [2

  10. Stresses Modelling Across The Andean Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romanyuk, T.; Rebetsky, Yu.; Goetze, H.-J.

    A tectonophysical model, including geological-geophysical-tectonic structure, phys- ical properties of the medium (density and rheology), and its loading mechanism (boundary conditions on forces and movements) is constructed along a 21S profile. The model stresses and strains produced by separate plate motions and density inho- mogeneities and by their net effect. The inferred results are qualitatively compared with the stress state parameters of the medium, reconstructed from data on the earth- quake centroid moment tensor, and with the available tectonic, geological, and geo- physical data. The orientation analysis of the principal deviatoric axes of maximum compression and extension yields evidence for a few deformation mechanisms that function both along the subducting slab and in the junction zone of the oceanic and continental plates. The inferred intense rearrangement areas of the stress field indicate possible fragmentation zones in the oceanic plate. Focal mechanisms of earthquakes at depths below 70 km yield evidence of over-lithostatic tectonic dilatation; along with mathematical modeling results, this supports the idea of a more rapid motion of the lower denser part of the slab beneath South America as compared with its overlying portions. Plate motions directly control solely the stresses within the subducting slab and around its shallower (above 50 km) parts. The recent tectonics and stresses in the Andean mountain belt are dominated by density inhomogeneities. Stress distribution details caused by density inhomogeneities are shown to correlate well with large-scale geological features. Thus, the Pre-Cordilleran fault zone separating coastal zones from the Andean mountain belt distinctly correlates with the reorientation of the deviatoric compression-extension axes. The entire thickened crust of the belt is under conditions of over-lithostatic dilatation, and the inferred zones of the negative total isotropic pres- sure correlate with local dilatation

  11. Gravity and Flexure Modelling of Subducting Plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunter, J. A.; Watts, A. B.; SO 215 Shipboard Scientific Party

    2012-04-01

    The long-term strength of the lithosphere is determined by its flexural rigidity, which is commonly expressed through the effective elastic thickness, Te. Flexure studies have revealed a dependence of Te on thermal age. In the oceans, loads formed on young (70 Ma) seafloor. In the continents, loads on young (1000 Ma) lithosphere. Recent studies have questioned the relationship of Te with age, especially at subduction zones, where oceanic and continental lithosphere are flexed downwards by up to ~6 km over horizontal distances of up to ~350 km. We have therefore used free-air gravity anomaly and topography profile data, combined with forward and inverse modelling techniques, to re-assess Te in these settings. Preliminary inverse modelling results from the Tonga-Kermadec Trench - Outer Rise system, where the Pacific plate is subducting beneath the Indo-Australian plate, show large spatial variations in Te that are unrelated to age. In contrast to the southern end of the system, where Te is determined by the depth to the 600° C and 900° C isotherms, the northern end of the system shows a reduction in strength. Results also suggest a reduction in Te trenchward of the outer rise that is coincident with a region of pervasive extensional faulting visible in swath bathymetry data. In a continental setting, the Ganges foreland basin has formed by flexure of the Indo-Australian plate in front of the migrating loads of the Himalaya. Preliminary forward modelling results, using the Himalaya as a known surface topographic load, suggest that Te is high - consistent with the great age of Indian cratonic lithosphere. However, results from inverse modelling that solves for unknown loads (vertical shear force and bending moment) show significant scatter and display trade-offs between Te and these driving loads.

  12. Structure of the subducted Cocos Plate from locations of intermediate-depth earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lomnitz, C.; Rodríguez-Padilla, L. D.; Castaños, H.

    2013-05-01

    Locations of 3,000 earthquakes of 40 to 300 km depth are used to define the 3-D structure of the subducted Cocos Plate under central and southern Mexico. Discrepancies between deep-seated lineaments and surface tectonics are described. Features of particular interest include: (1) a belt of moderate activity at 40 to 80 km depth that parallels the southern boundary of the Mexican Volcanic Plateau; (2) an offset of 150 km across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec where all seismic activity is displaced toward the northeast; (3) three nests of frequent, deep-seated events (80 to 300 km depth) under southern Veracruz, Chiapas and the coast of Mexico-Guatemala. The active subduction process is sharply delimited along a NW-SE lineament from the Yucatan Peninsula, of insignificant earthquake activity. The focal distribution of intermediate-depth earthquakes in south-central Mexico provides evidence of stepwise deepening of the subduction angle along the Trench, starting at 15 degrees under Michoacan-Guerrero to 45 degrees under NW Guatemala. Historical evidence suggests that the hazard to Mexico City from large intermediate-depth earthquakes may have been underestimated.

  13. Lithospheric-scale effects of a subduction-driven Alboran plate: improved neotectonic modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neres, Marta; Carafa, Michele; Terrinha, Pedro; Fernandes, Rui; Matias, Luis; Duarte, João; Barba, Salvatore

    2016-04-01

    The presence of a subducted slab under the Gibraltar arc is now widely accepted. However, discussion still remains on whether subduction is active and what is its influence in the lithospheric processes, in particular in the observed geodesy, deformation rates and seismicity. Aiming at bringing new insights into the discussion, we have performed a neotectonic numerical study of a segment of the Africa-Eurasia plate boundary, from the Gloria fault to the Northern Algerian margin. Specifically, we have tested the effect of including or excluding an independently driven Alboran plate, i.e. testing active subduction versus inactive subduction (2plates versus 3plates scenarios). We used the dynamic code SHELLS (Bird et al., 2008) to model the surface velocity field and the ongoing deformation, using a new up-to-date simplified tectonic map of the region, new available lithospheric data and boundary conditions determined from two alternative Africa-Eurasia angular velocities, respectively: SEGAL2013, a new pole based on stable Africa and stable Eurasia gps data (last decades); and MORVEL, a geological-scale pole (3.16 Ma). We also extensively studied the variation within the parametric space of fault friction coefficient, subduction resistance and surface velocities imposed to the Alboran plate. The final run comprised a total of 5240 experiments, and each generated model was scored against geodetic velocities, stress direction data and seismic strain rates. The preferred model corresponds to the 3plates scenario, SEGAL2013 pole and fault friction of 0.225, with scoring results: gps misfit of 0.78 mm/yr; SHmax misfit of 13.6° and correlation with seismic strain rate of 0.62, significantly better than previous models. We present predicted fault slip rates for the recognized active structures and off-faults permanent strain rates, which can be used for seismic and tsunami hazard calculations (the initial motivation for this work was contributing for calculation of

  14. 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

  15. Relamination of mafic subducting crust throughout Earth's history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maunder, Ben; van Hunen, Jeroen; Magni, Valentina; Bouilhol, Pierre

    2016-09-01

    Earth has likely cooled by several hundred degrees over its history, which has probably affected subduction dynamics and associated magmatism. Today, the process of compositional buoyancy driven upwelling, and subsequent underplating, of subducted materials (commonly referred to as ;relamination;) is thought to play a role in the formation of continental crust. Given that Archean continental crust formation is best explained by the involvement of mafic material, we investigate the feasibility of mafic crust relamination under a wide range of conditions applicable to modern and early Earth subduction zones, to assess if such a process might have been viable in an early Earth setting. Our numerical parametric study illustrates that the hotter, thicker-crust conditions of the early Earth favour the upward relamination of mafic subducting crust. The amount of relaminating subducting crust is observed to vary significantly, with subduction convergence rate having the strongest control on the volume of relaminated material. Indeed, removal of the entire mafic crust from the subducting slab is possible for slow subduction (∼2 cm/yr) under Archean conditions. We also observe great variability in the depth at which this separation occurs (80-120 km), with events corresponding to shallower detachment being more voluminous, and that relaminating material has to remain metastably buoyant until this separation depth, which is supported by geological, geophysical and geodynamical observations. Furthermore, this relamination behaviour is commonly episodic with a typical repeat time of approximately 10 Myrs, similar to timescales of episodicity observed in the Archean rock record. We demonstrate that this relamination process can result in the heating of considerable quantities of mafic material (to temperatures in excess of 900 °C), which is then emplaced below the over-riding lithosphere. As such, our results have implications for Archean subduction zone magmatism, for

  16. Deformation cycles of subduction earthquakes in a viscoelastic Earth.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kelin; Hu, Yan; He, Jiangheng

    2012-04-18

    Subduction zones produce the largest earthquakes. Over the past two decades, space geodesy has revolutionized our view of crustal deformation between consecutive earthquakes. The short time span of modern measurements necessitates comparative studies of subduction zones that are at different stages of the deformation cycle. Piecing together geodetic 'snapshots' from different subduction zones leads to a unifying picture in which the deformation is controlled by both the short-term (years) and long-term (decades and centuries) viscous behaviour of the mantle. Traditional views based on elastic models, such as coseismic deformation being a mirror image of interseismic deformation, are being thoroughly revised.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Influences of a ridge subduction on seismicity and geodynamics in the central Vanuatu arc.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baillard, C.; Crawford, W. C.; Ballu, V.; Regnier, M. M.; Pelletier, B.; Garaebiti, E.

    2014-12-01

    The central part of the Vanuatu arc is characterized by the subduction of the d'Entrecasteaux ridge under the North Fiji Basin. This ridge influences directly the seismicity and the geodynamics in the proximal region. By analyzing the hypocenters from a local microseismic catalog (2008-2009) and global catalogs we show that the subduction interface, in the first 50 km depth, presents a small dipping angle where the ridge is subducting. This bump highlights the buoyancy of the ridge associated to the excess of fluids present in the seamount. This underplating could explain 20% to 60% of the vertical displacement estimated on the forearc islands from corals datations and that can reach a maximum of 6 mm/yr. The high concentration of hydrous minerals in the subducting ridge might also explain the important activity of intermediate depth earthquakes (half of the total activity in the studied region), we observed a very good correlation between the supposed extension of the ridge in depth and the location of these earthquakes. We propose that they are associated to crust minerals dehydration that causes hydrous fracturation trough preexistent faults. This dehydration process is maintained to a maximum depth of 190 km due to the high thermal parameter of the australian plate.Using the geometry of the Wadati-Benioff plane derived from earthquakes localisations, we established a 2D mechanical model to explain the horizontal interseismic displacement observed by GPS on islands of the upper plate. We show that the subduction interface alone cannot explain the GPS velocities observed, the system of thrust faults located below the back arc islands of Maewo and Pentecost, plays a major role in the region geodynamics and accommodate as much convergence as the subduction interface (between ~16 and 34 mm/yr). Using the model we were also able to explain the closing of the Aoba basin during interseismic phase (~25 mm/an). Finally, the mechanical model suggests the existence of a 23

  20. Evolution of the Grenada and Tobago basins and the onset of the Lesser Antilles subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zitter, T. A. C.; Rangin, C.

    2012-04-01

    The Lesser Antilles active island arc marks the eastern boundary of the Caribbean plate, where the Atlantic oceanic crust is subducted. Geodynamic history of the Grenada and Tobago basins, accepted as both the back arc and fore arc basins respectively for this convergent zone, is the key for a better understanding of the Antilles arc subduction onset. Still, recent studies propose that these two basins formed as a single paleogene depocenter. Analysis of industrial and academical seismic profiling supports this hypothesis, and shows these basins are two half-graben filled by 15 kilometers of cenozoic sediments. The seismic profiles across these basins, and particularly the Geodinos Bolivar seismic profiles, indicate that the Antilles magmatic arc develops in the midst of the previously-extended Grenada-Tobago basin from Miocene time to present. The pre-cenozoic basement of the Grenada-Tobago basin can be traced from the Aves ridge to the Tobago Island where cretaceous meta-volcanic rocks are cropping out. Therefore, this large basin extension has been initiated in early Paleocene time during stretching or subsidence of the great cretaceous Caribbean arc and long time before the onset of the lesser Antilles volcanic arc. The question arises for the mechanism responsible of this intra-plate extension. The Tobago Ridge consists of the backstop of the Barbados prism. The innermost wedge is particularly well imaged on seismic data along the Darien Ridge, where the isopach paleogene sediments are jointly deformed in latest Oligocene. This deformation is starved with the early miocene piggy-back basin. Hence, we conclude the innermost wedge in contact with the butresss is late Oligocene in age and can be considered as the onset of the subduction along the Antilles arc. This 30 Ma subduction onset is also supported by the 750 km long Atlantic slab, imaged in tomography, indicating this subduction was active with constant velocity of 2.5 km/yr. Consequently, another

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wdowinski, Shimon; O'Connell, Richard J.

    1991-01-01

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

  2. The Calabrian Arc subduction complex in the Ionian Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polonia, Alina; Torelli, Luigi; Riminucci, Francesco; Mussoni, Paola; Kläschen, Dirk; Gutscher, Marc-André; Gallais, Flora

    2010-05-01

    The Calabrian Arc (CA) is a subduction system related to the slow convergence between Africa and Eurasia, well comparable in its geodynamic evolution to the adjacent Mediterranean Ridge against which it impinges in the eastern side of the Ionian Sea. The external part of the arc is represented by a well developed accretionary complex resting on the seaward dipping continental backstop and bordered by the Malta and Apulian escarpments. Although the regional architecture of the margin geometry has been described through the analysis of high penetration seismic data, location of major active faults and the fine texture of this tectonic structure is still poorly constrained. We reconstructed geometry and structural setting of the external CA through the interpretation of seismic data belonging to the Crop-Mare and -MS datasets. Three seismic sections have been selected and re-processed through the application of the pre-stack depth migration (PSDM). Seismic images show that at the toe of the CA, the thick sedimentary section of the African plate has been scraped off from the descending plate and piled up along thrust faults. This contributed to emplace a 10 Km thick and 200 Km wide accretionary complex whose geometry, structural setting and décollement depth is mainly controlled by the lithology of the incoming sedimentary section, pre-existing structures on the incoming plate and geometry of plate convergence. The neotectonic deformation pattern was addressed through an integrated approach which involves the analysis of multibeam swath bathymetry, high resolution multichannel and single channel seismic profiles acquired during two expeditions in 2007 and 2008 (R/V OGS Explora and R/V CNR Urania). The main purpose was to reconstruct structural style and recent deformation at the transition between the accretionary wedge and the Ionian abyssal plain. This area has the potential to record the most recent tectonic evolution of convergence processes, and, containing the

  3. 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 (

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Stability of hydrous phases in subducting oceanic crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Liu, J.; Bohlen, S.R.; Ernst, W.G.

    1996-01-01

    Experiments in the basalt-H2O system at 600-950??C and 0.8-3.0 GPa, demonstrate that breakdown of amphibole represents the final dehydration of subducting oceanic tholeiite at T ??? 650??C; the dehydration H2O occurs as a free fluid or in silicate melt co-existing with an anhydrous eclogite assemblage. In contrast, about 0.5 wt% of H2O is stored in lawsonite at 600??C, 3.0 GPa. Our results suggest that slab melting occurs at depths shallower than 60 km for subducting young oceanic crust; along a subduction zone with an average thermal gradient higher than 7??C/km, H2O stored in hydrated low-potassium, metabasaltic layers cannot be subducted to depths greater than 100 km, then released to generate arc magma.

  7. Subduction, back-arc spreading and global mantle flow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hager, B. H.; Oconnell, R. J.; Raefsky, A.

    1983-01-01

    It is pointed out that the subducted lithosphere associated with Benioff zones provides the only direct evidence about the flow in the earth's interior associated with plate motions. It is the primary objective of the present investigation to study the relation between the orientation of subducting lithosphere and the flow patterns (both local and global) near subduction zones. Most of the calculations conducted are based on simple flow models for radially symmetric, Newtonian viscous spheres. The investigation is concerned with the possibility that a simple model of global mantle flow could account for some features of subduction zones. It is found that such a model can account for the orientation of the seismic zones, and, in addition, also for features related to back-arc spreading and perhaps the maximum earthquake size.

  8. Water sources for subduction zone volcanism: new experimental constraints.

    PubMed

    Pawley, A R; Holloway, J R

    1993-04-30

    Despite its acknowledged importance, the role of water in the genesis of subduction zone volcanism is poorly understood. Amphibole dehydration in subducting oceanic crust at a single pressure is assumed to generate the water required for melting, but experimental constraints on the reaction are limited, and little attention has been paid to reactions involving other hydrous minerals. Experiments on an oceanic basalt at pressure-temperature conditions relevant to subducting slabs demonstrate that amphibole dehydration is spread over a depth interval of at least 20 kilometers. Reactions involving other hydrous minerals, including mica, epidote, chloritoid, and lawsonite, also release water over a wide depth interval, and in some subduction zones these phases may transport water to deep levels in the mantle.

  9. Model geoid anomalies due to subduction of inextensible lithosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Willemann, R.J.; Anderson, C.A.

    1987-08-01

    We compute geoid slopes from models of subduction in which the subducted lithosphere is much stronger than the surrounding mantle. Geoid slope contributions from both the lithospheric slab and mantle boundary deformations are computed from finite element analysis of mantle flow. The finite element model includes a slab of finite length and a depth dependent Newtonian rheology for the surrounding mantle. We find that observed geoid anomalies at subduction zones, which are positive, cannot be matched by models with uniform mantle viscosity. However, even with a strong subducted lithosphere, the ratio of driving load to boundary deformation is significantly increased by a ten-fold increase of viscosity with depth, resulting in a geoid high. We find that the sign of the geoid slopes within 3000 km of the trench are independent of maximum depth of the slab for maximum depths from 700 km to 2800 km. copyright American Geophysical Union 1987

  10. How do subduction processes contribute to forearc Andean uplift? Insights from numerical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinod, J.; Regard, V.; Letourmy, Y.; Henry, H.; Hassani, R.; Baratchart, S.; Carretier, S.

    2016-05-01

    We present numerical models to study how changes in the process of subduction may explain the observed Quaternary uplift of the Andean forearc region. Indeed, most segments of the South American Pacific coasts between 16 and 32° S have been uplifting since the Lower Pleistocene, following a period of stability of the forearc region. Models confirm that local uplift is expected to occur above ridges, this phenomenon being predominant in central Peru where the Nazca Ridge is subducting. We investigate the effects of slab pull, interplate friction and convergence velocity on the vertical displacements of the overriding plate. We propose that the global tendency to coastal uplift is accompanying the deceleration of the Nazca-South America convergence that occurred in the Pleistocene. In contrast, forearc subsidence may accompany increasing convergence velocities, as suggested by the subsidence history of the South America active margin.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-08

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

  12. Tomographic imaging of the Cascadia subduction zone: Constraints on the Juan de Fuca slab

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Chuanxu; Zhao, Dapeng; Wu, Shiguo

    2015-04-01

    We used 40,343 P-wave arrival times from 1883 local earthquakes and 105,455 P-wave arrivals from 6361 teleseismic events to study the detailed structure of the Cascadia subduction zone. We conducted tomographic inversions using a starting velocity model which includes the high-velocity subducting Juan de Fuca slab as a priori information. A number of such slab-constrained inversions are conducted by changing the slab thickness and the velocity contrast between the slab and the surrounding mantle. Our optimal 3-D velocity model fits the data much better than that determined by an inversion with a 1-D homogeneous starting model. Our results show that the subducting Juan de Fuca slab has a thickness of 30-50 km and a P-wave velocity of 1-3% higher than that of the surrounding mantle. Beneath the northern and southern parts of the Cascadia, P-wave velocity is lower in the slab and along the slab interface, which may reflect a more hydrated slab and more active slab dehydration there. The lateral velocity variations may indicate different degrees of slab dehydration and forearc mantle serpentinization. The segmentation in episodic tremor and slip (ETS) is also spatially coincident with the velocity heterogeneities, indicating that the ETS occurrence and recurrence interval are controlled by fluid activity in and around the mantle wedge corner.

  13. Interseismic deformation and moment deficit along the Manila subduction zone and the Philippine Fault system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Ya-Ju; Yu, Shui-Beih; Loveless, John P.; Bacolcol, Teresito; Solidum, Renato; Luis, Artemio; Pelicano, Alfie; Woessner, Jochen

    2016-10-01

    We examine interseismic coupling of the Manila subduction zone and fault activity in the Luzon area using a block model constrained by GPS data collected from 1998 to 2015. Estimated long-term slip rates along the Manila subduction zone show a gradual southward decrease from 90-100 mm/yr at the northwest tip of Luzon to 65-80 mm/yr at the southern portion of the Manila Trench. We provide two block models (models A and B) to illustrate possible realizations of coupling along the Manila Trench, which may be used to infer future earthquake rupture scenarios. Model A shows a low coupling ratio of 0.34 offshore western Luzon and continuous creeping on the plate interface at latitudes 18-19°N. Model B includes the North Luzon Trough Fault and shows prevalent coupling on the plate interface with a coupling ratio of 0.48. Both models fit GPS velocities well, although they have significantly different tectonic implications. The accumulated strain along the Manila subduction zone at latitudes 15-19°N could be balanced by earthquakes with composite magnitudes of Mw 8.8-9.2, assuming recurrence intervals of 500-1000 years. GPS observations are consistent with full locking of the majority of active faults in Luzon to a depth of 20 km. Inferred moments of large inland earthquakes in Luzon fall in the range of Mw 6.9-7.6 assuming a recurrence interval of 100 years.

  14. The role of deep subduction in supercontinent breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capitanio, Fabio; Dal Zilio, Luca; Faccenda, Manuele

    2016-04-01

    The breakup of continents is a crucial stage of the episodic aggregation and dispersal of tectonic plates. In particular, the transition from a stable supercontinent to its rifting, breakup and subsequent drifting is one of the least understood aspects of plate tectonics. Over the last decades, several works have highlighted the potential role of pre-existing weaknesses or that of raising mantle plumes in assisting the localization of strain. However, to sustain large-scale divergent regime over geological time, extensional stresses are strictly required. Here we present results from 2-D thermo-mechanical numerical experiments and we show that rifting and drifting of continents result from lithospheric subduction at convergent margins, when this extends to lower mantle depths. We quantify the drag exerted by subduction-induced mantle flow along the basal surface of continental plates, comparing models where lithospheric slabs stagnate above the upper-lower mantle boundary with those where slabs penetrate into the lower mantle. When subduction is upper mantle-confined, divergent basal tractions localize at distances comparable to the effective upper mantle thickness (~500 km), causing the breakup of a microcontinent and opening of a marginal basin. Instead, when the descending lithosphere subducts deeper, extensional stresses localize at greater distances from the trench (≥ 2900 km), are higher and are sustained over a longer time. Although relatively low, basal shear stresses integrated over large plates generate tension forces that may exceed the strength of the continental lithosphere, eventually leading to breakup and opening of an intervening distal basin. The models illustrate that the mechanism leading to the formation of back-arc basins above upper mantle-confined subduction provides a viable explanation for the opening of larger basins above deeper subduction. Examples include the Atlantic Ocean formation and the South and North American plates drifting

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Fluid and mass transfer into the cold mantle wedge of subduction zones: budgets and seismic constraints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abers, G. A.; Hacker, B. R.; Van Keken, P. E.; Nakajima, J.; Kita, S.

    2015-12-01

    Dehydration of subducting plates should hydrate the shallow overlying mantle wedge where mantle is cold. In the shallow mantle wedge hydrous phases, notably serpentines, chlorite, brucite and talc should be stable to form a significant reservoir for H2O. Beneath this cold nose thermal models suggest only limited slab dehydration occurs at depths less than ca. 80 km except in warm subduction zones, but fluids may flow updip from deeper within the subducting plate to hydrate the shallow mantle. We estimate the total water storage capacity in cold noses, at temperatures where hydrous phases are stable, to be roughly 2-3% the mass of the global ocean. At modern subduction flux rates its full hydration could be achieved in 50-100 Ma if all subducting water devolatilized in the upper 100 km flows into the wedge; these estimates have at least a factor of two uncertainty. To investigate the extent to which wedge hydration actually occurs we compile and generate seismic images of forearc mantle regions. The compilation includes P- and S-velocity images with good sampling below the Moho and above the downgoing slab in forearcs, from active-source imaging, local earthquake tomography and receiver functions, while avoiding areas of complex tectonics. Well-resolved images exist for Cascadia, Alaska, the Andes, Central America, North Island New Zealand, and Japan. We compare the observed velocities to those predicted from thermal-petrologic models. Among these forearcs, Cascadia stands out as having upper-mantle seismic velocities lower than overriding crust, consistent with high (>50%) hydration. Most other forearcs show Vp close to 8.0 km/s and Vp/Vs of 1.73-1.80. We compare these observations to velocities predicted from thermal-mineralogical models. Velocities are slightly slower than expected for dry peridotite and allow 10-20% hydration, but also could also be explained as relict accreted rock, or delaminated, relaminated, or offscraped crustal material mixed with mantle

  18. Demise of Flat-slab Subduction at the end of the Laramide Orogeny (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humphreys, E.

    2013-12-01

    absence of major change in California subduction presumably indicates that while the flat slab fell off of North America east of California, it remained at the base of California. More recently, the arrival of Yellowstone beneath S. Oregon triggered a delamination of the flat slab remaining beneath N. Oregon, drawing flood basalt activity north.

  19. Advancing techniques to constrain the geometry of the seismic rupture plane on subduction interfaces a priori: Higher-order functional fits

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayes, G.P.; Wald, D.J.; Keranen, K.

    2009-01-01

    Ongoing developments in earthquake source inversions incorporate nonplanar fault geometries as inputs to the inversion process, improving previous approaches that relied solely on planar fault surfaces. This evolution motivates advancing the existing framework for constraining fault geometry, particularly in subduction zones where plate boundary surfaces that host highly hazardous earthquakes are clearly nonplanar. Here, we improve upon the existing framework for the constraint of the seismic rupture plane of subduction interfaces by incorporating active seismic and seafloor sediment thickness data with existing independent data sets and inverting for the most probable nonplanar subduction geometry. Constraining the rupture interface a priori with independent geological and seismological information reduces the uncertainty in the derived earthquake source inversion parameters over models that rely on simpler assumptions, such as the moment tensor inferred fault plane. Examples are shown for a number of wellconstrained global locations. We expand the coverage of previous analyses to a more uniform global data set and show that even in areas of sparse data this approach is able to accurately constrain the approximate subduction geometry, particularly when aided with the addition of data from local active seismic surveys. In addition, we show an example of the integration of many two-dimensional profiles into a threedimensional surface for the Sunda subduction zone and introduce the development of a new global threedimensional subduction interface model: Slab1.0. ?? 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  20. 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.

  1. Interannual variability of Indian Ocean subtropical mode water subduction rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Jie; Lan, Jian

    2016-08-01

    The interannual variation of Indian Ocean subtropical mode water (IOSTMW) subduction rate in the Southwest Indian Ocean from 1980 to 2007 is investigated in this paper based on Simple Ocean Data Assimilation (SODA) outputs. Climatology of subduction rate exceeds 75 m/year in the IOSTMW formation area. The renewal time of permanent pycnocline water mass based on the subduction rate is calculated for each density class: 3-6 years for IOSTMW (25.8 < σ θ < 26.2 kg m-3). Subduction rate in the Southwest Indian Ocean subtropical gyre exhibits a great year-to-year variability. This interannual variations of the IOSTMW subduction rate is primarily dominated by the lateral induction term, associated with the interannual variations of strong meridional gradient of winter mixed layer depth (MLD). The slope of the mixed layer depth in the mode water is closely linked to the large variations of deep late winter MLD in the mid-latitudes and negligible variations of shallow winter MLD in lower latitudes. It is further identified that the interannual variation of late winter MLD in this area is largely controlled by the latent and sensible heat flux components. The water volume of the permanent pycnocline in the IOSTMW distribution area is also found to show a significant interannual variability, and it is well correlated with the interannual variation of subduction rate.

  2. Downgoing plate controls on overriding plate deformation in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garel, Fanny; Davies, Rhodri; Goes, Saskia; Davies, Huw; Kramer, Stephan; Wilson, Cian

    2014-05-01

    Although subduction zones are convergent margins, deformation in the upper plate can be extensional or compressional and tends to change through time, sometimes in repeated episodes of strong deformation, e.g, phases of back-arc extension. It is not well understood what factors control this upper plate deformation. We use the code Fluidity, which uses an adaptive mesh and a free-surface formulation, to model a two-plate subduction system in 2-D. The model includes a composite temperature- and stress-dependent rheology, and plates are decoupled by a weak layer, which allows for free trench motion. We investigate the evolution of the state of stress and topography of the overriding plate during the different phases of the subduction process: onset of subduction, free-fall sinking in the upper mantle and interaction of the slab with the transition zone, here represented by a viscosity contrast between upper and lower mantle. We focus on (i) how overriding plate deformation varies with subducting plate age; (ii) how spontaneous and episodic back-arc spreading develops for some subduction settings; (iii) the correlation between overriding plate deformation and slab interaction with the transition zone; (iv) whether these trends resemble observations on Earth.

  3. Evolution of the Archaean crust by delamination and shallow subduction.

    PubMed

    Foley, Stephen F; Buhre, Stephan; Jacob, Dorrit E

    2003-01-16

    The Archaean oceanic crust was probably thicker than present-day oceanic crust owing to higher heat flow and thus higher degrees of melting at mid-ocean ridges. These conditions would also have led to a different bulk composition of oceanic crust in the early Archaean, that would probably have consisted of magnesium-rich picrite (with variably differentiated portions made up of basalt, gabbro, ultramafic cumulates and picrite). It is unclear whether these differences would have influenced crustal subduction and recycling processes, as experiments that have investigated the metamorphic reactions that take place during subduction have to date considered only modern mid-ocean-ridge basalts. Here we present data from high-pressure experiments that show that metamorphism of ultramafic cumulates and picrites produces pyroxenites, which we infer would have delaminated and melted to produce basaltic rocks, rather than continental crust as has previously been thought. Instead, the formation of continental crust requires subduction and melting of garnet-amphibolite--formed only in the upper regions of oceanic crust--which is thought to have first occurred on a large scale during subduction in the late Archaean. We deduce from this that shallow subduction and recycling of oceanic crust took place in the early Archaean, and that this would have resulted in strong depletion of only a thin layer of the uppermost mantle. The misfit between geochemical depletion models and geophysical models for mantle convection (which include deep subduction) might therefore be explained by continuous deepening of this depleted layer through geological time.

  4. Late cenozoic subduction complex of Sicily

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roure, F.; Howell, D.G.; Muller, C.; Moretti, I.

    1990-01-01

    Besides remnants of Hercynian deformations in the Peloritani nappe and of pre-Oligocene Alpine structures in the Troiani nappe, most compressive structures observed in the Sicilian accretionary wedge result from the late Cenozoic (Tortonian to Present) continental subduction of the Apulia (Iblei) block, and are thus synchronous with distensive structures related to the opening of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Syntectonic deposits fill southward-migrating foredeeps in a sequential fashion, and the dating of these deposits helps to constrain the timing of deformation. Similarly, Plio-Quaternary sediments, eroded from the accreted units, rest on top of the allochthon in either compressive piggy-back depressions or extensional basins. The age and configuration of these overlap deposits constrain our reconstructions of the subsurface geometry of the underlying peri-Tyrrhenian detachment faults or S-verging thrust-faults. Post-depositional erosion, normal faulting and syntectonic filling of basins contribute to maintaining the critical taper of the prism, whose geometry is continuously altered owing to frontal accretion, underplating and isostatic uplift. ?? 1990.

  5. Melt generation in the West Antarctic Rift System: the volatile legacy of Gondwana subduction?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aviado, K.; Rilling-Hall, S.; Mukasa, S. B.; Bryce, J. G.; Cabato, J.

    2013-12-01

    The West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) represents one of the largest extensional alkali volcanic provinces on Earth, yet the mechanisms responsible for driving rift-related magmatism remain controversial. The failure of both passive and active models of decompression melting to explain adequately the observed volume of volcanism has prompted debate about the relative roles of thermal plume-related melting and ancient subduction-related flux melting. The latter is supported by roughly 500 Ma of subduction along the paleo-Pacific margin of Gondwana, although both processes are capable of producing the broad seismic anomaly imaged beneath most of the Southern Ocean. Olivine-hosted melt inclusions from basanitic lavas provide a means to evaluate the volatile budget of the mantle responsible for active rifting beneath the WARS. We present H2O, CO2, F, S and Cl concentrations determined by SIMS and major oxide compositions by EMPA for olivine-hosted melt inclusions from lavas erupted in Northern Victoria Land (NVL) and Marie Byrd Land (MBL). The melt inclusions are largely basanitic in composition (4.05 - 17.09 wt % MgO, 37.86 - 45.89 wt % SiO2, and 1.20 - 5.30 wt % Na2O), and exhibit water contents ranging from 0.5 up to 3 wt % that are positively correlated with Cl and F. Coupling between Cl and H2O indicates metasomatic enrichment by subduction-related fluids produced during dehydration reactions; coupling between H2O and F, which is more highly retained in subducting slabs, may be related to partial melting of slab remnants [1]. Application of source lithology filters [2] to whole rock major oxide data shows that primitive lavas (MgO wt % >7) from the Terror Rift, considered the locus of on-going tectonomagmatic activity, have transitioned from a pyroxenite source to a volatilized peridotite source over the past ~4 Ma. Integrating the volatile data with the modeled characteristics of source lithologies suggests that partial melting of lithosphere modified by

  6. Mantle flow influence on the evolution of subduction systems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chertova, Maria; Spakman, Wim; Steinberger, Bernhard

    2016-04-01

    Evolution of the subducting slab has been widely investigated in the past two decades be means of numerical and laboratory modeling, including analysis of the factors controlling its behavior. However, until present, relatively little attention has been paid to the influence of the mantle flow. While for large subduction zones, due to the high slab buoyancy force, this effect might be small, mantle flow might be a primary factor controlling the evolution of a regional subduction zone. Here we investigate the impact of prescribed mantle flow on the evolution of both generic and real-Earth subduction models by means of 3D thermo-mechanical numerical modeling. The generic setup consists of a laterally symmetric subduction model using a 3000×2000×1000 km modeling domain with a lateral slab width varying from 500 to 1500 km. Non-linear rheology is implemented including diffusion, dislocation creep and a viscosity-limiter. To satisfy mass conservation, while implementing mantle inflow on some side boundaries, we keep other sides open (Chertova et al. 2012). To test the mantle flow influence on the dynamics of real-Earth subduction zone we adopt the numerical model from Chertova et al. (2014) for the evolution of the western Mediterranean subduction since 35 Ma. First, this model was tested with the arbitrary mantle flow prescribed on one of the four side boundaries or for the combination of two boundaries. In the last set of experiments, for side boundary conditions we use time-dependent estimates of actual mantle flow in the region based on Steinberger (2015) given for every 1 My. We demonstrate that for the western-Mediterranean subduction, the surrounding mantle flow is of second-order compared to slab buoyancy in controlling the dynamics of the subducting slab. Introducing mantle flow on the side boundaries might, however, improve the fit between the modeled and real slab imaged by tomography, although this may also trade-off with varying rheological parameters of

  7. Pacific subduction and Mesozoic mineralization in eastern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, W.; Ling, M.; Liang, H.; Ding, X.; Fan, W.; Yang, X.

    2009-12-01

    Northeastern China is well known for the removal of subcontinental lithosphere mantle of the North China craton in the Late Mesozoic and the Cretaceous giant igneous event, while southeastern China is famous for its large scale magmatism and mineralization from the Late Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous. All these can be plausibly interpreted by the interaction between eastern China and the subducting Pacific plate. From Jurassic to Cretaceous, Eastern China was related to the subduction of the Pacific plate under Eurasia in the south, concurrent with oblique subduction of the Izanagi plate in the north (Maruyama et al., 1997; Li and Li, 2007; Sun et al., 2007; Zhou et al., 2000). Cretaceous tectonic evolution of eastern China matches remarkably well with the drifting history of the Pacific plate. The most pronounced phenomena are: (1) eastern China large-scale orogenic lode gold (Au) mineralisation occurred contemporaneously with an abrupt change of ~80 degree in the drifting direction of the subducting Pacific plate, concurrent with the formation of the Ontong Java Plateau (Sun et al., 2007); (2) the subduction of the ridge between the Pacific and Izanagi Plates can plausibly explain the mineralization and rock distribution of the Lower Yangtze River mineralization belt (Ling et al., 2009); (3) southwestward subduction of the Pacific plate and corresponding slab rollback can feasibly interprete the formation of the late Mesozoic (180-125 Ma) magmatism and metallogenic events in SE China. Reference Li, Z. X., and Li, X. H., 2007, Formation of the 1300-km-wide intracontinental orogen and postorogenic magmatic province in Mesozoic South China: A flat-slab subduction model: Geology, v. 35, p. 179-182. Ling, M. X., Wang, F. Y., Ding, X., Hu, Y. H., Zhou, J. B., Zartman, R. E., Yang, X. Y., and Sun, W. D., 2009, Cretaceous ridge subduction along the Lower Yangtze River Belt, eastern China: Economic Geology, v. 104, p. 303-321. Maruyama, S., 1997, Pacific-type orogeny

  8. Recycling of subducted crustal components into carbonatite melts revealed by boron isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hulett, Samuel R. W.; Simonetti, Antonio; Rasbury, E. Troy; Hemming, N. Gary

    2016-12-01

    The global boron geochemical cycle is closely linked to recycling of geologic material via subduction processes that have occurred over billions of years of Earth’s history. The origin of carbonatites, unique melts derived from carbon-rich and carbonate-rich regions of the upper mantle, has been linked to a variety of mantle-related processes, including subduction and plume-lithosphere interaction. Here we present boron isotope (δ11B) compositions for carbonatites from locations worldwide that span a wide range of emplacement ages (between ~40 and ~2,600 Ma). Hence, they provide insight into the temporal evolution of their mantle sources for ~2.6 billion years of Earth’s history. Boron isotope values are highly variable and range between -8.6‰ and +5.5‰, with all of the young (<300 Ma) carbonatites characterized by more positive δ11B values (>-4.0‰), whereas most of the older carbonatite samples record lower B isotope values. Given the δ11B value for asthenospheric mantle of -7 +/- 1‰, the B isotope compositions for young carbonatites require the involvement of an enriched (crustal) component. Recycled crustal components may be sampled by carbonatite melts associated with mantle plume activity coincident with major tectonic events, and linked to past episodes of significant subduction associated with supercontinent formation.

  9. Two-stage subduction history under North America inferred from multiple-frequency tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigloch, Karin; McQuarrie, Nadine; Nolet, Guust

    2008-07-01

    Eastward subduction of oceanic tectonic plates has shaped the geologic history of western North America over the past 150million years. The mountain-building and volcanism that brought forth the spectacular landscapes of the West are credited to the vast ancient Farallon plate, which interacted mechanically and chemically with the overlying continent as it plunged back into the mantle. Here, we use finite-frequency travel-time and amplitude measurements of teleseismic P-waves in seven frequency bands to obtain a high-resolution tomographic image to ~1,800km depth. We discover several large, previously unknown pieces of the plate which show that two distinct stages of whole-mantle subduction are present under North America. The currently active one descends from the Pacific northwest coast to 1,500km depth beneath the Great Plains, whereas its stalled predecessor occupies the transition zone and lower mantle beneath the eastern half of the continent. We argue that the separation between them is linked to the Laramide era 70-50Myr ago, a time of unusual volcanism and mountain-building far inland generally explained by an episode of extremely flat subduction.

  10. Shear-wave splitting and mantle dynamics beneath the Rivera and Cocos subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leon Soto, G.; Ni, J.; Grand, S.; Wilson, D.; Guzman Speziale, M.; Gomez Gonzalez, J.; Dominguez Reyes, T.

    2007-12-01

    Shear-wave splitting measurements are determined using data collected from MARS (Mapping the Rivera subduction zone) project to study the origin of seismic anisotropy in the mantle beneath the wedge of the subduction zone. The MARS project consists of the deployment of 50 broadband temporary stations in Mexico covering the Jalisco block from the coast to the Tepic-Chapala rift in the north and about 150 km to the west of the Colima rift. Results show that the fast directions are oriented in a SSW-NNE direction beneath the western Jalisco block, while the fast directions beneath the eastern Jalisco block show a predominantly N-S oriented fast direction. If the divergence of the fast direction is a measure of the mantle flow within the wedge of the subduction zone, then the overriding continental margin is being pulled apart. The Colima rift and active volcano are situated above the tear. Fast splitting directions in the vicinity of the volcano are generally trending N-S with a small delay time between the fast and slow split SKS waves.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Extensional reactivation of the Chocolate Mountains subduction thrust in the Gavilan Hills of southeastern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oyarzabal, Felix R.; Jacobson, Carl E.; Haxel, Gordon B.

    1997-08-01

    The NE vergent Chocolate Mountains fault of south-eastern California has been interpreted as either a subduction thrust responsible for burial and prograde metamorphism of the ensimatic Orocopia Schist or as a normal fault involved in the exhumation of the schist. Our detailed structural analysis in the Gavilan Hills area provides new evidence to confirm the latter view. A zone of deformation is present at the top of the Orocopia Schist in which lineations are parallel to those in the upper plate of the Chocolate Mountains fault but oblique to ones at relatively deep levels in the schist. Both the Orocopia Schist and upper plate contain several generations of shear zones that show a transition from crystalloblastic through mylonitic to cataclastic textures. These structures formed during retrograde metamorphism and are considered to record the exhumation of the Orocopia Schist during early Tertiary time as a result of subduction return flow. The Gatuna fault, which places low-grade, supracrustal metasediments of the Winterhaven Formation above the gneisses of the upper plate, also seems to have been active at this time. Final unroofing of the Orocopia Schist occurred during early to middle Miocene regional extension and may have involved a second phase of movement on the Gatuna fault. Formation of the Chocolate Mountains fault during exhumation indicates that its top-to-the-NE sense of movement provides no constraint on the polarity of the Orocopia Schist subduction zone. This weakens the case for a previous model involving SW dipping subduction, while providing support for the view that the Orocopia Schist is a correlative of the Franciscan Complex.

  13. Extensional reactivation of the Chocolate Mountains subduction thrust in the Gavilan Hills of southeastern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oyarzabal, F.R.; Jacobson, C.E.; Haxel, G.B.

    1997-01-01

    The NE vergent Chocolate Mountains fault of south-eastern California has been interpreted as either a subduction thrust responsible for burial and prograde metamorphism of the ensimatic Orocopia Schist or as a normal fault involved in the exhumation of the schist. Our detailed structural analysis in the Gavilan Hills area provides new evidence to confirm the latter view. A zone of deformation is present at the top of the Orocopia Schist in which lineations are parallel to those in the upper plate of the Chocolate Mountains fault but oblique to ones at relatively deep levels in the schist. Both the Orocopia Schist and upper plate contain several generations of shear zones that show a transition from crystalloblastic through mylonitic to cataclastic textures. These structures formed during retrograde metamorphism and are considered to record the exhumation of the Orocopia Schist during early Tertiary time as a result of subduction return flow. The Gatuna fault, which places low-grade, supracrustal metasediments of the Winterhaven Formation above the gneisses of the upper plate, also seems to have been active at this time. Final unroofing of the Orocopia Schist occurred during early to middle Miocene regional extension and may have involved a second phase of movement on the Gatuna fault. Formation of the Chocolate Mountains fault during exhumation indicates that its top-to-the-NE sense of movement provides no constraint on the polarity of the Orocopia Schist subduction zone. This weakens the case for a previous model involving SW dipping subduction, while providing support for the view that the Orocopia Schist is a correlative of the Franciscan Complex.

  14. Plume-induced subduction: from laboratory experiments to Venus large coronae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davaille, A.; Smrekar, S. E.; Tomlinson, S. M.

    2015-12-01

    The development of new visualization techniques and the use of complex-rheology fluids open a new area for planetary geodynamic modelling, as observations of surface patterns (i.e. faults, folds, ridges, trenches) can be related to convective instabilities inside the laboratory mantle analog. The rheology of colloidal aqueous dispersions of silica nanoparticles depends strongly on the solid particle fraction, φp, deforming in the Newtonian regime at low φp, and transitioning to strain-rate weakening, plasticity, elasticity, and brittle properties as φp increases. So, as the system is dried from above, a dense skin grows on the surface, akin to a planetary lithosphere. If it is also heated from below, hot plumes develop. When a hot plume impinges under the skin, it triggers a new mode of subduction: as the upwelling plume material breaks the lithosphere and flows above the denser skin, it forces it to sink. The subduction trenches are localized along the rim of the plumes and strong roll-back is observed. Subduction always occurs along partial circles, a situation very different from the purely viscous case. This is due to the brittle character of the upper part of the experimental lithosphere: it cannot deform viscously to accommodate roll-back and sinking motions. Instead, the plate tears, as a sheet of paper would do upon intrusion. The experiments further suggest that a weaker lithosphere than that present on Earth today is required for such a convective regime. These experimental observations strongly resemble the association of large coronae with trenches that is observed on Venus. The surface deformation structures and the subsurface density variations predicted by the laboratory agree with radar image observations and subsurface density variations inferred from modeling the gravity and topography data at Artemis and Quetzelpetlatl Coronae. Evidence for geologically recent volcanism at Quetzelpetlatl suggests that subduction may be currently active on

  15. 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.

  16. A Subduction Source for the Great Lisbon Earthquake and Tsunami of 1755 ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baptista, M. A.; Miranda, J. M.; Gutscher, M. A.

    2002-12-01

    The great Lisbon earthquake of 1 November 1755 (felt as far away as Hamburg, the Azores and Cape Verde Islands) has the largest documented felt area of any shallow earthquake and an estimated magnitude of 8.5 - 9.0. The associated tsunami ravaged the coast of SW Portugal and the Gulf of Cadiz, with run-up heights reported to have reached 5 - 15 m. The tsunami was recorded as far as the Lesser Antilles and SW England. While several source regions offshore SW Portugal have been proposed (e.g. - Horseshoe Abyssal plain, Gorringe Bank, Marques de Pombal), no single source has been able to account for the great seismic moment and the tsunami amplitude and travel-time observations. A recent marine seismic survey together with tomographic data provide compelling evidence for an active east dipping subduction zone beneath the Gibraltar Arc. We have performed tsunami wave form modeling to test the hypothesis of a subduction related "interplate" event as the source of the 1755 earthquake. A shallow east dipping fault plane with dimensions of 180 km (N-S) x 210 km (E-W) is tested with a co-seismic slip of 20 m. For convergence rates of 1 - 2 cm/yr an event of this magnitude could recur every 1000 - 2000 years. This corresponds well to the chronology of turbidites emplaced in the adjacent Horseshoe Abyssal plain. Hydrodynamic tsunami modeling using a single shallow dipping subduction source provides a good fit to historically reported amplitudes and arrival times from stations in the Gulf of Cadiz, Madeira and Porto Santo. However, amplitudes are low and arrival times too long for stations on the west coast of Portugal. A subduction source for this earthquake implies a second simultaneous source area closer to the margin compatible with the tsunami observations along the western Iberian coast.

  17. Subduction Processes Off Chile: Preliminary Geophysical Results of Sonne Cruise So-161(2+3)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reichert, Chr.; Spoc Scientific Shipboard Party, The

    Within the scope of the multi-disciplinary SPOC project (Subduction Processes Off Chile) some 8.700 km were recently acquired using marine magnetic, gravity and swath bathymetric methods whereof 5.200 km were surveyed with multi-channel seismics, including three seismic lines with simultaneous onshore observations. The goal of the project is to identify the variety of subduction features and accompanying conditions along the Central Chile segment of the collision zone between the Nazca and S-American plates, i.e. between Coquimbo and Valdivia. An additional line was achieved just south of Chiloe Island entering the submerged Central Valley. The present status of data allows the following observations: the oceanic crust is seg- mented by features like the Juan Fernandez Ridge, the Mocha and Valdivia Fracture Zones, accumulations of seamounts and by distinct parallel fault patterns with various azimuths. From north to south the subduction-induced inclination of the oceanic crust toward the trench decreases while the trench proper widens and the margin slope an- gle increase significantly. In the north clearly extensional normal faulting occurs on the upper and middle slopes, very similar to that observed off North Chile where sub- duction erosion is active. While in the north no bottom simulating reflectors could be observed they occur in the south as local patches. The slope area in the south is over- printed by a faint lineation pattern with a dominant azimuth of some 120 degrees that neatly fits with a mapped pattern onshore with the same azimuth. The pronounced forearc basins in the south are often accompanied by outer arc highs and strikingly narrow accretionary wedges. The latter are in contrast with the high convergence rate of more than 8 cm/yr and the relatively thick trench filling of up to more than 2.000 m. Thus, a non-accretionary subduction type is suggested, here.

  18. He and Sr isotopic constraints on subduction contributions to Woodlark Basin volcanism, Solomon Islands

    SciTech Connect

    Trull, T.W.; Kurz, M.D. ); Perfit, M.R. )

    1990-02-01

    In order to assess the nature and spatial extent of subduction contributions to arc volcanism, Sr and He isotopic compositions are measured for dredged volcanic rocks from the Woodlark Basin in the western Pacific. {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr ratios increase geographically, from ocean ridge values (.7025-.7029) at the Woodlark Spreading Center to island arc ratios (.7035-.7039) in the Solomon Islands forearc, with intermediate values near the triple junction where the Woodlark Spreading Center subducts beneath the Solomon Islands. {sup 3}He/{sup 4}He ratios are also more radiogenic in the forearc (6.9 {plus minus} .2 R{sub a} at active Kavachi volcano) than along the spreading center, where values typical of major ocean ridges were found (8.2 - 9.3 R{sub a}). Very low {sup 3}He/{sup 4}He ratios occur in many triple junction rocks (.1 to 5 R{sub a}), but consideration of He isotopic differences between crushing and melting analyses suggests that the low ratios were caused by atmospheric (1 R{sub a}) and radiogenic ({approx} 0.2 R{sub a}) helium addition after eruption. Variations in unaltered, magnetic {sup 3}He/{sup 4}He, and {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr ratios are best explained by subduction-related fluid or silicate melt contributions to the magma source region, perhaps from ancient Pacific lithosphere. However, mantle volatiles dominate the generation of Woodlark Basin rocks despite extensive subduction in the region.

  19. Bayesian geodynamic inversion to constrain the rheology of the flat subduction system in southwestern Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gérault, Mélanie; Bodin, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    The flat slab in southwestern Mexico differs from others at the present-day because (1) it is associated with abundant arc volcanism, (2) it is associated with extension in the arc and a neutral state of stress in the fore-arc, (3) it generates relatively low seismic activity, (4) the continental mantle lithosphere is very thin or nonexistent, (5) it is not directly caused by the subduction of thickened oceanic crust, and (6) there is no nearby cratonic keel. In a recent study, we showed that the topography in the area is controlled by both isostatic and dynamic contributions. The Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt is either isostatically supported or slightly buoyed up by a low-density mantle wedge. To the contrary, the forearc is pulled downward by the flat slab, resulting in about 1 km of subsidence. Using a two-dimensional instantaneous Stokes flow finite-elements model, we found a combination of slab, mantle, and subduction interface properties that can predict the observed topography, plate velocities, and stress state in the continent. However, this solution is not unique, and there are trade-offs between these properties such that several combinations can provide a similarly good fit to the data. In this work, we present a geodynamic inversion to further investigate what viscosities and densities are required in different zones of the subduction system to explain the observations collected at the surface. The inverse problem is cast in a Bayesian framework, where model parameters (e.g. the viscosity in the mantle wedge and along the subduction interface) can be reconstructed in a probabilistic sense, and where trade-offs and uncertainties can be quantitatively constrained. We use a direct parameter search approach based on a Markov chain Monte Carlo (McMC) scheme to test a large number of potential scenarios.

  20. Extending the global coverage of Slab1.0 3D subduction zone models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seidman, L.; Hayes, G. P.

    2013-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  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. In search of transient subduction interfaces in the Dent Blanche-Sesia Tectonic System (W. Alps)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angiboust, Samuel; Glodny, Johannes; Oncken, Onno; Chopin, Christian

    2014-09-01

    In this paper we study the Alpine metamorphic history of a major tectonic zone which formed during Alpine orogeny, the Dent Blanche Thrust (DBT). This contact, located in the Northern Western Alps, juxtaposes some ophiolitic metasediment-rich remnants of the Liguro-Piemontese ocean (Tsaté Complex) with a composite continental, km-sized complex (Dent Blanche Tectonic System, DBTS) of Adriatic affinity thrusted over the ophiolite. In order to better understand the geodynamic meaning of the DBT region and adjacent units, we have reconstructed the pressure-temperature-time-deformation (P-T-t-d) history of these two units using modern thermobarometric tools, Rb/Sr geochronology, and field relationships. We show that the Tsaté Complex is formed by a stack of km-thick calcschists-bearing tectonic slices having experienced variable maximum burial temperatures between 360 °C and 490 °C at depths of ca. 25-40 km. Associated deformation ages span a range between 37 Ma and 41 Ma. The Arolla gneissic mylonites at the base of the DBTS experienced high-pressure (12-14 kbar), top-to-NW deformation at ca. 450 °C between 43 and 48 Ma. A first age of ca. 58 Ma has been obtained for high-pressure ductile deformation in the Valpelline shear zone, atop Arolla gneisses. Some of the primary, peak metamorphic fabrics have been reworked and later backfolded during exhumation and collisional overprint (ca. 20 km depth, 37-40 Ma) leading to the regional greenschist-facies retrogression which is particularly prominent within Tsaté metasediments. We interpret the Dent Blanche Thrust, at the base of the Arolla unit, as a fossilized subduction interface active between 43 and 48 Ma. Our geochronological results on the shear zone lining the top of the Arolla unit, together with previous P-T-t estimates on equivalent blueschist-facies shear zones cutting the Sesia unit, indicate an older tectonic activity between 58 and 65 Ma. We demonstrate here that observed younger ages towards lowermost

  4. Implementing Subduction Models in the New Mantle Convection Code Aspect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arredondo, Katrina; Billen, Magali

    2014-05-01

    The geodynamic community has utilized various numerical modeling codes as scientific questions arise and computer processing power increases. Citcom, a widely used mantle convection code, has limitations and vulnerabilities such as temperature overshoots of hundreds or thousands degrees Kelvin (i.e., Kommu et al., 2013). Recently Aspect intended as a more powerful cousin, is in active development with additions such as Adaptable Mesh Refinement (AMR) and improved solvers (Kronbichler et al., 2012). The validity and ease of use of Aspect is important to its survival and role as a possible upgrade and replacement to Citcom. Development of publishable models illustrates the capacity of Aspect. We present work on the addition of non-linear solvers and stress-dependent rheology to Aspect. With a solid foundational knowledge of C++, these additions were easily added into Aspect and tested against CitcomS. Time-dependent subduction models akin to those in Billen and Hirth (2007) are built and compared in CitcomS and Aspect. Comparison with CitcomS assists in Aspect development and showcases its flexibility, usability and capabilities. References: Billen, M. I., and G. Hirth, 2007. Rheologic controls on slab dynamics. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. Kommu, R., E. Heien, L. H. Kellogg, W. Bangerth, T. Heister, E. Studley, 2013. The Overshoot Phenomenon in Geodynamics Codes. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. M. Kronbichler, T. Heister, W. Bangerth, 2012, High Accuracy Mantle Convection Simulation through Modern Numerical Methods, Geophys. J. Int.

  5. Subduction fluxes of water, carbon dioxide, chlorine, and potassium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarrard, Richard D.

    2003-05-01

    The alteration of upper oceanic crust entails growth of hydrous minerals and loss of macroporosity, with associated large-scale fluxes of H2O, CO2, Cl-, and K2O between seawater and crust. This age-dependent alteration can be quantified by combining a conceptual alteration model with observed age-dependent changes in crustal geophysical properties at DSDP/ODP sites, permitting estimation of crustal concentrations of H2O, CO2, Cl-, and K2O, given crustal age. Surprisingly, low-temperature alteration causes no net change in total water; pore water loss is nearly identical to bound water gain. Net change in total crustal K2O is also smaller than expected; the obvious low-temperature enrichment is partly offset by earlier high-temperature depletion, and most crustal K2O is primary rather than secondary. I calculate crustal concentrations of H2O, CO2, Cl-, and K2O for 41 modern subduction zones, thereby determining their modern mass fluxes both for individual subduction zones and globally. This data set is complemented by published flux determinations for subducting sediments at 26 of these subduction zones. Global mass fluxes among oceans, oceanic crust, continental crust, and mantle are calculated for H2O, Cl-, and K2O. Except for the present major imbalance between sedimentation and sediment subduction, most fluxes appear to be at or near steady state. I estimate that half to two thirds of subducted crustal water is later refluxed at the prism toe; most of the remaining water escapes at subarc depths, triggering partial melting. The flux of subducted volatiles, however, does not appear to correlate with either rate of arc magma generation or magnitude of interplate earthquakes.

  6. Subduction Fluxes of Water, Carbon Dioxide, Chlorine, and Potassium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarrard, R. D.

    2002-12-01

    The alteration of upper oceanic crust entails growth of hydrous minerals and loss of macroporosity, with associated large-scale fluxes of H2O, CO2, Cl-, and K2O between seawater and crust. This age-dependent alteration can be quantified by combining a conceptual alteration model with observed age-dependent changes in crustal geophysical properties at DSDP/ODP sites, permitting estimation of crustal concentrations of H2O, CO2, Cl-, and K2O, given crustal age. Surprisingly, low-temperature alteration causes no net change in total water; pore water loss is nearly identical to H2O+ gain. The overall alteration effect on total crustal content of K2O is also smaller than expected; the obvious low-temperature enrichment is partly offset by earlier high-temperature depletion, and most crustal K2O is primary rather than secondary. We calculate crustal concentrations of H2O, CO2, Cl-, and K2O for 41 modern subduction zones, thereby determining their modern mass fluxes both for individual subduction zones and globally. This dataset is complemented by published flux determinations for subducting sediments at 26 of these subduction zones. Global mass fluxes among oceans, oceanic crust, continental crust, and mantle are calculated for H2O, Cl-, and K2O. Except for the present major imbalance between sedimentation and sediment subduction, most fluxes appear to be at or near steady-state. We estimate that half to two thirds of subducted crustal water is later refluxed at the prism toe; most of the remaining water escapes at subarc depths, triggering partial melting. The flux of subducted volatiles, however, does not appear to correlate with either rate of arc magma generation or magnitude of interplate earthquakes.

  7. Subduction-driven recycling of continental margin lithosphere.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-13

    Whereas subduction recycling of oceanic lithosphere is one of the central themes of plate tectonics, the recycling of continental lithosphere appears to be far more complicated and less well understood. Delamination and convective downwelling are two widely recognized processes invoked to explain the removal of lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts. Here we relate oceanic plate subduction to removal of adjacent continental lithosphere in certain plate tectonic settings. We have developed teleseismic body wave images from dense broadband seismic experiments that show higher than expected volumes of anomalously fast mantle associated with the subducted Atlantic slab under northeastern South America and the Alboran slab beneath the Gibraltar arc region; the anomalies are under, and are aligned with, the continental margins at depths greater than 200 kilometres. Rayleigh wave analysis finds that the lithospheric mantle under the continental margins is significantly thinner than expected, and that thin lithosphere extends from the orogens adjacent to the subduction zones inland to the edges of nearby cratonic cores. Taking these data together, here we describe a process that can lead to the loss of continental lithosphere adjacent to a subduction zone. Subducting oceanic plates can viscously entrain and remove the bottom of the continental thermal boundary layer lithosphere from adjacent continental margins. This drives surface tectonics and pre-conditions the margins for further deformation by creating topography along the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. This can lead to development of secondary downwellings under the continental interior, probably under both South America and the Gibraltar arc, and to delamination of the entire lithospheric mantle, as around the Gibraltar arc. This process reconciles numerous, sometimes mutually exclusive, geodynamic models proposed to explain the complex oceanic-continental tectonics of these subduction zones.

  8. Strength and survival of subducted lithosphere during the Laramide orogeny

    SciTech Connect

    Spencer, J.E. )

    1993-04-01

    The strength of subducted ocean lithosphere is influenced primarily by two competing processes. During subduction brittle rock strength increases because of increasing compressive stress across fracture surfaces which increases frictional resistance to sliding. The strength of rocks hot enough to be in the plastic deformation regime decreases primarily because of heat conducted from the overriding plate and the asthenosphere. A one-dimensional finite-element heat-flow program was used to simulate subduction in two dimensions where conductive heat flow parallel to the slab and to the upper plate could be neglected. Temperatures determined with this method, and pressures based on depth, were then used to calculate the form of the brittle-plastic failure envelope for subducted lithosphere. An olivine flow law and strain rate of 10[sup [minus]15] s[sup [minus]1] were used for the plastic part of the failure envelope. The failure envelope was then used to calculate slab-parallel compressive strength and maximum sustainable bending moment. Modeling of Maramide subduction beneath southwestern North America, using slab ages and subduction rates for the Farallon plate from Engebretson et al., suggests that the subducted slab will not retain much strength beyond 1,000 to 1,200 km inland unless the thickness of the North American lithosphere, and depth to the top of the slab, are significantly less than 200 km. Slab survival for distances of 1000 km seems assured. Survival for much greater distances is possible. The slab is predicted to have been up to several times stronger beneath southwestern North America than at the trench because much rock remains in the brittle regime and is under high confining pressure.

  9. Influence of subduction history on South American topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flament, Nicolas; Gurnis, Michael; Müller, R. Dietmar; Bower, Dan J.; Husson, Laurent

    2015-11-01

    The Cenozoic evolution of South American topography is marked by episodes of large-scale uplift and subsidence not readily explained by lithospheric deformation. The drying up of the inland Pebas system, the drainage reversal of the Amazon river, the uplift of the Sierras Pampeanas and the uplift of Patagonia have all been linked to the evolution of mantle flow since the Miocene in separate studies. Here we investigate the evolution of long-wavelength South American topography as a function of subduction history in a time-dependent global geodynamic model. This model is shown to be consistent with these inferred changes, as well as with the migration of the Chaco foreland basin depocentre, that we partly attribute to the inboard migration of subduction resulting from Andean mountain building. We suggest that the history of subduction along South America has had an important influence on the evolution of the topography of the continent because time-dependent mantle flow models are consistent with the history of vertical motions as constrained by the geological record at four distant areas over a whole continent. Testing alternative subduction scenarios reveals flat slab segments are necessary to reconcile inferred Miocene shorelines with a simple model paleogeography. As recently suggested, we find that the flattening of a subduction zone results in dynamic uplift between the leading edge of the flat slab segment and the trench, and in a wave of dynamic subsidence associated with the inboard migration of the leading edge of flat subduction. For example, the flattening of the Peruvian subduction contributed to the demise of Pebas shallow-water sedimentation, while continental-scale tilting also contributed to the drainage reversal of the Amazon River. The best correlation to P-wave tomography models for the Peruvian flat slab segment is obtained for a case when the asthenosphere, here considered to be 150 km thick and 10 times less viscous than the upper mantle, is

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Role of the subduction filter in mantle recycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, J. I.; Skora, S. E.; Gill, J.; Van Keken, P. E.

    2015-12-01

    Subduction modifies the descending basaltic and sedimentary oceanic crust and generates felsic arc materials and continental crust. Studies of element mass balances in the subduction zone therefore reveal the evolution of the Earth's two major geochemical reservoirs: the continent crust and mantle. We use the Arc Basalt Simulator ver.4 (ABS4) to model the geochemical mass balance during dehydration by prograde metamorphism and melting of the slab followed by subsequent flux melting of the wedge mantle caused by the addition of slab-derived liquids. The geochemistry of high-Mg andesite or adakite formed in a hot subduction zone is akin to the present-day bulk continental crust and to the Archean (>2 Ga) Tonalite-Trondjhemite-Granodiorite composition. Therefore, the residual slab and the metasomatized mantle wedge at hot subduction zones should be the most plausible sources for materials recycled back into the deep mantle. Model calculations of isotopic growth in the residual slab and mantle formed in hot subduction zones reproduce fairly well the EM1-FOZO-HIMU isotope arrays found in ocean island basalts (OIBs) of deep mantle plume origin, although FOZO with high 3He/4He is not generated by this slab recycling process. The recycled materials are bulk igneous ocean crust for HIMU and metasomatized mantle wedge peridotite for EM1. In contrast, the EM2-FOZO array can be generated in a cold subduction zone with igneous oceanic crust for FOZO and sediment for EM2 sources. Necessary residence time are ~2 Ga to form HIMU-FOZO-EM1 and ~1 Ga to form EM2-FOZO. The subducted oceanic crust (forming HIMU) and mantle wedge peridotite (forming EM1) may have travelled in the mantle together. They then melted together in an upwelling mantle plume to form the EM1-FOZO-HIMU isotopic variations found frequently in OIBs. In contrast, the less frequent EM2-FOZO array suggests a separate source and recycling path. These recycling ages are consistent with the change in the mantle potential

  13. Linking giant earthquakes with the subduction of oceanic fracture zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landgrebe, T. C.; Müller, R. D.; EathByte Group

    2011-12-01

    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 years and more) recurrence times of giant earthquakes. Global digital data sets represent a promising source of information for a multi-dimensional earthquake hazard analysis. We combine the NGDC global Significant Earthquakes database with a global strain rate map, gridded ages of the ocean floor, and a recently produced digital data set for oceanic fracture zones, major aseismic ridges and volcanic chains to investigate the association of earthquakes as a function of magnitude with age of the downgoing slab and convergence rates. We use a so-called Top-N recommendation method, a technology originally developed to search, sort, classify, and filter very large and often statistically skewed data sets on the internet, to analyse the association of subduction earthquakes sorted by magnitude with key parameters. The Top-N analysis is used to progressively assess how strongly particular "tectonic niche" locations (e.g. locations along subduction zones intersected with aseismic ridges or volcanic chains) are associated with sets of earthquakes in sorted order in a given magnitude range. As the total number N of sorted earthquakes is increased, by progressively including smaller-magnitude events, the so-called recall is computed, defined as the number of Top-N earthquakes associated with particular target areas divided by N. The resultant statistical measure represents an intuitive description of the effectiveness of a given set of parameters to account for the location of significant earthquakes on record. We use this method to show that the occurrence of great (magnitude ≥ 8) earthquakes on overriding plate segments is strongly biased towards intersections of oceanic fracture zones with subduction zones. These intersection regions are

  14. Metamorphic Devolatilization in the Izu-Bonin-Mariana Subduction Factory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerrick, D.; Connolly, J.

    2002-12-01

    Metamorphic devolatilization in subduction zones is essential to arc magmatism, seismicity and volatile recycling. Our premise is that realistic modeling of metamorphic devolatilization of subducted lithologies is only possible for chemical systems that closely approximate actual bulk compositions. Volatile components are introduced into subduction zones by three contrasting lithologies: marine sediments, and hydrothermally altered mantle ultramafic rocks (serpentinites) and oceanic metabasalts. Using free energy minimization (Perplex programs: erdw.ethz.ch/~jamie/perplex), phase equilibria were computed to 6 GPa (~160 km) to quantify the evolution of CO2 and H2O by prograde metamorphism of marine sediments and oceanic metabasalts entering the Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) subduction system. Major oxide compositions for these protoliths (from sites 801 and 1149 ODP cores) were utilized as input for our computations. Assuming that the IBM system is a relatively cool subduction zone, we quantified devolatilization for the P-T path along the top of the subducted slab. Major dehydration of pelagic clays in sites 801 and 1149, and volcaniclastic turbidites in site 801, are predicted to occur in the subarc. The subjacent hyrothermally altered basalts in sites 801 and 1149 will undergo little devolatilization for cool geotherms. With the unsubstantiated assumption that serpentinites exist in the upper mantle of the subducted slab, this lithology would also provide a significant subarc H2O source. With serpentinite included in the subducted slab, and assuming a fluid-assisted embrittlement mechanism for earthquakes, metamorphic dehydration could account for the distribution of hypocenters along the top of the subucted slab of the IBM system. Serpentinite as a major H2O source for the Isu arc is compatible with the strong depletion in trace element concentrations of the arc volcanics [1]. Trace element signatures in the Mariana arc magmas [2] are consistent with subducted

  15. Towards a new thermomechanical model of subduction channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinteros, J.; Sobolev, S. V.

    2009-04-01

    Subduction is known to be a major process in most collision zones, and the subduction channel is one of the key elements in the subduction process. In the last years the key-role of the subduction channel was thoroughly studied by many authors. From a mechanical point of view, its properties are highly determined by the friction coefficient, which depends on many factors, and the rheology that is set up. Despite of being a few kilometers wide, and small compared to the big subduction picture, its effects can propagate far away from the trench. For example, that was demonstrated by Sobolev and Babeyko (Geology, 2005) by means of a numerical model focused at the evolution of the Central Andean Subduction Zone. The model was based on a finite-element/finite-difference explicit code called LAPEX-2D (Babeyko et al., EPSL, 2002). Here, we present a new and enhanced 2-D thermomechanical model developed to study this type of tectonic setting. The main ideas of the technical implementation are based on the work published by Popov and Sobolev (PEPI, 2008). The domain is modeled by means of the Finite Elements Method with an implicit approach. The rheology is considered to be elasto-visco-plastic and the viscosity is temperature- and stress-dependent. Diffusion, Dislocation and Peierls types of creep and Mohr-Coulomb plasticity are included. Topography evolution is naturally tracked by a Lagrangian mesh. A particle technique similar to the particle-in-cell method was used to minimize diffusion during remeshing. One of the improvements added in this work, compared to the previous models, is a non-uniform mesh, which allows two main benefits. First, the study of specified regions of interest with more detail by means of the concentration of elements (like subduction channel), and second, the capability to define more realistic and smooth interfaces between different materials without distorsions related to mesh orientation. Also, the remeshing process includes basic automatic

  16. The seismic structure of the Rivera subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grand, S. P.; Yang, T.; Wilson, D.; Guzman Speziale, M.; Gomez Gonzalez, J.; Dominguez Reyes, T.; Ni, J.

    2007-12-01

    The subduction zone of western Mexico is a unique region on Earth where microplate capture and overriding plate disruption are occurring today. The small Rivera plate is subducting beneath western most Mexico primarily beneath Jalisco state while to the east it is the Cocos plate that is subducting. Above the Rivera plate the Jalisco block of Mexico is bounded by the north trending Colima Rift and the northwest trending Tepic-Chapala Rift and may form a microplate in its own right. Magmatism is present throughout the region and is unusual for a subduction zone in that geochemical analyses indicate an ocean island basalt component to some of the lavas. Also, Colima volcano is offset trenchward from other volcanoes in the Mexican Volcanic Belt. Little is known of the subducting Rivera plate geometry due to the paucity of seismicity within the plate yet the geometry of the Rivera and Cocos plates at depth are likely critical for understanding the tectonic evolution of western Mexico. The MARS (MApping the Rivera Subduction zone) project consists of the deployment of 50 broadband seismometers covering the Jalisco block from the coast to the Tepic-Chapala rift in the north and about 150 km to the west of the Colima rift. The instruments were deployed in January, 2006 and removed in June, 2007. The goal of the project is to seismically image the subducting Rivera and Cocos plates at depth as well as the mantle wedge above the plates. We present the results of a P-wave tomography inversion using teleseisms recorded by MARS. The inversion used 10,495 residuals and finite frequency theory to back project the kernels through the model. At shallow depths it is difficult to discern the subducting Cocos and Rivera plates but at depths deeper than about 80 km both plates are clearly imaged in the tomography model. Below a depth of 150 km, a clear gap between the Rivera and Cocos slabs is apparent that increases in size at further depths. The images indicate that the deeper

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Relationship Between Subduction Erosion, Seamount Subduction, Fluid Venting and Mound Formation on the Slope of the Costa Rican Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petersen, C.; Klaucke, I.; Weinrebe, W.

    2006-12-01

    The oceanic crust off central Costa Rica northwest of the Cocos Ridge is dominated by chains of seamounts rising 1-2 km above the seafloor with diameters of up to 20 km. The subduction of these seamounts leads to strong indentations, scars and slides on the continental margin. A smoother segment of about 80 km width is located offshore Nicoya peninsula. The segment ends at a fracture zone which marks the transition of oceanic crust created at the Cocos-Nazca spreading center (CNS) and at the East Pacific Rise (EPR). Offshore Nicaragua the incoming EPR crust is dominated by bending related faults. To investigate the relationship between subduction erosion, fluid venting and mound formation, multibeam bathymetry and high-resolution deep-tow sidescan sonar and sediment echosounder data were acquired during R/V Sonne cruises SO163 and SO173 (2002/2003). The deep-tow system consisted of a dual-frequency 75/410 kHz sidescan sonar and a 2-12 kHz chirp sub-bottom profiler. The connection of the observed seafloor features to deeper subduction related processes is obtained by analysis of multi-channel streamer (MCS) data acquired during cruises SO81 (1992) and BGR99 (1999). Data examples and interpretations for different settings along the margin are presented. Near the Fisher seamount the large Nicoya slump failed over the flank of a huge subducted seamount. The sidescan and echosounder data permit a detailed characterization of fault patterns and fluid escape structures around the headwall of the slump. Where the fracture zone separating CNS and EPR crust subducts, the Hongo mound field was mapped in detail. Several mounds of up to 100 m height are located in line with a scar possibly created by a subducting ridge of the fracture zone. MCS data image a topographic high on the subducting oceanic crust beneath the mound field which lead to uplift and possibly enabled ascent of fluids from the subducting plate. The combined analysis of geoacoustic and seismic MCS data

  20. High-resolution imaging of the subduction thrust location, properties and geometry, from teleseismic converted waves in the Western Hellenic and Lesser Antilles subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sachpazi, M.; Gesret, A.; Charalampakis, M.; Laigle, M.; Diaz, J.; HIRN, A.

    2012-12-01

    The « Thales was right » experiment aimed to approach by using several methods the seismic structure and activity of the two subduction zones in the European Union (Laigle et al., T02 this meeting and Hirn et al., this session). The identification in depth of the plate boundary and material properties are critical for a quantitative comparison with the distribution of earthquakes also finely resolved in theses studies. Subduction zone imaging by teleseismic tomography results in velocity anomalies varying smoothly in space, thus not resolving finely the geometry and properties of the megathrust. Images commonly presented use either Receiver Functions (RF) of teleseismic P to S conversions, or 2D GRT inversion of the scattered wavefield. We showed that with the commonly used filters, an oceanic crust cannot be resolved, whereas its thickness can be determined with our original RF multiscale analysis going to high frequency (Gesret et al., GJI, 2010). An other important issue concerns the geometry of the subducting slab. In order to constrain the depth and the dip value of the slab beneath receivers, which record signals from a wide range of backazimuths and incidence angles, we have developed a multiangle RF approach. In the Hellenic subduction zone, our multiscale analysis allowed us to resolve for the first time a standard oceanic crust at the top of the slab beneath the Eastern coast of Peloponnesus. This was in marked contrast to the significantly larger LVL thickness obtained by Suckale et al. (2009) with the 2D GRT inversion, which interpretation needed considering particular properties above the slab top or under its crust. Correspondingly to the analysis of Gesret et al. (2010) that the primary converted could broaden the LVL image, Pearce et al. (JGR, 2012) revisited the Suckale et al. (2009) data with the same approach, but using only the backscattered multiples and not the primary conversions. They found that these data were indeed consistent with an

  1. 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

  2. Subduction and Recycling of Nitrogen Along the Central American Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Tobias P.; Hilton, David R.; Zimmer, Mindy M.; Shaw, Alison M.; Sharp, Zachary D.; Walker, James A.

    2002-08-01

    We report N and He isotopic and relative abundance characteristics of volatiles emitted from two segments of the Central American volcanic arc. In Guatemala, δ15N values are positive (i.e., greater than air) and N2/He ratios are high (up to 25,000). In contrast, Costa Rican N2/He ratios are low (maximum 1483) and δ15N values are negative (minimum -3.0 per mil). The results identify shallow hemipelagic sediments, subducted into the Guatemalan mantle, as the transport medium for the heavy N. Mass balance arguments indicate that the subducted N is efficiently cycled to the atmosphere by arc volcanism. Therefore, the subduction zone acts as a ``barrier'' to input of sedimentary N to the deeper mantle.

  3. Relating Seismic Subduction Images in Southern Peru to Mineralogy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Y.; Clayton, R. W.

    2014-12-01

    We use data from the recent PeruSE seismic experiment in southern Peru to compare the variation in properties between the normal-dip portion of the subduction interface and the flat slab-mantle interface. The analysis includes migration of the receiver functions to determine the variations in shear and compressional velocities, and the detail measurements of along amplitudes of the receiver-function images. Converted amplitudes at the top and bottom of the Nazca oceanic crust are used to constrain shear wave velocity and density of the subducted crust, and these values are compared to those determined from the experimental mineral physics. We also separately examine the stations closest to the coast to explore how structural variations near the plate interface can be linked to along-strike change in frictional behavior in the seismogenic zone. The results will be compared to the flat subduction zones in Mexico and central Chile.

  4. Extreme localized exhumation at syntaxes initiated by subduction geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bendick, Rebecca; Ehlers, Todd A.

    2014-08-01

    Some of the highest and most localized rates of lithospheric deformation in the world are observed at the transition between adjacent plate boundary subduction segments. The initiating perturbation of this deformation has long been attributed to vigorous erosional processes as observed at Nanga Parbat and Namche Barwa in the Himalaya and at Mount St. Elias in Alaska. However, an erosion-dominated mechanism ignores the 3-D geometry of curved subducting plates. Here we present an alternative explanation for rapid exhumation at these locations based on the 3-D thermomechanical evolution of collisions between plates with nonplanar geometries. Comparison of model predictions with existing data reproduces the defining characteristics of these mountains and offers an explanation for their spatial correlation with arc termini. These results demonstrate a "bottom-up" tectonic rather than "top-down" erosional initiation of feedbacks between erosion and tectonic deformation; hence, the importance of 3-D subduction geometry.

  5. Interferometric imaging of the underside of a subducting crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poliannikov, O. V.; Rondenay, S.; Chen, L.

    2011-12-01

    Seismic interferometry provides tools for redatuming physical data to a source location. Placing a virtual receiver close to a structure of interest has the potential benefit of improving the quality of imaging by increasing the effective aperture and mitigating the effect of velocity uncertainty in the overburden. We consider the problem of estimating the Green's function between two earthquakes located inside a subducting slab using earthquake data recorded at the surface. Our primary focus is to obtain an accurate time-image of the subducting interface. Known techniques, such as classical or source-receiver interferometry, are not directly applicable due to inadequate acquisition geometry. We propose a two-step kinematically correct redatuming procedure that first redatums the data from earthquakes below the subducting interface to the surface via classical interferometry, and then utilizes source-receiver wavefield interferometry to redatum virtual surface seismic data to the location of a particular earthquake event.

  6. Interferometric imaging of the underside of a subducting crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poliannikov, Oleg V.; Rondenay, Stéphane; Chen, Ling

    2012-04-01

    Seismic interferometry provides tools for redatuming physical data to a new source location. Turning a source, located close to a structure of interest, into a virtual receiver has the potential benefit of improving the quality of imaging by increasing the effective aperture and mitigating the effect of velocity uncertainty in the overburden. Here, we consider the problem of estimating the Green's function between two earthquakes located inside a subducting slab using earthquake data recorded at the surface. Our primary focus is to obtain an accurate time-image of the subducting interface. We propose a novel two-step kinematically correct redatuming procedure that first redatums the data from earthquakes below the subducting interface to the surface via classical interferometry, and then utilizes source-receiver wavefield interferometry to redatum virtual surface seismic data to the location of a particular earthquake event.

  7. 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.

  8. A new model of slab tear of the subducting Philippine Sea Plate associated with Kyushu-Palau Ridge subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Lingmin; Wang, Zhi; Wu, Shiguo; Gao, Xiang

    2014-12-01

    We suggest that the Kyushu-Palau Ridge (KPR) plays a key role in the subduction process of the Philippine Sea Plate (PSP) and the origin of the Abu volcano in the southwestern Japan. The 3-D P-wave velocity structure was imaged to approximately 300 km beneath the Abu volcano using a large number of P-wave arrivals from local earthquakes and teleseismic events. Our results indicate that a high-velocity anomaly beneath the Abu volcano is associated with the subducting PSP; however, the anomaly is not continuous, being interrupted apparently by a low-velocity anomaly zone extending northwestwards from 80 km to great depth. The PSP appears to be tearing and then forms a 'slab window' corresponding to KPR subduction at ca. 2 Ma. The low-velocity anomaly may indicate hot upper mantle material rising through the slab window and causing partial melting both of the lower crust of the overriding plate and the oceanic crust of the subducted KPR. A new model is presented for slab tearing of the PSP associated with the subduction of the buoyant, wide and thick KPR and directional change in the motion of the plate, contributing to better understanding of the Abu volcanism.

  9. Carboniferous granites on the northern margin of Gondwana, Anatolide-Tauride Block, Turkey - Evidence for southward subduction of Paleotethys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Candan, O.; Akal, C.; Koralay, O. E.; Okay, A. I.; Oberhänsli, R.; Prelević, D.; Mertz-Kraus, R.

    2016-06-01

    Carboniferous metagranites with U-Pb zircon crystallization ages of 331-315 Ma crop out in the Afyon zone in the northern margin of the Anatolide-Tauride Block, which is commonly regarded as part of Gondwana during the Late Palaeozoic. They are peraluminous, calc-alkaline and are characterized by increase in Rb and Ba, decrease in Nb-Ta, and enrichment in Sr and high LILE/HFSE ratios compatible with a continental arc setting. The metagranites intrude a metasedimentary sequence of phyllite, metaquartzite and marble; both the Carboniferous metagranites and metasedimentary rocks are overlain unconformably by Lower Triassic metaconglomerates, metavolcanics and Upper Triassic to Cretaceous recrystallized limestones. The low-grade metamorphism and deformation occurred at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. There is no evidence for Carboniferous deformation and metamorphism in the region. Carboniferous arc-type granites and previously described Carboniferous subduction-accretion complexes on the northern margin of the Anatolide-Tauride Block suggest southward subduction of Paleotethys under Gondwana during the Carboniferous. Considering the Variscan-related arc granites in Pelagonian and Sakarya zones on the active southern margin of Laurasia, a dual subduction of Paleotethys can be envisaged between Early Carboniferous and Late Permian. However, the southward subduction was short-lived and by the Late Permian the Gondwana margin became passive.

  10. Investigating Compositional Links Between Arc Magmas And The Subducted Altered Oceanic Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straub, S. M.

    2015-12-01

    Mexican (dominated by recycling of eroded crust) arcs imply a similar unradiogenic Pb of the recycled AOC at 206Pb/204Pb ~18.1. Tentatively, these results suggest that the AOC subducted in the past may be more unradiogenic on average than mean composition inferred from the erupted magmas along the active mid-oceanic ridges.

  11. A real-time cabled observatory on the Cascadia subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vidale, J. E.; Delaney, J. R.; Toomey, D. R.; Bodin, P.; Roland, E. C.; Wilcock, W. S. D.; Houston, H.; Schmidt, D. A.; Allen, R. M.

    2015-12-01

    Subduction zones are replete with mystery and rife with hazard. Along most of the Pacific Northwest margin, the traditional methods of monitoring offshore geophysical activity use onshore sensors or involve conducting infrequent oceanographic expeditions. This results in a limited capacity for detecting and monitoring subduction processes offshore. We propose that the next step in geophysical observations of Cascadia should include real-time data delivered by a seafloor cable with seismic, geodetic, and pressure-sensing instruments. Along the Cascadia subduction zone, we need to monitor deformation, earthquakes, and fluid fluxes on short time scales. High-quality long-term time series are needed to establish baseline observations and evaluate secular changes in the subduction environment. Currently we lack a basic knowledge of the plate convergence rate, direction and its variations along strike and of how convergence is accommodated across the plate boundary. We also would like to seek cycles of microseismicity, how far locking extends up-dip, and the transient processes (i.e., fluid pulsing, tremor, and slow slip) that occur near the trench. For reducing risk to society, real-time monitoring has great benefit for immediate and accurate assessment through earthquake early warning systems. Specifically, the improvement to early warning would be in assessing the location, geometry, and progression of ongoing faulting and obtaining an accurate tsunami warning, as well as simply speeding up the early warning. It would also be valuable to detect strain transients and map the locked portion of the megathrust, and detect changes in locking over the earthquake cycle. Development of the US portion of a real-time cabled seismic and geodetic observatory should build upon the Ocean Observatories Initiative's cabled array, which was recently completed and is currently delivering continuous seismic and pressure data from the seafloor. Its implementation would require

  12. Geochemical consequences of thermomechanical plumes in subduction zones. Implications for crustal making processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogt, K.; Castro, A.; Gerya, T.

    2011-12-01

    Crustal growth rates and geochemical consequences of composite plumes formed in subduction zones have been analysed using a thermo-mechanical numerical model of an oceanic-continental subduction zone. This model includes dehydration of subducted crust, aqueous fluid transport, partial melting and melt emplacement. Subduction of crustal material to sublithospheric depth results in the formation of tectonic rock melanges composed of basalts and sediments, which may trigger Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities atop the slab. Composite plumes are formed that rise through the mantle transporting subducted crustal materials (of varying composition) towards hotter zones of the mantle wedge. We have investigated the composition and the geochemical evolution of liquids derived from composite plumes by analysing the differing proportions of the endmembers in the source, i.e. basalts and sediments. Our results show that the proportions of the components are limited to short range variations over an interval of Xb(basalt/basalt+sediment) = 0.4 - 0.8 that allows for granodioritic melt production [1]. We have further calculated Sr and Nd isotopic initial ratios of the melange at any time during the simulations, based on the fraction of the components in the melange. Liquids derived from composite plumes inherit the geochemical characteristics of the parental magma and show distinct temporal variations of radiogenic isotopes. The decoupling between radiogenic isotopes and major elements is an interesting result, and may explain short range variations observed in some batholiths along the Cordillera. Batholiths formed along active continental margins display homogeneous major element composition but substanstial variation in radiogenic isotopic compositions, suggesting widely varying proportions of mantle and crustal components in their source that may be explained by melts derived from composite plumes. [1] Castro A., Gerya, T., García-Casco, A., Fernández, C., Díaz Alvarado, J

  13. Preliminary results from Submarine Ring of Fire 2012 - NE Lau: First explorations of hydrothermally active volcanoes across the supra-subduction zone and a return to the West Mata eruption site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Resing, J.; Embley, R. W.

    2012-12-01

    Several expeditions in the past few years have shown that the NE Lau basin has one of the densest concentrations of volcanically and hydrothermally active volcanoes on the planet. In 2008 two active submarine volcanic eruptions were discovered during a one week period and subsequent dives with the Jason remotely operated vehicle at one of the sites (West Mata) revealed an active boninite eruption taking place at 1200 m depth. Two dives at the other revealed evidence for recent eruption along the NE Lau Spreading Center. Several more expeditions in 2010-11 discovered additional evidence about the extent and types of hydrothermal activity in this area. Data from CTDO (conductivity, temperature, depth, optical) vertical casts, tow-yos, and towed camera deployments revealed more than 15 hydrothermal sites at water depths from ~800 to 2700 m that include sites from the magmatic arc, the "rear arc," and the back arc spreading centers. These sites range from high temperature black smoker sulfide-producing systems to those dominated by magmatic degassing. Dives by remotely operated vehicle (Quest 4000) in September 2012 will explore these sites and return samples for chemical, biological and geologic studies. One of the dives will be a return visit to West Mata volcano, the site of the deepest submarine eruption yet observed (in 2009). Recent multibeam data reveal large changes in West Mata's summit, suggesting that the nature of the eruption and the location of the erupting vents may have changed. In addition to the preliminary results from the science team, we will also discuss our use and experience with continuous live video transmission (through the High Definition video camera on the Quest 4000) back to shore via satellite and through the internet. Submarine Ring of Fire 2012 Science Team: Bradley Tebo, Bill Chadwick, Ed Baker, Ken Rubin, Susan Merle, Timothy Shank, Sharon Walker, Andra Bobbitt, Nathan Buck, David Butterfield, Eric Olson, John Lupton, Richard Arculus

  14. Rheology of magnesite and implications for subduction zone dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Preservation/exhumation of ultrahigh-pressure subduction complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ernst, W. G.

    2006-12-01

    Ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic terranes reflect subduction of continental crust to depths of 90-140 km in Phanerozoic contractional orogens. Rocks are intensely overprinted by lower pressure mineral assemblages; traces of relict UHP phases are preserved only under kinetically inhibiting circumstances. Most UHP complexes present in the upper crust are thin, imbricate sheets consisting chiefly of felsic units ± serpentinites; dense mafic and peridotitic rocks make up less than ˜ 10% of each exhumed subduction complex. Roundtrip prograde-retrograde P- T paths are completed in 10-20 Myr, and rates of ascent to mid-crustal levels approximate descent velocities. Late-stage domical uplifts typify many UHP complexes. Sialic crust may be deeply subducted, reflecting profound underflow of an oceanic plate prior to collisional suturing. Exhumation involves decompression through the P- T stability fields of lower pressure metamorphic facies. Scattered UHP relics are retained in strong, refractory, watertight host minerals (e.g., zircon, pyroxene, garnet) typified by low rates of intracrystalline diffusion. Isolation of such inclusions from the recrystallizing rock matrix impedes back reaction. Thin-aspect ratio, ductile-deformed nappes are formed in the subduction zone; heat is conducted away from UHP complexes as they rise along the subduction channel. The low aggregate density of continental crust is much less than that of the mantle it displaces during underflow; its rapid ascent to mid-crustal levels is driven by buoyancy. Return to shallow levels does not require removal of the overlying mantle wedge. Late-stage underplating, structural contraction, tectonic aneurysms and/or plate shallowing convey mid-crustal UHP décollements surfaceward in domical uplifts where they are exposed by erosion. Unless these situations are mutually satisfied, UHP complexes are completely transformed to low-pressure assemblages, obliterating all evidence of profound subduction.

  20. Dynamic buckling of subducting slabs reconciles geological and geophysical observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Changyeol; King, Scott D.

    2011-12-01

    Ever since the early days of the development of plate tectonic theory, subduction zones have been engrained in geological thinking as the place where steady, linear slabs descend into the mantle at a constant, uniform dip angle beneath volcanic arcs. However, growing evidence from geological and geophysical observations as well as analog and numerical modeling indicates that subducting slabs buckle in a time-dependent manner, in contrast to the steady-state, linear cartoons that dominate the literature. To evaluate the implication of time-dependent slab buckling of geological events, we conduct a series of 2-D numerical dynamic/kinematic subduction experiments by varying the viscosity increase across the 660 km discontinuity and the strength of the subducting slab. Our results show that slab buckling is a universal figure in all the experiments when rate of the trench migration ( Vtrench) is relatively slow ( Vtrench| < 2 cm/a) and viscosity increases across the 660 km discontinuity are greater than a factor of 30. Slab buckling is expressed as alternate shallowing and steepening dip of the subducting slab (from ~ 40 to ~ 100°) which is correlated with increasing and decreasing convergent rate of the incoming oceanic plate toward the trench. Further, the slab buckling in our experiments is consistent with the previously developed scaling laws for slab buckling; using reasonable parameters from subducted slabs the buckling amplitude and period are ~ 400 km and ~ 25 Myr, respectively. The slab buckling behavior in our experiments explains a variety of puzzling geological and geophysical observations. First, the period of slab buckling is consistent with short periodic variations (~ 25 Myr) in the motions of the oceanic plates that are anchored by subduction zones. Second, the scattered distributions of slab dips (from ~ 20 to ~ 90°) in the upper mantle are snapshots of time-dependent slab dip. Third, the current compressional and extensional stress environments in

  1. Modelling guided waves in the Alaskan-Aleutian subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coulson, Sophie; Garth, Thomas; Reitbrock, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Subduction zone guided wave arrivals from intermediate depth earthquakes (70-300 km depth) have a huge potential to tell us about the velocity structure of the subducting oceanic crust as it dehydrates at these depths. We see guided waves as the oceanic crust has a slower seismic velocity than the surrounding material, and so high frequency energy is retained and delayed in the crustal material. Lower frequency energy is not retained in this crustal waveguide and so travels at faster velocities of the surrounding material. This gives a unique observation at the surface with low frequency energy arriving before the higher frequencies. We constrain this guided wave dispersion by comparing the waveforms recorded in real subduction zones with simulated waveforms, produced using finite difference full waveform modelling techniques. This method has been used to show that hydrated minerals in the oceanic crust persist to much greater depths than accepted thermal petrological subduction zone models would suggest in Northern Japan (Garth & Rietbrock, 2014a), and South America (Garth & Rietbrock, in prep). These observations also suggest that the subducting oceanic mantle may be highly hydrated at intermediate depth by dipping normal faults (Garth & Rietbrock 2014b). We use this guided wave analysis technique to constrain the velocity structure of the down going ~45 Ma Pacific plate beneath Alaska. Dispersion analysis is primarily carried out on guided wave arrivals recorded on the Alaskan regional seismic network. Earthquake locations from global earthquake catalogues (ISC and PDE) and regional earthquake locations from the AEIC (Alaskan Earthquake Information Centre) catalogue are used to constrain the slab geometry and to identify potentially dispersive events. Dispersed arrivals are seen at stations close to the trench, with high frequency (>2 Hz) arrivals delayed by 2 - 4 seconds. This dispersion is analysed to constrain the velocity and width of the proposed waveguide

  2. Seismic structure of the Rivera subduction zone - the MARS experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grand, S. P.; Yang, T.; Sudharja, S.; Wilson, D.; Guzman Speziale, M.; Gomez Gonzalez, J.; Leon-Soto, G.; Ni, J.; Dominguez Reyes, T.

    2007-05-01

    The subduction zone of western Mexico is a unique region on Earth where microplate capture and overriding plate disruption are occurring today. The small Rivera plate is subducting beneath western most Mexico primarily beneath Jalisco state while to the east it is the Cocos plate that is subducting. Above the Rivera plate the Jalisco block of Mexico is bounded by the north trending Colima Rift and the northwest trending Tepic-Chapala Rift and may form a microplate in its own right. Magmatism is present throughout the region and is unusual for a subduction zone in that geochemical analyses indicate an ocean island basalt component to some of the lavas. Also, Colima volcano is offset trenchward from other volcanoes in the Mexican Volcanic Belt. Little is known of the subducting Rivera plate geometry due to the paucity of seismicity within the plate yet the geometry of the Rivera and Cocos plates at depth are likely critical for understanding the tectonic evolution of western Mexico. The MARS (MApping the Rivera Subduction zone) project consists of the deployment of 50 broadband seismometers covering the Jalisco block from the coast to the Tepic-Chapala rift in the north and about 150 km to the west of the Colima rift. The instruments were deployed in January, 2006 and will be removed in June, 2007. The goal of the project is to seismically image the subducting Rivera and Cocos plates at depth as well as the mantle wedge above the plates. A number of different analyses of MARS data are underway including teleseismic tomography, receiver function analysis, and shear wave splitting analysis. The preliminary tomography results clearly show both subducting plates with a sharp change in dip to the east of the Colima rift probably indicating a tear between the two plates along a trend more eastward than the trend of the rift. The images also show extremely slow shallow mantle velocities beneath the Tepic-Chapala rift but not beneath the Colima rift. Receiver functions

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  4. Intraplate volcanism influenced by distal subduction tectonics at Jeju Island, Republic of Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brenna, Marco; Cronin, Shane J.; Kereszturi, Gábor; Sohn, Young Kwan; Smith, Ian E. M.; Wijbrans, Jan

    2015-01-01

    The drivers behind the inception of, and the variable, pulsatory eruption rates at distributed intraplate volcanic fields are not well understood. Such broad areas of monogenetic volcanism cover vast areas of the world and are often heavily populated. Reliable models to unravel their behaviour require robust spatio-temporal frameworks within the fields, but an analysis of the potential proximal and distal regional volcano-tectonic processes is also needed. Jeju Island (Republic of Korea) is a volcanic field that has been extensively drilled and dated. It is also located near one of the world's best-studied tectonic plate boundaries: the subduction zone in southwestern Japan, which generates the Ryukyu and SW Japan arcs. A new set of 40Ar/39Ar ages collected from cores penetrating the entire Jeju eruptive pile, along with geochemical information, is used to construct a temporal and volumetric model for the volcano's growth. The overall pattern indicates inception of volcanism at ~1.7 Ma, with an initial 1.2 Myr of low-rate activity, followed by over an order of magnitude rise over the last 0.5 Myr. The magma flux at Jeju correlates well with increased extension rates in the arc/backarc region. In particular, we infer that the increased trenchward mantle flow, caused by the greater rollback of the Philippine Sea Plate, activated pre-existing shear weaknesses in the mantle beneath Jeju, resulting in mantle upwelling and decompression melting that caused a change in compositions and an increase in eruption rates at Jeju. Thus, the volcanic activity of an intraplate field system can be modulated by regional subduction processes occurring more than 650 km away. This model may explain the frequent observation of pulsatory behaviour seen in many monogenetic volcanic fields worldwide that lie within 1,000 km of subduction zones.

  5. Investigations on the fate of subducted carbonates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerantola, Valerio; McCammon, Catherine; Dubrovinsky, Leonid

    2013-04-01

    Carbon storage in the deep Earth is currently the subject of ongoing debate. There is much evidence for the presence of carbon cycling through the Earth's interior, such as the occurrence of diamonds from the upper and lower parts of the mantle, carbonate inclusions in diamonds and mantle xenoliths, the existence of carbonatite magmas, the presence of CO2 in volcanic eruptions, etc. Now that carbonate-bearing subducting slabs are believed to pass through the transition zone and enter the lower mantle, interest has been focused on which carbon-bearing phases are the most stable at pressures and temperatures down to the core-mantle boundary. The solubility of carbon in the dominant mantle phases is low; hence carbon is likely stored in accessory phases, e.g., carbonates, diamonds/graphite, methane, carbides. Its distribution is a function of pressure, temperature, bulk composition and oxygen fugacity. At highly reducing conditions, the crystalline form of carbon is graphite or diamond, depending on P and T. At more oxidizing conditions carbonates are favored, due to the reaction between elemental carbon and oxygen to form (CO3)2- groups, which bond to other cations such as Ca2+, Mg2+, Fe2+ and Na+ depending on the original bulk assemblage. Recent discoveries favor the presence of Fe-bearing carbonates at ultra high pressures and temperatures, suggesting the presence of carbonate solid solutions in the deep Earth. Several questions remain unsolved, however: 1) Which phase compositions are stable at pressures and temperatures of the lower mantle? 2) What is the effect of Ca on the redox stability of iron-bearing carbonates at high pressures and high temperatures? 3) Do spin transitions occur at lower mantle conditions in iron-containing (Mg,Ca)CO3 phases? Our interest is currently focused on the study of carbonates at lower mantle conditions. We achieve high pressure and temperature conditions using externally heated or laser heated diamond anvil cells, which enable us

  6. Physical and chemical evolution of subduction-related eclogites: Interplay of inheritance, alteration, deformation and metamorphism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brouwer, F. M.; Sorensen, S. S.; Philippot, P.

    2012-12-01

    Chemical fluxes in subduction zone settings ultimately determine the chemistry of arc volcanism, as well as modification of the composition of the upper mantle. To constrain such fluxes, it is required that details of the physical and chemical evolution of the rocks that enter the system at the subduction zone are understood. Subduction-related eclogites are products of igneous, metamorphic, fluid-rock, and tectonic processes acting on ocean floor basalt for 10s of millions of years. These rocks preserve evidence for changes in bulk rock and mineral chemistry, mineral assemblages and microstructures resulting from these processes. We characterize and compare the textures and major and trace element chemistry of blueschist and eclogite from three subduction complexes to evaluate how these processes interact and to assess to what extent chemical and physical changes may be preserved during a complex P-T-t-D history. Coronitic and mylonitic eclogite and blueschist samples from subduction complexes in the Franciscan (CA, U.S.A.), Monviso (Western Alps) and Gruppo di Voltri (Ligurian Alps) represent different depths of subduction, and degrees of deformation and metamorphism, as well as a variable degree of retrogression. Textural observations and the trace element composition of talc inclusions in omphacite suggest that gabbroic rocks preserve some primary magmatic mineral domains through the entire subduction-exhumation cycle. Full recrystallization has obscured all primary domains in finer-grained rocks. There is great variability in the extent to which evidence of metamorphic episodes is preserved. Bulk major and trace element chemistry analysis indicates that all samples are enriched in most trace elements compared to MORB, and at each locality, deformed rocks are more enriched than undeformed samples. Enrichment of the fluid-mobile elements (LILE, and Th, U) is particularly strong in the Franciscan samples. Trace element distributions within minerals testify to

  7. Late Cretaceous-Early Eocene Climate Change Linked to Tectonic Eevolution of Neo-Tethyan Subduction Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jagoutz, O. E.; Royden, L.; Macdonald, F. A.

    2015-12-01

    In this presentation we demonstrate that the two tectonic events in the late Cretaceous-Early Tertiary triggered the two distinct cooling events that followed the Cretaceous Thermal Maximum (CTM). During much of the Cretaceous time, the northern Neo Tethyan ocean was dominated by two east-west striking subduction system. Subduction underneath Eurasia formed a continental arc on the southern margin of Eurasia and intra oceanic subduction in the equatorial region of the Neo Tethys formed and intra oceanic arc. Beginning at ~85-90 Ma the western part of the TTSS collided southward with the Afro-Arabian continental margin, terminating subduction. This resulted in southward obduction of the peri-Arabian ophiolite belt, which extends for ~4000 km along strike and includes the Cypus, Semail and Zagros ophiolites. At the same time also the eastern part of the TTS collided northwards wit Eurasia. After this collisional event, only the central part of the subduction system remained active until it collided with the northern margin of the Indian continent at ~50-55 Ma. The collision of the arc with the Indian margin, over a length of ~3000 km, also resulted in the obduction of arc material and ophiolitic rocks. Remnants of these rocks are preserved today as the Kohistan-Ladakh arc and ophiolites of the Indus-Tsangpo suture zone of the Himalayas. Both of these collision events occurred in the equatorial region, near or within the ITCZ, where chemical weathering rates are high and are contemporaneous with the onset of the global cooling events that mark the end of the CTM and the EECO. The tectonic collision events resulted in a shut down of subduction zone magmatism, a major CO2 source and emplacement of highly weatherable basaltic rocks within the ITCZ (CO2 sink). In order to explore the effect of the events in the TTSS on atmospheric CO2, we model the potential contribution of subduction zone volcanism (source) and ophiolite obduction (sink) to the global atmospheric CO2

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  9. 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

  10. The 2011 Tohoku earthquake (Mw 9.0) sequence and subduction dynamics in Western Pacific and East Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Dapeng

    2015-02-01

    We review recent findings on the causal mechanism of the great 2011 Tohoku earthquake (Mw 9.0) sequence and related issues on seismic structure and subduction dynamics in Western Pacific and East Asia. High-resolution tomography revealed significant lateral heterogeneities in the interplate megathrust zone beneath the Tohoku, South Kuril and Southwest Japan forearc regions. Large megathrust earthquakes since 1900 generally occurred in or around high-velocity (high-V) patches in the megathrust zone, which may reflect asperities resulting from subducted seamounts, oceanic ridges and other topographic highs on the Pacific seafloor. In contrast, low-velocity (low-V) patches in the megathrust zone may contain more sediments and fluids, where the subducting oceanic plate and the overlying continental plate are less coupled or even decoupled. The nucleation of large crustal earthquakes in the Japan Islands, including the 11 April 2011 Iwaki earthquake (M 7.0) in SE Tohoku, is affected by arc magma and fluids resulting from slab dehydration. The Philippine Sea plate has subducted aseismically down to 430-460 km depth under East China Sea, Tsushima Strait and Japan Sea. A window in the aseismic Philippine Sea slab is detected, which may be caused by splitting of weak parts of the slab at the subducted ridges (e.g., Kyushu-Paula ridge) and hot upwelling in the mantle wedge above the Pacific slab. The intraplate volcanism in Northeast Asia is caused by hot and wet upwelling flows in the big mantle wedge above the stagnant Pacific slab in the mantle transition zone. Frequent generation of large deep earthquakes (>500 km depth) in the Pacific slab may supply additional fluids preserved in the slab to the mantle wedge under the Changbai volcano, making Changbai the largest and most active intraplate volcano in Northeast Asia. Fluids may be involved in nucleation and rupture processes of all types of earthquakes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  12. Three-dimensional imaging of impact of a large igneous province with a subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reyners, Martin; Eberhart-Phillips, Donna; Upton, Phaedra; Gubbins, David

    2017-02-01

    How the thickened crust of a large igneous province on an incoming oceanic plate is accommodated at a subduction zone remains an open question. New Zealand is one of the few places to study this, as at ca. 105 Ma the ca. 35 km-thick Hikurangi Plateau impacted the Gondwana subduction zone in what is now the South Island. Here we report on results from a forty-station portable seismograph array in the southern South Island, designed to delineate the leading edge of the subducted plateau. Three-dimensional images of Vp and Vp/Vs reveal the southwestern part of the plateau was a relatively narrow salient, and the first part to be subducted. The plateau then rotated clockwise about this salient until the southern edge of the plateau was parallel to subduction strike and subduction ceased at ca. 100 Ma. Our results suggest that the global-scale plate reorganization event at 105-100 Ma was due to a cessation of subduction caused by the Hikurangi Plateau choking the Gondwana subduction zone, rather than the subduction of mid ocean ridges as previously proposed. The choking of Gondwana subduction by the plateau also led to a concentration of slab pull in the adjacent subducted oceanic crust, explaining the episode of basin opening and intraplate magmatism there that occurred at the same time. Our study underlines the havoc caused by impact of a large igneous province with a subduction zone.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Font, Yvonne; Segovia, Monica; Theunissen, Thomas

    2010-05-01

    In Ecuador, the Nazca plate is subducting beneath the North Andean Block. This subduction triggered, during the last century, 4 major earthquakes of magnitude greater than 7.7. Between 1994 and 2007, the Geophysical Institute (Escuela National Politecnica, Quito) recorded about 40 000 events in whole Ecuador ranging from Mb 1.5 to 6.9. Unfortunately, the local network shows great density discrepancy between the Coastal and Andean regions where numerous stations were installed to survey volcanic activity. Consequently, seismicity in and around the interplate seismogenic zone - producer of the most destructive earthquakes and tsunamis - is not well constrained. This study aims to improve the location of 13 years seismicity occurred during an interseismic period in order to better localize the seismic deformation and gaps. The first step consists in the construction of a 3D "georealistic" velocity model. Because local tomography cannot provide satisfactory model, we combined all local crustal/lithospheric information on the geometry and velocity properties of different geological units. Those information cover the oceanic Nazca plate and sedimentary coverture the subducting plate dip angle; the North Andean Block margin composed of accreted oceanic plateaus (the Moho depth is approximated using gravity modeling); the metamorphic volcanic chain (oceanic nature for the occidental cordillera and inter-andean valley, continental one for the oriental cordillera); The continental Guyana shield and sedimentary basins. The resulting 3D velocity model extends from 2°N to 6.5°S and 277°E to 283°E and reaches a depth of 300 km. It is discretized in constant velocity blocks of 12 x 12 x 3 km in x, y and z, respectively. The second step consists in selecting an adequate sub-set of seismic stations in order to correct the effect of station density disequilibrium between coastal and volcanic regions. Consequently, we only keep the most representative volcanic stations in terms

  14. 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.

  15. Topographic Regulators of the Seismic Cycle along the Subduction Megathrust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kyriakopoulos, C.; Newman, A. V.

    2014-12-01

    Although the subduction megathrust is generally represented as a flat dipping plane it is well known that substantial geometric heterogeneities exist composing the "topography" of the plate interface. These features may the subducted structure of prior seafloor bathymetry, or created during subduction due to heterogeneous stress, variances in material behavior, interactions with the overriding plate, or changes in megathrust orientation relative to convergence. Such geometric complexities along the seismogenic component of the subduction interface play the role of mechanical regulators during the interseismic, coseismic and postseismic phase producing a combined geometry-lithology effect. Here we examine the Nicoya peninsula of Costa Rica which has a rich dataset of GPS observation that includes 15 years of late interseismic coupling, strain release for the 2012 Nicoya moment magnitude 7.6 event, and 2 years of afterslip and postseismic recovery. Based on a newly developed 3D regional interface Finite Element (FE) model, generated from hypocenters of microseismicity recorded from regional seismic networks we : 1) identify the role of interface topography in modulating long-term interseismic locking; 2) quantify the effect of topographic obstacles; 3) define the extent that mechanical regulators determine the degree of interface coupling; 4) develop meaningful comparisons between interseismic locking and coseismic slip models for the 2012 Nicoya earthquake; and 5) we discuss what role these geometric features may have as the interface returns reenters the interseismic phase of the seismic cycle.

  16. 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.

  17. Tensor-guided fitting of subduction slab depths

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bazargani, Farhad; Hayes, Gavin P.

    2013-01-01

    Geophysical measurements are often acquired at scattered locations in space. Therefore, interpolating or fitting the sparsely sampled data as a uniform function of space (a procedure commonly known as gridding) is a ubiquitous problem in geophysics. Most gridding methods require a model of spatial correlation for data. This spatial correlation model can often be inferred from some sort of secondary information, which may also be sparsely sampled in space. In this paper, we present a new method to model the geometry of a subducting slab in which we use a data‐fitting approach to address the problem. Earthquakes and active‐source seismic surveys provide estimates of depths of subducting slabs but only at scattered locations. In addition to estimates of depths from earthquake locations, focal mechanisms of subduction zone earthquakes also provide estimates of the strikes of the subducting slab on which they occur. We use these spatially sparse strike samples and the Earth’s curved surface geometry to infer a model for spatial correlation that guides a blended neighbor interpolation of slab depths. We then modify the interpolation method to account for the uncertainties associated with the depth estimates.

  18. 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

  19. Slip to the Trench for Great Subduction Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mori, J. J.

    2015-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. A Triassic to Cretaceous Sundaland-Pacific subduction margin in West Sarawak, Borneo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breitfeld, H. Tim; Hall, Robert; Galin, Thomson; Forster, Margaret A.; BouDagher-Fadel, Marcelle K.

    2017-01-01

    Metamorphic rocks in West Sarawak are poorly exposed and studied. They were previously assumed to be pre-Carboniferous basement but had never been dated. New 40Ar/39Ar ages from white mica in quartz-mica schists reveal metamorphism between c. 216 to 220 Ma. The metamorphic rocks are associated with Triassic acid and basic igneous rocks, which indicate widespread magmatism. New U-Pb dating of zircons from the Jagoi Granodiorite indicates Triassic magmatism at c. 208 Ma and c. 240 Ma. U-Pb dating of zircons from volcaniclastic sediments of the Sadong and Kuching Formations confirms contemporaneous volcanism. The magmatic activity is interpreted to represent a Triassic subduction margin in westernmost West Sarawak with sediments deposited in a forearc basin derived from the magmatic arc at the Sundaland-Pacific margin. West Sarawak and NW Kalimantan are underlain by continental crust that was already part of Sundaland or accreted to Sundaland in the Triassic. One metabasite sample, also previously assumed to be pre-Carboniferous basement, yielded Early Cretaceous 40Ar/39Ar ages. They are interpreted to indicate resumption of subduction which led to deposition of volcaniclastic sediments and widespread magmatism. U-Pb ages from detrital zircons in the Cretaceous Pedawan Formation are similar to those from the Schwaner granites of NW Kalimantan, and the Pedawan Formation is interpreted as part of a Cretaceous forearc basin containing material eroded from a magmatic arc that extended from Vietnam to west Borneo. The youngest U-Pb ages from zircons in a tuff layer from the uppermost part of the Pedawan Formation indicate that volcanic activity continued until c. 86 to 88 Ma when subduction terminated.

  3. Eurasia eastward subduction in the Taiwan Strait and its implications for the mountain building processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, C.; Kao, C.

    2013-12-01

    Eastward subduction of the Eurasia Plate usually produced big disasters (such as 1999 M=7.6 Chi-Chi Earthquake and several historical earthquakes of 1736, 1781, 1792, 1906 and 1935). The earthquake monitoring in the Taiwan Strait is very small, however, the 1604 M=7.5 Quanzhao Earthquake is believed to be ruptured from the Fujian Coastal Fault Zone of 250 km long. It is one of the shallow depth (25 km) eastward subduction thrust-type events. In Taiwan Strait and the western foothill of Taiwan Central Range, there are a series of near N-S elongated sub-basins (such as the Nanjihtao, Tashi, Taichung, Penghu, Tainan and Pingtung sub-basins) Due to its tectonic expression, sometime they are also called as the foreland or piggyback basins. All of them are associated with the faults along the margin. In some cases, they are directly in contact with the active faults. The eastward subduction produces the uplift of the mountain foothill. Using 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake as an example, the E-W compression has created a 3-5 meters horizontal shorting, but produced a 3-9 meters vertical lifting. This is one of the major contributions for the Taiwan Mountain Building processes. Other major forces are coming from the westward collisions of the Philippine Sea Plate. Both tectonic forces are still very active today. This is why they generate about 20,000 earthquakes per year. The Taiwan Mountain Building processes have been gone through very unique and complicate evolutions in the pass 10 million years. In order to obtain a better understanding, we need to further exam the combined onshore and offshore data.

  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. Geologic signature of early Tertiary ridge subduction in Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bradley, Dwight C.; Kusky, Timothy M.; Haeussler, Peter J.; Goldfarb, Richard J.; Miller, Marti L.; Dumoulin, Julie A.; Nelson, Steven W.; Karl, Susan M.

    2003-01-01

    A mid-Paleocene to early Eocene encounter between an oceanic spreading center and a subduction zone produced a wide range of geologic features in Alaska. The most striking effects are seen in the accretionary prism (Chugach–Prince William terrane), where 61 to 50 Ma near-trench granitic to gabbroic plutons were intruded into accreted trench sediments that had been deposited only a few million years earlier. This short time interval also saw the genesis of ophiolites, some of which contain syngenetic massive sulfide deposits; the rapid burial of these ophiolites beneath trench turbidites, followed immediately by obduction; anomalous high-T, low-P, near-trench metamorphism; intense ductile deformation; motion on transverse strike-slip and normal faults; gold mineralization; and uplift of the accretionary prism above sea level. The magmatic arc experienced a brief flare-up followed by quiescence. In the Alaskan interior, 100 to 600 km landward of the paleotrench, several Paleocene to Eocene sedimentary basins underwent episodes of extensional subsidence, accompanied by bimodal volcanism. Even as far as 1000 km inboard of the paleotrench, the ancestral Brooks Range and its foreland basin experienced a pulse of uplift that followed about 40 million years of quiescence.All of these events - but most especially those in the accretionary prism - can be attributed with varying degrees of confidence to the subduction of an oceanic spreading center. In this model, the ophiolites and allied ore deposits were produced at the soon-to-be subducted ridge. Near-trench magmatism, metamorphism, deformation, and gold mineralization took place in the accretionary prism above a slab window, where hot asthenosphere welled up into the gap between the two subducted, but still diverging, plates. Deformation took place as the critically tapered accretionary prism adjusted its shape to changes in the bathymetry of the incoming plate, changes in the convergence direction before and after

  6. Plate Interface Rheology, Mechanical Coupling and Accretion during Subduction Infancy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agard, P.; Yamato, P.; Mathieu, S.; Prigent, C.; Guillot, S.; Plunder, A.; Dubacq, B.; Monie, P.; Chauvet, A.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding subduction rheology in both space and time has been a challenge since the advent of plate tectonics. We herein focus on "subduction infancy", that is the first ~1-5 My immediately following subduction nucleation, when a newly born slab penetrates into the upper plate mantle and heats up. The only remnants of this critical yet elusive geodynamic step are thin metamorphic soles, commonly found beneath pristine, 100-1000 km long portions of oceanic lithosphere emplaced on continents (i.e., ophiolites). Through the (i) worldwide compilation of pressure-temperature conditions of metamorphic sole formation augmented by pseudosection thermodynamic modeling, (ii) calculations of the viscosity of materials along the plate interface and (iii) generic numerical thermal models, we provide a conceptual model of dynamic plate interface processes during subduction infancy (and initiation s.l.). We show in particular how major rheological switches across the subduction interface control slab penetration, and the formation of metamorphic soles. Due to the downward progression of hydration and weakening of the mantle wedge with cooling, the lower plate (basalt, sediment) and the upper plate (mantle wedge) rheologies equalize and switch over a restricted temperature-time-depth interval (e.g., at ~800°C and ~1 GPa, during 0.1-2 My, for high-temperature metamorphic sole formation). These switches result in episodes of maximum interplate mechanical coupling, thereby slicing the top of the slab and welding pieces (basalt, sediment) to the base of the mantle wedge. Similar mechanical processes likely apply for the later, deeper accretion and exhumation of high-temperature oceanic eclogites in serpentinite mélanges, or for the accretion of larger tectonic slices. This model provides constraints on the effective rheologies of the crust and mantle and general understanding, at both rock and plate scale, for accretion processes and early slab dynamics.

  7. The effect of subducting slabs in global shear wave tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Chang; Grand, Stephen P.

    2016-05-01

    Subducting slabs create strong short wavelength seismic anomalies in the upper mantle where much of Earth's seismicity is located. As such, they have the potential to bias longer wavelength seismic tomography models. To evaluate the effect of subducting slabs in global tomography, we performed a series of inversions using a global synthetic shear wave traveltime data set for a theoretical slab model based on predicted thermal anomalies within slabs. The spectral element method was applied to predict the traveltime anomalies produced by the 3-D slab model for paths corresponding to our current data used in actual tomography models. Inversion tests have been conducted first using the raw traveltime anomalies to check how well the slabs can be imaged in global tomography without the effect of earthquake mislocation. Our results indicate that most of the slabs can be identified in the inversion result but with smoothed and reduced amplitude. The recovery of the total mass anomaly in slab regions is about 88 per cent. We then performed another inversion test to investigate the effect of mislocation caused by subducting slabs. We found that source mislocation largely removes slab signal and significantly degrades the imaging of subducting slabs-potentially reducing the recovery of mass anomalies in slab regions to only 41 per cent. We tested two source relocation procedures-an iterative relocation inversion and joint relocation inversion. Both methods partially recover the true source locations and improve the inversion results, but the joint inversion method worked significantly better than the iterative method. In all of our inversion tests, the amplitudes of artefact structures in the lower mantle caused by the incorrect imaging of slabs (up to ˜0.5 per cent S velocity anomalies) are comparable to some large-scale lower-mantle heterogeneities seen in global tomography studies. Based on our inversion tests, we suggest including a-priori subducting slabs in the

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-02-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Subduction on long time scales: Tighter constraints on mantle rheologies require cross-disciplinary engagement with subduction histories.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigloch, Karin; Mihalynuk, Mitchell G.

    2016-04-01

    Two observational records constrain subduction on long timescales: accretionary mountain belts at the surface and subducted lithosphere in the subsurface. Subducted slabs represent paleo-oceans and can be imaged by seismic tomography. Mountain belts consist of crustal slivers that were produced and aggregated near paleo-trenches but escaped subduction (arc terranes, accretionary complexes, ophiolites). They are mapped by regional geologists and further constrained by lab-based rock analysis methods. The strength of seismic tomography consists in relatively comprehensive spatial coverage of the mantle's slab inventory, together with established methods for probing uncertainties (image resolution). Unfortunately, subsurface imaging provides no direct constraints on slabs' ages and their deformation histories from rigid oceanic plates to lumpy velocity anomalies. Convection modelling by itself cannot remedy this shortcoming because independent observational constraints on mantle rheologies are lacking. Through dating of accretionary orogens, geology can in principle provide the subduction and slab ages that geophysics is missing. This requires a testable strategy for associating slabs with major accretionary events, and synthesis of geological inputs across vast spatial scales (1000 to 10,000 km) and time scales (10-100 million years). Orogens provide only limited spatial constraints on paleo-trenches because they record several generations of accreted terranes, usually heavily deformed, overprinted, and translated with the migrating continent. The interpretational uncertainties produced by these complexities are very nonlinear: Miss a suture in the field, and you may be missing an entire paleo-ocean - while also incorrectly attributing the associated slab. This danger is real, as we demonstrate for North American slabs and Cordilleran geology. Prevailing paleo-geographic interpretations for the Cordillera arguably miss a Jura-Cretaceous ocean, and slab geometries in

  13. Thermochronological response to rifting and subduction in the Corsica-Sardinia block

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malusà, Marco Giovanni; Danišík, Martin; Kuhlemann, Joachim

    2014-05-01

    Variscan Corsica (N-S in Paleogene coordinates). Modelled time-temperature paths show that this age trend is consistent with an erosional pulse migrating northward during the Paleogene, which led to the re-exposure of the Mesozoic planation surfaces previously buried by Paleogene detrital sequences. The northward migration of erosional pulses mirrors the coeval northward trajectory of Adria relative to Europe as inferred by magnetic anomalies. Preservation of the low-T fingerprint acquired during Tethyan rifting indicates that no European continental subduction took place south of Corsica since the Mesozoic, and suggests that the post-Jurassic Adria-Europe convergence along the Sardinia transect was possibly accommodated on the Adriatic side of the subduction system, consistent with the onset of Cenozoic orogenic magmatism. The inferred tectonic reconstruction for the Paleocene - early Eocene time frame thus includes a northwestward (Apenninic) subduction that was active along the Sardinia transect, and an eastward (Alpine) subduction that was still active along the Corsica transect and choked in middle-late Eocene times, when Adria started moving towards the NNE (Malusà et al., 2011). The northward translation of the Adriatic slab beneath Sardinia and Corsica is mirrored by the coeval migration of exhumation pulses at the surface, until the slab reached the remnants of the Alpine wedge of Corsica in Oligocene times shortly before the onset of slab rollback. Danišík, M., Kuhlemann, J., Dunkl, I., Székely, B., Frisch, W., 2007. Burial and exhumation of Corsica (France) in the light of fission track data. Tectonics 26(TC1001). Malusà, M.G., Faccenna, C., Garzanti, E., Polino, R., 2011. Divergence in subduction zones and exhumation of high-pressure rocks (Eocene Western Alps). Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 310, 21-32.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. A double island arc between Taiwan and Luzon: consequence of ridge subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Tsanyao F.; Lee, Typhoon; Chen, Cheng-Hong; Cheng, Shih-Nan; Knittel, Ulrich; Punongbayan, Raymundo S.; Rasdas, Ariel R.

    1996-06-01

    Analysis of geomorphological, geochronological, geochemical and geophysical features in the segment of the Taiwan-Luzon Arc between Taiwan and Luzon (the Bashi Segment) allows the recognition of a double arc structure. The two volcanic chains are separated by 50 km just north of Luzon (18°N), and converge near 20°N. Islets in the western chain are older and largely composed of volcanic rocks of Miocene to Pliocene age. They all show low relief, lateritic platforms and wave-cut terraces, and are covered by massive recrystallized limestone. In contrast, all active volcanoes in this segment of the Taiwan-Luzon Arc belong to the eastern chain, where most islets are Quaternary in age. The volcanoes have well-developed cone shapes, and well-preserved deposits of near-vent facies. Magmas of the eastern chain have higher KSi, (La) n,(La/Yb) n, and lowerɛ Nd than their counterparts at the same latitude in the western chain. Therefore, the magmas erupted in the eastern chain were derived from more enriched mantle sources than the magmas erupted in the western chain. Moreover, the available seismological data seem to suggest an abrupt increase of the dip angle from 30° at 18°N to 80° at 20°N. Thus, the double arc structure is located in the region where the Benioff zone suddenly changes. In analogy with the Lesser Antilles Arc, we propose a geodynamic model in which the double arc in the Bashi Strait is the tectonic manifestation of the subduction of the aseismic Scarborough Seamount Chain, the extinct mid-ocean ridge of the South China Sea. Before that ridge reached the Manila Trench, the western chain was the volcanic front. When the ridge reached the subduction zone at 5-4 Ma, its buoyancy temporarily interrupted the subduction thus causing a time gap in magmatic activity. Furthermore, this ridge-arc collision was probably also responsible for regional uplift causing extensive sub-aerial weathering and erosion as well as massive reef formation in the western chain

  17. Subduction Zones: Facts, Ideas, and Speculations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Uyeda, Seiya

    1979-01-01

    Recent research studies of both classifications of ocean margins (active or of Pacific type and passive or of Atlantic variety) have yielded a considerable amount of new information leading to some new theories. These theories regarding different kinds of tectonic activity are discussed. (BT)

  18. On the evolution of Subduction-Transform Edge Propagators (STEPs): consequences for the Calabrian arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Govers, R. M. A.; Nijholt, N.

    2014-12-01

    Passive margins are first order strength contrasts between ocean and continents, and they may therefore play a critical role in steering the propagation direction of STEPs. Subduction history potentially is also relevant because it is a decisive factor for the forces that drive continued subduction. In this study we explore these factors with mechanical models. Results show that a STEP will follow a passive margin as long as variations in strike remain within 20 degrees. A change in strike of the passive margin ahead of the STEP of less than 15 degrees results in propagation along the passive margin. If the change in strike of the margin is greater than 15 degrees, the STEP will propagate into the direction that it had before reaching the change in margin strike. Surprisingly, subduction history and strength contrast are less relevant. The results shed light on the evolution of the Calabrian arc (central Mediterranean) after the Miocene: slab rollback towards the ESE was facilitated by a roughly W-E oriented STEP that followed the Africa-Ionian passive margin along the north coast of Sicily. The geology of NE Sicily suggests that this passive margin changed orientation here and was parallel to the present-day Sisifo fault. Given that this corresponds to a moderate orientation change, the active STEP continued to follow the margin. The next orientation change of the passive margin, to the one that is bounded by the Malta Escarpment, was approximately 50 degrees. Based on our model results, we therefore predict that the STEP propagated into the Ionian basin in a direction that was approximately parallel to the Sisifo fault. Interestingly, the predicted location of the present-day STEP fault in the basement at the SW termination of the Calabrian trench appears to correspond with a significant discontinuity within the accretionary wedge.

  19. Complex interactions between diapirs and 4-D subduction driven mantle wedge circulation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sylvia, R. T.; Kincaid, C. R.

    2015-12-01

    Analogue laboratory experiments generate 4-D flow of mantle wedge fluid and capture the evolution of buoyant mesoscale diapirs. The mantle is modeled with viscous glucose syrup with an Arrhenius type temperature dependent viscosity. To characterize diapir evolution we experiment with a variety of fluids injected from multiple point sources. Diapirs interact with kinematically induced flow fields forced by subducting plate motions replicating a range of styles observed in dynamic subduction models (e.g., rollback, steepening, gaps). Data is collected using high definition timelapse photography and quantified using image velocimetry techniques. While many studies assume direct vertical connections between the volcanic arc and the deeper mantle source region, our experiments demonstrate the difficulty of creating near vertical conduits. Results highlight extreme curvature of diapir rise paths. Trench-normal deflection occurs as diapirs are advected downward away from the trench before ascending into wedge apex directed return flow. Trench parallel deflections up to 75% of trench length are seen in all cases, exacerbated by complex geometry and rollback motion. Interdiapir interaction is also important; upwellings with similar trajectory coalesce and rapidly accelerate. Moreover, we observe a new mode of interaction whereby recycled diapir material is drawn down along the slab surface and then initiates rapid fluid migration updip along the slab-wedge interface. Variability in trajectory and residence time leads to complex petrologic inferences. Material from disparate source regions can surface at the same location, mix in the wedge, or become fully entrained in creeping flow adding heterogeneity to the mantle. Active diapirism or any other vertical fluid flux mechanism employing rheological weakening lowers viscosity in the recycling mantle wedge affecting both solid and fluid flow characteristics. Many interesting and insightful results have been presented based

  20. Deformational evolution of a Cretaceous subduction complex: Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trouw, Rudolph A. J.; Passchier, Cees W.; Valeriano, Claudio M.; Simões, Luiz Sérgio A.; Paciullo, Fabio V. P.; Ribeiro, André

    2000-03-01

    New structural data from Elephant Island and adjacent islands are presented with the objective to improve the understanding of subduction kinematics in the area northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula. On the island, a first deformation phase, D 1, produced a strong SL fabric with steep stretching and mineral lineations, partly defined by relatively high pressure minerals, such as crossite and glaucophane. D 1 is interpreted to record southward subduction along an E-W trench with respect to the present position of the island. A second phase, D 2, led to intense folding with steep E-W-trending axial surfaces. The local presence of sinistral C'-type shear bands related to this phase and the oblique inclination of the L 2 stretching lineations are the main arguments to interpret this phase as representing oblique sinistral transpressive shear along steep, approximately E-W-trending shear zones, with the northern (Pacific) block going down with respect to the southern (Antarctic Peninsula) block. The sinistral strike-slip component may represent a trench-linked strike-slip movement as a consequence of oblique subduction. Lithostatic pressure decreased and temperature increased to peak values during D 2, interpreted to represent the collision of thickened oceanic crust with the active continental margin. The last deformation phase, D 3, is characterised by post-metamorphic kink bands, partially forming conjugate sets consistent with E-W shortening and N-S extension. The rock units that underlie the island probably rotated during D 3, in Cenozoic times, together with the trench, from an NE-SW to the present ENE-WSW position, during the progressive opening of the Scotia Sea. The similarity between the strain orientation of D 3 and that of the sinistral NE-SW Shackleton Fracture Zone is consistent with this interpretation.

  1. Tectonic Evolution of the Northern Venezuela Margin and the Onset of the Lesser Antilles Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zitter, T.; Rangin, C.

    2013-05-01

    The Lesser Antilles active island arc marks the eastern boundary of the Caribbean plate, where the Atlantic oceanic crust is subducted. Geodynamic history of the Grenada and Tobago basins, accepted as both the back arc and fore arc basins respectively for this convergent zone, is the key for a better understanding of the Antilles arc subduction onset. Still, recent studies propose that these two basins formed as a single paleogene depocenter. Analysis of industrial and academical seismic profiling supports this hypothesis, and shows these basins are two half-graben filled by 15 kilometers of cenozoic sediments. The seismic profiles across these basins, and particularly the Geodinos Bolivar seismic profiles, indicate that the Antilles magmatic arc develops in the midst of the previously-extended Grenada-Tobago basin from Miocene time to present. The pre-cenozoic basement of the Grenada-Tobago basin can be traced from the Aves ridge to the Tobago Island where cretaceous meta-volcanic rocks are cropping out. Therefore, this large basin extension has been initiated in early Paleocene time during stretching or subsidence of the great cretaceous Caribbean arc and long time before the onset of the lesser Antilles volcanic arc. The question arises for the mechanism responsible of this intra-plate extension. The Tobago Ridge consists of the backstop of the Barbados prism. The innermost wedge is particularly well imaged on seismic data along the Darien Ridge, where the isopach paleogene sediments are jointly deformed in latest Oligocene. This deformation is starved with the early miocene piggy-back basin. Hence, we conclude the innermost wedge in contact with the butresss is late Oligocene in age and can be considered as the onset of the subduction along the Antilles arc. These results are part of a cooperative research-industry programm conducted by CEREGE/EGERIE, Aix-en-Provence and GeoAzur, Nice, with Frontier Basin study group TOTAL S.A., Paris.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jian; Zhao, Dapeng

    2012-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  4. Backflow and margin-parallel shear within an ancient subduction complex

    SciTech Connect

    Hansen, V.L. )

    1992-01-01

    Lineated and foliated tectonites of the Teslin suture zone, Yukon, represent the deep-seated part of a west-dipping subduction complex that formed seaward of western North America in Permian-Triassic time. The tectonites were progressively underplated onto the hanging-wall plate during B-type subduction. With continued subduction and underplating, the boundary between the hanging wall and subduction channel migrated oceanward, resulting in 'growth' of the hanging-wall plate at depth. These tectonites preserve a progressive record of backflow, dextral margin-parallel shear, and downflow within the subduction channel. Early Jurassic A-type subduction of the leading edge of western North America resulted in eastward overthrusting of the tectonites as a coherent block onto North American strata. These tectonites provide empirical evidence that backflow, margin-parallel displacement, and downflow can all occur within the deeper parts of subduction zones.

  5. 3D Wilson cycle: structural inheritance and subduction polarity reversals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beaussier, Stephane; Gerya, Taras; Burg, Jean-Pierre

    2016-04-01

    Many orogenies display along-strike variations in their orogenic wedge geometry. For instance, the Alps is an example of lateral changes in the subducting lithosphere polarity. High resolution tomography has shown that the southeast dipping European lithosphere is separated from the northeast dipping Adriatic lithosphere by a narrow transition zone at about the "Judicarian" line (Kissling et al. 2006). The formation of such 3D variations remains conjectural. We investigate the conditions that can spontaneously induce such lithospheric structures, and intend to identify the main parameters controlling their formation and geometry. Using the 3D thermo-mechanical code, I3ELVIS (Gerya and Yuen 2007) we modelled a Wilson cycle starting from a continental lithosphere in an extensional setting resulting in continental breakup and oceanic spreading. At a later stage, divergence is gradually reversed to convergence, which induce subduction of the oceanic lithosphere formed during oceanic spreading. In this model, all lateral and longitudinal structures of the lithospheres are generated self-consistently, and are consequences of the initial continental structure, tectono-magmatic inheritance, and material rheology. Our numerical simulations point out the control of rheological parameters defining the brittle/plastic yielding conditions for the lithosphere. Formation of several opposing domains of opposing subduction polarity is facilitated by wide and weak oceanic lithospheres. Furthermore, contrasts of strength between the continental and oceanic lithosphere, as well as the angle between the plate suture and the shortening direction have a second order effect on the lateral geometry of the subduction zone. In our numerical experiments systematic lateral changes in the subduction lithosphere polarity during subduction initiation form spontaneously suggesting intrinsic physical origin of this phenomenon. Further studies are necessary to understand why this feature, observed

  6. An attempt to monitor tectonic forces in the Vrancea active geodynamic zone: The Baspunar experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Besutiu, Lucian; Zlagnean, Luminita; Plopeanu, Marin

    2013-04-01

    An alternative model attempting to explain the unusual sub-crustal seismicity occurring in the bending zone of East Carpathians within full intra-continental environment (the so-called Vrancea zone) has assumed the presence of a FFT unstable triple junction between the three lithospheric compartments joining the area: East European Plate (EEP), Intra-Alpine Microplate (IaP) and the Moesian Microplate (MoP). Geophysical imprints (e.g. EM data, potential fields, seismic tomography), and indirect geological evidence (e.g. absence of the volcanism associated to subduction zones, the unusual high Neogene tectonic subsidence, symmetry and normal faulting within compressional environment of Focsani basin) support the hypothesis. The above-mentioned model considers the intermediate-depth seismicity as the result of the thermo-baric-accommodation phenomena generated within the colder lithosphere collapsed into the hotter upper mantle. Therefore, the amount of seismic energy thus released should be related to the volume of the lithosphere brought into thermo-baric disequilibrium by sinking into the upper mantle. Vertical dynamics of the Vrancea unstable triple junction (VTJ) seems to be controlled by the both tangential tectonic forces driving the neighbouring plates and the gravitational pull created by the eclogitization of VTJ lower crust. But, while eclogitization provides a relatively constant force, acceleration of sinking is expected to be provided by changes in the tectonic forces acting on VTJ. As changes in tectonic forces should reflect in changes of the dynamics of lithospheric compartments, geodetic means were considered for helping in their monitoring. The Peceneaga-Camena Fault (PCF) is a major lithospheric contact separating MoP and EEP, starting from the W Black Sea basin to the Vrancea zone. Geological evidence advocate for its variable geodynamic behaviour during the time, both as left-lateral or right-lateral fault. Unfortunately, GPS campaigns, so far

  7. Did high Neo-Tethys subduction rates contribute to early Cenozoic warming?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoareau, G.; Bomou, B.; van Hinsbergen, D. J. J.; Carry, N.; Marquer, D.; Donnadieu, Y.; Le Hir, G.; Vrielynck, B.; Walter-Simonnet, A.-V.

    2015-07-01

    The 58-51 Ma interval was characterized by a long-term increase of global temperatures (+4 to +6 °C) up to the Early Eocene Climate Optimum (EECO, 52.9-50.7 Ma), the warmest interval of the Cenozoic. It was recently suggested that sustained high atmospheric pCO2, controlling warm early Cenozoic climate, may have been released during Neo-Tethys closure through the subduction of large amounts of pelagic carbonates and their recycling as CO2 at arc volcanoes ("carbonate subduction factory"). To analyze the impact of Neo-Tethys closure on early Cenozoic warming, we have modeled the volume of subducted sediments and the amount of CO2 emitted at active arc volcanoes along the northern Tethys margin. The impact of calculated CO2 fluxes on global temperature during the early Cenozoic have then been tested using a climate carbon cycle model (GEOCLIM). We first show that CO2 production may have reached up to 1.55 × 1018 mol Ma-1 specifically during the EECO, ~ 4 to 37 % higher that the modern global volcanic CO2 output, owing to a dramatic India-Asia plate convergence increase. In addition to the background CO2 degassing, the subduction of thick Greater Indian continental margin carbonate sediments at ~ 55-50 Ma may also have led to additional CO2 production of 3.35 × 1018 mol Ma-1 during the EECO, making a total of 85 % of the global volcanic CO2 outgassed. However, climate modelling demonstrates that timing of maximum CO2 release only partially fit with the EECO, and that corresponding maximum pCO2 values (750 ppm) and surface warming (+2 °C) do not reach values inferred from geochemical proxies, a result consistent with conclusions arise from modelling based on other published CO2 fluxes. These results demonstrate that CO2 derived from decarbonation of Neo-Tethyan lithosphere may have possibly contributed to, but certainly cannot account alone for early Cenozoic warming, including the EECO. Other commonly cited sources of excess CO2 such as enhanced igneous province

  8. 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

  9. Subduction-related rodingites from East Othris, Greece: Mineral reactions and physicochemical conditions of formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koutsovitis, Petros; Magganas, Andreas; Pomonis, Panagiotis; Ntaflos, Theodoros

    2013-07-01

    The partly to pervasively metasomatized doleritic and gabbroic dykes or small to medium sized bodies found in East Othris, within Mid to Late Jurassic serpentinized peridotites of ophiolitic units and ophiolitic mélange formations are classified as rodingites and can be divided into two types. Type 1 rodingites are mainly characterized by the frequent occurrence of prehnite, while Type 2 rodingites include mostly garnets and vesuvianite. Isocon analysis showed that rodingitization essentially occurred with mass and volume preservation. Desilification, depletion of alkalies, as well as Ca enrichment was more intense for the Type 2 rodingites. Al, Fe and Mg remained rather immobile, while Ti, Y, Zr and REE were variably depleted. Rodingitization took place in an intraoceanic subduction system. It occurred in three successive stages during the exhumation of the mafic-ultramafic mantle wedge rocks in a fore-arc setting within a serpentinitic subduction channel, which developed close to the slab. The incorporation of the mafic rocks to the subduction channel probably resulted after entraining a directed mantle flow towards the slab. The first stage of rodingitization formed mainly grossular, hydrogrossular, Ti- and Cr-bearing hydrogarnets and calcite under relatively acidic and mildly oxidizing physicochemical conditions, with increased CO2/H2O ratio. During the second and more extensive rodingitization stage, alkaline and reducing conditions prevailed and CO2/H2O ratio was decreased. The modeling of the mineral reactions of this stage, using the software winTWQ v. 2.34 in the CFMASH system, reveals that in Type 1 rocks prehnite replaced most of the initial garnet, while Type 2 rocks continued to be rodingitized, mostly forming grossular and/or hydrogrossular and chlorite. Hydrogrossular, instead of grossular, was crystallized from hydrous fluids under high silica activity. Type 2 rodingites underwent further rodingitization during the third stage, due to infiltration

  10. The Mw 8.8, 1906 Colombia-Ecuador Subduction Earthquake: Seismic Structure and Thermal Regime of the Plate Boundary.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collot, J.; Marcaillou, B.; Agudelo, W.; Ribodetti, A.; D'Acremont, E.

    2007-05-01

    The North Ecuador-SW Colombia active margin underwent four great subduction earthquakes in 1906 (Mw8.8), 1942(Mw7.8), 1958 (Mw7.7) and 1979(Mw8.2). The resulting seismotectonic segmentation of the margin may be a consequence of variable mass transfer, remarkable down-going plate basement relief, and margin transverse and along strike crustal faults. The margin basement consists of accreted oceanic terranes, and is underthrust by the northern flank of the19-km thick Carnegie Ridge, and 7-km-thick and structurally complex, Miocene Malpelo- Yaquina-Buenaventura spreading-transform system of the northern Nazca plate. The oceanic crust is covered by turbidite that strongly vary in thickness along the trench. South of 1°30'N, the oceanic crust shows N35- 75° and N120° faults and lineaments, and a N-trending chain of small seamounts, which delineate en-échelon, small pounded trench basins containing up to 500 m of turbidites. The steep adjacent inner trench slope is devoid of an accretionary wedge, but shows evidences for slope instabilities and mass wasting deposits. A 1-km thick subduction channel that is continuous with the hemipelagic cover of the oceanic crust is imaged landward, over a 30-km distance from the trench. This region shows evidence for thinning of the margin basement by seamount subduction, and correlates with the hypocenter of the 1942 subduction earthquake. North of 1°30'N, an up-to 4-km-thick deep-sea turbidite system has developed in the Colombia trench. The turbidite system is fed by the major Esmeraldas and Patia-Mira canyons and rivers, and dammed to the South by the Galera seamounts. This thick trenchfill appears to be dominantly subducting beneath an erosional margin basement between 1°30'N and 2°30'N, thus forming a km-thick subduction channel that is modulated by the subduction of a buried, large horst and graben structure. This region of thick sediment and rough oceanic crust subduction coincides with the hypocenters of the1958 and1979

  11. Subduction History and the Evolution of Earth's Lower Mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bull, Abigail; Shephard, Grace; Torsvik, Trond

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the complex structure, dynamics and evolution of the deep mantle is a fundamental goal in solid Earth geophysics. Close to the core-mantle boundary, seismic images reveal a mantle characterised by (1) higher than average shear wave speeds beneath Asia and encircling the Pacific, consistent with sub ducting lithosphere beneath regions of ancient subduction, and (2) large regions of anomalously low seismic wavespeeds beneath Africa and the Central Pacific. The anomalously slow areas are often referred to as Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs) due to the reduced velocity of seismic waves passing through them. The origin, composition and long-term evolution of the LLSVPs remain enigmatic. Geochemical inferences of multiple chemical reservoirs at depth, strong seismic contrasts, increased density, and an anticorrelation of shear wave velocity to bulk sound velocity in the anomalous regions imply that heterogeneities in both temperature and composition may be required to explain the seismic observations. Consequently, heterogeneous mantle models place the anomalies into the context of thermochemical piles, characterised by an anomalous component whose intrinsic density is a few percent higher relative to that of the surrounding mantle. Several hypotheses have arisen to explain the LLSVPs in the context of large-scale mantle convection. One end member scenario suggests that the LLSVPs are relatively mobile features over short timescales and thus are strongly affected by supercontinent cycles and Earth's plate motion history. In this scenario, the African LLSVP formed as a result of return flow in the mantle due to circum-Pangean subduction (~240 Ma), contrasting a much older Pacific LLSVP, which may be linked to the Rodinia supercontinent and is implied to have remained largely unchanged since Rodinian breakup (~750-700 Ma). This propounds that Earth's plate motion history plays a controlling role in LLSVP development, suggesting that the location

  12. Melting of subducted basalt at the core-mantle boundary.

    PubMed

    Andrault, Denis; Pesce, Giacomo; Bouhifd, Mohamed Ali; Bolfan-Casanova, Nathalie; Hénot, Jean-Marc; Mezouar, Mohamed

    2014-05-23

    The geological materials in Earth's lowermost mantle control the characteristics and interpretation of seismic ultra-low velocity zones at the base of the core-mantle boundary. Partial melting of the bulk lower mantle is often advocated as the cause, but this does not explain the nonubiquitous character of these regional seismic features. We explored the melting properties of mid-oceanic ridge basalt (MORB), which can reach the lowermost mantle after subduction of oceanic crust. At a pressure representative of the core-mantle boundary (135 gigapascals), the onset of melting occurs at ~3800 kelvin, which is ~350 kelvin below the mantle solidus. The SiO2-rich liquid generated either remains trapped in the MORB material or solidifies after reacting with the surrounding MgO-rich mantle, remixing subducted MORB with the lowermost mantle.

  13. Reaction-induced rheological weakening enables oceanic plate subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirauchi, Ken-Ichi; Fukushima, Kumi; Kido, Masanori; Muto, Jun; Okamoto, Atsushi

    2016-08-01

    Earth is the only terrestrial planet in our solar system where an oceanic plate subducts beneath an overriding plate. Although the initiation of plate subduction requires extremely weak boundaries between strong plates, the way in which oceanic mantle rheologically weakens remains unknown. Here we show that shear-enhanced hydration reactions contribute to the generation and maintenance of weak mantle shear zones at mid-lithospheric depths. High-pressure friction experiments on peridotite gouge reveal that in the presence of hydrothermal water, increasing strain and reactions lead to an order-of-magnitude reduction in strength. The rate of deformation is controlled by pressure-solution-accommodated frictional sliding on weak hydrous phyllosilicate (talc), providing a mechanism for the `cutoff' of the high peak strength at the brittle-plastic transition. Our findings suggest that infiltration of seawater into transform faults with long lengths and low slip rates is an important controlling factor on the initiation of plate tectonics on terrestrial planets.

  14. Reaction-induced rheological weakening enables oceanic plate subduction.

    PubMed

    Hirauchi, Ken-Ichi; Fukushima, Kumi; Kido, Masanori; Muto, Jun; Okamoto, Atsushi

    2016-08-26

    Earth is the only terrestrial planet in our solar system where an oceanic plate subducts beneath an overriding plate. Although the initiation of plate subduction requires extremely weak boundaries between strong plates, the way in which oceanic mantle rheologically weakens remains unknown. Here we show that shear-enhanced hydration reactions contribute to the generation and maintenance of weak mantle shear zones at mid-lithospheric depths. High-pressure friction experiments on peridotite gouge reveal that in the presence of hydrothermal water, increasing strain and reactions lead to an order-of-magnitude reduction in strength. The rate of deformation is controlled by pressure-solution-accommodated frictional sliding on weak hydrous phyllosilicate (talc), providing a mechanism for the 'cutoff' of the high peak strength at the brittle-plastic transition. Our findings suggest that infiltration of seawater into transform faults with long lengths and low slip rates is an important controlling factor on the initiation of plate tectonics on terrestrial planets.

  15. The case for accretion of the tectosphere by buoyant subduction

    SciTech Connect

    Abbott, D. )

    1991-04-01

    The term tectosphere, which formerly applied to all continental lithosphere, more recently is restricted to the seismically fast, cold (meaning that diamond is stable), and thick ({ge}200-400 km) continental lithosphere. This paper tests three hypotheses for the origin of the tectosphere. Continental collision cannot explain the low metamorphic grade of crust that predates the tectosphere. Halfspace cooling and buoyant underplating can both fit the diamond age data, although underplating by buoyant subduction is the favored model. Thermal models provide a further test. If halfspace cooling formed the tectosphere, diamonds from 150 km depth will be at least 200 m.y. younger than diamonds from 190 km. If buoyant subduction formed the tectosphere, diamonds from 150 km depth will be the same age or older than diamonds from 190 km.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. New thermo-kinetic models of olivine metastability in subducting lithosphere: implications for deep-focus earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosenfelder, J. L.; Marton, F. C.; Rubie, D. C.

    2001-12-01

    A shear instability postulated to occur during the transformation of metastable olivine to its high-pressure polymorphs, wadsleyite and ringwoodite, has been proposed as the mechanism for deep-focus earthquakes. In order to evaluate this possibility we have formulated updated thermo-kinetic models to predict the amount of metastable olivine in a variety of subduction zones. Our models use newly derived activation energy parameters based on recent experiments in the (Mg,Fe)2SiO4 system, and we incorporate latent heat feedback due to the transformation into both the kinetics and the thermal model. We also consider the effects of transformation stress on growth kinetics and intracrystalline transformation, previously thought to be important only at high shear stresses. Our modeling predicts substantially smaller metastable olivine wedges than previous models that did not properly account for latent heat (Kirby et al., 1996) or used older kinetic parameters (e.g. Daessler et al., 1996; Devaux et al., 1997). Results of models considering only grain boundary nucleation and growth include the following: 1) In subduction zones with a thermal parameter (φ = vertical convergence rate ¥ age of the lithosphere at the trench) less than ~5000 km, no significant metastable olivine wedge develops; this includes the Nazca subduction zone, in which the 1994 Bolivian earthquake occurred at a depth of 630 km. 2) For subduction zones such as Izu-Bonin, the Marianas, and Eastern Indonesia, with φ in the range 6000-10000 km, our models predict a maximum depth of metastability of 450-500 km. The maximum depths of earthquakes in these subduction zones are, respectively, 550, 670 and 670 km (e.g., Kirby et al, 1996). 3) In Tonga, the subduction zone with the most rapid convergence rates on Earth, an olivine wedge may persist to depths >660 km only if trench rollback (due to back-arc spreading) is taken into account. This depth is reduced by 80-120 km if trench rollback is not considered

  19. The effect of rheological approximations on the dynamics and topography in 3D subduction-collision models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pusok, Adina E.; Kaus, Boris J. P.; Popov, Anton A.

    2016-04-01

    Most of the major mountain belts and orogenic plateaus are found within the overlying plate of active or fossil subduction and/or collision zones. Moreover, they evolve differently from one another as the result of specific combinations of surface and mantle processes. These differences arise for several reasons, such as different rheological properties, different amounts of regional isostatic compensation, and different mechanisms by which forces are applied to the convergent plates. Previous 3D geodynamic models of subduction/collision processes have used various rheological approximations, making numerical results difficult to compare, since there is no clear image on the extent of these approximations on the dynamics. Here, we employ the code LaMEM to perform high-resolution long-term 3D simulations of subduction/continental collision in an integrated lithospheric and upper-mantle scale model. We test the effect of rheological approximations on mantle and lithosphere dynamics in a geometrically simplified model setup that resembles a tectonic map of the India-Asia collision zone. We use the "sticky-air" approach to allow for the development of topography and the dynamics of subduction and collision is entirely driven by slab-pull (i.e. "free subduction"). The models exhibit a wide range of behaviours depending on the rheological law employed: from linear to temperature-dependent visco-elasto-plastic rheology that takes into account both diffusion and dislocation creep. For example, we find that slab dynamics varies drastically between end member models: in viscous approximations, slab detachment is slow following a viscous thinning, while for a non-linear visco-elasto-plastic rheology, slab detachment is relatively fast, inducing strong mantle flow in the slab window. We also examine the stress states in the subducting and overriding plates and topography evolution in the upper plate, and we discuss the implications on lithosphere dynamics at convergent margins

  20. Origin of geochemical mantle components: Role of subduction filter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, Jun-Ichi; Gill, James B.; Skora, Susanne; van Keken, Peter E.; Kawabata, Hiroshi

    2016-08-01

    We quantitatively explore element redistribution at subduction zones using numerical mass balance models to evaluate the roles of the subduction zone filter in the Earth's geochemical cycle. Our models of slab residues after arc magma genesis differ from previous ones by being internally consistent with geodynamic models of modern arcs that successfully explain arc magma genesis and include element fluxes from the dehydration/melting of each underlying slab component. We assume that the mantle potential temperature (Tp) was 1400-1650°C at 3.5-1.7 Ga and gradually decreased to 1300-1350°C today. Hot subduction zones with Tp ˜1650°C have a thermal structure like modern SW Japan where high-Mg andesite is formed which is chemically like continental crust. After 2.5-1.7 Gyr of storage in the mantle, the residual igneous oceanic crust from hot subduction zones can evolve isotopically to the HIMU mantle component, the residual base of the mantle wedge to EMI, the residual sediment becomes an essential part of EMII, and the residual top of the mantle wedge can become the subcontinental lithosphere component. The Common or Focal Zone component is a stable mixture of the first three residues occasionally mixed with early depleted mantle. Slab residues that recycled earlier (˜2.5 Ga) form the DUPAL anomaly in the southern hemisphere, whereas residues of more recent recycling (˜1.7 Ga) underlie the northern hemisphere. These ages correspond to major continental crust forming events. The east-west heterogeneity of the depleted upper mantle involves subcontinental mantle except in the Pacific.

  1. Low velocity layer (LVL) in subduction zones: elasticity of lawsonite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chantel, J.; Mookherjee, M.; Frost, D. J.

    2010-12-01

    As the oceanic plates subduct, they undergoes a series of phase transformations. The hydrated oceanic crust undergoes dehydrations and eventually transforms to eclogite. However, in cold subduction zones such transformations are kinetically hindered. Eclogite is dense, and its elastic properties are similar to the normal peridotitic mantle. On the other hand, the seismic wave speeds in basalts are 10-15% slower than harzburgite. In certain subduction zones, including southern Japan, a 5-10 km think low velocity layer (LVL) has been observed. The LVL is around 5-7% slower than the surrounding mantle and cannot be readily explained by the presence of meta-stable basalts. Instead, a metamorphic rock such as lawsonite-blueschist is a likely candidate for explaining the observed LVL. We have conducted high-pressure ultrasonic interferometric measurements to gain insight into the elastic properties of lawsonite [CaAl2(Si2O7)(OH)2.H2O]. In addition, we have also computed the full elastic constant tensor at elevated pressures, using electronic structure calculations. The bulk and shear modulus obtained from theory and experiments are in good agreement with an adiabatic bulk (K) and shear (G) moduli of 126.2 ± 0.3 GPa and 52.7 ± 0.2 GPa respectively. The pressure derivaitive of bulk modulus (K’) and shear modulus (G’) are 3.5 and 1.1 respectively. Indeed, lawsonite has unusually low shear modulus and might be a suitable candidate phase to explain the observed LVL in subduction zones.

  2. Vizualization Challenges of a Subduction Simulation Using One Billion Markers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudolph, M. L.; Gerya, T. V.; Yuen, D. A.

    2004-12-01

    Recent advances in supercomputing technology have permitted us to study the multiscale, multicomponent fluid dynamics of subduction zones at unprecedented resolutions down to about the length of a football field. We have performed numerical simulations using one billion tracers over a grid of about 80 thousand points in two dimensions. These runs have been performed using a thermal-chemical simulation that accounts for hydration and partial melting in the thermal, mechanical, petrological, and rheological domains. From these runs, we have observed several geophysically interesting phenomena including the development of plumes with unmixed mantle composition as well as plumes with mixed mantle/crust components. Unmixed plumes form at depths greater than 100km (5-10 km above the upper interface of subducting slab) and consist of partially molten wet peridotite. Mixed plumes form at lesser depth directly from the subducting slab and contain partially molten hydrated oceanic crust and sediments. These high resolution simulations have also spurred the development of new visualization methods. We have created a new web-based interface to data from our subduction simulation and other high-resolution 2D data that uses an hierarchical data format to achieve response times of less than one second when accessing data files on the order of 3GB. This interface, WEB-IS4, uses a Javascript and HTML frontend coupled with a C and PHP backend and allows the user to perform region of interest zooming, real-time colormap selection, and can return relevant statistics relating to the data in the region of interest.

  3. 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.

  4. Sedimentary loading, lithospheric flexure and subduction initiation at passive margins

    SciTech Connect

    Erickson, S.G. . Dept. of Earth Sciences)

    1992-01-01

    Recent theoretical models have demonstrated the difficulty of subduction initiation at passive margins, whether subduction is assumed to initiate by overcoming the shear resistance on a thrust fault through the lithosphere or by failure of the entire lithosphere in bending due to sedimentary loading. A mechanism for subduction initiation at passive margins that overcomes these difficulties incorporates the increased subsidence of a marginal basin during decoupling of a previously locked margin. A passive margin may decouple by reactivation of rift-related faults in a local extensional or strike-slip setting. Flexure of marginal basins by sedimentary loading is modeled here by the bending of infinite and semi-infinite elastic plates under a triangular load. The geometry of a mature marginal basin fits the deflection produced by loading of an infinite plate in which the flexural rigidity of continental lithosphere is larger than that of oceanic lithosphere. Decoupling of such a locked passive margin by fault reactivation may cause the lithospheric bending behavior of the margin to change from that of an infinite plate to that of a semi-infinite plate, with a resultant increase in deflection of the marginal basin. The increase in deflection depends on the flexural rigidities of continental and oceanic lithosphere. For flexural rigidities of 10[sup 30]-10[sup 31] dyn-cm (elastic lithosphere thicknesses 24--51 km), the difference in deflections between infinite and semi-infinite plates is 15--17 km, so that decoupling sinks the top of the oceanic lithosphere to depths of ca 35 km. Additional sedimentation within the basin and phase changes within the oceanic crust may further increase this deflection. Subduction may initiate if the top of the oceanic lithosphere sinks to the base of the adjacent elastic lithosphere.

  5. Californian blueschists, subduction, and the significance of tectonostratigraphic terranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ernst, W. G.

    1984-07-01

    Glaucophane and related schists are present as tectonic fragments in ophiolitic suture zones and as discrete lithotectonic belts along the accreted Mesozoic/Tertiary Californian margin. Occurrences include parts of the Klamath Mountains, the western Sierran Foothills, the Coast Ranges, faulted marginal segments of the Mojave Desert, the Transverse Ranges, and the southern California borderland. These high-pressure, low-temperature blueschist assemblages reflect the thermal regime of subduction-zone environments. Considerable underflow accompanied drifting and the assembly of far-traveled tectonostratigraphic terranes, as documented by sea-floor magnetic anomaly patterns and age relationships of the oceanic crust-capped lithosphere: the eastern limbs of paleo-Pacific plates (especially the Farallon-Cocos), have been extensively or completely overridden by the westward-encroaching North American plate—7000 km since Early Cretaceous time and nearly 10 000 km since Jurassic time. Subduction is attested to by remnant high-pressure mineral assemblages scattered throughout California; by construction of related, roughly contemporaneous calc-alkaline volcanic-plutonic belts and forearc basin deposits; and by the stranding of ophiolitic complexes. Although substantial northward drift transported exotic oceanic and continental materials to the growing Californian crust and caused extensive dislocation of the post-Paleozoic continental margin, much of the plate motion evidently involved a large component of convergence and eastward underflow. Terrane shuffling has complicated the picture, but the dominant mechanism of continental growth at the Californian margin during Mesozoic and Paleogene time was subduction.

  6. Initiation of the Andean orogeny by lower mantle subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faccenna, Claudio; Oncken, Onno; Holt, Adam F.; Becker, Thorsten W.

    2017-04-01

    The Cordillera of the Andes is a double-vergent orogenic belt built up by thickening of South American plate crust. Several models provide plausible explanations for the evolution of the Andes, but the reason why shortening started at ∼50 Ma is still unclear. We explore the evolution of the subduction zone through time by restoring