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Sample records for alaska subduction zone

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Y. J.; Tolstoy, M.

    2014-12-01

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

  4. Relation of ongoing deformation rates to the subduction zone process in southern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauber, Jeanne; McClusky, Simon; King, Robert

    1997-11-01

    The rate and orientation of ongoing strain associated with subduction of the Pacific plate and the accretion of the Yakutat terrane to southern Alaska has been estimated at 13 sites from Global Positioning System measurements made in June 1993 and 1995. Along the Gulf of Alaska coast near Cape Yakataga, the average rate of deformation, relative to Fairbanks, was ≈38 mm/yr at N32°W. Further inland, above the region where the dip of the downgoing Pacific plate changes from about 10° to >30°, the deformation rate was ≈12mm/yr at N26°W. In the Sourdough/Paxson area, the deformation rate drops to 2-5 mm/yr and suggests a low short-term deformation rate across the Denali fault. Elastic straining of the overriding plate due to back-slip on a main thrust zone with an average dip of about 10° can account for the overall rate and distribution of short-term compressional strain across south central Alaska. Above the transitional region between unstable and stable sliding we suggest that strain associated with ≈15 mm/yr of right-lateral strike-slip occurs also. If the strain accumulated since the two 1899 earthquakes (both MW=8.1) from the offshore Pamplona fault zone to south of the Border Ranges fault (down-dip width ≈100 km) was seismically released on a single fault it would correspond to a M=8.1 earthquake.

  5. Time-Dependent Variations of Slow Slip Events in Lower Cook Inlet of the Alaska-Aleutian Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, S.; Freymueller, J. T.; McCaffrey, R.

    2014-12-01

    We identfied a series of abrupt changes in GPS site motions observed in Lower Cook Inlet of the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone in late 2004, early 2010 and late 2011. The site motions from 1995-2004, 2004-2010 and post-2011, however, appear to be steady. To first order, the deformation rates for 1995-2004 and 2010-2011 are similar to each other, as are 2004-2010 and post-2011. This pattrn of toggling between two deformation patterns is due to the time-dependent slip variations on the Alaska-Aleutian subduction plate interface. It is possible that a deeper part of the subduction interface had been suddenly locked between 2004 and 2010, causing additional interseismic strain accumulation, and we test this hypothesis. We model time-dependent variatins in this seismogenic zone using the software TDEFNODE to estimate the slip rate deficit distribution on the Alaska-Aleutian subduction plate interface along with block rotation of upper plate blocks. To do so, we first divided the GPS time series into four time periods: before 2004, 2004 to 2010, 2010-2011, and post-2011. We removed the ongoing postseismic deformation due to the 1964 earthquake fom these GPS velocity fields. We constructed an upper plate block model including three main blocks, Southern Alaska (SOAK), the Peninsula block and the Bering Plate to model the contributions from the secular tectonic motions of the upper plate. We modeled the subduction fault surface based on the Slab1.0 model for the subduction zone, with the slab extended to the east as Slab1.0 terminates the slab under Prince William Sound. We found 50~60 mm/yr slip rate deficit in the shallow part of the seismogenic zone, to depths of ~30km which we identify as the main asperity that ruptured in 1964 earthquake. The shape of the locked region under Lower Cook Inlet differs for each time period, with the locked region being wider in 2004-2010 and post-2011. In the near future we will use TDEFNODE to model the GPS time series directly to

  6. Local structural controls on outer-rise faulting, hydration, and seismicity in the Alaska subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shillington, D. J.; Becel, A.; Nedimovic, M. R.; Kuehn, H.; Webb, S. C.; Li, J.; Keranen, K. M.; Abers, G. A.

    2013-12-01

    We present evidence from marine geophysical data that pre-existing structures in the incoming oceanic plate off the Alaska Peninsula control bending faulting and hydration at the outer rise, which in turn correlate to changes in the abundance of interplate and intermediate-depth earthquakes within the subduction zone. Thus, pre-existing heterogeneities in the downgoing plate can result in significant variations in plate hydration over relatively small distances and may in part explain the observed global diversity of seismicity in subduction zones. ALEUT MCS and bathymetry data reveal large changes in the style and amount of bending in the incoming plate. To the west, outboard of the Shumagin Gap, there is significant bending faulting, with fault offsets up to ~250 m at the seafloor and larger offsets at depth. Faults create rugged topography at the seafloor, and sediment cover is thin (~0.5 km). Most faults have strikes within ~25 degrees of the trench. In contrast, the downgoing plate outboard of the Semidi segment to the east exhibits less dramatic bending faulting, with maximum offsets at the seafloor of 30 m, and the sediment cover is thicker (>1 km). These along-strike changes in faulting correlate with changes in the expected orientation of pre-existing structures in the incoming oceanic crust, which is nearly parallel to the trench near the Shumagin Gap, but highly oblique to the trench near the Semidi segment. This implies that more favorably-oriented pre-existing structures may facilitate bending faulting. P-wave velocity models from wide-angle seismic data reveal that along-strike changes in faulting are accompanied by variations in the velocity structure of the incoming plate. Mantle velocities are reduced by ~0.5 km/s at the outer rise off the Shumagin Gap, where significant bending faulting is observed. We interpret decreased velocities to represent serpentinization of the upper mantle. In contrast, the velocity structure is more variable off the

  7. Characterization of geometry, properties and coupling of the Alaska subduction zone by means of reflection images and traveltime tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuehn, Harold; Nedimović, Mladen; Shillington, Donna; Li, Jiyao; Bécel, Anne; Delescluse, Matthias

    2016-04-01

    In 2011, the Alaska Langseth Experiment to Understand the megaThrust (ALEUT) program acquired a total length of ~3700 km of deep penetrating multi-channel seismic (MCS) reflection lines as well as two coincident 350 km-long profiles of wide-angle ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) refraction data south west of Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska. The investigated region of the Alaska Subduction Zone encompasses segments that have ruptured in megathrust earthquakes in the past, and segments, that are suspected to be less coupled, and therefore have a lower probability for great earthquakes to occur. Kodiak asperity ruptured during the Good Friday earthquake of 1964 (M9.2), Semidi Segment ruptured last time in a great earthquake in 1938 (M8.3), and Shumagin Gap has not been ruptured by a major earthquake for at least 150 years and is considered to slip freely. The coupling degree of imaged section of the plate interface appears to at places vary strongly over a remarkably short distance of just tens of kilometers. We present new seismic reflection images that resulted from analyzing profiles crossing the northeastern half of the study area, from the middle of the Semidi Segment to the southwestern tip of the Kodiak Asperity. We also discuss the methodology used to analyze the collected controlled source seismic data and the results obtained. Processing steps for MCS data include amplitude compensation for spherical spreading, noise removal with the LIFT method, surface consistent amplitude balancing, multiple attenuation with both SRME method and radon transformation, predictive deconvolution and Kirchhoff time migration. The formed reflection images complete the picture on the subducting plate geometry in the study area as a whole and allow us to make an attempt to estimate both the downdip limit of the seismogenic zone and the lateral variations in subduction coupling by means of evaluating the seismic reflection signature of the interplate interface. Reflection images

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Seismic structure of the North Pacific oceanic crust prior plate bending at the Alaska subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becel, A.; Shillington, D. J.; Nedimovic, M. R.; Kuehn, H.; Webb, S. C.; Holtzman, B. K.

    2012-12-01

    Seismic reflection profiles across North Pacific oceanic Plate reveal the internal structure of a mature oceanic crust (42-56Ma) formed at fast (70mm/yr, half rate) to intermediate (28mm/yr, half rate) spreading rates. Data used in this study were collected with the R/V Langseth in summer 2011 as part of the ALEUT (Alaska Langseth Experiment to Understand the megathrust) program. MCS data were acquired with two 8-km streamers and a 6600 cu. in. air gun array. We collected a series of profiles across the subduction zone system but also across the preexisting structures of the oceanic crust before being affected by subduction zone processes. Additionally, two 400-km OBS refraction lines were shot coincident with MCS profiles. The multi-channel seismic (MCS) data across oceanic crust formed at fast spreading rates contain abundant bright reflectors mostly confined in the lower crust above the Moho discontinuity and dipping predominantly toward the paleo-ridge. Along these profiles, the Moho discontinuity is observed as a bright event with remarkable lateral continuity. The lengths of the dipping reflectors are on the order of 5-km, with apparent dips between 10 and 30°. These reflectors represent discrete events, with spacing between 0.3 to 5 km without any obvious regularity. These dipping events appear to sole out within the middle crust (1 to 1.5 s beneath basement) and most of them terminate at the Moho. The Moho is much weaker or absent on the northern profiles acquired across the North Pacific oceanic crust formed at intermediate spreading rates. Basement topography is rougher and no clear dipping events have been imaged suggesting that the spreading rate may be an important factor that controls the strength and abundance of such dipping reflectors and the lateral change in the Moho reflection characters. Lower crustal dipping reflections (LCDR) have been only imaged at very few places across the Pacific oceanic crust: (Eittreim et al., 1988, Reston et al. 1999

  10. Slow Slip Events and rotation of the Peninsula block in Lower Cook Inlet of the Alaska-Aleutian Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, S.; Freymueller, J.; McCaffrey, R.

    2015-12-01

    We identified a series of abrupt changes in GPS site motions observed in Lower Cook Inlet of the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone in late 2004, early 2010 and late 2011. The site motions during each interval (1992-2004, 2004-2010 and post-2011) appear to be steady. The deformation rates for 1992-2004 and 2010-2011 are similar to each other, as are 2004-2010 and post-2011. This pattern of toggling between two deformation patterns is due to time-dependent slip on the Alaska-Aleutian subduction plate interface. We modeled slow slip events in the seismogenic zone using the software TDEFNODE to estimate the slip rate deficit distribution on the Alaska-Aleutian subduction plate interface. Then we applied three different measures of the significance of the velocity change to estimate their timing in ~2010 and ~2011. Based on the estimated dates of velocity changes, we divided the GPS time series into the four time periods. Then a weighted non-linear least-squares inversion was applied to estimate the angular velocity of the Peninsula block and estimate the plate coupling variation simultaneously using TDEFNODE (McCaffrey, 2009). Fixing the angular velocity of all the blocks in the block model, we estimated the slip deficit rate distribution on the Alaska thrust for the four time periods with two different limiting ranges of the locking fraction (phi): [-2, 1] and [0, 1]. Negative slip deficit rates identified in period 1 and period 3 fit the data significantly better, which indicate that slip rates are faster than plate convergence rates during these two time periods. And our results suggest that a slow slip event in Lower Cook Inlet lasted at least 9 years (given that our data begin in 1995) with a moment magnitude of Mw = 7.5. Another slow slip event in the same area lasted almost 2 years from the end of 2009 to the end of 2011, with a cumulative moment magnitude of Mw = 6.8. We conclude that slip rates appear to be relatively constant during the time periods with SSEs

  11. Crustal Deformation in Southcentral Alaska: The 1964 Prince William Sound Earthquake Subduction Zone

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Steven C.; Freymueller, Jeffrey T.

    2003-01-01

    This article, for Advances in Geophysics, is a summary of crustal deformation studies in southcentral Alaska. In 1964, southcentral Alaska was struck by the largest earthquake (moment magnitude 9.2) occurring in historical times in North America and the second largest earthquake occurring in the world during the past century. Conventional and space-based geodetic measurements have revealed a complex temporal-spatial pattern of crustal movement. Numerical models suggest that ongoing convergence between the North America and Pacific Plates, viscoelastic rebound, aseismic creep along the tectonic plate interface, and variable plate coupling all play important roles in controlling both the surface and subsurface movements. The geodetic data sets include tide-gauge observations that in some cases provide records back to the decades preceding the earthquake, leveling data that span a few decades around the earthquake, VLBI data from the late 1980s, and GPS data since the mid-1990s. Geologic data provide additional estimates of vertical movements and a chronology of large seismic events. Some of the important features that are revealed by the ensemble of studies that are reviewed in this paper include: (1) Crustal uplift in the region that subsided by up 2 m at the time of the earthquake is as much as 1 m since the earthquake. In the Turnagain Arm and Kenai Peninsula regions of southcentral Alaska, uplift rates in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake reached 150 mm/yr , but this rapid uplift decayed rapidly after the first few years following the earthquake. (2) At some other locales, notably those away the middle of the coseismic rupture zone, postseismic uplift rates were initially slower but the rates decay over a longer time interval. At Kodiak Island, for example, the uplift rates have been decreasing at a rate of about 7mm/yr per decade. At yet other locations, the uplift rates have shown little time dependence so far, but are thought not to be sustainable

  12. Reflected and mode-converted seismic waves within the shallow aleutian subduction zone, southern Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stephens, C.D.; Page, R.A.; Lahr, J.C.

    1990-01-01

    Pronounced secondary phases observed in local recordings of quarry shots and earthquakes on the southern Kenai Peninsula are identified as reflected P and S and converted S-to-P phases originating within four depth ranges: in the upper few kilometers of the Cook Inlet Tertiary basin, at midcrustal depths within the overthrust North American plate, at about 35 km depth near the top of the Wadati-Benioff seismic zone in proximity to the inferred interplate megathrust, and at about 5-10 km below the megathrust in the subducted Pacific plate. The positions and origins of the mid-upper plate (MUP) discontinuity and similar reflectors are discussed. It appears the the MUP discontinuity is seismically inactive and does not represent a brittle-ductile transition zone within the upper plate. The two converted S-to-P phases generated near the top of the subducted plate could indicate a low velocity zone associated with subducted oceanic crust. -after Authors

  13. Why subduction zones are curved

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  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. PMID:17784486

  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. 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.

  17. Subduction of thick crust: the Alaska example (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abers, G. A.; Kim, Y.; Christensen, D. H.

    2013-12-01

    It is a paradigm of plate tectonics that oceanic lithosphere subducts readily, while lithosphere transporting much thicker continental crust does not. Analyses of plate buoyancy have included a variety of effects, such as eclogitization, crustal compositional stratification, and plate strength, but all lead to the conclusion that crust needs to be thinner than about 15-25 km in order to subduct. A test of this conclusion is underway in southern Alaska, where the Yakutat terrane is being driven by the Pacific plate into the Alaskan margin. Its crust is 15-30 km thick, varying along strike, with a seismic velocity structure resembling an oceanic plateau; thus it spans the predicted limit in thickness of subductable crust. In the eastern thicker part, the terrane appears to be colliding and driving orogenesis in the St. Elias-Chugach ranges, although voluminous volcanism of the Wrangell Volcanic Field may be a consequence of some crust subducting. Farther west, the Yakutat terrane is 15-20 km thick and clearly subducting beneath the Prince William Sound and Kenai Peninsula. It forms the slab subducting beneath the central Alaska Range 400 km inland. The thick crust has been imaged at all depths less than 130 km, through receiver functions, travel-time tomography, and offshore by active-source imaging, with similar structure in most images. Greater than 130 km depth the imaged crust vanishes in seismic images, consistent with predicted depths of eclogitization of weakly hydrated metagabbroic crust, and the lack of a velocity contrast between eclogite and peridotite. Lithosphere including the thick Yakutat crust gives a net buoyancy close to neutral, so its subduction will depend on other factors. The high buoyancy may be responsible for the remarkably shallow dip of the plate at depths less than 50 km, producing one of the widest seismogenic thrust zones on the planet, allowing it to host the great (Mw 9.3) 1964 Gulf of Alaska earthquake. The shallow dip may also aid

  18. Deciphering the mechanics of an imaged fault system in the over-riding plate at the Shumagin Seismic Gap, Alaska subduction zone using MCS waveform tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michaelson, C. A.; Delescluse, M.; Becel, A.; Nedimovic, M. R.; Shillington, D. J.; Louden, K. E.; Webb, S. C.

    2013-12-01

    The 2011 ALEUT program acquired 3500 km of multichannel seismic (MCS) data along a part of the western Alaska subduction zone, from the freely slipping Shumagin Seismic Gap to the locked regions in the Semidi segment and the western Kodiak asperity. The MCS profiles were acquired on the R/V Langseth using two 8-km-long streamers and span the entire locked zone on the megathrust, including the updip and downdip transitions to stable sliding. The primary goal was to characterize variations in the geometry and properties of the megathrust and the downgoing plate and relate them to downdip and along-strike changes in slip behavior and seismogenesis. The images capture the targeted megathrust reflectivity and its spatial variation. Notably, the two westernmost profiles show reflections arising from a major fault in the overriding plate within the Shumagin Seismic Gap located 75 km from the trench, which can be followed from the seafloor to the megathrust. The imaged normal fault bounds the seaward end of the Sanak forearc Cenozoic basin, formed after the Early Eocene reorganization of the Alaska subduction zone. The new reflection images also show that the seaward pair of the previously interpreted growth faults, thought to indicate deposition contemporaneous with basin subsidence, is a part of the imaged fault system. The unexpected imaging of this major fault system in the over-riding plate raises important questions: Has this fault been active during the most recent nearby megathrust earthquakes, such as the 1946 and 1948 earthquakes? Was the Sanak basin formed as a result of slip on the imaged normal fault system or is it a result of growth faulting that predates the formation of this fault? The timing and style of deformation on this fault has significant implications for both coupling on the megathrust seaward and landward of where the normal fault roots and tsunamigenesis. To complement constraints on the geometry and reflection characteristics of this structure

  19. Serpentine in active subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynard, Bruno

    2013-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, S.

    2009-05-01

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

  1. Accretion, subduction, and underplating along the southern Alaska continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Plafker, G.; Ambos, E.L.; Fuis, G.S.; Mooney, W.D.; Nokleberg, W.J.; Campbell, D.L.

    1985-01-01

    In 1984-1985 the Trans Alaska Crustal Transect (TACT) program completed geologic, seismic refraction, gravity, and magnetic studies along a 350-km-long corridor that extends northward from the Gulf of Alaska coast near Cordova to the Denali fault at the Richardson Highway. From south to north, this segment of the transect traverses: 1) part of the Prince William terrance (PWT), composed of an accreted Paleocene and Eocene deep-sea fan complex, oceanic volcanic rocks, and pelagic sediments; 2) the Chugach terrane (CGT) composed of a) accreted Late Cretaceous flysch and oceanic basaltic rocks, b) accreted and subducted (.) Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous sheared melange, and c) subducted Early (.) Jurassic or older blueschist/greenschist; and 3) Wrangellia-Peninsular terranes (WRT/PET) consisting primarily of late Paleozoic intraoceanic andesitic arc rocks with associated mafic and ultramafic plutonic rocks, an overlying distinctive Triassic sedimentary and volcanic sequence, and superposed intrusive and extrusive magmatic rocks of the Jurassic Talkeetna arc. At the southern margin of both the CGT and WRT/PET, shallow high-velocity zones characterized by positive gravity and magnetic anomalies reflect uplift of mafic and ultramafic basement along these thrusts. The Contact and Border Ranges fault systems appear to merge into a subhorizontal low-velocity zone of uncertain origin that underlies the CGT and southern WRT/PET at 5-9 km depth. A few kilometers beneath the shallow low-velocity zone in a 30-km-thick stack of eight northward-dipping layers of alternating high and low velocity, interpreted as subducted and underplated mantle and oceanic crust rocks. Distribution of earthquake hypocenters suggests that active subduction involves at least the lowest two and possibly the lower four layers.

  2. Crustal Uplift in the Southcentral Alaska Subduction Zones: A New Analysis and Interpretation of Tide Gauge Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Steven C.; Freymueller, Jeffrey T.

    1999-01-01

    We have examined the sea level height tide records at seven tide gauge sites in the region of southcentral Alaska that were affected by the 1964 Prince William Sound earthquake to determine the history of crustal uplift subsequent to the earthquake. There is considerable variation in the behavior depending on the location of the site relative to the 1964 rupture. At Seward, on the eastern side of the Kenai Peninsula we find a slow uplift that is consistent with elastic strain accumulation while at Seldovia and Nikiski on the western side of the Kenai we find a persistent rapid uplift of about 1 cm/yr that most likely represents a long term transient response to the earthquake, but which cannot be sustained over the expected recurrence interval for a great earthquake of several hundred years. Further to the southwest, at Kodiak, we find evidence that the rate of uplift, which is still several mm/yr, has slowed significantly over the past three and a half decades. To the east of the Kenai Peninsula we find subsidence at Cordova and an uncertain behavior at Valdez. At both of these sites there is a mathematically significant time-dependence to the uplift behavior, but the data confirming this time dependence are not as convincing as at Kodiak. At Anchorage, to the north there is little evidence of vertical motion since the earthquake. We compare these long term tide gauge records to recent GPS observations. In general there is reasonable consistency except at Anchorage and Cordova where the GPS measurement indicate somewhat more rapid uplift and subsidence, respectively.

  3. 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.

  4. Earthquake hazards on the cascadia subduction zone.

    PubMed

    Heaton, T H; Hartzell, S H

    1987-04-10

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

  5. Central Cascadia subduction zone creep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  6. 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 (

  7. Plate boundary and major fault system in the overriding plate within the Shumagin gap at the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becel, A.; Shillington, D. J.; Nedimovic, M. R.; Keranen, K. M.; Li, J.; Webb, S. C.; Kuehn, H.

    2013-12-01

    Structure in the overriding plate is one of the parameters that may increase the tsunamigenic potential of a subduction zone but also influence the seismogenic behavior and segmentation of great earthquake rupture. The Alaska-Aleutian margin is characterized by along-strike changes in plate interface coupling over relatively small distances. Here, we present trench normal multichannel seismic (MCS) profiles acquired across the Shumagin gap that has not broken in many decades and appears to be weakly coupled. The high fold, deep penetration (636 channel, 8-km long streamer, 6600 cu.in airgun source) MCS data were acquired as part of the ALEUT project. This dataset gives us critical new constraints on the interplate boundary that can be traced over ~100 km distance beneath the forearc with high variation in its reflection response with depth. These profiles also reveal the detailed upper plate fault structure and forearc morphology. Clear reflections in the overriding plate appear to delineate one or more large faults that cross the shelf and the upper slope. These faults are observed 75 km back from the trench and seem to branch at depth and connect to the plate interface within this gap at ~11 s twtt. We compare the reflective structure of these faults to that of the plate boundary and examine where it intersects the megathrust with respect of the expected downdip limit of coupling. We also compare this major structure with the seismicity recorded in this sector. The imaged fault system is associated with a large deep basin (~6s twt) that is an inherited structure formed during the pre-Aleutian period. Basins faults appear to have accommodated primarily normal motion, although folding of sediments near the fault and complicated fault geometries in the shallow section may indicate that this fault has accommodated other types of motion during its history that may reflect the stress-state at the megathrust over time. The deformation within the youngest sediment also

  8. Overriding Plate Controls on Subduction Zone Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Density model of the Cascadia subduction zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

  12. Slow slip events and time-dependent variations in locking beneath Lower Cook Inlet of the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Shanshan; Freymueller, Jeffrey; McCaffrey, Robert

    2016-02-01

    We identify a series of abrupt changes in GPS site velocities in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska, in late 2004, early 2010, and late 2011. The site motions during each time period are nearly linear. The surface deformations inferred from GPS for pre-2004 and 2010-2011 are similar to each other, as are 2004-2010 and post-2011. We estimate the slip distribution on the Alaska-Aleutian subduction plate interface accounting for upper plate block rotations and interpret this toggling between two deformation patterns as caused by transient slip. We find that by allowing negative slip deficit rates (i.e., creep rates in excess of relative plate motion), the data in Lower Cook Inlet are fit significantly better during pre-2004 and 2010-2011, suggesting the occurrence of slow slip events (SSEs) there during those time periods. The earlier SSE lasted at least 9 years (observations in that area began in 1995) with Mw ~7.8. The latter SSE had almost the same area as the earlier one and a duration of ~2 years with Mw ~7.2. During 2004-2010 and post-2011, the inversions result in only positive slip deficit rates (i.e., locking) in Lower Cook Inlet. Slip rates are nearly constant during the Lower Cook Inlet SSEs, and the events start and stop abruptly. Both of these properties contrast with observations of SSEs in Upper Cook Inlet and elsewhere. The Lower Cook Inlet SSEs are consistent with previously proposed duration-magnitude scaling laws and demonstrate that slow slip events can last as long as a decade.

  13. Osmium Recycling in Subduction Zones

    PubMed

    Brandon; Creaser; Shirey; Carlson

    1996-05-10

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

  14. 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

  15. The earthquake cycle in subduction zones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melosh, H. J.; Fleitout, L.

    1982-01-01

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

  16. Molybdenum isotope systematics in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  17. Subducting plate geology in three great earthquake ruptures of the western Alaska margin, Kodiak to Unimak

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    von Huene, Roland; Miller, John J.; Weinrebe, Wilhelm

    2012-01-01

    Three destructive earthquakes along the Alaska subduction zone sourced transoceanic tsunamis during the past 70 years. Since it is reasoned that past rupture areas might again source tsunamis in the future, we studied potential asperities and barriers in the subduction zone by examining Quaternary Gulf of Alaska plate history, geophysical data, and morphology. We relate the aftershock areas to subducting lower plate relief and dissimilar materials in the seismogenic zone in the 1964 Kodiak and adjacent 1938 Semidi Islands earthquake segments. In the 1946 Unimak earthquake segment, the exposed lower plate seafloor lacks major relief that might organize great earthquake rupture. However, the upper plate contains a deep transverse-trending basin and basement ridges associated with the Eocene continental Alaska convergent margin transition to the Aleutian island arc. These upper plate features are sufficiently large to have affected rupture propagation. In addition, massive slope failure in the Unimak area may explain the local 42-m-high 1946 tsunami runup. Although Quaternary geologic and tectonic processes included accretion to form a frontal prism, the study of seismic images, samples, and continental slope physiography shows a previous history of tectonic erosion. Implied asperities and barriers in the seismogenic zone could organize future great earthquake rupture.

  18. The global systematics of subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Syracuse, Ellen M.

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

  19. The redox budget of subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, K. A.

    2012-06-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-12-01

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

  2. Strain accumulation along the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, Mark H.; Lisowski, Michael

    2000-11-01

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

  3. Improving Seismic Constraints on Subduction Zone Geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Cyclic stressing and seismicity at strongly coupled subduction zones

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1996-01-01

    starts in the middle or late part of the cycle, depending on position. This result suggests that the negligible or small contraction measured on the Shumagin Islands, Alaska, during 1980 to 1991, may not invalidate an interpretation of that region as being a moderately coupled subduction zone. In contrast, mantle relaxation causes only modest temporal nonuniformity of uplift rates in the overriding plate and of extensional stress rates in the subducting plate, even when the Maxwell time is an order of magnitude less than the recurrence interval.

  7. 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.

  8. Acceleration spectra for subduction zone earthquakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boatwright, J.; Choy, G.L.

    1989-01-01

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

  9. A first step in constructing a long multi-lake paleoseismic record in Southern Alaska for revealing the recurrence rate of megathrust earthquakes along the Alaskan-Aleutian subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Praet, Nore; Moernaut, Jasper; Van Daele, Maarten; Kempf, Philipp; Haeussler, Peter; Strupler, Michael; De Batist, Marc

    2014-05-01

    On March 27, 1964, the "Good Friday" Earthquake ruptured an 800 km-long segment of the Alaskan-Aleutian megathrust, representing the largest measured earthquake in North America (Mw 9.2). Recurrence rates of such megathrust earthquakes are typically in the order of hundreds of years. The development of a reliable assessment of seismic hazards evidently requires statistically much more robust earthquake recurrence data. For this, high-quality paleoseismological records are necessary, which are able to extend the historical evidence much further back in time. The current knowledge of the paleoseismicity along the megathrust segment around Prince William Sound is inferred from records of abrupt changes in coastal elevation. Lake sediments can also produce excellent paleoseismological records. Seismically induced subaquatic landslides generate distinct resedimentation deposits that are interbedded in between the background sediments. During a reconnaissance survey in 2012, we collected short cores and high-resolution seismic data in several glacial lakes in Southern Alaska. The short gravity cores reveal a clear sedimentary imprint of the 1964 Earthquake in different sub-basins of the investigated lakes, and the seismic profiles show the presence of older mass-wasting deposits with similar large volumes. Multiple landslide deposits and associated turbidites at several stratigraphic levels imply that these deposits were also triggered by strong earthquake shaking. The length (i.e. entire Holocene) and high-resolution chronology (i.e. Pb/Cs data reveal that the core laminations represent varves) of the lacustrine record will allow to generate a unique, high-quality dataset of megathrust earthquake recurrences along the Prince William Sound segment of the Alaskan-Aleutian subduction zone. In winter of 2014, long cores (ca. 15 meters) will be taken at key locations in Skilak Lake, Eklutna Lake and possibly Kenai Lake. Analyzing and dating these sediment cores will make it

  10. Improved Teleseismic Locations of Shallow Subduction Zone Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

    will present relocation results for Mb>5.7 events in a number of subduction zones, including Sumatra/Java, Alaska, Kuriles, Peru, and northern Japan.

  11. Deformation driven by subduction and microplate collision: Geodynamics of Cook Inlet basin, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bruhn, R.L.; Haeussler, P.J.

    2006-01-01

    Late Neogene and younger deformation in Cook Inlet basin is caused by dextral transpression in the plate margin of south-central Alaska. Collision and subduction of the Yakutat microplate at the northeastern end of the Aleutian subduction zone is driving the accretionary complex of the Chugach and Kenai Mountains toward the Alaska Range on the opposite side of the basin. This deformation creates belts of fault-cored anticlines that are prolific traps of hydrocarbons and are also potential sources for damaging earthquakes. The faults dip steeply, extend into the Mesozoic basement beneath the Tertiary basin fill, and form conjugate flower structures at some localities. Comparing the geometry of the natural faults and folds with analog models created in a sandbox deformation apparatus suggests that some of the faults accommodate significant dextral as well as reverse-slip motion. We develop a tectonic model in which dextral shearing and horizontal shortening of the basin is driven by microplate collision with an additional component of thrust-type strain caused by plate subduction. This model predicts temporally fluctuating stress fields that are coupled to the recurrence intervals of large-magnitude subduction zone earthquakes. The maximum principal compressive stress is oriented east-southeast to east-northeast with nearly vertical least compressive stress when the basin's lithosphere is mostly decoupled from the underlying subduction megathrust. This stress tensor is compatible with principal stresses inferred from focal mechanisms of earthquakes that occur within the crust beneath Cook Inlet basin. Locking of the megathrust between great magnitude earthquakes may cause the maximum principal compressive stress to rotate toward the northwest. Moderate dipping faults that strike north to northeast may be optimally oriented for rupture in the ambient stress field, but steeply dipping faults within the cores of some anticlines are unfavorably oriented with respect to

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Hall, P S; Kincaid, C

    2001-06-29

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    required to generate supercycles, although they are expected to add to our explanation. Our results imply that larger than thus far observed earthquakes could occur as part of a supercycle in subduction zones where downdip widths are larger than average such as in Alaska, Java, Antilles and Kamchatka.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  16. Rock uplift at the transition from flat-slab to normal subduction: The Kenai Mountains, Southeast Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valentino, Joshua D.; Spotila, James A.; Owen, Lewis A.; Buscher, Jamie T.

    2016-03-01

    The process of flat-slab subduction results in complex deformation of overlying forearcs, yet how this deformation decays with distance away from the zone of underthrusting is not well understood. In south central Alaska, flat-slab subduction of the Yakutat microplate drives shortening and rock uplift in a broad coastal orogenic belt. Defined limits of the zone of underthrusting allow testing how orogenesis responds to the transition from flat-slab to normal subduction. To better understand forearc deformation across this transition, apatite (U-Th)/He low temperature thermochronometry is used to quantify the exhumation history of the Kenai Mountains that are within this transition zone. Measured ages in the northern Kenai Mountains vary from 10-20 Ma and merge with the exhumation pattern in the Chugach Mountains to the northeast, where high exhumation occurs due to flat-slab-related deformation. In the southern Kenai Mountains, however, ages increase to 30-50 Ma across a transition near Seward, Alaska, above the zone from flat-slab to normal subduction. These ages are relatively old in comparison to ages determined in other studies in southern Alaska and suggest minimal exhumation. Furthermore, transitions in topographic expression of the coastal orogen also occur at the margin of Yakutat underthrusting. These observations suggest that either deformation associated with flat-slab subduction requires tens of kilometers to decay with distance away from the zone of underthrusting, or that orogenesis in the Kenai Mountains is driven by a distinct tectonic cause. A potential driver of deformation is underplating of thick sediments, specifically the Surveyor Submarine Fan, along the Aleutian Megathrust, analogous to the tectonic mechanism responsible for the emergence of the Kodiak Island forearc. If correct, this may represent a recent tectonic transition in the region, given the minimal exhumation of the rugged Kenai Mountains despite the presence of an erosion

  17. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Nature of the plate contact and subduction zones diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, H.; Thurber, C. H.

    2005-12-01

    -P times in a manner similar to double-difference tomography. Obtaining a reliable Vp/Vs model of the subduction zone is more helpful for understanding its mechanical and petrologic properties. Our applications of the original version of double-difference tomography to several subduction zones beneath northern Honshu, Japan, the Wellington region, New Zealand, and Alaska, United States, have shown evident velocity variations within and around the subducting slab, which likely is evidence of dehydration reactions of various hydrous minerals that are hypothesized to be responsible for intermediate depth earthquakes. We will show the new velocity models for these subduction zones by applying our advanced tomographic methods.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tassara, A.; Hackney, R.

    2009-04-01

    missions with marine and land gravity measurements, to calculate flexural rigidity for most subduction zones worldwide. In addition, we compile a seismicity catalogue for moderate to giant earthquakes (5.5 < Mw < 9.6) occurred during the last hundred years along those subduction zones. Comparing flexural rigidity at the epicentral location of subduction earthquakes, with their moment magnitude, released seismic moment and the slip distribution of giant megathrust events, we confirm that subduction-zone earthquakes tend to nucleate at regions of the interplate fault characterized by high strength. However, a large portion of the total seismic moment accounted by subduction earthquakes during the last hundred years was released by rupturing weak segments of the plate interface characterized by low flexural rigidity, a tendency which is dominated by the growing pattern characterizing the three giant earthquakes (Mw>9) occurred during the twenty century (Kamchatka 1952, Chile 1960, Alaska 1964). The unexpected Mw9.3 Sumatra-Andaman 2004 earthquake is anomalous with respect to other giants because it propagated throughout several high-strength segment of the subduction zone. Paleoseismological studies in Chile and Sumatra suggest that giant earthquakes in the later region have a recurrence interval that is 2-3 times higher than the interval between giants in the former region. This intriguing behavior fits into a model suggested by our results, as to that the common way for an earthquake to grow toward giant magnitudes is for the rupture front entering a conditionally-stable, weak segment of the megathrust (the case of twenty century giants); a less common scenario (typified by the Sumatra-Andaman 2004 earthquake) supposes the synchronized rupture of several high strength patches of the interplate fault that are all loaded near a critical shear stress. Our findings partially contradicts previous interpretations based on the correlation of gravity and bathymetry anomalies with

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassett, Dan; Watts, Anthony B.

    2015-05-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  11. Lithification facilitates frictional instability in argillaceous subduction zone sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. Metamorphism of the Chugach Metamorphic Complex, (Alaska). New pressure estimates question the ridge subduction context.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruand, Emilie; Gasser, Deta; Kurt, Stuewe; Beyssac, Olivier

    2010-05-01

    The Chugach Metamorphic Complex (CMC, Alaska) is a 200 km long and 10-50 km wide complex and is part of an active accretionary prism. According to the sparse existing literature, the complex is believed to be a low-pressure high-temperature terrain (400-650°C and ~3kb) with a migmatitic inner core (~5-10 km) and schist rims surrounded by phyllite (Sisson et al., 1988). Such low pressure conditions are not common in a subduction zone setting and the formation of the complex is thus attributed to the subduction of a ridge during the Eocene (~ 50 my). This contribution presents detailed petrological work from the region to show that the metamorphism occurred at much higher pressures than previously believed. We focus on the petrology of calcareous metapelites from 4 different N-S transects across the complex from west to east (each being 10 to 30 km wide). Several PT thermobarometric tools are used including average PT determination using THERMOCALC, garnet-biotite thermometry and RSCM (graphite) thermometers using Raman spectroscopy. In addition to these methods, several thermodynamic pseudosections were calculated. Our calculations show that the metamorphic conditions vary between 550°C and 3-4 kbar in the north of the complex to >700°C and 7-9 kbar in the south. In the central part of the complex these conditions appear to be attributable to a single metamorphic event that occurred around 50 my. However, in some locations near major granitic intrusions that penetrate the regions two events are observed: 1) a first one characterised by temperatures around 550°C followed by 2) a hotter contact metamorphism (>640°C). Earlier studies have interpreted the supposed low-pressure conditions of the CMC (considered to be no more than 3 kbar) to be connected to a ridge subduction geodynamic context. Within our interpretation, the hypothesis of a ridge subduction context is not needed and indeed appears questionable. In fact, a simple subduction context following by a

  13. Physical characteristics of subduction-type seismogenic zones revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heuret, A.; Lallemand, S.; Piromallo, C.; Funiciello, F.

    2009-12-01

    Based on both the Centennial earthquake catalog, the revised 1964-2007 EHB hypocenters and the 1976-2007 CMT Harvard catalog, we have extracted the hypocenters, nodal planes and seismic moments of worldwide subduction earthquakes for the period 1900-2007. For the period 1976-2007, we use the focal solutions provided by Harvard and the revised hypocenters from Engdahl et al. (1998). Older events are extracted from the Centennial catalogue (Engdahl and Villasenor, 2002) and they are used for the estimate of the cumulated seismic moment only. The criteria used to select the subduction earthquakes are similar to those used by Mc Caffrey (1994), i.e., we test if the focal mechanisms are consistent with 1/ shallow thrust events (positive slips, at least one nodal plane get dip < 45° and depth > 70 km), and, 2/ the plate interface local geometry and orientation (one nodal plane is oriented toward the volcanic arc, the azimut of this nodal plane is ± 45° with respect to the trench one, its dip is ± 20° with respect to the slab one and the epicenter is located seaward of the volcanic arc). Our study concerns segments of subduction zones that fit with estimated paleoruptures associated with major events (M > 8). We assume that the seismogenic zone coincides with the distribution of 5.5 < M < 7 subduction earthquakes. We then provide a map of the seismogenic zone for 36% of the oceanic subduction plates boundaries including dip, length, downdip and updip limits. The remnant 64% correspond to either weakly coupled oceanic subduction zones, slow subduction rates, or long recurrence period between earthquakes. We then revisit the statistical study done by Pacheco et al. (1993) and tested some empirical laws obtained for example by Kanamori (1986) in light of a more complete, more detailed, more accurate and more uniform description of the subduction interplate seismogenic zone. Since the subduction earthquakes result from stress accumulation along the interplate and that

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Limits on great earthquake size at subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCaffrey, R.

    2012-12-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Simulation of convective heat exchange in the subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solov'ev, S. V.

    2013-09-01

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

  4. Electrical image of subduction zone beneath northeastern Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Deformation Along the Western Hellenic Subduction Zone From Continuous GPS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Floyd, M. A.; Nocquet, J.; Billiris, H.; Paradissis, D.; England, P.; Parsons, B.

    2005-12-01

    In respect of the great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and subsequent tsunami of 26 December 2004, the study of coupling at subduction zones is imperative to understanding the seismic---or otherwise---hazard posed to a region. The Mediterranean Sea includes the Hellenic subduction zone, which accommodates the ~35 mm/yr of convergence between the oceanic lithosphere of the African plate and the extending continental lithosphere of the Aegean region. How the convergence is accommodated through earthquakes here remains controversial. For example, Jackson & McKenzie [1988] concluded that earthquakes can account for ~10% of the relative motion, implying that the subduction zone is in a stable-sliding state. On the contrary, Pirazzoli et al. [1982], using the Holocene geological record, inferred that large earthquakes (M>8) have occurred along the arc. In the last years, the development of permanent GPS networks near subduction zones has provided new information on the mechanisms of strain accumulation and release along the plate interface, highlighting the existence of transient slow slip events that may account for a significant part of convergence. We present results from a permanent network, in operation since early 2003, covering the western Hellenic Arc. Initial results indicate that no deformation perpendicular to the trench can be detected, supporting the hypothesis that the trench is currently in a stable-sliding state. Comparisons to 1992--2000 campaign data (McClusky et al. [2000]) indicate similar results. However, significant (~1m) extension is found in a comparison between historic triangulation and recent campaign GPS studies (Davies, et al. [1997]), averaged over 100 years, yet no significant earthquake can be invoked to explain such a large trench-perpendicular extension of the overriding plate. The existence of transient slip events elsewhere, however, presents a potential explanation for this discrepency in that the subduction zone does undergo strain

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-15

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

  10. Numerical Modelling of Subduction Zones: a New Beginning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    Subduction zones are one of the most studied although still controversial geodynamic process. Is it a passive or an active mechanism in the frame of plate tectonics? How subduction initiates? What controls the differences among the slabs and related orogens and accretionary wedges? The geometry and kinematics at plate boundaries point to a "westerly" polarized flow of plates, which implies a relative opposed flow of the underlying Earth's mantle, being the decoupling located at about 100-200 km depth in the low-velocity zone or LVZ (Doglioni and Panza, 2015 and references therein). This flow is the simplest explanation for determining the asymmetric pattern of subduction zones; in fact "westerly" directed slabs are steeper and deeper with respect to the "easterly or northeasterly" directed ones, that are less steep and shallower, and two end members of orogens associated to the downgoing slabs can be distinguished in terms of topography, type of rocks, magmatism, backarc spreading or not, foredeep subsidence rate, etc.. The classic asymmetry comparing the western Pacific slabs and orogens (low topography and backarc spreading in the upper plate) and the eastern Pacific subduction zones (high topography and deep rocks involved in the upper plate) cannot be ascribed to the age of the subducting lithosphere. In fact, the same asymmetry can be recognized all over the world regardless the type and age of the subducting lithosphere, being rather controlled by the geographic polarity of the subduction. All plate boundaries move "west". Present numerical modelling set of subduction zones is based on the idea that a subducting slab is primarily controlled by its negative buoyancy. However, there are several counterarguments against this assumption, which is not able to explain the global asymmetric aforementioned signatures. Moreover, petrological reconstructions of the lithospheric and underlying mantle composition, point for a much smaller negative buoyancy than predicted

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Young tectonics of a complex plate boundary zone: Indentation, rotation, and escape in Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallace, W. K.; Ruppert, N. A.

    2012-12-01

    Convergence of thick crust of the Yakutat block with the southern margin of Alaska is widely recognized as a dominant influence on the tectonics of Alaska since at least late Miocene time. It is less clear how this convergence relates to the distribution, type, and orientation of geologic structures, and to the boundaries between the tectonic provinces that they define. We propose that convergence of Yakutat block includes two distinct components that influence deformation and topography in different ways: 1) The crust of the exposed, southern Yakutat block is too thick to subduct, which has caused the collisional St. Elias orogen. Detachment of the upper part of the mafic basement allows delamination and sinking of the remaining mafic crust and lithospheric mantle. The collisional orogen drives rigid counterclockwise rotation of the southern Alaska block south of the arcuate, right-lateral Denali fault. The western boundary of this block is a zone of distributed contraction in the western Alaska Range and Cook Inlet. 2) The northern part of the Yakutat block is thin enough to subduct but thick and buoyant enough to cause localized flat-slab subduction orthogonal to rotation of the southern Alaska block. Consequences include the gently antiformal Talkeetna Mountains that span the forearc basin, a gap in the magmatic arc, and a basement-involved fold-and-thrust belt in the northern Alaska Range. An arcuate oroclinal hinge from southern Alaska to the northeastern Brooks Range reflects indentation since at least Paleocene time. Traction above the subducted Yakutat block along the southern part of this hinge drives current indentation. North of the subducted Yakutat block, indentation is reflected by left-lateral block rotation that accommodates shortening between the Denali and Tintina faults and by contraction farther north along the northern edge of the arcuate northeastern Brooks Range. Western Alaska accommodates both northward indentation and westward convergence

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garth, T.; Rietbrock, A.

    2013-12-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  2. Earthquakes, fluid pressures and rapid subduction zone metamorphism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viete, D. R.

    2013-12-01

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

  3. Volcanism and aseismic slip in subduction zones

    SciTech Connect

    Acharya, H.

    1981-01-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. Resonant slow fault slip in subduction zones forced by climatic load stress.

    PubMed

    Lowry, Anthony R

    2006-08-17

    Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements at subduction plate boundaries often record fault movements similar to earthquakes but much slower, occurring over timescales of approximately 1 week to approximately 1 year. These 'slow slip events' have been observed in Japan, Cascadia, Mexico, Alaska and New Zealand. The phenomenon is poorly understood, but several observations hint at the processes underlying slow slip. Although slip itself is silent, seismic instruments often record coincident low-amplitude tremor in a narrow (1-5 cycles per second) frequency range. Also, modelling of GPS data and estimates of tremor location indicate that slip focuses near the transition from unstable ('stick-slip') to stable friction at the deep limit of the earthquake-producing seismogenic zone. Perhaps most intriguingly, slow slip is periodic at several locations, with recurrence varying from 6 to 18 months depending on which subduction zone (or even segment) is examined. Here I show that such periodic slow fault slip may be a resonant response to climate-driven stress perturbations. Fault slip resonance helps to explain why slip events are periodic, why periods differ from place to place, and why slip focuses near the base of the seismogenic zone. Resonant slip should initiate within the rupture zone of future great earthquakes, suggesting that slow slip may illuminate fault properties that control earthquake slip. PMID:16915286

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Y.; Lee, S.

    2008-12-01

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

  8. 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)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mibe, K.

    2011-12-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Teleseismic shear wave tomography of the Japan subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asamori, Koichi; Zhao, Dapeng

    2015-12-01

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

  13. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    last for decades after a major event (e.g. Alaska 1964) We have integrated the observed patterns of upper-plate displacements (and deformation) with models of subduction zone evolution that allow us to incorporate both the transient behavior associated with post-earthquake viscous re-equilibration and the underlying long term, relatively constant elastic strain accumulation. Modeling the earthquake cycle through the use of a visco-elastic numerical model over numerous earthquake cycles, we have developed a framework model for the megathrust cycle that is constrained by observations made at a variety of plate boundary zones at different stages in their earthquake cycle (see paper by Govers et al., this meeting). Our results indicate that the observed patterns of co- and post- and inter-seismic deformation are largely controlled by interplay between elastic and viscous processes. Observed displacements represent the competition between steady elastic-strain accumulation driven by plate boundary coupling, and post-earthquake viscous behavior in response to the coseismic loading of the system by the rapid elastic rebound. The application of this framework model to observations from subduction zone observatories points up the dangers of simply extrapolating current deformation observations to the overall strain accumulation state of the subduction zoned allows us to develop improved assessments of the slip deficit accumulating within the seismogenic zone, and the near-future earthquake potential of different segments of the subduction plate boundary.

  15. Geodynamics of flat-slab subduction, sedimentary basin development, and hydrocarbon systems along the southern Alaska convergent plate margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finzel, Emily S.

    field that provides evidence that a wide zone of diffuse deformation defines the present-day boundaries between the North America, Pacific, and Bering plates in Alaska and western Canada. In southern Alaska, boundary forces related to flat-slab subduction of the Yakutat microplate are the dominant driver for lithospheric deformation, whereas in central and northern Alaska and inboard parts of western Canada, buoyancy forces and basal tractions may be the dominant contributors.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-17

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

  17. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  19. Unraveling topography around subduction zones from laboratory models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bajolet, Flora; Faccenna, Claudio; Funiciello, Francesca

    2014-05-01

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

  1. Opening and closing slab windows in congested subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moresi, Louis

    2013-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaw, Beth; Jackson, James

    2010-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1971-01-01

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

  5. Water and the Oxidation State of Subduction Zone Magmas

    SciTech Connect

    Kelley, K.; Cottrell, E

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Geoid anomalies in the vicinity of subduction zones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcadoo, D. C.

    1980-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  10. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shervais, John W.; Jean, Marlon M.

    2012-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  13. A possible source of water in seismogenic subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Calvert, Andrew J

    2004-03-11

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

  16. 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.

  17. Modelling Subduction Zone Magmatism Due to Hydraulic Fracture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawton, R.; Davies, J. H.

    2014-12-01

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

  18. A new source of water in seismogenic subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  19. Stability and dynamics of serpentinite layer in subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilairet, Nadege; Reynard, Bruno

    2009-02-01

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

  20. Existing Instrumentation and Scientific Drivers for a Subduction Zone Observatory in Latin America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frassetto, A.; Woodward, R.; Detrick, R. S.

    2015-12-01

    The subduction zones along the western shore of the Americas provide numerous societally relevant scientific questions that have yet to be fully explored and would make an excellent target for a comprehensive, integrated Subduction Zone Observatory (SZO). Further, recent discussions in Latin America indicate that there are a large number of existing stations that could serve as a backbone for an SZO. Such preexisting geophysical infrastructure commonly plays a vital role in new science initiatives, from small PI-led experiments to the establishment of the USArray Transportable Array, Reference Network, Cascadia Amphibious Array, and the redeployment of EarthScope Transportable Array stations to Alaska. Creating an SZO along the western coast of the Americas could strongly leverage the portfolio of existing seismic and geodetic stations across regions of interest. In this presentation, we will discuss the concept and experience of leveraging existing infrastructure in major new observational programs, outline the state of geophysical networks in the Americas (emphasizing current seismic networks but also looking back on historical temporary deployments), and provide an overview of potential scientific targets in the Americas that encompass a sampling of recently produced research results and datasets. Additionally, we will reflect on strategies for establishing meaningful collaborations across Latin America, an aspect that will be critical to the international partnerships, and associated capacity building, needed for a successful SZO initiative.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Zhihao; Schellart, Wouter; Duarte, Joao

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopp, H.

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamasaki, Tadashi; Seno, Tetsuzo

    2003-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Clarke, S H; Carver, G A

    1992-01-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Hitomi; Iwamori, Hikaru

    2013-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, H.; Iwamori, H.

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Deformation Processes in Great Subduction Zone Earthquake Cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Yan

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

  13. Decimeter Scale Ultra-Fine Fault Rocks (Possible Pseudotachylites) in an Ancient Subduction Thrust Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowe, C. D.; Moore, J. C.; Meneghini, F.; McKiernan, A. W.

    2004-12-01

    Large bodies of ultrafine fault rock (possible pseudotachylite or frictional melt) occur within cataclastic thrust zones in the Ghost Rocks Formation, Kodiak Accretionary Complex, Alaska. The Paleocene Ghost Rocks Formation includes map-scale mélange belts formed by flattening and shearing of seafloor sediments and volcanic rocks at about 250 degrees C and 325 MPa (~13 km depth) during subduction between 65-60Ma. Ten to 15-meter thick cataclastite zones crosscut the mélange fabric at a low angle, representing a stage of increasingly localized shear during subduction thrusting. Ultrafine fault rocks occur as thick (10-25cm) continuous planar beds along the boundaries of cataclastites, or in discontinuous accumulation bodies within cataclastite zones. The boundaries of the ultrafine fault rocks are intrusive, sharp but irregular and deform the cataclastite host fabric. Single pulse intrusions of the ultrafine fault rock range up to 0.5m in intrusive dimension and form complex morphologies resembling both upward and downward directed flame structures and dike-sill complexes, as well as sheath folds and disharmonic flow banding and folding. These field characteristics indicate fluidization and perhaps frictional melting of the ultrafine fault rocks. Ultrafine fault rock bodies can be traced laterally for meters to tens of meters at individual outcrops and occur for about 2 km along strike. Preliminary SEM analysis reveals that the primary matrix material is physically and chemically homogenous down to few-micron scale, consistent with the field identification of pseudotachylite. Thin sections show rounded remnant quartz aggregates, typical of pseudotachylytes. Although some thin sections show suggest melting others may represent ultracataclastite. Some ultrafine fault rock material is rebrecciated and cataclastized to a fine scale, indicating reactivation of previous fault rock generation surfaces. These ultrafine fault rock zones represent the most highly deformed

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faccenda, M.; Capitanio, F. A.

    2014-12-01

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

  15. Trans-Alaska Crustal Transect and continental evolution involving subduction underplating and synchronous foreland thrusting

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fuis, G.S.; Moore, T.E.; Plafker, G.; Brocher, T.M.; Fisher, M.A.; Mooney, W.D.; Nokleberg, W.J.; Page, R.A.; Beaudoin, B.C.; Christensen, N.I.; Levander, A.R.; Lutter, W.J.; Saltus, R.W.; Ruppert, N.A.

    2008-01-01

    We investigate the crustal structure and tectonic evolution of the North American continent in Alaska, where the continent has grown through magmatism, accretion, and tectonic underplating. In the 1980s and early 1990s, we conducted a geological and geophysical investigation, known as the Trans-Alaska Crustal Transect (TACT), along a 1350-km-long corridor from the Aleutian Trench to the Arctic coast. The most distinctive crustal structures and the deepest Moho along the transect are located near the Pacific and Arctic margins. Near the Pacific margin, we infer a stack of tectonically underplated oceanic layers interpreted as remnants of the extinct Kula (or Resurrection) plate. Continental Moho just north of this underplated stack is more than 55 km deep. Near the Arctic margin, the Brooks Range is underlain by large-scale duplex structures that overlie a tectonic wedge of North Slope crust and mantle. There, the Moho has been depressed to nearly 50 km depth. In contrast, the Moho of central Alaska is on average 32 km deep. In the Paleogene, tectonic underplating of Kula (or Resurrection) plate fragments overlapped in time with duplexing in the Brooks Range. Possible tectonic models linking these two regions include flat-slab subduction and an orogenic-float model. In the Neogene, the tectonics of the accreting Yakutat terrane have differed across a newly interpreted tear in the subducting Pacific oceanic lithosphere. East of the tear, Pacific oceanic lithosphere subducts steeply and alone beneath the Wrangell volcanoes, because the overlying Yakutat terrane has been left behind as underplated rocks beneath the rising St. Elias Range, in the coastal region. West of the tear, the Yakutat terrane and Pacific oceanic lithosphere subduct together at a gentle angle, and this thickened package inhibits volcanism. ?? 2008 The Geological Society of America.

  16. 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

  17. Subduction zone structures and slip behavior in megathrust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bilek; Lay

    1998-08-21

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  1. Modeling the migration of fluids in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  2. Source Mechanisms of Destructive Tsunamigenic Earthquakes occurred along the Major Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yolsal-Çevikbilen, Seda; Taymaz, Tuncay; Ulutaş, Ergin

    2016-04-01

    Subduction zones, where an oceanic plate is subducted down into the mantle by tectonic forces, are potential tsunami locations. Many big, destructive and tsunamigenic earthquakes (Mw > 7.5) and high amplitude tsunami waves are observed along the major subduction zones particularly near Indonesia, Japan, Kuril and Aleutan Islands, Gulf of Alaska, Southern America. Not all earthquakes are tsunamigenic; in order to generate a tsunami, the earthquake must occur under or near the ocean, be large, and create significant vertical movements of the seafloor. It is also known that tsunamigenic earthquakes release their energy over a couple of minutes, have long source time functions and slow-smooth ruptures. In this study, we performed point-source inversions by using teleseismic long-period P- and SH- and broad-band P-waveforms recorded by the Federation of Digital Seismograph Networks (FDSN) and the Global Digital Seismograph Network (GDSN) stations. We obtained source mechanism parameters and finite-fault slip distributions of recent destructive ten earthquakes (Mw ≥ 7.5) by comparing the shapes and amplitudes of long period P- and SH-waveforms, recorded in the distance range of 30° - 90°, with synthetic waveforms. We further obtained finite-fault rupture histories of those earthquakes to determine the faulting area (fault length and width), maximum displacement, rupture duration and stress drop. We applied a new back-projection method that uses teleseismic P-waveforms to integrate the direct P-phase with reflected phases from structural discontinuities near the source, and customized it to estimate the spatio-temporal distribution of the seismic energy release of earthquakes. Inversion results exhibit that recent tsunamigenic earthquakes show dominantly thrust faulting mechanisms with small amount of strike-slip components. Their focal depths are also relatively shallow (h < 40 km). As an example, the September 16, 2015 Illapel (Chile) earthquake (Mw: 8.3; h: 26 km

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biryol, Cemal Berk

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Mantle Flow in the Rivera-Cocos Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  6. Detailed structures of the subducted Philippine Sea Plate beneath northeast Taiwan: A new type of double seismic zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kao, Honn; Rau, Ruey-Juin

    1999-01-01

    We studied the detailed structure of the subducted Philippine Sea plate beneath northeast Taiwan where oblique subduction, regional collision, and back arc opening are all actively occurring. Simultaneous inversion for velocity structure and earthquake hypocenters are performed using the vast, high-quality data recorded by the Taiwan Seismic Network. We further supplement the inversion results with earthquake source parameters determined from inversion of teleseismic P and SH waveforms, a critical step to define the position of plate interface and the state of strain within the subducted slab. The most interesting feature is that relocated hypocenters tend to occur along a two-layered structure. The upper layer is located immediately below the plate interface and extends down to 70-80 km at a dip of 40°-50°. Below approximately 100 km, the dip increases dramatically to 70°-80°. The lower layer commences at 45-50 km and stays approximately parallel to the upper layer with a separation of 15±5 km in between down to 70-80 km. Below that the separation decreases and the two layers seem to gradually merge into one Wadati-Benioff Zone. We propose to term the classic double seismic zones observed beneath Japan and Kuril as "type I" and that we observed as "type II," respectively. A global survey indicates that type II double seismic zones are also observed in New Zealand near the southernmost North Island, Cascadia, just north of the Mendocino triple junction, and the Cook Inlet area of Alaska. All of them are located near the termini of subducted slabs in a tectonic setting of oblique subduction. We interpret the seismogenesis of type II double seismic zones as reflecting the lateral compressive stress between the subducted plate and the adjacent lithosphere (originating from oblique subduction) and the downdip extension (from slab pulling force). The upper seismic layer represents seismicity occurring in the upper crust of a subducted plate and/or along the plate

  7. Mechanism of décollement formation in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hori, Takane; Sakaguchi, Hide

    2011-12-01

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

  8. Does subduction zone magmatism produce average continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimizu, N.; Mandeville, C. W.

    2011-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kelemen, Peter B.; Manning, Craig E.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelemen, Peter B.; Manning, Craig E.

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kelemen, Peter B; Manning, Craig E

    2015-07-28

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

  14. Modeling the Migration of Fluids in Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takagi, Ryota; Obara, Kazushige; Maeda, Takuto

    2016-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  1. 3-D imaging of the northern Hikurangi subduction zone, New Zealand: variations in subducted sediment, slab fluids and slow slip

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eberhart-Phillips, Donna; Bannister, Stephen

    2015-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  4. Constraints on Subduction Zone Processes from Low Frequency Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bostock, M. G.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arredondo, K.; Billen, M. I.

    2010-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sisson, T. W.

    2002-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  9. Dating Subduction Zone Metamorphism with Garnet and Lawsonite Geochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  10. 76 FR 45217 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Program...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-28

    ... Economic Zone Off Alaska; Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Program; Amendment 88 AGENCY: National Marine... submitted Amendment 88 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) for review... gains realized under the Rockfish Pilot Program and viability of the Gulf of Alaska fisheries....

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Scholz, C.H.; Campos, J.

    1995-11-10

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

  13. 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)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Honda, S.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ujiie, Kohtaro; Kimura, Gaku

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hongliang; Huismans, Ritske; Rondenay, Stéphane

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-10-01

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

  20. Permeability-porosity relationships of subduction zone sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, W.; Brudzinski, M. R.

    2002-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Audet, Pascal; Kim, YoungHee

    2016-02-01

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

  3. Three-dimensional numerical models of flat slab subduction and the Denali fault driving deformation in south-central Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jadamec, Margarete A.; Billen, Magali I.; Roeske, Sarah M.

    2013-08-01

    Early theories of plate tectonics assumed plates were rigid with deformation limited to within a few tens of kilometers of the plate boundary. However, observations indicate most continental plates defy such rigid behavior with deformation extending over 1000 kilometers inboard. We construct three-dimensional (3D) numerical models of the boundary between the Pacific and North American plates in Alaska to investigate the relative controls of flat slab subduction, continental scale faulting, and a non-linear rheology on deformation in the overriding plate. The models incorporate a realistic slab shape based on seismicity and seismic tomography and a variable thermal structure for both the subducting and overriding plates based on geologic and geophysical observables. The inclusion of the Denali fault in the models allows for the portion of south-central Alaska between the Denali fault and the trench to partially decouple from the rest of North America, forming an independently moving region that correlates to what has been described from geologic and geodetic studies as the Wrangell block. The motion of the Wrangell block tracks the motion of the flat slab in the subsurface indicating the subducting plate is driving the motion of the Wrangell block. Models using a composite (Newtonian and non-Newtonian) viscosity predict compressional motion along the northern bend in the Denali fault, consistent with thermochronologic data that show significant late Neogene exhumation in the central Alaska Range, including at Mt. McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America. These 3D numerical models of the Pacific-North American margin in Alaska show the subducting slab is the main driver of overriding plate deformation in south-central Alaska and combined with the Denali fault can reproduce several first order tectonic features of the region including the motion of the Wrangell block, uplift in the central Alaska Range, subsidence in the Cook Inlet-Susitna Basins, and upwelling

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piana Agostinetti, Nicola; Miller, Meghan S.

    2014-12-01

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

  7. Accretion and subduction tectonics in the Chugach Mountains and Copper River Basin, Alaska: initial results of the Trans-Alaska Crustal Transect

    SciTech Connect

    Page, R.A. Plafker, G.; Fuis, G.S.; Nokleberg, W.J.; Ambos, E.L.; Mooney, W.D.; Campbell, D.L.

    1986-06-01

    Geologic, seismic, gravity, and magnetic data from the northern Chugach Mountains and southern Copper River Basin, Alaska, indicate that the Chugach terrane (CGT) and the composite Peninsular/Wrangellia terrane (PET/WRT) are thin (< 10 km), rootless sheets bounded on the south by north-dipping thrust faults that sole into a shallow, horizontal, low-velocity zone. The CGT has been thrust at least 40 km beneath the PET/WRT along the Border Ranges fault system (BRFS). Adjacent to the BRFS, uplift and erosion of 30-40 km since Jurassic time have exposed blueschist-facies rocks in the CGT and mafic and ultramafic cumulate rocks in the PET/WRT. Four paired north-dipping layers of low and high seismic velocities extend beneath the northern CGT and southern PET/WRT and may be slices of subducted oceanic crust and upper mantle; the upper two pairs may now be joined to the continental plate. 15 references, 5 figures.

  8. Megathrust Slip and the Care and Feeding of the Subduction Channel Through which the Seismogenic Zone Runs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholl, D. W.; Kirby, S. H.; Keranen, K. M.; Wells, R. E.; Blakely, R. J.; Michael, F.; von Huene, R.

    2004-12-01

    HABITATS OF GREAT OFFSHORE EARTHQUAKES: High-magnitude earthquakes (Mw = or >8.5) and trans- oceanic tsunamis commonly nucleate along subduction zones (SZ) bordered by laterally continuous, sediment- flooded trenches. Examples include: south-central Chile (1960 Mw=9.5), eastern Alaska (1964 Mw=9.2), Sumatra (2004, Mw=9.1), Cascadia (historic 1700 Mw=9.0), Colombia (1906 Mw=8.8), Sumatra (historic 1883, Mw=8.8), west-central Aleutian (1965 Mw=8.7), central Aleutian (1986, Mw=8.7), Sumatra (2005 Mw=8.6), and Nankai (historic 1707, Mw=8.5). In thickness, sediment entering these SZ ranges from 2 to 3 km and the column is axially continuous for more than 800 km. The depositional pile is typically the clastic beds of a trench-axis turbidite wedge and underlying fan and abyssal plain deposits that accrued seaward of the trench axis. Great rupture events also occur at subduction zones receiving little sediment, for example the Kamchatka (1952, Mw=9.0) and the north Chile SZs (historic 1868 Mw=8.9). Both SZs are areas of rapid upper plate thinning, subsidence, and truncation effected by subduction erosion. WORKINGS OF THE SUBDUCTION CHANNEL (SC): Beneath the submerged forearc, the SC functions to transport subducted ocean floor sediment and tectonically eroded forearc debris toward and into the mantle. The SC is the lowest structural unit containing upper plate crustal material. It hosts the seismogenic zone, which probably runs along the SC's upper boundary commonly referred to as the interplate decollement. A thick, laterally continuous SC structurally smoothes or simplifies the surface of the interplate decollement and sets up conditions for lengthy, high moment-release ruptures. Maximum slip is commonly concentrated beneath the thinned crust underlying forearc basins. These structures, in positive feed-back, are likely deepened co- seismically by high-slip-rate enhanced basal subduction erosion. The detached material lowers the effective stress on the decollement and

  9. Megathrust Slip and the Care and Feeding of the Subduction Channel Through which the Seismogenic Zone Runs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholl, D. W.; Kirby, S. H.; Keranen, K. M.; Wells, R. E.; Blakely, R. J.; Michael, F.; von Huene, R.

    2007-12-01

    HABITATS OF GREAT OFFSHORE EARTHQUAKES: High-magnitude earthquakes (Mw = or >8.5) and trans- oceanic tsunamis commonly nucleate along subduction zones (SZ) bordered by laterally continuous, sediment- flooded trenches. Examples include: south-central Chile (1960 Mw=9.5), eastern Alaska (1964 Mw=9.2), Sumatra (2004, Mw=9.1), Cascadia (historic 1700 Mw=9.0), Colombia (1906 Mw=8.8), Sumatra (historic 1883, Mw=8.8), west-central Aleutian (1965 Mw=8.7), central Aleutian (1986, Mw=8.7), Sumatra (2005 Mw=8.6), and Nankai (historic 1707, Mw=8.5). In thickness, sediment entering these SZ ranges from 2 to 3 km and the column is axially continuous for more than 800 km. The depositional pile is typically the clastic beds of a trench-axis turbidite wedge and underlying fan and abyssal plain deposits that accrued seaward of the trench axis. Great rupture events also occur at subduction zones receiving little sediment, for example the Kamchatka (1952, Mw=9.0) and the north Chile SZs (historic 1868 Mw=8.9). Both SZs are areas of rapid upper plate thinning, subsidence, and truncation effected by subduction erosion. WORKINGS OF THE SUBDUCTION CHANNEL (SC): Beneath the submerged forearc, the SC functions to transport subducted ocean floor sediment and tectonically eroded forearc debris toward and into the mantle. The SC is the lowest structural unit containing upper plate crustal material. It hosts the seismogenic zone, which probably runs along the SC's upper boundary commonly referred to as the interplate decollement. A thick, laterally continuous SC structurally smoothes or simplifies the surface of the interplate decollement and sets up conditions for lengthy, high moment-release ruptures. Maximum slip is commonly concentrated beneath the thinned crust underlying forearc basins. These structures, in positive feed-back, are likely deepened co- seismically by high-slip-rate enhanced basal subduction erosion. The detached material lowers the effective stress on the decollement and

  10. Chlorine Behavior in Metasedimentary Rocks during Subduction Zone Metamorphism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  11. Elastic thickness structure of the Andaman subduction zone: Implications for convergence of the Ninetyeast Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ratheesh Kumar, R. T.; Windley, B. F.; Rajesh, V. J.; Santosh, M.

    2013-12-01

    We use the Bouguer coherence (Morlet isostatic response function) technique to compute the spatial variation of effective elastic thickness (Te) of the Andaman subduction zone. The recovered Te map resolves regional-scale features that correlate well with known surface structures of the subducting Indian plate and the overriding Burma plate. The major structure on the India plate, the Ninetyeast Ridge (NER), exhibits a weak mechanical strength, which is consistent with the expected signature of an oceanic ridge of hotspot origin. However, a markedly low strength (0 < Te < 3 km) in that region, where the NER is close to the Andaman trench (north of 10°N), receives our main attention in this study. The subduction geometry derived from the Bouguer gravity forward modeling suggests that the NER has indented beneath the Andaman arc. We infer that the bending stresses of the viscous plate, which were reinforced within the subducting oceanic plate as a result of the partial subduction of the NER buoyant load, have reduced the lithospheric strength. The correlation, Te < Ts (seismogenic thickness) reveals that the upper crust is actively deforming beneath the frontal arc Andaman region. The occurrence of normal-fault earthquakes in the frontal arc, low Te zone, is indicative of structural heterogeneities within the subducting plate. The fact that the NER along with its buoyant root is subducting under the Andaman region is inhibiting the subduction processes, as suggested by the changes in trench line, interrupted back-arc volcanism, variation in seismicity mechanism, slow subduction, etc. The low Te and thinned crustal structure of the Andaman back-arc basin are attributed to a thermomechanically weakened lithosphere. The present study reveals that the ongoing back-arc spreading and strike-slip motion along the West Andaman Fault coupled with the ridge subduction exerts an important control on the frequency and magnitude of seismicity in the Andaman region.

  12. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, X.; Park, J.

    2004-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelemen, Peter; Manning, Craig

    2016-04-01

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

  15. Uncertainty in turbidite correlations along the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atwater, B. F.

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosner, Martin Siegfried

    2003-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Shu-Chuan; Kuo, Ban-Yuan

    2016-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1995-06-01

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

  3. The variations of long time period slow slip events along the Ryukyu subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tu, Y. T.; Heki, K.

    2014-12-01

    Slow slip events (SSEs) are a type of slow earthquakes that can be observed with Global Positioning System (GPS) networks in the world. Those events are detected on intensely coupled plate boundaries such as Cascadia subduction zone (Dragert et al., 2001), western North America, Mexico (Kostoglodov et al., 2003), Alaska (Ohta et al., 2007) and Tokai and Boso areas (Ozawa et al., 2002, 2003), central Japan and are considered to have relations to large subduction thrust earthquakes. However, in southwestern Ryukyu trench where most of researchers believe that it should be a decoupled plate boundary, SSEs recur regularly and are located at a patch that is as deep as 20 to 40 km (Heki and Kataoka, 2008). For comprehending the characteristics and time variations of SSEs in this area, the GEONET GPS data of 16 years are used in this study. During 1997 to 2014, more than thirty SSEs are identified near Hateruma Island, Ryukyu. The average recurrence interval is calculated to be 6.3 months and release seismic moment is Mw 6.6 on average. However, the values of recurrence interval are not invariable. From 1997 to 2002, interval period of SSEs is 7.5 months, but during 2002 to 2008, the interval period decreases suddenly to 5.5 months. After 2008, the value restores to 7.2 months again. Furthermore, the slip amount of SSEs in this area varies with time. From 1997 to 2002, the slip is 9.5 cm/year; and during 2002 to 2008, the value slightly increases to 10.5 cm/year. However, in 2008 to 2013, the slip drops to 6.6 cm/year, but accord to the trend of cumulative slip, the slip value would increase in 2014. Considering these data, we find the slip values increase conspicuously in 2002 and 2013. Coincidentally, one Mw 7.1 thrust earthquake occurred in 2002 and earthquake swarm activity started in the Okinawa trough approximately 50km north of the SSE patch. In 2013, another earthquake swarm activity occurred in nearly the same area as the 2002 activity. This suggests that the

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

    PubMed

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

    1990-11-30

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, W. C.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassett, D.; Watts, A. B.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1999-08-01

    from the Catalina Schist for varying degrees of element removal as a function of prograde thermal history. In relatively cool subduction zones (e.g., Kuriles, Marianas, Aleutians, southern Alaska) with thermal regimes similar to that which formed the low-grade units of the Catalina Schist (and blueschist-facies rocks in the Franciscan Complex), forearc devolatilization is less profound, B, Cs, As, Sb, and N are more likely to be deeply subducted, and enriched in arc lavas, and significant devolatilization occurs at the blueschist-to-eclogite transition. High-grade units could reflect thermal evolution analogous to that of relatively warm subduction zones (e.g., Cascadia) and back-arcs in which arc lavas are depleted in B, Cs, As, and Sb due to prior removal by forearc devolatilization. The results of this study also imply less efficient recycling of these elements during the warmer Archean subduction which resulted in greater slab melting and production of abundant trondhjemite-tonalite magmatic suites.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Cloos, M. )

    1992-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    McInnes; McBride; Evans; Lambert; Andrew

    1999-10-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Comte, D; Suárez, G

    1994-01-14

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

  19. Lithium isotope fractionation in the southern Cascadia subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fletcher, Michael; Wyman, Derek A.

    2015-09-01

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

  1. Along-Strike and Down-Dip Variations in Subduction Zone Slip Deficit: Persistent or Transient? (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freymueller, J. T.

    2010-12-01

    The pattern of elastic deformation at subduction zones depends on the along-strike and down-dip variation in the slip deficit on the plate interface. The location and magnitude of contractional strain is controlled mainly by the down-dip transition from locked (high slip rate deficit) to creeping (low slip rate deficit) behavior of the interface. In southern Alaska, there are dramatic along-strike variations in the depth of this transition, including segments where the locked region is more than 150-200 km wide and at least one segment that may be creeping continuously at all depths. Is this pattern is persistent over time, or does it vary substantially with time? The along-strike variations appear to be persistent over the geodetic record (only 10-15 years), and also with the record of slip in great subduction earthquakes (decades to centuries). In contrast, variations in the position of the downdip transition are observed over short timescales. A large slow-slip events in the upper Cook Inlet region occurred from 1998-2001, during which part of the interface that previously had been locked began to creep in slow slip. More recently, the opposite situation has occurred in lower Cook Inlet, near the town of Homer. Since approximately 2004, part of the interface that had been creeping has locked, making the locked zone wider than before (but still narrower than in the neighboring segments along strike). Other changes in the pattern of deformation here may have occurred in the mid-1990s, based on sparse data. Perhaps the period mid-1990s through 2004 represented a very long slow slip event, or perhaps the frictional behavior of the interface at the down-dip end of the locked zone is very sensitive to small stress changes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fagereng, A.; Sibson, R. H.

    2007-12-01

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

  3. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  6. Predicting the permeability of sediments entering subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daigle, Hugh; Screaton, Elizabeth J.

    2015-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

    Quantifying the precise thermal structure of subduction zones is essential for understanding the nature of metamorphic dehydration reactions, arc volcanism, and intermediate depth seismicity. High resolution two-dimensional (2-D) models have shown that the rheology of the mantle wedge plays a critical role and establishes strong temperature gradients in the slab. The influence of three-dimensional (3-D) subduction zone geometry on thermal structure is however not yet well characterized. A common assumption for 2-D models is that the cross-section is taken normal to the strike of the trench with a corresponding velocity reduction in the case of oblique subduction, rather than taken parallel to velocity. A comparison between a full 3-D Cartesian model with oblique subduction and selected 2-D cross-sections demonstrates that the trench-normal cross-section provides a better reproduction of the slab thermal structure than the velocity-parallel cross-section. An exception is found in the case of strongly curved subduction, such as in the Marianas, where strong 3-D flow in the mantle wedge is generated. In this case it is shown that the full 3-D model should be evaluated for an accurate prediction of the slab thermal structure.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lundgren, Paul R.; Giardini, Domenico

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Long, Maureen D; Silver, Paul G

    2008-01-18

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

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherrod, Brian; Gomberg, Joan

    2014-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nebel, Oliver; Arculus, Richard; Davies, Rhodri

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  17. Fluid venting in the eastern Aleutian Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suess, Erwin; Bohrmann, Gerhard; von Huene, Roland; Linke, Peter; Wallmann, Klaus; Lammers, Stephan; Sahling, Heiko; Winckler, Gisela; Lutz, Richard A.; Orange, Daniel

    1998-02-01

    Fluid venting has been observed along 800 km of the Alaska convergent margin. The fluid venting sites are located near the deformation front, are controlled by subsurface structures, and exhibit the characteristics of cold seeps seen in other convergent margins. The more important characteristics include (1) methane plumes in the lower water column with maxima above the seafloor which are traceable to the initial deformation ridges; (2) prolific colonies of vent biota aligned and distributed in patches controlled by fault scarps, over-steepened folds or outcrops of bedding planes; (3) calcium carbonate and barite precipitates at the surface and subsurface of vents; and (4) carbon isotope evidence from tissue and skeletal hard parts of biota, as well as from carbonate precipitates, that vents expel either methane- or sulfide-dominated fluids. A biogeochemical approach toward estimating fluid flow rates from individual vents based on oxygen flux measurements and vent fluid analysis indicates a mean value of 5.5±0.7 L m-2 d-1 for tectonics-induced water flow [Wallmann et al., 1997b]. A geophysical estimate of dewatering from the same area [von Huene et al., 1997] based on sediment porosity reduction shows a fluid loss of 0.02 L m-2 d-1 for a 5.5 km wide converged segment near the deformation front. Our video-guided surveys have documented vent biota across a minimum of 0.1% of the area of the convergent segment off Kodiak Island; hence an average rate of 0.006 L m-2 d-1 is estimated from the biogeochemical approach. The two estimates for tectonics-induced water flow from the accretionary prism are in surprisingly good agreement.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caputo, Michele

    1987-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-11-01

    Quantifying the precise thermal structure of subduction zones is essential for understanding the nature of metamorphic dehydration reactions, arc volcanism, and intermediate depth seismicity. High resolution two-dimensional (2-D) models have shown that the rheology of the mantle wedge plays a critical role and establishes strong temperature gradients in the slab. The influence of three-dimensional (3-D) subduction zone geometry on thermal structure is however not yet well characterized. A common assumption for 2-D models is that the cross-section is taken normal to the strike of the trench with a corresponding velocity reduction in the case of oblique subduction, rather than taken parallel to velocity. A comparison between a full 3-D Cartesian model with oblique subduction and selected 2-D cross-sections demonstrates that the trench-normal cross-section provides a better reproduction of the slab thermal structure than the velocity-parallel cross-section. An exception is found in the case of a strongly curved trench, such as in the Marianas, where strong 3-D flow in the mantle wedge is generated. In this case it is shown that the full 3-D model should be evaluated for an accurate prediction of the slab thermal structure. The models demonstrate that the use of a dynamic slab and wedge, separated by a kinematic boundary, yields good results for describing slab velocities in 3-D.

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    In active subduction zones, when the converging plates cannot slip freely past each other, "plate coupling" occurs. The moving subducting slab and therefore the coupling/decoupling relationship between plates control both short- and long-term deformation of the upper plate. Short-term deformation is dominantly elastic, occurs at human timescales and can be directly associated with earthquakes. Long-term deformation is cumulative, permanent and prevails at the geological timescale (Hoffman-Rothe et al., 2006, Springer Berlin Heidelberg). Here we used 3D numerical simulations to test oblique subduction zones and to investigate: 1) how long-term deformation and coupling relationship vary along the trench-axis; 2) how this relationship influences erosion and down-drag of upper plate material. Our models are based on thermo-mechanical equations solved with finite differences method and marker-in-cell techniques combined with a multigrid approach (Gerya, 2010, Cambridge Univ. Press). The reference model simulates an intraoceanic subduction close to the continental margin (Malatesta et al., 2013, Nature Communications, 4:2456 DOI:10.1038/ncomms3456). The oceanic crust is layered with a 5-km-thick layer of gabbro overlain by a 3-km-thick layer of basalt. The ocean floor is covered by 1-km-thick sediments. Plates move with a total velocity of 3.15 cm/yr; the oblique convergence is obtained using velocity vectors that form an angle of 45° with the initial starting point of subduction (weak zone in the lithosphere). After initiation of plate convergence, part of sediments on top of the incoming plate enters the subduction zone and is buried; another part is suddenly transferred along strike at shallow depths and along the subducting slab according to the direction of the along-trench velocity component of subduction. The lateral migration of sediment causes the evolution of the trench along its strike from sediment-poor to sediment-rich. As soon as subduction starts, where

  5. 75 FR 38452 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Central Gulf of Alaska License Limitation...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-02

    ... October 1, 1998 (63 FR 52642), and the LLP was implemented on January 1, 2000. The LLP for groundfish... Economic Zone Off Alaska; Central Gulf of Alaska License Limitation Program; Amendment 86 AGENCY: National... endorsement on licenses issued under the license limitation program (LLP) if those licenses have been used...

  6. 77 FR 2478 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska; Amendment 88

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-18

    ... Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska; Amendment 88 Correction Sec. 679.81 In rule... requirements? submit an annual rockfish cooperative report to NMFS by December 15 of that year. See Sec. 679.5... report the annual rockfish must include at a minimum: cooperative report? (A) The rockfish...

  7. Crustal earthquake triggering by modern great earthquakes on subduction zone thrusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomberg, Joan; Sherrod, Brian

    2014-02-01

    Among the many questions raised by the recent abundance of great (M > 8.0) subduction thrust earthquakes is their potential to trigger damaging earthquakes on crustal faults within the overriding plate and beneath many of the world's densely populated urban centers. We take advantage of the coincident abundance of great earthquakes globally and instrumental observations since 1960 to assess this triggering potential by analyzing centroids and focal mechanisms from the centroid moment tensor catalog for events starting in 1976 and published reports about the M9.5 1960 Chile and M9.2 1964 Alaska earthquake sequences. We find clear increases in the rates of crustal earthquakes in the overriding plate within days following all subduction thrust earthquakes of M > 8.6, within about ±10° of the triggering event centroid latitude and longitude. This result is consistent with dynamic triggering of more distant increases of shallow seismicity rates at distances beyond ±10°, suggesting that dynamic triggering may be important within the near field too. Crustal earthquake rate increases may also follow smaller M > 7.5 subduction thrust events, but because activity typically occurs offshore in the immediately vicinity of the triggering rupture plane, it cannot be unambiguously attributed to sources within the overriding plate. These observations are easily explained in the context of existing earthquake scaling laws.

  8. The fate of salt in the Cyprus subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  10. Subduction initiation along the inherited weakness zone at the edge of a slab: Insights from numerical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baes, Marzieh; Govers, Rob; Wortel, Rinus

    2011-03-01

    A preexisting weakness zone in the lithosphere is required to initiate subduction. Here, we focus on a new type of weakness zone, a Subduction-Transform Edge Propagator (STEP) fault, which is inherited from a tear along the edge of a slab. Using coupled thermal-mechanical models, we show that STEP fault-perpendicular convergence results in a dipping shear zone in any tectonic setting. At a continental margin, this shear zone dips towards the continent, which is an excellent starting condition for ocean-continent subduction. If (far field) convergence persists, STEP faults become new subduction boundaries. The trench moves landward during the earliest stages of convergence. When slab pull becomes a dominant driving force, after ˜80 km convergence, trench roll-back commences. The initial geometry and mechanical properties of the sub-crustal STEP fault zone affect the results; subduction initiation is facilitated by a wide (˜100 km) and low-viscosity weakness zone. Incipient subduction is easier for young oceanic lithosphere due to its lower flexural rigidity and is insensitive to the far field convergence rate. As STEP faults are commonly associated with young oceanic lithosphere, subduction initiation is thus relatively easy along them. Of particular interest are continent-ocean margins where STEP faulting has occurred.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-08-01

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

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Huene, Roland

    2010-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ben-Avraham, Z.; Nur, A.

    1980-08-10

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  3. 15 Years Of Ecuadorian-French Research Along The Ecuadorian Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charvis, P.

    2015-12-01

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

  4. Detection and location of earthquakes in the central Aleutian subduction zone using island and ocean bottom seismograph stations

    SciTech Connect

    Frohlich, C.; Billington, S.; Engdahl, E.R.; Malahoff, A.

    1982-08-10

    A network of eight University of Texas ocean bottom seismographs (OBS) operated for 6 weeks in 1978 about 50 km offshore of Adak Island, Alaska, and nearly islands. In 1979 a similar network of nine instruments was deployed for 7 weeks farther offshore within and up to 100 km seaward of the Aleutian trench. For shallow earthquakes on the outer trench slope, for shallow earthquakes in the thrust zone, and for intermediate-depth events we have analyzed the OBS and island-based network data and evaluated the island network's capabilities for earthquake detection and location and for focal mechanism determination. Our three major conclusions are presented. The first concerns shallow earthquakes on the outer trench slope. In 1979 about 30 earthquakes occurred within the Aleutian trench and up to 60 km seaward of the trench axis. The island network located none of these events and detected P phases for only three of them. Ray tracing shows that the islands lie in a geometric shadow zone for events on the outer trench slope. The best located events are shallower than 20 km and exhibit first motions consistent with normal faulting. Several authors have suggested that these events are caused by bending of the oceanic lithosphere at the outer rise prior to subduction. If so, then the event locations reported here show that the bending stresses exceed the strength of lithosphere only in a narrow zone extending about 10 km landward and 60 km seaward of the trench axis. The second conclusion concerns shallow earthquakes in the thrust zone. Epicenters determined by island stations alone are virtually identical to epicenters determined using data from both island and OBS stations. The third conclusion concerns earthquakes deeper than 70 km. Epicenters determined using island network stations alone lie 10 to 80 km south of those determined using OBS and island stations, with the differences between epicenters depending both on event depth and on the velocity model used.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spinelli, G. A.; Wada, I.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbott, Elizabeth R.; Brudzinski, Michael R.

    2015-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1996-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weston, J.; Shirzaei, M.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chaves, Esteban J; Schwartz, Susan Y

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Foley, Stephen; Tiepolo, Massimo; Vannucci, Riccardo

    2002-06-20

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Chaves, Esteban J.; Schwartz, Susan Y.

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 77 FR 64762 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-10-23

    ... Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska AGENCY: National Marine... in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2012 total allowable... exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomkins, Andrew G.; Evans, Katy A.

    2015-10-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Rogers, Garry; Dragert, Herb

    2003-06-20

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

  6. 3D dynamics of hydrous thermal-chemical plumes in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  7. U/Pb dating of subduction-collision in the Brooks Range: implications for Mesozoic geodynamics of Arctic Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemonnier, Nicolas; Labrousse, Loic; Agard, Philippe; McClelland, Bill; Cobble, Mattew; Till, Alison; Roeske, Sarah

    2016-04-01

    The paleogeographic and geodynamic evolution of Northern Alaska is crucial to understand the connection between the Arctic and Pacific realms. The opening of the Canada Basin (CB) is debated both in terms of inception time (between 190 and 140 Ma) and driving mechanisms. The prevalent model assumes that CB opened in a back-arc position within the Arctic-Alaska-Chukotka (AAC) terrane following a change in subduction polarity from S- to N-dipping subduction The adjacent Brooks Range orogen (BRO) is thought to have formed when the Koyukuk volcanic arc collided with the southern extension of AAC. This collision therefore potentially provides key information for Arctic geodynamics, and for the mechanisms of CB opening, but neither the detailed timing of this collisional history nor its duration are well known. In order to constrain the timing of the collision, we performed in-situ zircon U-Pb SIMS analyses on eclogites from the BRO s.l. (BR and Seward Peninsula), which indicate that peak burial (at 510 ± 60°C, 1.6 ± 0.2 GPa) during continental subduction and subsequent collision occurred at 141 ± 6 Ma (n=10, MSWD = 1.6). Eclogite metamorphism therefore postdates the initial rifting stage of the CB but predates effective sea-floor spreading. Younger zircon domains (114 ± 13 Ma) associated with retrograde assemblages could indicate a late thermal pulse or recrystallisation during exhumation in the collisional wedge. Combined with all available information on timing, these new age constraints are used to build a tectonic model for coeval evolution of the Brooks Range and the Canada Basin. The intra-Kingak "Jurassic Unconformity" at the Jurassic Cretaceous Boundary (Houseknecht, pers. communication) could actually be considered as the signature of the AAC-Koyukuk arc collision stage in the CB.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1989-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horiuchi, Shun-suke; Iwamori, Hikaru

    2016-05-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodin, P.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vizán, Haroldo; Van Zele, María Andrea

    2008-02-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scambelluri, Marco

    2010-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dragert, H.

    2003-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-06-10

    Chemosynthetic benthic communities, which live symbiotically with microbes capable of metabolizing nutrients dissolved in water seeping out of the seafloor, are widespread along the Cascadia subduction zone. These seeps and vents are therefore indicative of one mode of fluid migration out of the subduction zone sediments. The authors have used deep-towed seismic methods, including hydrophones mounted on Alvin, to examine the detailed geologic structure under two of these vent sites. At one of the sites, located on a seaward dipping thrust zone, the benthic communities are associated with a disruption of the subsurface acoustic layering in the thrust zone. It appears that at this site, dewatering is occurring along fractures in the disrupted sediments which connect to permeable layers in the undeformed sediments and not along the main thrust fault. The other site is located near the top of a ridge which has been uplifted by thrusting along a landward dipping thrust. Most of the benthic communities are found to exist at the outcrop of a steeply dipping unconformity between recent slope-basin sediments and the older uplifted sediments, with the unconformity serving as the fluid pathway. Underlying this unconformity at the most active dewatering location is a complexly deformed structure which appears to enhance the flow of fluid to the unconformity. The source of the fluids could be the older uplifted sediments or the recent slope-basin turbidites. In either case the source is shallow, less than about 1 km.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arredondo, K.; Billen, M. I.

    2014-12-01

    Subduction zones exhibit a wide range of behavior, from slab stagnation at 660 km to direct penetration into the lower mantle. Due to uncertainties in the tectonic history of individual subduction zones, such as trench velocities, potential mechanisms for controlling slab behavior in the transition zone are explored using numerical models. Numerical simulations have utilized a range of assumptions to improve computational efficiency, such as ignoring latent heat, ignoring compositional effects or fixing the trench location: the net effect of these assumptions resulting modeled dynamics remains unclear. Additionally the eight major, composition-dependent, phase transitions for pyrolite, harzburgite and eclogite may be an important influence on subducting slab dynamics due to the additional forces that are dependent on depth and compositional layering within the slab (e.g., Ricard et al., 2005). With the goal of developing more complete, self-consistent, and less idealized simulations, we test the importance of various factors on slab behavior: the presence of shear, adiabatic and latent heating, compositional layering, composition-dependent phase transitions and explicit plate speeds versus dynamically evolving plate and trench velocities. Preliminary results indicate that individual components have a relatively minor effect, but produce large changes when combined together. The extent of slab folding and stagnation is overestimated by only modeling the 410 and 660 km phase transitions. Dynamic models with all seven composition-dependent phase transitions are very sensitive to the plate strength and weak zone viscosity, causing large changes in plate speed and slab detachment. Changes to the overriding plate buoyance and strength investigate the origin and influence of trench movement on slab deformation. These feedbacks and parameter-sensitive behavior indicate that the wide range of observed slab behavior may result from subtle differences in plate and plate

  16. Rheological control in subduction zones: slab dynamics, fluid flow and seismic anisotropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Keken, P. E.; Spiegelman, M.; Wilson, C. R.

    2011-12-01

    The strong temperature, strain-rate and compositional gradients in subduction zones provide extreme challenges to the modeling of their dynamics. Major questions remain regarding the state of stress in the slab, the nature of the downdip transition of the seismogenic zone, the rheological control on the release of fluids and the role of fluids in magma generation, earthquake source processes and the formation of seismic anisotropy. We use high resolution finite element models of convergent margins to address some of these topics. First, we explore the role of fluids on wedge rheology and how the presence or absence of fluids changes the dynamics of the wedge. The presence of fluids in the cold fore-arc may be the cause of trench-parallel anisotropy due to B-type olivine fabric or due to shape preferred orientation by the alignment of serpentinite filled cracks. Second, The cold fore-arc generally extends to where the slab is at ~80 km depth. This depth has a strong sensitivity to the depth where the overriding wedge couples with the slab. Weak phases such as chlorite, serpentinite and talc may play a critical control on the region where the slab remains decoupled, but the strong non-linearities involved make it difficult to determine a single process for all subduction zones. Finally, the increasing metamorphic grade of rocks in the subducting slab cause progressive fluid production, which has been linked to intermediate depth seismicity. The fluids also are considered the primary cause for arc volcanism, but it is not yet clear how the fluids escape from the slab and travel to the zones of arc magmatism. We use a new set of coupled solid state and porous flow models to determine how fluids affect the shear and bulk viscosity of these rocks and how this in turn controls the flow of fluids from the slab.

  17. Seismicity and shallow slab geometry in the central Vanuatu subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baillard, Christian; Crawford, Wayne C.; Ballu, Valérie; Régnier, Marc; Pelletier, Bernard; Garaebiti, Esline

    2015-08-01

    The Vanuatu arc in the southwest Pacific Ocean is one of the world's most seismically active regions, with almost 39 magnitude 7+ earthquakes in the past 43 years. Convergence rates are around 90-120 mm/yr along most of the arc, but drop to 25-43 mm/yr in the central section, probably due to the subduction of the d'Entrecasteaux ridge. We characterize the slab geometry and tectonic state in this central section by analyzing data from a 10 month deployment of 30 seismometers over this section. We located more than 30,000 events (all less than magnitude 5.5), constructed an improved 1-D velocity model, calculated focal mechanisms and cluster geometries, and determined the 3-D geometry of the interplate seismogenic zone. The seismogenic zone has a shallow bulge in front of the d'Entrecasteaux ridge, which could be explained by the ridge's buoyancy contributing to the uplift of the fore-arc islands. The seismogenic zone extends to ~45 km depth, significantly below the 26-27 km depth of the fore-arc Moho, indicating that the upper mantle wedge is not significantly serpentinized, which is consistent with the relatively high thermal parameter of the subducting plate. The maximum width of the seismogenic zone is 80 km, indicating an upper earthquake magnitude limit of Mw 7.85 ± 0.4, assuming standard rupture zone aspect ratios. The data also reveal a double seismic zone, 20 to 30 km below the seismogenic zone, which is presumably caused by flexure of the downgoing plate.

  18. Imaging the Middle America subduction zone with body waves extracted from ambient noise by seismic interferometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vargas, W.; Brown, L. D.; Cabolova, A.; Quiros, D. A.; Chen, C.

    2011-12-01

    Subduction zones have long been a prime target for seismic imaging with a variety of active and passive methodologies. Here we report an attempt to use seismic interferometry to extract body waves (P and S) from ambient noise recorded during a broadband experiment in southwestern Mexico for reflection imaging of the crust and subducting Cocos plate. The Middle America Subduction Experiment (MASE; Kim et al., 2010) included a quasi linear array of 100 broadband seismic instruments deployed at a nominal spacing of 6 km which continuously recorded for up to 30 months. Our focus was on using cross-correlation and autocorrelation of ambient noise along this array to 1) determine if useful body waves could be extracted, 2) assess which conditions were most favorable for such extraction, and 3) evaluate whether these waves could be used to image deep lithospheric structure, with particular interest in the seismogenic zone. While surface wave tomography using cross-correlation techniques have found widespread success in mapping crustal structure, examples of body wave imaging of crustal targets using this approach are still very few. In our analysis, we have found it necessary to suppress the surface wave energy to enhance body waves from virtual sources. Our pre-processing sequence includes bias removal, bandpass filtering, deconvolution (spectral whitening), and sign- bit conversion. The resulting data windows are cross-correlated and stacked until useful signals are apparent. The virtual shot gathers thus far produced show clear Rayleigh and Pg waves, with weaker but distinct Sg phases. We have also found arrivals with hyperbolic travel times that match those expected for deep reflections. Crustal imaging is limited by the large station spacing, which results in relatively few stations at sub-critical offsets. However several apparent reflections from sub-Moho depths suggest that key elements of the subduction process can be imaged using reflections derived from ambient

  19. 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

  20. Rock strength and fault rheology at the Nankai subduction zone: Insight from laboratory experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitajima, H.; Saffer, D. M.; Takahashi, M.; Otsubo, M.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the wide spectrum of fault slip behaviors observed in continental and subduction faults zones requires investigation of absolute fault strength and fault rheology that are controlled by in-situ stress, strain, pressure, temperature, and chemical conditions. Because the deformation mode and strength of porous rocks are dependent on porosity and effective stress, rapid reduction of sediment porosity from 60-70% to less than 5% should strongly affect deformation style in the shallow portion of subduction zones. Here, we present the results of laboratory experimental studies on modern clay-rich sediments subducting at the Nankai Trough and rocks from the exhumed Shimanto accretionary complex near the Nobeoka thrust, which is an ancient out-of-sequence-thrust, to constrain porosity, rock strength and fault rheology in the Nankai subduction zone. Based on uniaxial and triaxial experiments on mudstones, combined with seismic velocity data from geophysical surveys in the Nankai Trough, estimated porosity along the plate boundary decreases from ~40% at the trench, to ~5% at 50 km from the trench (~8 km depth). This porosity reduction is faster than that expected in a basinal environment, and can be attributed to the effects of horizontal tectonic loading. The phyllites and cataclasites (2-5% porosity) across the Nobeoka thrust fault deform brittlely with a peak strength of 80-90 MPa, followed by strain weakening to residual strengths of 40-60 MPa at effective pressure of 20 MPa and temperature of 250°C. At effective pressure of 120 MPa, on the other hand, they exhibit strain hardening and their strength at 10% strain reaches ~300 MPa. The extrapolation of a brittle-ductile transition for the Nankai mudstones as a function of porosity and confining stress is consistent with the behavior of the ancient prism samples, which serve as an analog for the mechanical behavior of rocks at seismogenic depth in the modern Nankai Trough. These results suggest that as the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suarez, G.; Mortera, C.

    2013-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Permeability anisotropy of serpentinite and fluid pathways in a subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Subduction zones are the only sites where water is transported into the Earth's deep interior. Although the fluid released into the mantle wedge is generally believed to ascend under buoyancy, it is possible that fluid movement is influenced by anisotropic permeability in localized shear zones. The mantle rocks at the plate interface of a subducting slab are subjected to non-coaxial stress and commonly develop a strong foliation. Indeed, the existence of foliated serpentinite is indicated by strong seismic anisotropy in the forearc mantle wedge (e.g., Katayama et al., 2009; Bezacier et al., 2010). Therefore, fluid pathways in the mantle wedge may be controlled by the preferred orientation of highly anisotropic minerals. In this study, we measured the permeability of highly foliated natural serpentinite, in directions parallel and perpendicular to the foliation, and we discuss the influence of permeability anisotropy on fluid flow in subduction zones. The permeability was measured by an intra-vessel deformation and fluid flow apparatus housed at Hiroshima University. In the measurements, we used nitrogen gas as a pore fluid and maintained constant pore pressure during the measurements (Pp < 6 MPa). The obtained gas permeability was then converted to intrinsic permeability using the Klinkenberg effect, which is known to be insensitive to the type of pore fluid. Under low confining pressure, all the experiments show similar permeability, in the order of 10-19 m2. However, permeability anisotropy appears under high confining pressures, with the specimens oriented parallel to the foliation having higher permeability than those oriented normal to the foliation. At a confining pressure of 50 MPa, the difference in permeability between the samples with contrasting orientations reaches several orders of magnitude, possibly reflecting the pore tortuosity of the highly sheared serpentinite, as indicated by the Kozeny-Carman relation. The present experimental data show that

  5. Relationships between Slow Slip and Earthquakes at the Brittle-Ductile Transition of Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brudzinski, M. R.; Colella, H.; Skoumal, R.; Cabral-Cano, E.; Arciniega-Ceballos, A.; Graham, S. E.; DeMets, C.; Sit, S. M.; Holtkamp, S. G.

    2014-12-01

    Following the discovery of episodic tremor and slip, one of the key questions raised is whether the phenomena can be a harbinger of megathrust earthquakes. Several recent large subduction earthquakes have provided an opportunity to investigate this question. The March 20, 2012 Mw 7.4 Ometepec earthquake in southern Mexico represents one such opportunity as it occurred in an area with a joint seismic and geodetic network in the source region that can examine whether patterns in the episodic tremor and slip were related to the earthquake. GPS data indicate that a 5-month-long slow slip episode (SSE) migrated toward and reached the vicinity of the mainshock source zone a few weeks before the earthquake. With multi-station waveform matching of templates constructed from visible aftershock signals, we find an increase in seismic activity during the SSE. The fault patches represented by these templates fill in the gap between the earthquake epicenter and the primary SSE. Analysis of other seismic swarms in Oaxaca near the down-dip end of the seismogenic zone with multi-station template matching also shows an increase in seismicity during SSEs. This evidence adds to a growing number of published accounts that indicate slow slip, whether geodetically or seismically inferred, is becoming a more commonly observed pre-earthquake signature. We use RSQSim earthquake simulations to model these scenarios using a subduction interface with a shallow seismogenic zone, deep SSE zone, and a microseismicity zone in between. Simulations where the microseismicity zone is assigned varying effective normal stresses and slip speeds over small distances generate cases in which microseismicity primarily occurs when a SSE migrates up-dip to the point enough stress is transferred to nucleate an earthquake on elements with a higher effective normal stress. Together these observations support the notion that SSE can trigger traditional earthquakes, not just tremor and low-frequency earthquakes.

  6. 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.

  7. Rupture Dynamics Simulations Along Subduction Zones: Bimaterial Interfaces and Free Surface Interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scala, A.; Vilotte, J. P.; Festa, G.

    2015-12-01

    Largest earthquakes occur along subduction zones, where normal and tangential stress coupling drives the earthquake rupture due to the geometry of the subduction interface between dissimilar materials and the interaction with waves reflected from free surface as the rupture propagates toward the trench. We numerically investigate these effects in the context of dynamic rupture simulations. We revisit the problem of in-plane interface rupture propagation between dissimilar elastic media, in the case of slip-weakening friction, by performing a numerical study using the Spectral Element Method with a non-smooth contact formulation. For classical slip-weakening friction, the problem is ill posed due to a missing length or time scale in the response of the frictional shear stress to dynamic normal stress perturbations. We first perform a parametric study of the regularization formulation proposed by Rubin and Ampuero (2007). We show that the dynamic regularization, driven by local slip rate does not allow for a proper modeling of the asymptotic rupture propagation. We propose a new regularization approach based on the non-local length scale, associated to the actual size of the process zone. Numerical results are shown to be consistent with mathematical modeling of dynamic interface rupture propagation with a process zone ahead of the rupture front. The numerical study is extended to inclined ruptures intersecting a free surface at different angles. We investigate interaction between rupture propagation and stress changes induced by waves reflected from the free surface, in the generation of large interface slip, transient healing and opening effects. Finally, preliminary in-plane dynamic simulations of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, incorporating the along-dip structure and geometry of the subduction interface, are presented enlightening the role of the geometry of the bi-material interface and of the free surface in the rupture propagation and radiation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  9. Testing mechanisms of subduction zone segmentation and seismogenesis with slip distributions from recent Andean earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loveless, J. P.; Pritchard, M. E.; Kukowski, N.

    2010-11-01

    A long-standing goal of subduction zone earthquake studies is to determine whether or not there are physical processes that control seismogenesis and the along-strike segmentation of the megathrust. Studies of individual earthquakes and global compilations of earthquakes find favorable comparison between coseismic interplate slip distributions and several different long-lived forearc characteristics, such as bathymetry, coastline morphology, crustal structure, and interplate frictional properties, but no single explanation seems to govern the location and slip distribution of all earthquakes. One possible reason for the lack of a unifying explanation is that the inferred earthquake parameters, most importantly the slip distribution, calculated in some areas were inaccurate, blurring correlation between earthquake and physical parameters. In this paper, we seek to test this possibility by comparing accurate slip distributions constrained by multiple datasets along several segments of a single subduction zone with the various physical properties that have been proposed to control or correlate with seismogenesis. We examine the rupture area and slip distribution of 6 recent and historical large ( Mw > 7) earthquakes on the Peru-northern Chile subduction zone. This analysis includes a new slip distribution of the 14 November 2007 Mw = 7.7 earthquake offshore Tocopilla, Chile constrained by teleseismic body wave and InSAR data. In studying the 6 events, we find that no single mechanism can explain the location or extent of rupture of all earthquakes, but analysis of the forearc gravity field and its gradients shows correlation with many of the observed slip patterns, as suggested by previous studies. Additionally, large-scale morphological features including the Nazca Ridge, Arica Bend, Mejillones Peninsula, and transverse crustal fault systems serve as boundaries between distinct earthquake segments.

  10. Inner forearc response to subduction of the Panama Fracture Zone, southern Central America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morell, Kristin D.; Fisher, Donald M.; Gardner, Thomas W.

    2008-01-01

    Subduction of the right-lateral Panama Fracture Zone, along the convergent margin of Central America creates abrupt lateral variations in convergence rate, obliquity, and subducting crustal thickness at its intersection with the Middle America Trench. This intersection, known as the Panama (CO-NZ-CA) Triple Junction, is migrating to the southeast at a rate of 55 mm/yr, and currently coincides with the lateral termination of the Fila Costeña Thrust Belt in the inner forearc of the overriding plate. Mapping in the inner forearc in the area that straddles the subducting Panama Fracture Zone reveals that Cocos-Caribbean convergence west of the triple junction leads to the development of an inner forearc thrust belt inboard of the colliding Cocos Ridge, while little deformation is evident inboard of Nazca-Caribbean convergence, east of the triple junction. This results in the lateral termination of the Fila Costeña Thrust Belt in the region of the forearc that projects over the Panama Fracture Zone, where four out of five mapped thrust faults tip out and are buried by lahars. Three new balanced cross-sections indicate a steep gradient in shortening from the center of the thrust belt to its southeastern termination. The short-term history of the inner forearc recorded in the landscape and topography of the Fila Costeña is consistent with the southeastward migration of the thrust belt and the Panama Triple Junction throughout the past ˜ 3 Ma, with evidence for the growth of a new topographic divide and reorganization of stream channel networks.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritter, O.; Araya, J.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. P wave azimuthal and radial anisotropy of the Hokkaido subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niu, Xiongwei; Zhao, Dapeng; Li, Jiabiao; Ruan, Aiguo

    2016-04-01

    We present the first three-dimensional P wave radial anisotropy tomography of the Hokkaido subduction zone, as well as P wave azimuthal anisotropy and S wave tomography, which are determined by inverting 298,430 P wave and 233,934 S wave arrival times from 14,245 local earthquakes recorded by 344 seismic stations. Our results reveal significant velocity heterogeneity, seismic anisotropy, and upwelling flows beneath the study region. In the mantle wedge, prominent low-velocity (low-V) anomalies exhibit trench-normal fast-velocity directions (FVDs) and a negative radial anisotropy (i.e., vertical velocity > horizontal velocity), which may reflect upwelling mantle flows. Fan-shaped FVDs are found at depths of 65-90 km, and a detailed 3-D mantle flow pattern is revealed, which may be caused by a combination of oblique subduction of the Pacific plate and collision of the Kuril arc with the Honshu arc beneath southern Hokkaido. The radial anisotropy changes at ~100 km depth, which may reflect variations in temperature and fluid conditions there. The subducting Pacific slab exhibits a positive radial anisotropy (i.e., horizontal velocity > vertical velocity), which may reflect the original fossil anisotropy when the Pacific plate formed at the mid-ocean ridge.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Cenozoic volcanic rocks of North Kamchatka: In search of subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro, M. N.; Solov'ev, A. V.

    2011-05-01

    Two belts of subaerial volcanic rocks—the Eocene Kinkil belt and the Neogene belt of the Sredinny Range—extend along the Kamchatka Isthmus. It is suggested that their formation is related to subduction of the oceanic lithosphere beneath the continental margin of North Kamchatka. The oceanic lithosphere consumed in the subduction zones could have been formed as a result of active spreading in the Komandorsky Basin. In the simplest case, both spreading and subduction reflect the northwestward motion of the lithosphere of the Komandorsky Plate relative to Kamchatka, the Shirshov Ridge, and the Aleutian Basin combined into one relatively immobile plate conventionally called the North American Plate. The authors perform a simulation of conjugate spreading and subduction. The most important parameter determining the regional geodynamics—the velocity of the Komandorsky Plate moving relative to the North American Plate—is taken as 2.5, 5.0, and 7.5 cm/yr. The calculated ages of the onset and end of volcanic activity in the aforementioned belts are compared with the dates obtained with the isotopic and paleontological methods. For the Eocene Kinkil belt, where volcanism started 44 Ma ago, the model age of the onset of subduction depends on the accepted velocity of the motion of the Komandorsky Plate and varies from 54 Ma at the velocity of 2.5 cm/yr to 47.5 Ma at the velocity of 7.5 cm/yr. It can be assumed that the model of fast subduction in this age interval is most consistent with the geological data. For the Miocene-Pliocene belt of the Sredinny Range, assuming the velocity of the motion of the Komandorsky Plate at 5.0 and 7.5 cm/yr, multiple rifting at the boundary with the Shirshov Ridge should be assumed. Therefore, for the end of the Neogene, a model with low velocity (2.5-5.0 cm/yr, i.e., about 4.0 cm/yr) is preferable.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Underwood, Michael B.

    2002-02-01

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

  19. Rupture and creep behaviours of subduction interface controlled by fault zone heterogeneity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Kelin; Brown, Lonn; Gao, Xiang; Bilek, Susan

    2015-04-01

    The behaviour of fault slip varies tremendously, ranging from seismic rupture to aseismic creep. We explore the role of fault zone heterogeneity in controlling large-scale (> 100 km in strike dimension) rupture and creep behaviours of subduction faults. Geometrically smooth subduction faults can (although not always) provide relatively homogeneous structural and stress conditions to allow large fault patches to be locked over prolonged periods and then rupture in great earthquakes. During the rupture, however, frictional heterogeneities arising from lithological changes, pore-fluid pressure variations, and low-amplitude geometrical irregularities always cause a very heterogeneous distribution of stress drop. Although some parts of the fault may undergo high or complete stress drop (local weakening), many other parts undergo very low stress drop or stress increase (local strengthening). The mixing of stress drop and increase in different parts of the rupture zone makes the average stress drop in each great earthquake very small, of the order of a couple of MPa, as widely observed in seismological studies. We use the 2011 Mw=9 Tohoku-oki earthquake to demonstrate this averaging effect. Geometrically extremely rough subduction faults, such as those featuring multiple subducting seamounts, provide very heterogeneous structural and stress conditions that promote creep and numerous small earthquakes. A global inspection of geodetically constrained locking and creeping states of subduction zones indicates that these extremely rough faults all tend to creep (Wang and Bilek, 2014). Depending on the degree of roughness and other geological conditions (e.g., sediment and fluid), some of the rough faults may host a mixture of seismic and aseismic patches and may exhibit a variety of creep behaviour ranging from steady creep to transient creep pulses (i.e., slow slip events) of different time scales. It can be envisioned that the heterogeneity in these rough faults is generally

  20. Dynamics of intraoceanic subduction initiation: 2. Suprasubduction zone ophiolite formation and metamorphic sole exhumation in context of absolute plate motions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.; Peters, Kalijn; Maffione, Marco; Spakman, Wim; Guilmette, Carl; Thieulot, Cedric; Plümper, Oliver; Gürer, Derya; Brouwer, Fraukje M.; Aldanmaz, Ercan; Kaymakcı, Nuretdin

    2015-06-01

    Analyzing subduction initiation is key for understanding the coupling between plate tectonics and the underlying mantle. Here we focus on suprasubduction zone (SSZ) ophiolites and how their formation links to intraoceanic subduction initiation in an absolute plate motion frame. SSZ ophiolites form the majority of exposed oceanic lithosphere fragments and are widely recognized to have formed during intraoceanic subduction initiation. Structural, petrological, geochemical, and plate kinematic constraints on their kinematic evolution show that SSZ crust forms at fore-arc spreading centers at the expense of a mantle wedge, thereby flattening the nascent slab. This leads to the typical inverted pressure gradients found in metamorphic soles that form at the subduction plate contact below and during SSZ crust crystallization. Former spreading centers are preserved in forearcs when subduction initiates along transform faults or off-ridge oceanic detachments. We show how these are reactivated when subduction initiates in the absolute plate motion direction of the inverting weakness zone. Upon inception of slab pull due to, e.g., eclogitization, the sole is separated from the slab, remains welded to the thinned overriding plate lithosphere, and can become intruded by mafic dikes upon asthenospheric influx into the mantle wedge. We propound that most ophiolites thus formed under special geodynamic circumstances and may not be representative of normal oceanic crust. Our study highlights how far-field geodynamic processes and absolute plate motions may force intraoceanic subduction initiation as key toward advancing our understanding of the entire plate tectonic cycle.

  1. 33 CFR 3.85-10 - Sector Juneau: Southeast Alaska Marine Inspection Zone and Captain of the Port Zones.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Sector Juneau: Southeast Alaska Marine Inspection Zone and Captain of the Port Zones. 3.85-10 Section 3.85-10 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY GENERAL COAST GUARD AREAS, DISTRICTS, SECTORS, MARINE INSPECTION ZONES, AND CAPTAIN OF THE...

  2. A mega-splay fault system and tsunami hazard in the southern Ryukyu subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Shu-Kun; Yeh, Yi-Ching; Sibuet, Jean-Claude; Doo, Wen-Bin; Tsai, Ching-Hui

    2013-01-01

    In April 1771, a subduction earthquake generated a great tsunami that struck the south Ryukyu islands and killed ˜12,000 people, whereas its mechanism is still enigmatic (Nakata and Kawana, 1995; Nakamura, 2006; Matsumoto et al., 2009). In this paper, we show its probable source on a mega-splay fault system existing along the southern Ryukyu forearc. Analyses of deep multi-channel seismic reflection profiles indicate that the mega-splay fault system is rising from the summit of a ˜1 km high ridge situated at a ˜5° landward dipping plate interface. An outer ridge marks the seafloor outcrop of the splay fault system and separates the landward inner wedge and the oceanward outer wedge. The inner wedge is uplifting and exhibits widespread normal faulting while the outer wedge shows folded structures. The mega-splay fault system is parallel to the Ryukyu Trench east of 125.5°E and is estimated to be ˜450 km long. The origin of this south Ryukyu mega-splay fault system is ascribed to a resistant subduction of the elevated transverse ridges associated with the subducting portion of the trench-parallel Luzon-Okinawa Fracture Zone. In contrast, no similar splay fault is found west of 125.5°E where the oblique subduction has produced large shear zones along the south Ryukyu forearc. We infer that a thrust earthquake linked to the mega-splay fault system is responsible for the south Ryukyu tsunami. However, another possible scenario of generating a large tsunami affecting the south Ryukyu islands is that the subducted ridge in the western end of the mega-splay fault system nucleated a large earthquake and simultaneously triggered the ˜100 km long E-W trending strike-slip fault west of 125.5°E and induced a southward-dipping tsunami-genic subsidence. In any case, after a quiescence of ˜241 yr, a large earthquake and tsunami is anticipated in the south Ryukyu forearc in the near future.

  3. 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

  4. Garnet growth as a proxy for progressive dehydration in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caddick, M. J.; Baxter, E. F.

    2012-12-01

    The release of volatiles from subducting lithologies is a crucial triggering process for arc magmatism, seismicity, the growth and maturation of continents, and the global geological H2O-CO2 cycle. While numerous models have been developed to predict slab volatile release, it has proven challenging to reconstruct and test these fluid fluxes released from specific lithologies in the rock record. Here we show that the growth of garnet may be used as a proxy for progressive devolatilization at blueschist to eclogite facies conditions in subduction zones. Generally, as garnet grows in a subducting rock, fluid is produced due to metamorphic dehydration reactions. Using rigorous thermodynamic analysis, which includes the crucial effects of phase fractionation, we model the proportional relationship between garnet and water production in common lithologies (pelitic sediment and hydrated MORB) along three representative subduction geotherms. The results show that several dehydration reactions contribute to garnet growth especially within a crucial span of the subduction zone (~1.5 to 2.5 GPa) within which slab-mantle decoupling has been predicted to occur in some models and volatile fluxes may be focused. The water:garnet production ratio varies during garnet growth, constrained by the specific hydrous reactant phases that are breaking down, but the average water:garnet production ratios are surprisingly consistent regardless of composition and geotherm. Over the garnet growth interval ~400 to 700 C (and corresponding depths for each geotherm) the average production ratio for altered MORB compositions is 0.52 (wt % water per vol % garnet) in cooler geotherms (Honshu and Nicaragua) and 0.27 in hotter (Cascadia) geotherms, with predictably lower ratios if the input basalt previously experienced less hydrous alteration. Over the same interval the water production ratios are approximately 50 % lower for pelite (0.24 and 0.13, respectively). Lower temperature water release is

  5. 1D crustal structure from quality seismological data for the Cyprus subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perk, Şükran; Deǧer, Ali; Özbakır, Karabulut, Hayrullah

    2013-04-01

    The eastern Mediterranean is a tectonically complex region, where long-term subduction and accretion processes have shaped the overall evolution. Recently, many seismic tomography studies have shown subducted slabs of the Neo-Tethyan lithosphere, continuing its subduction in the Hellenic trench, stalled in the Cyprus trench and being torn near the intersection between them. Antalya bay is a key region located on the western flank of the Cyprus Subduction Zone (CSZ), close to the junction between the Hellenic and Cyprus Arcs. Here deep earthquakes are nucleated, which otherwise cannot be seen anywhere else along the CSZ. For this reason, we focus our attention specifically to the Antalya Bay area but also the remaining parts of the CSZ. Several regional studies have been carried out to define the velocity structure beneath the region but none have been able to locate the CSZ. One of the main reasons for this was the lack of incorporation of a wide seismic network in those regional studies. We compile a large catalog of seismicity and relocate earthquakes to infer 1D local crustal structure using the clusters of seismicity. We used seismic data between 2005 - 2011 which are recorded at more than 335 seismic stations operated by several agencies and portable deployments. The data-set is composed of over 10,000 events and earthquakes can be grouped in several distinct clusters. We defined five of these clusters, where the total number of events is more than 4500, among which we selected over 2000 events with the highest data quality. 1-D local P-wave velocity models are developed using this high quality data-set and the earthquakes are relocated using the local velocity models. The compiled and reanalyzed data will contribute to perform local earthquake tomography. Moreover, obtained local velocity models represent a fundamental step towards an improved seismic tomography studies in a very crucial region in the eastern Mediterranean.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    Subduction zones provide the essential pathways for input of carbon from Earth’s external reservoirs (crust, sediments, oceans) to the mantle. However, carbon input to the deep interior is interrupted by outputs via the fore-arc, volcanic front, and back-arc regions. Coupled CO2 and He isotope data for geothermal fluids from throughout Central American (CA) are used to derive estimates of the output carbon flux for comparison with inputs estimated for the subducting Cocos Plate. The carbon flux carried by the incoming sediments is ~1.6 × 109 gCkm-1yr-1[1], as is the ratio of input carbon derived from pelagic limestone (L) and organic sediment (S), i.e., L/S ~10.7. Additionally, the upper 7 km of oceanic (crustal) basement supplies ~9.1 × 108 gCkm-1yr-1[2]: this flux is dominated by L-derived CO2. In terms of output, measured carbon concentrations coupled with flow rates for submarine cold seeps sites at the Costa Rica outer forearc yield CO2 and CH4 fluxes of ~ 6.1 × 103 and 8.0 × 105 (gCkm-1yr-1), respectively [3]. On the Nicoya Peninsula, the Costa Rica Pacific coastline (including the Oso Peninsula) and the Talamanca Mountain Range, coupled CO2-He studies allow recognition of a deep input (3He/4He up to 4RA) and resolution of CO2 into L- and S-components. There is an increase in the L/S ratio arc-ward with the lowest values lying close to diatomaceous ooze in the uppermost sequence of subducting sediment package. This observation is consistent with under-plating and removal of the uppermost organic-rich sediment from deeper subduction. As the input carbon fluxes of the individual sedimentary layers are well constrained [1], we can limit the potential steady-state flux of carbon loss at the subaerial fore-arc to ~ 6 × 107 gCkm-1yr-1, equivalent to ~88% of the input flux of the diatomaceous ooze, or < 4% of the total incoming sedimentary carbon. The greatest loss of slab-derived carbon occurs at the volcanic front. Estimates of the output CO2 flux along the

  8. Evidence for shallow dehydration of the subducting plate beneath the Mariana forearc: New insights into the water cycle at subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribeiro, J.; Stern, R. J.; Kelley, K. A.; Shaw, A. M.; Martinez, F.; Ohara, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Water is efficiently recycled at subduction zones. It is fluxed from the surface into the mantle by the subducted plate and back to the surface or crust through explosive arc volcanism and degassing. Fluids released from dehydrating the subducting plate are transfer agents of water. Geophysical modeling [1] and the geochemistry of arc glasses [2] suggest that at cold-slab subduction zones, such as the Mariana convergent margin, the downgoing plate mostly dehydrates beneath the volcanic arc front (≥ ~ 80 -100 km depth to slab) to trigger volcanism. However, there is a gap in our understanding of the water fluxes released beneath forearcs, as examples of forearc magmatism are extremely rare. Here, we investigate the Southernmost Mariana Forearc Rift (SEMFR), where MORB-like spreading occurred unusually close to the trench, sampling slab-derived aqueous fluids released at ~ 30 to 100 km depth from the subducted plate. Examining the trace element and water contents of olivine-hosted melt inclusions and glassy rinds from the young (2 - 4 Ma) and fresh SEMFR pillowed basalts provide new insights into the global water cycle. SEMFR lavas contain ~2 wt % H2O, and the olivine-hosted melt inclusions have the highest subduction-related H2O/Ce ratios (H2O/Ce = 6000 - 19000) ever recorded in arc magmas (H2O/Ce < 10600 and global averaged H2O/Ce < 3000). Our findings show that (i) slab-derived fluids released beneath forearcs are water-rich compared to the deeper fluids released beneath the arc system; and (ii) cold downgoing plates lose most of their water at shallow depths (~ 70 - 80 km slab depth), suggesting that water is efficiently recycled beneath the forearc (≥ 90%). 1. Van Keken, P.E., et al., Subduction factory: 4. Depth-dependent flux of H2O from subducting slabs worldwide. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 2011. 116(B1): p. B01401, DOI: 10.1029/2010jb007922. 2. Ruscitto, D.M., et al., Global variations in H2O/Ce: 2. Relationships to arc magma

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  10. Seismicity and structure of Nazca Plate subduction zone in southern Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, H.; Kim, Y.; Clayton, R. W.

    2015-12-01

    We image the Nazca plate subduction zone system by detecting and (re)locating intra-slab earthquakes in southern Peru. Dense seismic arrays (PeruSE, 2013) were deployed along four lines to target geophysical characterization of the subduction system in the transition zone between flat and normal dipping segments of the Nazca plate (2-15°S). The arc volcanism is absent near the flat slab segment, and currently, the correlation between the location of the active volcanic front and corresponding slab depth is neither clear nor consistent between previously published models from seismicity. We detect 620 local earthquakes from August 2008 to February 2013 by manually picking 6559 and 4145 arrival times for P- and S-phases, respectively. We observe that the S-phase data is helpful to reduce the trade-off between origin time and depth of deeper earthquakes (>100 km). Earthquake locations are relocated to constrain the Nazca slab-mantle interface in the slab-dip transition zone using 7322 measurements of differential times of nearby earthquake pairs by waveform cross-correlation. We also employ the double-difference tomography (Zhang and Thurber, 2003) to further improve earthquake source locations and the spatial resolution of the velocity structure simultaneously. The relocated hypocenters clearly delineate the dipping Wadati-Benioff zone in the slab-dip transition zone between the shallow- (25°) to-flat dipping slab segment in the north and the normal (40°) dipping segment in the south. The intermediate-depth seismicity in the flat slab region stops at a depth of ~100 km and a horizontal distance of ~400 km from the trench. We find a significant slab-dip difference (up to 10°) between our relocated seismicity and previously published slab models along the profile region sampling the normal-dip slab at depth (>100 km).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Dehydration reactions are linked to shallow subduction zone deformation through excess pore pressures and their effect on mechanical properties. Two reactions, the transformation of smectite to illite and of opal-A to opal-CT and then to quartz, can occur relatively early in the subduction process and may affect the propagation of the plate boundary fault, the updip limit of velocity-weakening frictional paper, and tsunamigenesis. Due to large variations between subduction zones in heat flow, sedimentation rates, and geometries, dehydration location may peak prior to subduction to as much as 100 km landward of the deformation front. The location of the dehydration reaction peak relative to when compaction occurs, causes significant differences in pore pressure generation. As a result, a key element to modeling excess pore pressures due to dehydration reactions is the assumed relationship between permeability and porosity. Data from Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) drilling of subduction zone reference sites were combined with previously collected results to develop relationships for porosity-permeability behavior for various sediment types. Comparison with measurements of deeper analog data show that porosity-permeability trends are maintained through burial and diagenesis to porosities <10%, suggesting that behavior observed in shallow samples is informative for predicting behavior at depth following subduction. We integrate these permeability-porosity relationships, compaction behavior, predictions of temperature distribution, kinetic expressions for smectite and opal-A dehydration, into fluid flow models to examine the role of dehydration reactions in pore pressure generation.

  13. 77 FR 39649 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; “Other Rockfish” in the Western Regulatory...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

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  15. 75 FR 19562 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf...

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    2010-04-15

    ... Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska AGENCY: National Marine... in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the B season allowance of... of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under...

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  1. 75 FR 64172 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the Gulf...

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  13. Spatial distribution of seismic energy rate of tectonic tremors in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yabe, Suguru; Ide, Satoshi

    2014-11-01

    The sizes of deep tectonic tremors have never been accurately evaluated as a physical quantity. Here we estimate tremor size as the band-limited seismic energy rate at 2-8 Hz, with accurate evaluation of the path attenuation and site amplification of seismic waves in four subduction zones: Nankai, Cascadia, Jalisco, and South Chile. The size-frequency statistics of seismic energy rate, which are characterized by the median measure for each subregion, are spatially variable. The spatial variations are categorized into three types, with each type corresponding to a different tremor migration behavior. In type A regions where tremor zone is wider, seismic energy rates are highly variable in the dip direction, and tremor activities are usually initiated in the less energetic tremor zone. Some of them further penetrate into the energetic tremor zone and subsequently migrate for long distances in the strike direction. Type B regions are characterized by relatively narrow tremor zones, minor variations in energy rates in the dip direction, and long-distance migration in the strike direction. Type C regions are characterized by isolated clusters of tremor activities without migration and by independent failure of each small tremor cluster. Given that the spatial distributions of tremor energy rates reflect heterogeneities in the strength of the plate interface, such distributions, which would be controlled by the width of tremor zone, may determine the regional style of slow-earthquake behavior. Some energetic tremor regions act as switches that trigger large slow slip events, especially in type A regions.

  14. Preliminary models of normal fault development in subduction zones: lithospheric strength and outer rise deformation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naliboff, J. B.; Billen, M. I.

    2010-12-01

    A characteristic feature of global subduction zones is normal faulting in the outer rise region, which reflects flexure of the downgoing plate in response to the slab pull force. Variations in the patterns of outer rise normal faulting between different subduction zones likely reflects both the magnitude of flexural induced topography and the strength of the downgoing plate. In particular, the rheology of the uppermost oceanic lithosphere is likely to strongly control the faulting patterns, which have been well documented recently in both the Middle and South American trenches. These recent observations of outer rise faulting provide a unique opportunity to test different rheological models of the oceanic lithosphere using geodynamic numerical experiments. Here, we develop a new approach for modeling deformation in the outer rise and trench regions of downgoing slabs, and discuss preliminary 2-D numerical models examining the relationship between faulting patterns and the rheology of the oceanic lithosphere. To model viscous and brittle deformation within the oceanic lithosphere we use the CIG (Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics) finite element code Gale, which is designed to solve long-term tectonic problems. In order to resolve deformation features on geologically realistic scales (< 1 km), we model only the portion of the subduction system seaward of the trench. Horizontal and vertical stress boundary conditions on the side walls drive subduction and reflect, respectively, the ridge-push and slab-pull plate-driving forces. The initial viscosity structure of the oceanic lithosphere and underlying asthenosphere follow a composite viscosity law that takes into account both Newtonian and non-Newtonian deformation. The viscosity structure is consequently governed primarily by the strain rate and thermal structure, which follows a half-space cooling model. Modification of the viscosity structure and development of discrete shear zones occurs during yielding

  15. Variability in Shallow Subduction Zone Locking Inferred From Earthquake Activity Near Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghosh, A.; Newman, A. V.; Thomas, A. M.; Farmer, G. T.

    2006-12-01

    At the collisional plate interface of subduction zones, the majority of the world's large and great earthquakes are produced. Thus, to understand the processes that control earthquake generation here, it is important to improve our characterization of activity along the interface. We evaluate ~1000 earthquakes recorded in the shallow subduction environment of the Middle America Trench (MAT) near Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, in terms of its frequency-magnitude distribution (Log10N=a-bM) of the microseismicity. Globally, earthquake distributions have b-values near 1, meaning a 10-fold decrease in activity with each unit magnitude, M increase, and can be used to characterize the strength of locking. The unique geometry of Nicoya over the active seismogenic interface gives us a rare opportunity to explore the region with unparalleled precision. From more than 7000 earthquakes recorded by the 1999-2001 CRSEIZE project, we estimated magnitudes, and precisely relocated events using a locally derived 3D V_p and V_p/V_s velocity model (DeShon et al., 2006). Using geometric constraints and events with lowest horizontal error (<2 km σ), we created a subset of best resolved slab and interface activity. Using a methodology similar to Wiemer et al. (2001), we determined the mean and spatial variability of b. We find that generally the interface below Nicoya has b=1.4, much higher than subduction zone averages of b=0.5 to 0.8 ( Bayrak et al., 2002), thus inferring a generally weak interface. More interestingly, there was strong spatial variability in b (and hence coupling). A well resolved zone of lower b (~1), is observed offshore the central Nicoya coast, in a region previously identified as strongly coupled by modeling of GPS observed deformation (Norabuena et al., 2004). Extremely high values are on either side (b > 2), near previous large interface earthquakes in 1990 and 1992. We infer that the low b-value area offshore central Nicoya identifies a more strongly

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rietbrock, Andreas; Garth, Tom; Hicks, Stephen

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-04-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  1. Frictional properties of gabbro at conditions corresponding to slow slip events in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, E. K.; Fialko, Y.; Brown, K. M.

    2015-11-01

    We conducted a series of experiments to explore the rate and state frictional properties of gabbro at conditions thought to be representative of slow slip events (SSEs) in subduction zones. The experiments were conducted using a heated direct shear apparatus. We tested both solid and simulated gouge samples at low effective normal stress (5-30 MPa) over a broad range of temperatures (20-600°C) under dry and hydrated conditions. In tests performed on dry solid samples, we observed stable sliding at low temperatures (20-150°C), stick slip at high temperatures (350-600°C), and a transitional "episodic slow slip" behavior at intermediate temperatures (200-300°C). In tests performed on dry gouge samples, we observed stable sliding at all temperatures. Under hydrated conditions, the gouge samples exhibited episodic slow slip and stick-slip behavior at temperatures between 300 and 500°C. Our results show a decrease in the rate parameter (a - b) with temperature for both solid and gouge samples; friction transitions from velocity strengthening to velocity weakening at temperature of about 150°C for both solid and gouge samples. We do not observe transition to velocity-strengthening friction at the high end of the tested temperature range. Our results suggest that the occurrence of slow slip events and the downdip limit of