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Sample records for japan trench subduction

  1. Relations between earthquake activities and configuration of the subducting Pacific plate interface along the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    We performed passive and active seismic experiments using 189 ocean bottom seismometers in the land slope region along the Japan Trench. The accuracy of locations for more than 5000 earthquakes along the Japan Trench were drastically improved, and we deduced the configuration of the subducting Pacific plate from the distribution while considering others such as the seismic refraction data and previous studies. These provide us a window of opportunity to compare configuration of the subducting plate and seismic activity. Our plate model shows that the dip angle of the subducting plate is small from the trench to turning points whose depth of the interface is approximately 30 km although it has lateral variation along the trench axis and its pattern seems to be correspondent with seismic boundaries. Seismicity is not much in the region, however the rate has zone characters. The dip angle increase abruptly at the turning points, and they correspond to edges of the rapture zones of almost all large earthquakes in recent years. The seismicity are relatively high in adjacent areas of the asperities including the turning points and both interplate and intraplate regions. In contrast, there are few thrust-type microearthquakes in the asperities. We can also see the double seismic planes, and one of the lower planes seems to come through the trench region and connect the seismicity beneath the outer rise.

  2. Seismicity and Structure of the Incoming Pacific Plate Subducting into the Japan Trench off Miyagi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obana, K.; Fujie, G.; Kodaira, S.; Takahashi, T.; Yamamoto, Y.; Sato, T.; Yamashita, M.; Nakamura, Y.; Miura, S.

    2015-12-01

    Stresses within the oceanic plate in trench axis and outer-rise region have been characterized by shallow extension and deep compression due to the bending of the plate subducting into the trench. The stress state within the incoming/subducting oceanic plate is an important factor not only for the occurrence of shallow intraplate normal-faulting earthquakes in the trench-outer rise region but also the hydration of the oceanic plate through the shallow normal faults cutting the oceanic lithosphere. We investigate seismic velocity structure and stress state within the incoming/subducting Pacific Plate in the Japan Trench based on the OBS aftershock observations for the December 2012 intraplate doublet, which consists of a deep reverse faulting (Mw 7.2) and a shallow normal faulting (Mw 7.2) earthquake, in the Japan Trench off Miyagi. Hypocenter locations and seismic velocity structures were estimated from the arrival time data of about 3000 earthquakes by using double-difference tomography method (Zhang and Thurber, 2003). Also, focal mechanisms were estimated from first motion polarities by using the program HASH by Hardebeck and Shearer (2002). The results show that the earthquakes occurred mainly within the oceanic crust and the uppermost mantle. The deepest event was located at a depth of about 60 km. Focal mechanisms of the earthquakes shallower than a depth of 40 km indicate normal-faulting with T-axis normal to the trench. On the other hand, first motion polarities of the events at depths between 50 and 60 km can be explained a reverse faulting. The results suggest that the neutral plane of the stress between shallow extension and deep compression locates at 40 to 50 km deep. Seismic velocity structures indicate velocity decrease in the oceanic mantle toward the trench. Although the velocity decrease varies with locations, the results suggest the bending-related structure change could extend to at least about 15 km below the oceanic Moho in some locations.

  3. Subducted bathymetric features linked to variations in earthquake apparent stress along the northern Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moyer, P. A.; Bilek, S. L.; Phillips, W. S.

    2010-12-01

    Ocean floor bathymetric features such as seamounts and ridges are thought to influence the earthquake rupture process when they enter the subduction zone by causing changes in frictional conditions along the megathrust contact between the subducting and overriding plates. Once subducted, these features have been described as localized areas of heterogeneous plate coupling, with some controversy over whether these features cause an increase or decrease in interplate coupling. Along the northern Japan Trench, a number of bathymetric features, such as horst and graben structures and seamounts, enter the subduction zone where they may vary earthquake behavior. Using seismic coda waves, scattered energy following the direct wave arrivals, we compute apparent stress (a measure of stress drop proportional to radiated seismic energy that has been tied to the strength of the fault interface contact) for 329 intermediate magnitude (3.2 < Mw < 6.0) earthquakes along the northern Japan subduction zone recorded by the Japanese F-net seismic network. We utilize relative amplitude correction methods to correct the earthquake spectra for path and site effects and compute apparent stress using the seismic moment and corner frequency determined from the spectra. Preliminary results indicate apparent stress values between 0.3 - 22.6 MPa for events over a depth range of 2 - 55 km, similar to those found in other studies of the region although within a different depth range, with variations both along-strike and downdip. Off the Sanriku Coast, horst and graben structures enter the Japan Trench in an area where a large number of earthquakes occur at shallow (< 30 km) depth. These shallow events have a mean apparent stress of 1.2 MPa (range 0.3 - 3.8 MPa) which is approximately 2 times lower then the mean apparent stress for other events along the northern portion of this margin in the same shallow depth range. The relatively low apparent stress for events related to subducting horst and

  4. The effects of plate-bending-related aquifer thickening on temperatures in the Japan Trench subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spinelli, G. A.

    2015-12-01

    Accurate subduction zone thermal models are necessary to understand a wide range of geophysical and geochemical processes, including: metamorphic reaction progress, mantle wedge hydration, and melt generation. For decades, plate convergence rate and subducting plate age and dip have been recognized as basic factors affecting subduction zone temperatures. Recent discoveries highlight the important effects of fluid circulation in oceanic lithosphere on subduction zone temperatures. However, there are contrasting hypotheses for the distribution of the regions within the oceanic lithosphere that host vigorous fluid circulation: one with a constant thickness aquifer extending both seaward and landward of the trench, one with an aquifer that thickens as it approaches the trench (due to bend-related faulting) but assumes vigorous fluid circulation only occurs prior to subduction, and a hybrid that considers both aquifer thickening seaward of the trench and continued circulation in the subducting plate. I examine the effects of bend-related aquifer thickening on temperatures within the Japan Trench subduction zone with a suite of thermal models. Kawada et al. [2014] hypothesize that plate-bending faults offshore northern Japan increase the thickness of the oceanic crustal aquifer, and therefore influence heat redistribution in the system. Existing models explore the effects of aquifer thickening on heat flux seaward of the trench, but they do not examine the effects of this process on temperatures within the subduction zone; additionally, they treat the aquifer seaward of the trench as completely isolated from the aquifer in the subducted plate. Here, I exploit the fact that aquifer thickening from the outer rise to the trench and continued fluid circulation in subducting crust are expected to produce distinct surface heat flux anomalies, in order to constrain the thermal effects of each process. I find the combinations of the amount of aquifer thickening and the degree of

  5. Water supplement by silica diagenesis in cold subduction zone: an implication for the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hina, S.; Hamada, Y.; Kameda, J.; Yamaguchi, A.; Kimura, G.

    2011-12-01

    The fluid existing at plate interfaces in subduction zone makes a strong effect on seismicity and fault slip of the plate boundary megathrusts. As a source of the fluid, pore fluid included in subducting sedimentsand dehydration reaction of clay minerals have been discussed in detail, however, dewatering from siliceous sediments such as diatom and radiolarian ooze are poorly investigated in spite of their major occurrence in old oceanic plate. Silica in the siliceous sediment is transformed from amorphous silica into quartz via cristobalite phase (Opal A → Opal CT → Quartz) releasing structured water. In this study, we evaluate the amount of dehydration from siliceous sediment in subducting plate. Silica diagenesis and dehydration are calculated quantitatively introducing reaction kinetics (Mizutani, 1970) and temperature profile models of the Japan Trench, a cold type subduction zone where the siliceous sediments subduct in (Peacock and Wang, 1999; Wang and Suyehiro, 1999; Wada and Wang, 2009; Kimura et al., submitted). As a result, through this diagenetic conversion, structured water of silica minerals is released as much as 140g/m^2/year at shallow plate boundary (~13km depth below the sea floor), where the temperature is about ~100 -~120°C. This water should generate an excess pore pressure which drops effective stress and rock strength along the décollement. Dehydration of silica can play an important role in slip propagation to shallow portion of plate boundary as the Grate Tohoku Earthquake (9 March 2011).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  7. Slip to the Trench for Great Subduction Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mori, J. J.

    2015-12-01

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

  8. Constraints on interseismic deformation at Japan trench from VLBI data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Argus, Donald F.; Lyzenga, Gregory A.

    1993-01-01

    Space geodetic data from very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) was used to estimate velocity relative to the plate interiors of two sites on the deforming leading edge at the Japan trench. Elastic models of interseismic deformation and results obtained were used to put constraints on the slip rate along the main thrust of the Japan subduction zone. Observed velocities reflect the sum of permanent west-northwest shortening in Honshu, elastic deformation due to locking of the main thrust fault at the Japan trench, and deformation associated with the subducting Phillipine plate. These velocities limit the locked segment of the main thrust at the Japan trench to 27 km vertically and 100 km along the dip. This indicates that the main Pacific plate thrust fault is not strongly coupled and probably does not generate strong earthquakes.

  9. Subduction trench migration since the Cretaceous

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Plume head - trench interaction: impact on subduction dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Betts, P. G.; Moresi, L. N.; Mason, W. G.; Willis, D.

    2013-12-01

    The geologic record provides numerous examples where plumes and their associated buoyancy swell have disrupted convergent plate margins. These interactions have produced a variety of responses in the overriding plate including transient episodes of arc amagmatism, transient episodes of crustal shortening followed by plume-related magmatism in the overriding plate. The latter observation implies the plume must have transitioned from the subducting plate to the overriding plate. We present several 3D Underworld numerical models of plume heads of variable dimension and buoyancy interacting with a subduction trench. The models indicate that plume heads impact enormously on trench geometry. Arcuate trenches are created as the trench retreats around the edges of the plume head, whereas trench advance occurs in front of the plume resulting in transient crustal shortening in the overriding plate. Stalling of subduction when the plume head impacts the trench causes slab windowing. The size of the slab window is dependent on the size and buoyancy of the plume. The creation of the slab window provides a potential conduit for plume migration to the overriding plate. Alternatively, the plume head may be transferred to the overriding plate as subduction is re-established behind the plume. Models with "strong" slabs, characterized by high yield strengths, display different behavior. Plume-heads are entrained in the slab and are subducted without the development of a slab window.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Demets, Charles

    1992-01-01

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

  14. Dehydration of incoming sediments at the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  15. Rapid weakening of subducting plates from trench-parallel estimates of flexural rigidity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arredondo, Katrina M.; Billen, Magali I.

    2012-04-01

    The negative buoyancy force of sinking lithosphere (slabs) is the principle driving force for subducting plates, but transmission of this force to the subducting plate depends on the strength of the slab (e.g., Conrad and Hager, 2001). Slab strength has been studied in the context of plate bending within subduction zones for a wide range of rheologies (i.e., perfectly elastic, perfectly viscous, perfectly plastic, brittle-ductile layered). Because the applicability of these rheologic models cannot be distinguished based on trench-perpendicular plate bending models (Forsyth, 1980), a method was developed to directly measure variations in plate strength with distance from the trench and has found significant plate weakening within 100 km of the Kermadec Trench (Billen and Gurnis, 2005). Using the same method we show that rapid plate weakening trenchward of the forebulge also exists at the Tonga and Japan-Izu-Bonin subduction zones. The observed plate weakening provides further evidence for a plate rheology that leads to significant yielding (loss of elastic strength and reduction in effective viscosity) within the bending region of the subducting plate. This rapid weakening within the shallow, low curvature, region of the plate may significantly decrease estimates of energy dissipation related to plate bending, compared to recent calculations assuming high plate strength and constant plate curvature.

  16. Trench curvature and deformation of the subducting lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schettino, Antonio; Tassi, Luca

    2012-01-01

    The subduction of oceanic lithosphere is generally accompanied by downdip and lateral deformation. The downdip component of strain is associated with external forces that are applied to the slab during its sinking, namely the gravitational force and the mantle resistance to penetration. Here, we present theoretical arguments showing that a tectonic plate is also subject to a predictable amount of lateral deformation as a consequence of its bending along an arcuate trench zone, independently from the long-term physical processes that have determined the actual curvature of the subduction zone. In particular, we show that the state of lateral strain and the lateral strain rate of a subducting slab depend from geometric and kinematic parameters, such as trench curvature, dip function and subduction velocity. We also demonstrate that the relationship between the state of lateral strain in a subducting slab and the geometry of bending at the corresponding active margin implies a small component of lateral shortening at shallow depths, and may include large extensional lateral deformation at intermediate depths, whereas a state of lateral mechanical equilibrium can only represent a localized exception. Our formulation overcomes the flaws of the classic 'ping-pong ball' model for the bending of the lithosphere at subduction zones, which lead to severe discrepancies with the observed geometry and style of deformation of the modern subducting slabs. A study of the geometry and seismicity of eight modern subduction zones is performed, to assess the validity of the theoretical relationship between trench curvature, slab dip function, and lateral strain rate. The strain pattern within the eight present-day slabs, which is reconstructed through an analysis of Harvard CMT solutions, shows that tectonic plates cannot be considered as flexible-inextensible spherical caps, whereas the lateral intraslab deformation which is accommodated through seismic slip can be explained in terms

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  18. Dehydration of incoming sediments at the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  20. Rapid Weakening of Subducting Plates From Trench-Parallel Estimates of Flexural Rigidity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arredondo, K.; Billen, M. I.

    2011-12-01

    The percentage of slab pull force transmitted from the slab to the subducting plate depends on the slab strength (e.g., Conrad and Hager, 2001). Slab strength has been studied in the context of plate bending within subduction zones for a wide range of rheologies (i.e., perfectly elastic, perfectly viscous, perfectly plastic, layered brittle-ductile layered), but applicability of these rheologic models cannot be distinguished based on trench-perpendicular plate bending models alone (Forsyth, 1980). Consequently, a method was developed to directly measure variations in plate strength with distance from the trench and has found significant plate weakening within 100 km of the Kermadec trench (Billen and Gurnis, 2005). Using the same method we show that rapid plate weakening trenchward of the forebulge also exists at the Tonga and Japan-Izu-Bonin subduction zones within 100 km of the trench. The observed plate weakening provides further evidence for a plate rheology that leads to significant lithospheric-scale yielding (loss of elastic strength and reduction in effective viscosity) within the bending region of the subducting plate. This rapid weakening within the shallow, low curvature, region of the plate may significantly decrease energy dissipation related to plate bending compared to past calculations that assume constant strength, plate thickness and plate curvature. While a decrease in bending energy dissipation would provide more energy for slab pull, lithospheric plate weakening may decrease transmission to the subducting plate. Additionally, the high degree of lithospheric weakening suggests that plate age has a weaker influence on slab strength and energy dissipation then previously believed, as very old oceanic lithosphere weakens to effective elastic thickness predicted for relatively young plates. Billen, M. I., Gurnis, H.A., 2005. Constraints on subducting plate strength within the Kermadec trench. J. Geophys. Res. 110, B05407, doi:10.1029/2004JB003308

  1. En echelon patterns of Calyptogena colonies in the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogawa, Yujiro; Fujioka, Kantaro; Fujikura, Katsunori; Iwabuchi, Yo

    1996-09-01

    The distribution of Calyptogena phaseoliformis colonies in right-stepping en echelon patterns was observed by the Japanese submersible Shinkai 6500 at the foot of the landward escarpment of the northern Japan Trench at around 6437 6274 m depth. The north-south trending Sanriku Escarpment has a thrust origin and is subparallel to the trench axis along which the Pacific plate is being subducted beneath the North America or Okhotsk plate at about 300° at a rate of about 7.8 to 8.3 cm/yr. The trends of colonies are concentrated at 250°, 300°, and 330°: each trend matches either an antithetic riedel shear, extension fracture, or synthetic riedel shear, respectively, within a left-lateral shear regime caused by the oblique subduction. Methane- and hydrogen sulfide bearing fluid advection from depth occurs essentially along the thrust fault, but finally seeps along the fractures at the sea floor. This supplies energy to the food chain through bacteria utilizing hydrogen sulfide, then eventually sustains the Calyptogena colonies. Because the clams select the best places to survive, the geometric arrangement of the clam colonies provides a kinematic indicator of relative plate motions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-12-01

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

  3. Along strike structural variation in the northern part of the Japan Trench axis region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Y.; Kodaira, S.; Yamashita, M.; Miura, S.; Fujie, G.

    2015-12-01

    Great earthquakes have occurred along the Japan trench subduction zone, and some of them, e.g. Meiji Sanriku earthquake in 1896, could have ruptured the shallow portion of the plate boundary fault similar to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. Geological/geophysical structure in the vicinity of the trench axis is one of the keys to understand the nature of shallow mega thrust events and tsunamigenesis. We have conducted high resolution seismic surveys in the northern part of the Japan Trench axis region in 38 - 40.5 N to investigate the detailed structure in the trench axis area. Thrust faults and possible slope failures are observed landward of the trench axis, beneath the lowermost landward trench slope. The deformation and evolution styles of the lowermost landward slope show variation along the trench strike. To the south of the survey area in 38 - 39 N, imbricate thrust-and-fold packages is observed but limited within the vicinity of the trench axis. Thickness of the hanging wall sediment is relatively thinner in the lowermost landward slope. These observation could suggest that the lowermost slope has not been well developed in this area. To the north around 40 - 40.5 N, frontal thrusts and imbricate structure are clearly observed on the seismic profiles through ~ 10 - 15 km landward of the trench axis. Thickness of the hanging wall sediment is thicker in this area. The bending-related faults on the subducted plate are generally not located beneath the lowermost slope up to ~ 10 km landward of the trench. These observations suggest that the imbricate structure has been well developed in the last ~ 10 kyr in this area. Around 39.5 N, it is suggested that slope failures have occurred. The trench axis is filled by slump deposits and debris with chaotic acoustic characteristics. Above mentioned variations in the deformation and evolution style in the lowermost landward slope could affect the mechanism of tsunami generation in the northern Japan Trench. The variation on

  4. Trench migration and overriding plate stress in dynamic subduction models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, A. F.; Becker, T. W.; Buffett, B. A.

    2015-04-01

    On Earth, oceanic plates subduct beneath a variety of overriding plate (OP) styles, from relatively thin and negatively buoyant oceanic OPs to thick and neutrally/positively buoyant continental OPs. The inclusion of an OP in numerical models of self-consistent subduction has been shown to reduce the rate that subducting slabs roll back relative to the equivalent single plate models. We use dynamic, 2-D subduction models to investigate how the mechanical properties, namely viscosity, thickness, and density, of the OP modify the slab rollback rate and the state of stress of the OP. In addition, we examine the role of the subducting plate (SP) viscosity. Because OP deformation accommodates the difference between the slab rollback rate and the far-field OP velocity, we find that the temporal variations in the rollback rate results in temporal variations in OP stress. The slabs in our models roll back rapidly until they reach the lower mantle viscosity increase, at which point the rollback velocity decreases. Concurrent with this reduction in rollback rate is a switch from an OP dominated by extensional stresses to a compressional OP. As in single plate models, the viscosity of the SP exerts a strong control on subducting slab kinematics; weaker slabs exhibit elevated sinking velocities and rollback rates. The SP viscosity also exerts a strong control on the OP stress regime. Weak slabs, either due to reduced bulk viscosity or stress-dependent weakening, have compressional OPs, while strong slabs have dominantly extensional OPs. While varying the viscosity of the OP alone does not substantially affect the OP stress state, we find that the OP thickness and buoyancy plays a substantial role in dictating the rate of slab rollback and OP stress state. Models with thick and/or negatively buoyant OPs have reduced rollback rates, and increased slab dip angles, relative to slabs with thin and/or positively buoyant OPs. Such elevated trench rollback for models with positively

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Z.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1981-10-10

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

  9. Formation of Island Arc-Trench System due to Plate Subduction on the Basis of Elastic Dislocation Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukahata, Y.; Matsu'ura, M.

    2015-12-01

    The most conspicuous cumulative deformation in subduction zones is the formation of island arc-trench system. A pair of anomalies in topography and free-air gravity, high in the arc and low around the trench, is observed without exceptions all over the world. Since the 1960s, elastic dislocation theory has been widely used to interpret coseismic crustal deformation. For the modeling of longer-term crustal deformation, it is necessary to consider viscoelastic properties of the asthenosphere. By simply applying elastic-viscoelastic dislocation theory to plate subduction, Matsu'ura and Sato (1989, GJI) have shown that some crustal deformation remains after the completion of one earthquake cycle, which means that crustal deformation accumulates with time in a long term due to plate subduction. In fact, by constructing a plate interface model in and around Japan, Hashimoto, Fukui and Matsu'ura (2004, PAGEOPH) have demonstrated that the computed vertical displacements due to steady plate subduction well explain the observed free-air gravity anomaly pattern. Recently, we got a lucid explanation of crustal deformation due to plate subduction. In subduction zones, oceanic plates bend and descend into the mantle. Because the bending of oceanic plates is usually not spontaneous, there exists kinematic interaction between the oceanic and overriding plates, which causes cumulative deformation of the overriding plate. This may be understood based on the law of action and reaction: one is bending of an oceanic plate and the other is deformation of the overriding plate. As a special case, it is useful to consider plate subduction along a part of true circle. In this case, crustal deformation due to steady subduction is solely caused by the effect of gravity, because dislocation along a circle does not cause any intrinsic internal deformation. When an oceanic plate is descending along an arcuate plate interface from the right-hand side, according to dislocation theory, the oceanic

  10. Seismo-turbidites in the Japan Trench inner slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saha, Puspendu; Bose, Santanu

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  13. An ongoing large submarine landslide at the Japan trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nitta, S.; Kasaya, T.; Miura, S.; Kawamura, K.

    2013-12-01

    This paper deals with an active submarine landslide on a landward trench slope in the Japan trench. Studied area is located on the upper terrace ranging from 400 to 1200 m in water depth, off Sendai, northeast Japan. We have surveyed in detail the seabed topography using a multi narrow beam (hereafter MBES) and a subbottom profiler (hereafter SBP) during the cruise MR12-E02 of R/V Mirai. The survey lines were 12 lines in N-S, and 3 lines in E-W, and situated in the region from 141°45'E, 37°40'N to 142°33'E, 38°32'N. Moreover, we used multi-channel seismic profile by the cruise KR04-10 of R/V Kairei in the interpretation of the SBP results. In general, horseshoe-shaped depressions of about 100 km wide along the trench slope are arrayed along the Japan trench. It has thought that they were formed by large submarine landslides, but we could not understand critically the relationship between the depressions and the submarine landslides. Based on the survey results, we found signals of an active submarine landslide in the depression as follows. 1) We observed arcuate-shaped lineaments, which are sub-parallel to a horseshoe-shaped depression. The lineaments concentrate in the south region from 38°N at about 20 km wide. These lineaments are formed by deformation structures as anticlines, synclines and normal fault sense displacements. 2) Most of the synclines and anticlines are not buried to form the lineaments. 3) Normal faults cutting about 1 km deep are observed in a multi-channel seismic profile. The normal faults are located just below the arcuate-shaped lineaments, and are tilted eastward being the downslope direction. It indicates a large submarine landslide. We concluded that the arcuate-shaped lineaments were generated by surface sediment movement with the submarine landsliding. We think that the submarine landslide of about 20 km wide and about 1 km thick move continuously down the landward trench slope. This would be the formation process of the horseshoe

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  15. Sensing of upslope passages of frontal bores across the trench slope break of the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukao, Yoshio; Sugioka, Hiroko; Ito, Aki; Shiobara, Hajime; Paros, Jerome M.; Furue, Ryo

    2016-05-01

    The circum-Pacific trench slope system is one of the most spectacular topographic features of the Earth. We report the relatively frequent occurrence of upslope passages (˜50 times a year) of internal bores in the Japan Trench system. Observations were made using a triaxial accelerometer, a tiltmeter, and a current meter at the seafloor, ˜3400 m deep, during 10 months from 2013 to 2014. We detected 42 tilt events from the records of the accelerometer and confirmed their consistency with the tiltmeter records. The tilt occurred always landward by 1-10 µrad with a rise time on the order of 1000 s and return to the original with a much longer recovery time. The current and temperature records available for the first two events indicated that landward tilting was associated with an upslope current with a speed of several cm/s and a temperature drop of several tens of m °C. The temperature remained cold even after the current had diminished. All of these observations implied the frontal passages of upslope advancing bores, which caused the instrument to be tilted landward. The observational site was located at the trench slope break, separating the trench slope (sloping supercritically or near critically for the M2 internal tide) from the fore-arc basin (sloping subcritically). This unique locality suggested the internal tide origin of the observed bores, although other possibilities could not be precluded. Bores generated on the trench slope may play a role for upslope transportation of suspended sediments stirred up by deep submarine landslides.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  18. Perspectives on the Dynamics of Subduction and Trench Rollback: From the Birth of Subduction to Global Plate Motions (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurnis, M.; Leng, W.; Alisic, L.; Stadler, G.

    2013-12-01

    We will provide a brief overview of two classes of dynamic models of subduction zones and address issues associated with the forces driving plate tectonics and initiating new subduction zones. A common thread between the models is the origin of the intense back arc spreading and rapid roll back associated with some ocean-ocean subduction zones. We will look at the dynamics driving global plate motions and then look at the time-dependence of trench rollback regionally. Plate tectonics is regulated by driving and resisting forces concentrated at plate boundaries, but observationally constrained high-resolution models of global mantle flow have remained a computational challenge. We capitalized on advances in adaptive mesh refinement algorithms on parallel computers to simulate global mantle flow by incorporating plate motions, with individual plate margins resolved down to a scale of 1 kilometer. We find that cold thermal anomalies within the lower mantle couple into oceanic plates through narrow high-viscosity slabs, altering the velocity of oceanic plates. Back-arc extension and slab rollback are emergent consequences of slab descent in the upper mantle. We will show that most back arc extension follows subduction initiation and show how this arises in dynamic models.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujimoto, H.; Kido, M.

    2012-12-01

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

  1. A regime diagram for subduction dynamics from thermo-mechanical models with a mobile trench and an overriding plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    The penetration or stagnation of subducted slabs in mantle transition zone and lower mantle influences Earth's thermal, chemical and tectonic evolution. Yet, the mechanisms responsible for the wide range of observed slab morphologies within the transition zone remain debated. Here, we investigate how downgoing and overriding plate ages controls the interaction between subducted slabs and mantle transition zone. We use 2-D thermo-mechanical models of a two-plate subduction system, modeled with the finite-element, adaptative-mesh code Fluidity. We implement a temperature- and stress-dependent rheology, and viscosity increases 30-fold from upper to lower mantle. Trench position evolves freely in response to plate dynamics. Such an approach self-consistently captures feedbacks between temperature, density, flow, strength and deformation. Our results indicate that key controls on subduction dynamics and slab morphology are: (i) the slab's ability to induce trench motion; and (ii) the evolution of slab strength during sinking. We build a regime diagram that distinguishes four subduction styles: (1) a "vertical folding" mode with stationary trench (young subducting plates, comparatively old overriding plates); (2) slabs that are "horizontally deflected" along the 660-km deep viscosity jump (initially young subducting and overriding plates); (3) an inclined slab morphology, resulting from strong trench retreat (old subducting plates, young overriding plates); and (4) a two-stage mode, displaying bent (rolled-over) slabs at the end of upper-mantle descent, that subsequently unbend and achieve inclined morphologies, with late trench retreat (old subducting and overriding plates). We show that all seismically observed slab morphologies can arise from changes in the initial plates ages at the onset of subduction.

  2. Subduction of Serpentinized and Weathered Ultramafic Rocks in the Puerto Rico Trench: Preliminary Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horning, G.; Klein, F.

    2012-12-01

    Exposure of mantle peridotite and its interactions with seawater to form serpentinite are integral parts of seafloor spreading, and play a key role in affecting the rheology, chemistry, and microbial habitability of the oceanic lithosphere at slow- and ultra-slow spreading ridges. Away from the spreading centers, within subduction zones, the formation and dehydration of serpentinized peridotite impacts seismicity, element cycling, and melt generation. Here we present preliminary results of a petrographic and spectroscopic study of altered rocks recovered from the from the north wall of the trench Puerto Rico Trench (PRT). In fact, the PRT represents one of two subduction zones worldwide where slow spreading oceanic lithosphere is presently subducted, and where serpentinized peridotite has been directly evidenced by seafloor sampling {Bowin, 1966}. Thin section petrography, XRF analysis, scanning electron microscopy, and confocal Raman spectroscopy reveal that the peridotite, which in all likelihood originated at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge during the early Cretaceous, was virtually completely serpentinized under static conditions (as it is evidenced by the preserved mesh texture after olivine and bastite after orthopyroxene), and underwent subsequent seafloor weathering. While it is questionable where exactly serpentinization and subsequent seafloor weathering took place, our preliminary results strongly suggest that the material presently subducted in the PRT is not simply composed of serpentine, magnetite, and brucite; it is rather a complex disequilibrium assemblage of minerals including serpentine, brucite, chlorite, talc, magnetite, hematite, goethite, sulfur-rich sulfides and various clay minerals. Furthermore, our results imply that serpentinite and its weathering products influence the loci of dehydration and mineral replacement reactions, as well as the water input and element recycling in subduction zones.

  3. 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.

  4. Dynamics of the detachment of subducted tectonic plates: Rheologic controls and ridge-trench interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burkett, Erin Rachel

    The detachment (break-off or tearing) of portions of subducted tectonic lithosphere has attracted increasing recognition in the past decade as a process that may cause a range of seismic, tectonic, and magmatic observations in a number of locations worldwide (e.g., Baja California, central Mexico, Mediterranean-Carpathian region, India-Asia collision zone, and Tonga-Fiji-New Hebrides-New Zealand region). Slab detachment is a transitory process marking the end of subduction that has major implications for rapid changes in plate motions following loss of the slab pull force driving subduction. Although many studies have focused on the dynamics of subduction initiation and self-sustaining subduction, few have explored the dynamics of the end stage of subduction. I present results of two-dimensional (2-D) and three-dimensional (3-D) numerical models that provide constraints on the rheologic controls on the dynamics of slab detachment, which build upon previous conceptual models, observational studies, and analytic calculations that make up the majority of current slab detachment literature. Results of 2-D models of a stalled subduction scenario demonstrate that (a) the inclusion of a more realistic non-Newtonian upper mantle rheology is necessary for the occurrence of slab detachment, and (b) the timing and depth of detachment depend on slab stiffness (stress supported viscously) as determined by the maximum yield strength and age of the slab. In 2-D models that include a specific possible mechanism for stalled subduction (i.e., ridge-trench collision), slab detachment (a) occurs in all cases before the ridge approaches within ˜100 km of the trench due to the increased buoyancy and reduced strength of young lithosphere between ˜7-12 My in age, and (b) is first order consistent with observations of offshore ridge abandonment, cessation of subduction, and evidence for slab gap volcanism along Baja California. Three-dimensional model results also demonstrate the same

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Dynamic effects of plate-buoyancy subduction at Manila Trench, South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, L.; Zhan, W.; Sun, J.; Li, J.

    2015-12-01

    Bathymetric map of SCS plate shows two subducting buoyancies, the fossil ridge and the oceanic plateau, which are supposed to impact slab segmentation into the north from Taiwan to 18°N, and the south from 17°N to Mindoro. Hypocenter distribution show that slab dip angle turns lower southwards from 45° to 30° in the north segment, and relatively equals ~45° in the south segment at the depth of 100km. Moreover, volcano distribution can be segmented into Miocene WVC, Quaternary EVC in the north and combined SVC in the south (Fig. A). We found that WVC and SVC mostly locate in a parallel belt ~50km apart to Manila trench, however EVC turn father southwards from 50km to 100km (Fig. B). Above characters congruously indicate that SCS plate kept equal dip angle in Miocene; then the north segment shallowed at 18°N and developed northwards in Quaternary, resulting in lower dip angle than the invariant south segment. To check the transformation of slab dip angle from 45° to 30° between 17~18°N, focal mechanism solution nearby 17°N are found 90° in rake and dip angle, strike parallel to the fossil ridge, indicating a slab tear located coincident with the ridge, where is a weak zone of higher heat flow and lower plate coupling ratio than the adjacent zones and slab can be easily tore as an interface for SCS plate segmentation. Subduction of the two buoyancies within SCS plate is supposed as influential dynamic factor: It caused the trench retreat rate reduced, forming a cusp and a flat convex of Manila trench shape; Moreover, the buoyancies resisted subduction, resulting in shear stress heterogeneity of SCS plate, in consequence the fossil ridge as a fragile belt potentially became stress concentration zone that easily tore; Then the buoyant oceanic plateau might lead to shallowing of the northern SCS plate. To examine the hypothesis, dynamic effects of the two subducting buoyancies are being respectively investigated based on numerical models. (Grt. 41376063, 2013

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  12. Relationship between subduction and seismicity in the Mexican part of the Middle America trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostoglodov, Vladimir; Ponce, Lautaro

    1994-01-01

    Two catalogs of earthquakes in the Mexican part of the Middle America trench are analyzed to elucidate principal relations between structure of the subducting Cocos plate and seismicity. A catalog of historical events that have occurred during the last two centuries with large magnitudes (M(sub s) greater than 6.0) is used to obtain cumulative seismic moment (M(sub 0) and seismic moment release rate (dot-M(sub 0)) distributions along the Mexican subduction zone. The catalog of instrumentally observed earthquakes from 1963 to 1990 (International Seismological Center and U.S. Geological Survey) with 4.5 less than or equal to M(sub b) less than 6.0 is applied to investigate background seismicity for the region. The strength of coupling between the Cocos and North American plates would be expected to grow gradually from the southeast to the northwest according to the variation of convergence rate (V) and age (A) of the Cocos plate. This correlates in general with a steady reduction in background seismicity and a slight average increase of M(sub 0) and seismic energy release rate (dot-W). At sites where the main fracture zones of the Cocos plate; Tehuantepec, O'Gorman, Orozco and Rivera, undergo the subduction the general correlation breaks down. The background seismicity increases at fracture zones while M(sub 0) and (dot-M(sub 0)) decrease significantly. This feature is interpreted as a drop of the coupling at the areas where transform faults are being subducted. Seismic slip rates along the trench obtained from M(sub 0) are lower than the values of plate convergence rates but the avarage seismic slip is in agreement with the estimates from the V model (interaction between lithospheric plates at convergent zones through the viscous layer of subducted sediments). Variability of (dot M(sub 0))and seismic slip rate in relation with tectonics should be taken into account when the seismic gap model is being used for the prediction of strong earthquakes. An examination of

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  18. Supercycles along the Japan Trench and Foreseeability of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koketsu, K.; Yokota, Y.

    2011-12-01

    The devastating Tohoku earthquake of magnitude (M) 9.0 occurred on 11 March 2011 UTC along the Japan trench, where the Pacific plate is subducting beneath the Tohoku district. The national program of seismic hazard assessment, which was initiated by the Japanese government after the 1995 Kobe earthquake, failed to foresee this earthquake, because no supercycle of megathrust events had been identified along the Japan trench. For example, the program identified a regular cycle of six M7 to 8 characteristic earthquakes in the land side of the Miyagi-oki region, and only reported the high probability of having another M7 earthquake there. The Japanese government also built nation-wide dense arrays of seismometers and GPS receivers after the Kobe earthquake. Nishimura et al. recovered annual rates of back slip, which is the drag of the overriding plate by interplate coupling, using GPS data during a calm period before the Tohoku earthquake. We then recovered coseismic slips through a joint inversion of ground motion and GPS data during the earthquake. The distributions of recovered coseismic slips and back slip rates bear a close resemblance to each other. An area of large back slip rate was previously thought to be related to a regular cycle of characteristic earthquakes. However, our result demonstrates that the area is related to a supercycle of megathrust earthquakes. From the coseismic slips and back slip rates in the Miyagi-oki region, we calculated the coseismic moment release and moment accumulation rate of the Tohoku earthquake to be 143 x 10**20 Nm and 0.434 x 10**20 Nm/year, respectively. Since characteristic earthquakes occasionally release some part of accumulated seismic moment, those in the Miyagi-oki region were compiled. We then calculated the moment releases by them to be 47 x 10**20 Nm. These moment releases and accumulation rate lead to a supercycle period of 438 years. However, this period is too short, if the 869 Jogan earthquake is the only

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loveless, J. P.; Meade, B. J.

    2015-12-01

    Spatial patterns of 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 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, periodic signals, coseismic offsets, and postseismic effects following five major earthquakes. Nominally interseismic velocities are interpreted in terms of combined tectonic block motions and earthquake cycle activity. Our derived velocity fields reveal significant consistency since 1996 in the spatial distribution of coupling on the Nankai subduction zone, with variation limited primarily to Tokai, where long-term slow slip events have occurred, and persistently coupled regions coincident with areas that slipped in historic great earthquakes, including estimates of the 1707 Hoei earthquake based on tsunami deposits. On the Sagami subduction zone south of Tokyo, we estimate relatively stable coupling through time, though the area of coupling is reduced by the occurrence of a slow-slip event in 2002. On the Japan Trench, we image significant coupling variations owing to effects of the 1994 Sanriku-oki, 2003 Tokachi-oki, and 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquakes. In particular, strong coupling becomes more spatially extensive following the 1994 event until 2011, and a decrease in coupling and occurrence of coseismic-sense slip precede the Tohoku-oki event. Despite occurrence of the 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake, coupling offshore Hokkaido suggests ongoing seismic hazard, possibly similar to past Mw 9-class earthquakes interpreted from coastal paleoseismic records. This time-dependent analysis of interseismic deformation illuminates rich diversity in the distribution of subduction zone processes

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loveless, John P.; Meade, Brendan J.

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Seismological detection of "730-km" discontinuity beneath Japan subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Z.; Park, J. J.; Karato, S. I.

    2015-12-01

    Because the mantle transition zone likely contains a large amount of water (Karato, 2011; Pearson et al., 2014), vertical material transport across the transition would cause partial melting that may produce seismic signals above and/or below the transition zone. Schmandt et al. (2014) observed a seismic low-velocity zone (LVZ) at the top of the lower mantle (~730 km) beneath the southwestern US, arguing for dehydration melting due to downward flow across the 670-km discontinuity (670) from the transition zone. These authors further proposed a correlation between seismic velocity reductions and the direction of water transport, in which LVZ at ~730 km indicates materials moving downward from the transition zone, while the lack of LVZ at this depth would suggest an upward flow of mantle materials. Other regions also need to be investigated to confirm the correlation between this seismic feature and mantle water transport. We test their model by detecting "730-km" discontinuity beneath the Japan subduction zone using frequency-dependent receiver functions. In addition, water transport above the 410-km discontinuity (410) also plays an important role in global water circulation (Bercovici and Karato, 2003). Seismological studies (e.g. Courtier and Revenaugh, 2007; Schaeffer and Bostock, 2010) have observed LVZs above the 410, which might be caused by dehydration melting due to the upwelling of hydrated materials across the 410-km discontinuity from the transition zone. In this study, we also detect potential LVZs above 410 to establish a correlation between seismic velocity drop and flow direction. Around the Japan subduction zone, our preliminary results show evidence of low velocity zones below 670 in regions where stagnant slab is present for a substantial amount of time but not in other regions suggesting a variety of vertical mass transport in this region. Key words: transition zone, water transport, subduction zone, melting, receiver functions

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. Coseismic Slip Distributions of Great or Large Earthquakes in the Northern Japan to Kurile Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Slip distributions of great and large earthquakes since 1963 along the northern Japan and Kuril trenches are examined to study the recurrence of interplate, intraslab and outer-rise earthquakes. The main findings are that the large earthquakes in 1991 and 1995 reruptured the 1963 great Urup earthquake source, and the 2006, 2007 and 2009 Simshir earthquakes were all different types. We also identify three seismic gaps. The northern Japan to southern Kurile trenches have been regarded as a typical subduction zone with spatially and temporally regular recurrence of great (M>8) interplate earthquakes. The source regions were grouped into six segments by Utsu (1972; 1984). The Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion of the Japanese government (2004) divided the southern Kurile subduction zone into four regions and evaluated future probabilities of great interplate earthquakes. Besides great interplate events, however, many large (M>7) interplate, intraslab, outer-rise and tsunami earthquakes have also occurred in this region. Harada, Ishibashi, and Satake (2010, 2011) depicted the space-time pattern of M>7 earthquakes along the northern Japan to Kuril trench, based on the relocated mainshock-aftershock distributions of all types of earthquakes occurred since 1913. The space-time pattern is more complex than that had been considered conventionally. Each region has been ruptured by a M8-class interplate earthquake or by multiple M7-class events. In this study, in order to examine more detail space pattern, or rupture areas, of M>7 earthquakes since 1963 (WWSSN waveform data have been available since this year), we estimated cosiesmic slip distributions by the Kikuchi and Kanamori's (2003) teleseismic body wave inversion method. The WWSSN waveform data were used for earthquakes before 1990, and digital teleseismic waveform data compiled by the IRIS were used for events after 1990. Main-shock hypocenters that had been relocated by our previous study were used as

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

    PubMed

    Peacock; Wang

    1999-10-29

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nijholt, Nicolai; Govers, Rob

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohta, Suguru; Laubier, Lucien

    1987-05-01

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

  10. Arc magmatism and mineralization in North Luzon and its relationship to subduction at the East Luzon and North Manila Trenches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolfe, John A.

    The Tertiary tectonics of North Luzon are complicated by an early thermotectonic regime in the Eocene (40-50 Ma) and the second from 30 to 17 Ma in the Oligocene resulting from subduction in the East Luzon Trench. The second stage coincided with the opening of the South China Sea on the west side of the Philippines. Portions of the western Philippines were translated south from China by the opening of the South China Sea. This includes Mindoro Island, Palawan and the Reed Bank area. No one has presented any evidence that any oceanic crust existed between early Luzon and China prior to opening of the South China Sea. After spreading of the South China Sea ceased, China began to extrude eastward and coupled with the oceanic crust of the South China Sea initiated subduction in the North Manila trench under Luzon at about 17 Ma. Commencing at approximately 15 Ma a graben formed east of the Manila Trench, centered in Baguio City. It contained the volcanic arc which began to develop as the Agno batholith intruded the graben. The graben extends for at least 75 km on the southwest flank of the Cordillera with relayed extensions into the Cordillera. Porphyry copper mineralization developed within the graben from 10 to 8 Ma interrupted by the explosion of a caldera or volcano tectonic depression extending south of Baguio. This graben contains 22 porphyry copper bodies, some of them uneconomic. Described by Gervasio as a "crackle zone", the same zone was described by Fernandez and Damasco as the area most favorable for gold exploration. The second period of mineralization was imposed on the district from 4 to 3 Ma. Gold mineralization in the Baguio district constituted a third phase of mineralization in the Pleistocene. Absence of commercial mineralization in the Cordillera and Sierra Madre correlated with the Paleogene is one of the criteria for distinguishing between the subduction related to the South China Sea and that related to the Philippine Sea on the east. One of the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wada, I.; He, J.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishimura, T.

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  15. Revisit of basal effective friction and pore pressure for Japan trench from topographic point of view

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koge, H.; Fujiwara, T.; Kodaira, S.; Sasaki, T.; Kameda, J.; Hamahashi, M.; Hamada, Y.; Kimura, G.

    2013-12-01

    2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake (Mw9.0) produced a fault rupture, extending to the shallow part of the Japan Trench. Based on the bathymetry difference before and after the earthquake, it is demonstrated that the seafloor on outermost landward slope moved ~50 m east-southeastward towards the trench and uplifted ~7 to 10 m. Although the mechanism of the fault rupture is not clear, deformation and frictional properties beneath the forearc are the key to elucidate this important issue. Kimura et al (2012) focused on seismic reflection data along one seismic transect at the Japan Trench (name the transect), and calculated the basal effective friction of the plate boundary by using the critical taper theory. Limited profiles from narrow area, however, never represent general friction property of the plate boundary in the Japan trench. Therefore, several profiles are examined to investigate for the better understanding along-trench variation of the basal frictional properties. Bathymetric and seismic reflection data were taken before and after the Tohoku-oki earthquake to obtain the following angles; slope angle of upper surface, basal dip of the outer wedge. Acuired angles are limited to only the lowest trench slope of the Japan Trench. The limitation enables us to treat the wedge as a more uniform body than would have been achieved with the whole range of seismic cross sections. Applying the critical taper theory to the individual seismic cross sections, force balance among the interior and base of the wedge, fluid pressure ratio, and the basal effective friction of the plate boundary are calculated. Additionally, by using "earth pressure theory", we estimated basal effective friction of ~0.15 under the assumption that branching faults act as back-stops in lower slope areas. References Cubas et al., Geophysical Research Letters: DOI:10.1002/grl.50682 Fujiwara et al., Science 2 December 2011: Vol. 334 no. 6060 p. 1240 Wang and Hu, Journal of Geophysical Research, v.111, p1

  16. Identification and simulation of seismic supercycles along the Japan Trench including the 2011 Tohoku earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koketsu, K.; Yokota, Y.; Kato, N.; Kato, T.

    2012-04-01

    The devastating Tohoku earthquake of magnitude (M) 9.0 occurred on 11 March 2011 UTC along the Japan Trench, where the Pacific plate is subducting beneath the Tohoku district. The national program of seismic hazard assessment, which was initiated by the Japanese government after the 1995 Kobe earthquake, failed to foresee this earthquake, because no supercycle of megathrust events had been identified along the Japan Trench. For example, the program identified a normal cycle of six M7 to 8 earthquakes in the land side of the Miyagi-oki region, and only reported the high probability of having another M7 earthquake there. The Japanese government also built nation-wide dense arrays of seismometers and GPS receivers after the Kobe earthquake. We have recovered annual rates of back slip, which is the drag of the overriding plate by interplate coupling, using GPS data during a calm period before the Tohoku earthquake. We then recovered coseismic slips through a inversion of GPS data during the earthquake. The distributions of recovered coseismic slips and back slip rates bear a close resemblance to each other. An area of large back slip rate was previously thought to be related to a normal cycle of M7 to 8 earthquakes. However, our result demonstrates that the area is related to a supercycle of megathrust earthquakes. From the coseismic slips and back slip rates in the Miyagi-oki region, we calculated the coseismic moment release and moment accumulation rate of the Tohoku earthquake to 15 x 10**21 Nm and 0.04 x 10**21 Nm/year, respectively. Since normal earthquakes occasionally release some part of accumulated seismic moment, those in the Miyagi-oki region were compiled. We then calculated the moment releases by them to be 5 x 10**21 Nm. These moment releases and accumulation rate lead to a supercycle period of about 500 years. However, this period is too short, if the 869 Jogan earthquake is the only documented event to have occurred with a possible magnitude and

  17. Fault plane orientations of intermediate-depth and deep-focus earthquakes in the Japan-Kuril-Kamchatka subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warren, Linda M.; Baluyut, Elena C.; Osburg, Timothy; Lisac, Kristen; Kokkinen, Siiri

    2015-12-01

    In the northwestern Pacific, the Pacific plate subducts to the west at the Japan, Kuril, and Kamchatka trenches. Throughout most of the subduction zone, the subducting slab is planar and dipping at an angle of 30°-60°, with the exception of a fold in the southern Kuril segment. To investigate how the slab deforms in response to the applied forces and which mechanism generates the earthquakes, we analyze the rupture properties of 111 large (MW≥5.7) intermediate-depth and deep-focus earthquakes (60-656 km depth) from 1990 to 2014 in the Japan-Kuril-Kamchatka subduction zone. For each earthquake, we use rupture directivity to estimate rupture direction and rupture speed and to distinguish the fault plane from the auxiliary plane of the focal mechanism. Seventy six percent of the earthquakes with sufficient station coverage are well modeled by unilateral rupture propagation. The estimated rupture speeds range from zero to supershear. The estimated rupture directions allow identification of the fault plane as the more horizontal nodal plane for 30 earthquakes, while an additional 11 earthquakes rupture toward the intersection of the nodal planes, so the fault plane cannot be identified. Combining our newly identified fault planes with previously identified fault planes in the region, we observe that in planar slab segments, most earthquakes slip along a dominant fault orientation. For a steeply dipping slab, this orientation is subhorizontal. In more sharply bent slab segments, such as the Kuril fold, deformation is accommodated along more variable fault orientations, including subvertical faults. The correlation of slab geometry with fault orientation suggests that the local stress field controls fault orientations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  19. Partitioning At Very Oblique Subduction Zones: A Comparative Marine Study Between The Burma Trench and The Western Termination of The Hellenic Trench.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, C.; Chamot-Rooke, N. Rangin, C.

    On the Ionian Islands area, the cumulated motion of the slow African convergence and rapid rotation of the Anatolian Block induces oblique convergence at the western termination of the Hellenic Trench. The rate of convergence, constrained by several GPS studies, is about 35 mm/yr more or less NS oriented. MEDEE Cruise data (Labo- ratoire de Géologie, ENS 1995) including multibeam bathymetry and shallow seismic profiles, indicate that this highly oblique convergence is partitioned into a frontal com- pressive wedge and N160E to N170E dextral strike-slip. Strike slip faults are local- ized within the Mediterranean Ridge and at the boundary between the backstop and the wedge. Faults within the wedge progressively curve and connect to the compressive horse tailed termination of the N20E dextral Kephalonia Fault. The accretionary front is also curved and thrusts seem to become parallel to the Kephalonia Fault. The obser- vations there are complicated by the gravity sliding of the Calabrian wedge, covering the active structures of the Mediterranean Ridge at the termination of the Kephalo- nia Fault. A comparative study in a similar tectonic setting, the Indo-Burman Trench, helps to better understand the termination of the Mediterranean oblique subduction. The Indo-Burman trench presents the same type of obliquity and velocity. The AN- DAMAN Cruise data (Laboratoire de Géologie,ENS, 2000) were used to constrain the offshore deformation along the Burma Trench. The front of the wedge is marked by N30E trending dextral strike slip faults, and the absence of accretionary struc- tures despite large infill of the Bengal fan. In contrast with the Mediterranean case, partitioning of the very oblique convergence induces the motion of an independent sliver located between the Indian plate and the Sunda Block (the "Burmese" platelet). In the Mediterranean case, we suggest that forces that drive the upper plate, plus the northwestern locking by the Apulian platform, overcome forces

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, C.; Wada, I.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishihara, Y.

    2003-12-01

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

  6. The Assumed Aseismic Subduction and the Necessity of Ocean-Bottom Crustal Deformation Measurements at the Ryukyus, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, M.; Ando, M.; Matsumoto, T.; Furukawa, M.; Tadokoro, K.; Furumoto, M.

    2006-12-01

    The GPS baseline length of about 320km between Yoron island on the Eurasia plate and the Kita-Daito island on the Philippine Sea plate is becoming shorter at a constant rate of 8cm/y. Interestingly, the relative motion between the two plates is estimated to be 8-9cm/y with a convergence direction of 300 deg parallel to the orientation of the islands. Since there is no known report of any large earthquake (M>8) in the Ryukyus, it is widely believed that the subduction along the Ryukyus is aseismic without any significant earthquakes. Note that this idea is based mainly on the written history of earthquakes and the consistency between the GPS observations and the relative plate motions. However, considering that the written history is comparatively short relative to the subductions earthquakes with long recurrence-interval (e.g. 500y or longer). Furthermore, it is still uncertain if the consistency between GPS measurements and relative plate motion could be considered as a proof of an aseismic subduction. Considering such uncertainties and the amount of possible damages of an M8 earthquake from Ryukyus on southern Japan , we examine the possibility of seismic subduction along the Ryukyus with the following hypothesis. We assume that the interface between the slab and overriding plate is coupled in the upper 30-70km portion of the interface from the seafloor with a slip deficit (back slip) and dip angle of 8cm and 20 deg, respectively. The width of the coupled portion is 30km that would produce a resultant horizontal displacement on the island of about 4mm northwestward, 8mm displacement for 50km wide, and 16mm displacement for 70km wide. Therefore, if the slab interface of the upper 50km or less is coupled, GPS observations could hardly distinguish whether or not the two plates is locked presuming some error of the plate motion. If the coupling portion exists on the Ryukyus plate interface, the accumulated slip for the last 1000years would reach 80m along the Ryukyu

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  8. Seismic Structure of the Northernmost Ryukyu Subduction Zone, Southward Offshore of Kyushu, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishizawa, A.; Oikawa, M.; Kaneda, K.; Kasahara, J.

    2007-12-01

    The Philippine Sea plate subducts northwest beneath the Eurasian Plate along the Nankai Trough in the north and the Nansei-Shoto (Ryukyu) Trench in the south at a rate of about 50-60 mm/year. Magnitude 8-class earthquakes occurred repeatedly along the Nankai Trough in the northeastern neighborhood, while the largest earthquake ever recorded is at most 7.6 along the northernmost Ryukyu Trench in the southern neighborhood. We carried out five ocean bottom seismographic (OBS) and multi-channel seismic (MCS) profiles in the northernmost Ryukyu subduction zone and obtained seismic velocity structural models related to the characteristics of the earthquakes in this region. For each investigation in 2005 and 2006, we shot a tuned airgun array with a volume of 8,040 cubic inches at an interval of 200 m for the wide-angle seismic profiles and at 50 m for the MCS (480 channels, 60 folds) profiles. The OBSs were deployed at an average interval of 5 km, which provided us dense data of high quality. The OBS data were modeled by a tomographic inversion, two-dimensional ray tracing and synthetic seismograms. The obtained MCS records show distinct reflections from the subducting plate boundary beneath the landward slope of the Ryukyu Trench and low velocity (Vp < 4 km/s) and thick (~ 8 km) materials above and on the decollement zone are modeled from the OBS data. Both the MCS and OBS records give clear images of very rough sea bottom configuration of the northern extension of the Kyushu-Palau Ridge and Amami Plateau below the landward slope. Such strong undulations of the plate boundary may constrain the sizes and/or natures of the asperities in this region. In addition, the estimated position of the seismic asperity of 1968 Hyuga-nada earthquake (Mw 7.5) corresponds to high velocity materials ascending in our P-wave velocity model.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katoh, Masayasu; Shuto, Kenji

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Takahashi, H.; Hirata, K.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Boron Isotopic Fractionation During the First ~50 km of Sediment Subduction in the Nankai Trough, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feineman, M. D.; Hudak, M. R.; Saffer, D. M.; Agostini, S.

    2015-12-01

    Subduction zones are the primary locus for recycling of crustal material into the Earth's mantle, with important implications for mantle and crustal evolution. Subducted sediments contribute volatiles, trace elements, and unique isotopic signatures to arc magmas and some mantle domains. While some elements appear to be conservative during sediment subduction, others may be mobilized and isotopically fractionated during the first several tens of kilometers of subduction - well before reaching sub-arc depths. Characterization of the geochemical processes occurring in this early stage of subduction is relatively limited and largely based on the compositions of fluids expelled from the accretionary prism. In order to better understand the life cycle of boron as it is processed through the subduction system, B concentrations and isotope ratios were measured in a suite of shales from the Shimanto Belt, Shikoku Island, Japan. These shales represent pelagic and neritic sediments from the Nankai Trough that have been partially subducted, underplated, and exhumed. As a counterpoint to the mobile and potentially fractionated boron, Pb isotopes (which are not expected to be fractionated by shallow subduction processes) were used to ensure that the sediments studied were derived from a homogeneous source. Peak temperatures of 140-280˚C are constrained by offshore vitrinite reflectance studies. We find that δ11B in the subducted sediment ranges from -6.6 to -9.9‰, with a negative correlation between δ11B and temperature. In contrast, B concentrations show no systematic relationship with temperature. Measured δ11B of -9.7 in the Sanbagawa schist, possibly a high-pressure-temperature analog of the Shimanto shale, is consistent with previous studies. However, 208Pb/204Pb and 207Pb/204Pb ratios indicate that the pelitic schist analyzed in this study was not derived from the same source rock as the Shimanto shale. Further work is needed to determine if there exists an

  17. 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.

  18. Seismicity and structural heterogeneities around the western Nankai Trough subduction zone, southwestern Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

    The Nankai and Hyuga-nada seismogenic segments, in the western part of the Nankai subduction zone off southwestern Japan, have sometimes ruptured separately and sometimes simultaneously. To investigate the relationships among heterogeneities of seismic structure, spatial variation of the incoming plate, and the seismogenic segments, we carried out seismic observations in the western Nankai subduction zone and modeled the area with 3D seismic tomography using both onshore and offshore seismic data. Our seismic observations suggested that the pattern of seismicity is related to heterogeneities within the subducted plate rather than the seismogenic segments. The up-dip depth limit of seismicity along the plate boundary and in the oceanic crust is typically around 15 km, corresponding to the depth of dehydration of the oceanic crust. In addition, the seaward-extended seismicity observed where the subducted plate was considered to have rough internal structures. In the resulting velocity model, the up-dip limit of the area where the P-wave velocity just above the plate boundary exceeds 6 km/s corresponds to the up-dip limit of coseismic slip in the 1968 Hyuga-nada and 1946 Nankai earthquakes. Between the two coseismic rupture zones is an area of lower P-wave velocity about 40 km wide that is evidence of lateral heterogeneities in the upper plate along the trough-parallel direction. Structural heterogeneities in the upper plate may explain the variety of coseismic slip patterns in this region.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  3. Small repeating earthquake activity, interplate quasi-static slip, and interplate coupling in the Hyuga-nada, southwestern Japan subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, Yusuke; Shimizu, Hiroshi; Goto, Kazuhiko

    2012-04-01

    Small repeating earthquake (RE) analysis is a useful method for estimating interplate quasi-static slip, which is a good indicator of interplate coupling. We detected 170 continual-type interplate RE groups and then estimated the spatial variation in quasi-static slip in the Hyuga-nada over the past 17 years. The RE activity in this region has different characteristics compared with that in the northeast Japan subduction zone, presumably reflecting differences in the subduction properties. Our results revealed that interplate coupling spatially changes along the trench-axis and dip-direction—a phenomenon that cannot be resolved by land-based Global Positioning System (GPS) analysis. By comparing seismicity, the low-slip-rate areas correspond with the location of hypocenters and asperities for large- and moderate-sized interplate earthquakes, suggesting strong interplate coupling at these sites. These results indicate that the slip rate distribution estimated from RE activity is reliable and useful for assessing the potential of future large earthquakes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishiyama, Tatsuya; Sato, Hiroshi

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dougherty, Sara L.

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCrory, P.A.

    1995-01-01

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

  7. Repeating earthquakes and interplate aseismic slip in the northeastern Japan subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Igarashi, Toshihiro; Matsuzawa, Toru; Hasegawa, Akira

    2003-05-01

    On the basis of a waveform similarity analysis, we detected 321 earthquake clusters with very similar (cross-correlation coefficient >0.95) waveforms on the plate boundary in the northeastern Japan subduction zone. Most of them were not found within the subducting Pacific plate with a few exceptions. Moreover, even on the plate boundary, they were not located in the large moment release areas of large interplate earthquakes that occurred recently or in the areas where the plates are inferred to be strongly coupled from GPS data analyses. These observations suggest that these similar earthquakes are caused by repeating slips of small asperities with a dimension of around 0.1 to 1 km surrounded by stable sliding areas on the plate boundary. If the aseismic slip portion in these small asperities is negligible, we can estimate the cumulative amount of aseismic slip in the area surrounding each asperity. In other words, repeating earthquake data potentially can be used to estimate the spatiotemporal aseismic slip distribution on the plate boundary. We estimated the spatial distribution of slip rate on the plate boundary from repeating earthquake data. The scaling relation between seismic moment and seismic slip by [1998] is used for the estimation of the slip amount by each repeating earthquake cluster. Obtained spatial distribution is consistent with that estimated from GPS data on land.

  8. A New View on the Space-Time Pattern of M>7 Earthquakes in the Northern Japan to Kurile Subduction Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harada, T.; Satake, K.

    2012-04-01

    The northern Japan to southern Kurile trenches have been regarded as a typical subduction zone with spatially and temporally regular recurrence of great (M>8) interplate earthquakes. The source regions were grouped into six segments by Utsu (1972; 1984). The Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion of the Japanese government (2004) divided the southern Kurile subduction zone into four regions and evaluated future probabilities of great interplate earthquakes. Besides great interplate events, however, many large (M>7) interplate, intraslab, outer-rise and tsunami earthquakes have also occurred in this region. First, we depicted the space-time pattern of M>7 earthquakes along the northern Japan to Kuril trench, based on the relocated mainshock-aftershock distributions of all types of earthquakes occurred since 1913. We relocated the hypocenters reported in the ISC, ISS, and BCIS bulletins by using the HYPOSAT (Schweitzer, 2003) and the Modified JHD method (Hurukawa, 1995). Then, in order to examine more detail space pattern, or rupture areas, of M>7 earthquakes since 1963, we estimated coseismic slip distributions by the Kikuchi and Kanamori's (2003) teleseismic body wave inversion method. The WWSSN waveform data were used for earthquakes between 1963 and 1990, and digital teleseismic waveform data compiled by the IRIS were used for events after 1990. Mainshock hypocenters relocated by us were used as initial rupture points. As a result, we found that the more complex feature of earthquake occurrence. Each region has been ruptured by a M8-class interplate earthquake or by multiple M7-class events. Offshore Urup Is. is source region of the 1963 Urup earthquake (M 8.5). Large interplate earthquakes occurred in the eastern and western part of the 1963 source region in 1991 (M 7.6) and 1995 (M 7.9), respectively. Their aftershock areas almost re-occupied the 1963 aftershock area. The 1963, 1991, and 1995 coseismic slip distributions show that the southwestern

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  10. Nature of Subduction Megathrust Faults at the Ryukyu Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arai, R.; Kaiho, Y.; Takahashi, T.; Nakanishi, A.; Fujie, G.; Nakamura, Y.; Miura, S.; Kodaira, S.; Kaneda, Y.

    2015-12-01

    The Ryukyu subduction zone (RSZ) has been intensively examined in terms of seismic coupling along the plate boundary and tsunami potentials. On the contrary to other subduction zones nearby, such as the Nankai Trough and the Japan Trench, the RSZ has lacked clear evidence of great interplate earthquakes (M>8) for the last few hundred years and thus the overall interplate coupling is thought to be weak (Peterson and Seno, 1984). Correspondingly, geodetic observation implies that a possible coupled zone is narrow and limited to a shallow portion of the plate boundary near the trench (Ando et al., 2009). Recent seismic studies show that very low frequency earthquakes (VLFEs) are ubiquitously distributed in the forearc region of the Ryukyu arc, implying a variety of slip behaviors along the subduction faults related to fluid distribution (Nakamura and Sunagawa, 2015). However, these findings were derived from land station network and did not have sufficient resolution near the trench to determine spatial relationship of megathrust faults to the seismic activity. Since 2013 we JAMSTEC have been carrying out marine active- and passive-source seismic experiments in the Ryukyu subduction zone to reveal the fine-scale geometry and nature of subduction faults. Here we present integrated seismological evidence for megathrust fault structure and its relation to VLFEs at the southern Ryukyu Trench. Active-source seismic data consistently reveal that the plate boundary and backstop interface form a 40-km-wide frontal prism where low-velocity sedimentary rocks fill in. We find VLFEs occur around the low-velocity wedge where fluids are distributed as suggested by negative polarity in the reflection data. This forearc structure is also coincident with the source region of Yaeyama earthquake tsunami in 1771 (Nakamura, 2009), the most devastating disaster known in this region. Slow ruptures enhanced by the fluid-rich condition at the plate boundary and/or surrounding faults may be a

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Rockmagnetic characterization of event deposits induced by March 2011 Tohoku-oki Earthquake in the Japan Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanamatsu, T.; Ikehara, K.; Arai, K.; Sato, T.

    2012-12-01

    -currents occurred during the event. A combination of trench parallel and down slope currents, which are almost perpendicular each other, might make this pattern. A variation in lineation parameter of anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility suggests different current speed during deposition of the top sequences. These data indicates that the depositional process of 2011 event sediment in the trench system was not simple. Figuring out this process is important not only for understanding the deposition of 2011 event but for understanding the older event deposits took place previously in the Japan trench.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishise, Motoko; Miyake, Hiroe; Koketsu, Kazuki

    2015-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshikawa, Shuro; Kanamatsu, Toshiya; Kasaya, Takafumi

    2016-03-01

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

  18. Origin of co-existing basalts, high-Mg andesites, and adakites in the SW Japan hot subduction system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, J.; Kunikiyo, T.; Osaka, I.; Shimoshioiri, Y.; Katakuse, M.; Kakubuchi, S.; Nagao, T.; Furuyama, K.; Kamei, A.; Nakajima, J.; Stern, R. J.; Gill, J. B.

    2012-12-01

    In response to subduction of the young, hot Shikoku Basin of the Philippine Sea Plate (PSP) slab, arc magmas have been active throughout the late Cenozoic (<13 Ma) in the SW Japan arc. Extremely variable magma types occurred including oceanic island-type basalt (OIB), shoshonitc to mildly alkalic to sub-alkalic basalts with arc signatures, high-Mg andesites (HMAs), and adakitic andesites and dacites. The OIB-type basalts preceded the arc-type magmas. Therefore, the transition from OIB- to arc-types was related to opening of the Japan of Sea back-arc basin and subsequent re-initiation of PSP subduction. However, both the origin and tectonic implications of this magmatism are debated. Consequently, we analyzed the bulk rock geochemistry of 340 lava samples from seven Quaternary volcanoes and investigated their sources and melting conditions using a geochemical mass balance model, Arc Basalt Simulator version 4 (ABS4). Comparison to basement granitoids precludes adakite genesis in the lower crust. Instead, the ABS4 model suggests that the adakites are mostly slab melts plus minor interaction with mantle wedge peridotite (PERID). Increasing involvement of PERID during slab melt-fluxed mantle melting explains fairly well the geochemical variations of the shoshonites, mildly alkalic to sub-alkalic basalts, and HMAs. We propose that the generation of various magma types in the late Cenozoic SW Japan arc originated simply by "slab melt-fluxed mantle melting" with large variations in melting conditions including depth, temperature, degree of melting, and flux fractions. Such volcanism has been continuous from 13 Ma (Setouchi HMA) to the present, so that the hot subduction system, involving subduction of the Shikoku Basin spreading ridge, should be continuous since 13 Ma beneath the SW Japan arc. Our results further suggest that this atypically hot system generated diverse primary arc magmas from various degrees of flux melting even though the slab source components and sub

  19. Simulation of Long-Period Ground Motion From a Hypothetical Nankai Subduction Earthquake in Western Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwaki, A.; Iwata, T.

    2008-12-01

    The long-term occurrence potentials of the megathrust earthquakes in Nankai trough of the subducting Philippine Sea Plate are from 50% and 70% within 30 years from 2008 (The Headquarters for Earthquakes Research Promotion, 2008). The hypothetical source region of Nankai earthquake extends as wide as 300 km in the east-west direction; therefore it is likely to cause large long-period ground motion to many sedimentary basins in wide area of Japan. We study the propagation and generation of the long-period (3 - 20 s) ground motion in two sedimentary basins in western Japan: the Osaka basin and the Oita basin, located northeast and west of the source region, respectively. Among the sedimentary basins in western Japan, these are two deep basins in which long-period structures such as high rise buildings and oil storage tanks are at high risk of seismic hazard by long-period ground motion. We carried out a ground motion simulation of a hypothetical Nankai earthquake by a 3D finite-difference method (Pitarka, 1999) using 3D basin and crustal velocity structure models (Iwata et al., 2008; Oita Prefecture, 2008). The basin velocity structure models are validated by long-period ground motion simulations of observed earthquake records. The source model is based on Sekiguchi et al. (2008) that consists of five asperities and a background area, distributed on the top surface of Philippine Sea Plate of the crustal velocity model. We tried two source models with different hypocenter, one in which rupture propagates from east to west (east-hypo model), which is generally accepted as hypothetical source models of the Nankai earthquake, and another from west to east (west-hypo model). The total seismic moment is 7.4× 1021 Nm (MW8.5) for both the source models. In the Oita basin, the maximum peak ground velocity (PGV) reaches 100 cm/s in the east-hypo model simulation while it is roughly one fifth smaller in the west-hypo model simulation. The east-hypo model causes the directivity

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-05-01

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

  5. What controls the earthquake and tsunami sources in subduction zone? MCS profiles across the Tokachi-oki earthquake sources along the Kuril Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okamura, Y.; Tsujino, T.; Arai, K.; Satake, K.; Sasaki, T.; Ikehara, K.; Noda, A.

    2005-12-01

    High-resolution multi-channel seismic profiles show a contrast in active geologic structure in forearc slopes of the Kuril subduction zone, which reflects the mechanical processes along the plate boundary and the source regions of the recent earthquakes and tsunamis. Structural and tectonic patterns are different to the east and west of Kushiro submarine canyon along the southwestern Kuril trench, where recurrence of large (Msim8) earthquakes have been documented in the last 200 years. The source regions of recent earthquakes and tsunamis, 2003, 1952 and 1843, seem to be variable. The most recent two events, 1952 and 2003, shared the same asperity beneath the forearc slope to the west of Kushiro Submarine Canyon, according to seismological analysis (Yamanaka and Kikuchi, 2003). However, their tsunami sources were different; the 1952 tsunami source extended to the lower slope east of the canyon, according the inversion of tide gauge records (Hirata et al., 2003). While the data were limited, the tsunami height distribution of the 1843 earthquake was similar to that of the 1952 event. We performed high-resolution multi-channel seismic surveys on both upper and lower forearc slopes of southwestern Kuril Trench. The upper slope was surveyed during 2002-2004 R/V Hakurei cruises, while the lower slope was covered during JAMSTEC's R/V Kairei cruise in 2005. These profiles indicate a subsiding forearc basin covered by > 3 km thick Neogene sediments around the Tokachi-oki asperity. A gentle structural high bounds the seaward edge of both basin and asperity, suggesting that they are closely related. The structural high continues to the east and becomes a clear topographic ridge beyond the Kushiro submarine canyon. The seaward slope of the ridge shows seaward-dipping, discontinuous obscure reflections, indicating that the slope is a frontal accretionary prism. The 1952 tsunami source is located in the prism, which is probably uplifting. No indication of large-scale landslide

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Past "earthquake/tsunami" event deposits found in the Japan Trench: Results from the Sonne SO219A and Mirai MR12-E01 cruises

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    Epicenter of the 2011 off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku earthquake located under the sea floor. The large sea-floor displacement is inferred from the repeated bathymetric surveys. Because the Japan Trench is a remarkable depression near the epicenter, the gravity flows generated by the earthquake and its related phenomena might be focused in the depression (more than 7500 m in water depth) and might form the gravity flow deposits. Therefore, the Japan Trench is a target area to detect the past earthquake event deposits. To obtain the past earthquake records, we conducted two cruises; Sonne SO219A and Mirai MR12-E01 cruises. All of the cores obtained from the Japan Trench floor by two cruises showed the same lithostratigraphy. The 2011 event deposits, which were composed of thin sand at base and diatomaceous mud/ooze with multistoried upward fining grading structure, occurred at the uppermost part of the cores. Below the 2011 event deposit, at least three thick (several tens cm to a few meter thick) turbidite units were recognized. Third turbidite unit was very unique and was characterized by the calcareous nanno fossil bearing turbidite muds suggesting the transportation from upper-mid slope. A volcanic ash from the Towada volcano intercalated in hemipelagic mud between second and third turbidite units. Preliminary results on our tephra correlation using geochemical and petrographic properties suggest that the ash might be correlative to Towada-a ash, which occurred just above the Jogan tsunami deposits on the Sendai Plain. Exact correlation of the ash layer is very important to connect the deep-sea event deposits in the Japan Trench and on-shore tsunami deposits on the Sendai Plain.

  10. Multiple major faults at the Japan Trench: Chemostratigraphy of the plate boundary at IODP Exp. 343: JFAST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabinowitz, Hannah S.; Savage, Heather M.; Plank, Terry; Polissar, Pratigya J.; Kirkpatrick, James D.; Rowe, Christie D.

    2015-08-01

    We determine the trace element stratigraphy of Site C0019, drilled during the Japan Fast Trench Drilling Project (JFAST) International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 343, to illuminate the structure of the plate boundary following the Tohoku-Oki earthquake of 2011. The stratigraphic units at the JFAST site are compared to undeformed Western Pacific sediments from two reference sites (Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 1149 and Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) Site 436). The trace element fingerprints in these reference sedimentary units can be correlated to individual JFAST samples. At the JFAST site, we find that the accretionary wedge and downgoing plate sediments in the core are composed primarily of Holocene to Eocene sediments. There are several age reversals and gaps within the sequence, consistent with multiple faults in the bottom 15 m of the JFAST core. Our results point to several candidate faults that could have slipped during the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake, in addition to the pelagic clay layer that has been proposed as the main décollement fault.

  11. Seismological Features of the Subducting Slab Beneath the Kii Peninsula, Central Japan, Revealed by Receiver Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiomi, K.; Park, J.

    2007-12-01

    We report seismological evidence that the subducting Philippine Sea slab (PHS) beneath the Kii Peninsula, central Japan, can be divided into three segments. Offshore the Kii Peninsula, the "Tonankai" and "Nankai" fault segments suffer mega-thrust earthquakes that repeat every 100 to 150 years. The structure of the young, thin, contorted PHS is important to the seismo-tectonics in this region. We apply the receiver function (RF) analysis to 26 Hi-net short-period and 4 F-net broad-band seismographic stations. In the case that dipping velocity discontinuities and/or anisotropic media exist beneath seismometer, both radial RFs and transverse RFs contain useful information to estimate underground structure. For isotropic media with a dipping-slab interface, back- azimuthal variation in RFs depends largely on three parameters, the downdip azimuth, dip angle and the depth of the interface. We stack both radial and transverse RFs with allowance a time-shift caused by the dipping interface, searching for optimal parameters based on the grid-search technique at each station. At some stations located near the eastern coastline of the Kii Peninsula, the dip angle of the interface inferred from RF stacking is much steeper than that estimated by the local seismicity. This discrepancy arises from the interference of two slab-converted phases, suggesting a layer atop the slab. In these cases we refine the stack to distinguish two slab phases and estimate three parameters of each dipping interface separately. Two interfaces with the same dip direction and low dip angle are estimated at these stations, with depth difference near 6 km. Thus, the shallower interface may be related to the layer within the oceanic crust and the deeper one is the slab Moho. These double-layered interfaces are detected only at stations located up-dip of a belt-like distribution of non- volcanic low-frequency tremor. Comparing the interface dips estimated in this study with the direction of slab motion

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. On the initiation of subduction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mueller, Steve; Phillips, Roger J.

    1991-01-01

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

  14. On the initiation of subduction

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-01-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  16. Coulomb stress change for the normal-fault aftershocks triggered near the Japan Trench by the 2011 M w 9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, Tamao; Hiratsuka, Shinya; Mori, Jim

    2012-12-01

    Coulomb stress triggering is examined using well-determined aftershock focal mechanisms and source models of the 2011 M w 9.0 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake. We tested several slip distributions obtained by inverting onshore GPS-derived coseismic displacements under different a priori constraints on the initial fault parameters. The aftershock focal mechanisms are most consistent with the Coulomb stress change calculated for a slip distribution having a center of slip close to the trench. This demonstrates the capability of the Coulomb stress change to help constrain the slip distribution that is otherwise difficult to determine. Coulomb stress changes for normal-fault aftershocks near the Japan Trench are found to be strongly dependent on the slip on the shallow portion of the fault. This fact suggests the possibility that the slip on the shallow portion of the fault can be better constrained by combining information of the Coulomb stress change with other available data. The case of normal-fault aftershocks near some trench segment which are calculated to be negatively stressed shows such an example, suggesting that the actual slip on the shallow portion of the fault is larger than that inverted from GPS-derived coseismic displacements.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Yingfeng; Yoshioka, Shoichi; Matsumoto, Takumi

    2016-06-01

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

  2. On the Possibility of Slip-to-trench Rupture in Cascadia Megathrust Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, D.; Wang, K.; Riedel, M.; Sun, T.; Insua, T. L.; Goldfinger, C.; Priest, G. R.

    2015-12-01

    Tsunamis may be generated by subduction zone earthquakes in four ways: (1) elastic seafloor deformation of the upper plate induced by a buried rupture, (2) enhanced seafloor uplift due to splay faulting, (3) seaward motion of the sloping seafloor due to slip-to-trench rupture, and (4) activation of multiple thrusts and back-thrusts due to sudden shortening of the frontal accretionary prism. Cascadia megathrust rupture models previously developed for tsunami hazard assessment include the first two scenarios. The 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku-oki earthquake which exhibited dramatic coseismic slip at the trench raised a new question. Can the shallowest portion of the Cascadia megathrust also slip to trench in great earthquakes as in the Tohoku-oki earthquake or would it normally resist coseimic rupture but creep aseismically after the earthquake as in the 2005 Mw 8.7 Nias earthquake? We reanalyzed seismic images from marine multichannel seismic surveys conducted in 1985 and 1989 with a new focus on the accretionary wedge deformation front. The incoming plate at Cascadia is blanketed by ~3km sediment near the deformation front. Off Vancouver Island, deformation style varies along the subduction margin. In a southern portion there are multiple thrusts dipping landward. Half-way north the vergence changes to dominantly back-thrusting. Farther north, in the Explorer segment, both seaward and landward vergent thrusts are present. This is in sharp contrast to the sediment-starved Japan trench where one continuous decollement extends all the way to the trench, a structure style that facilitates slip-to-trench rupture. Given the complex structure at Cascadia's deformation front, slip-to-trench rupture appears to be much less likely. Scenarios (1) and (4) may be the more likely source scenarios for Cascadia. However, for tsunami hazard assessment, all the rupture scenarios should be considered even for the low probability slip-to-trench rupture scenario involving frontal thrusts with

  3. Multiple Collision and Subduction Structure of the Izu-Bonin Arc: Tectonics of the Arc-arc Collision in Central Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    The Izu collision zone in central Japan provides a great research field for studying crustal evolution of island arcs associated with collision and subduction processes. Since the middle Miocene, an intraoceanic volcanic arc named the Izu-Bonin arc has been colliding from south with the Honshu arc along with the subduction of the Philippine Sea plate. Intensive geological studies in the last few decades revealed that several crustal blocks derived from the Izu-Bonin arc, such as Koma Mountains, Misaka Mountains, Tanzawa Mountains and Izu Peninsula, were accreted onto the Honshu arc in the course of the multiple collision (e.g. Amano, 1991). In order to understand the whole crustal structure dominated by the active arc-arc collision, we carried out several seismic experiments using controlled sources (Sato et al., 2005, 2006; Arai et al., 2009). Structural models obtained by reflection and refraction/wide-angle reflection analyses show extremely complex collision styles characterized by obduction in the northernmost part (Misaka) and crustal stacking in the middle part (Tanzawa). Delamination structure is recognized at a mid-crustal level for these two blocks. On the other hand, a subduction style is dominant in the southern part (Izu). These differences may be attributed to the along-arc structural variation of the Izu-Bonin arc (Kodaira et al., 2007). It is also indicated that some portions of the Izu-Bonin middle crust were accreted at the bottom of the Honshu crust. Consideration of mass balance, however, suggests that the most Izu-Bonin crust has been subducting deep into the mantle without being accreted. So we can say that the dynamic process of this intraoceanic volcanic arc is essentially controlled by subduction rather than collision/accretion. A northwestward dipping reflector was found at depths of 25-35 km beneath the accreted crustal blocks of Misaka and Tanzawa, which is interpreted to be the upper surface of the subducting lower crust of the Izu

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishii, T.

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Acceleration of regional plate subduction beneath Kanto, Japan, after the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uchida, Naoki; Asano, Youichi; Hasegawa, Akira

    2016-09-01

    Two oceanic plates (the Pacific (PA) and Philippine Sea (PH)) subduct beneath the land plate, and they forms deeper (PH-PA) and shallower (land-PH) plate boundaries beneath Kanto. Remarkably enhanced seismicity was observed in the densely populated area after the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake, which cannot simply be explained by the southern expansion of the postseismic slip of the earthquake. We examine interplate repeating earthquakes to constrain the relative plate motion across aseismically slipping faults. The repeater slip rates show creep rates in the deeper and shallower boundaries, respectively, increased to 2.4-6.6 times and 1.3-6.2 times the pre-Tohoku-oki rates. In addition, the repeater slip directions show no change larger than 4° in the deeper boundary. The interplate creep rates and slip directions suggest that regional movements of both the two plates had accelerated. They probably caused the seismicity increase, frequent slow slips on the shallower boundary, and enhanced probability of larger earthquakes.

  7. Late Quaternary uplift rate inferred from marine terraces, Muroto Peninsula, southwest Japan: Forearc deformation in an oblique subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsu'ura, Tabito

    2015-04-01

    Tectonic uplift rates across the Muroto Peninsula, in the southwest Japan forearc (the overriding plate in the southwest Japan oblique subduction zone), were estimated by mapping the elevations of the inner edges of marine terrace surfaces. The uplift rates inferred from marine terraces M1 and M2, which were correlated by tephrochronology with marine isotope stages (MIS) 5e and 5c, respectively, include some vertical offset by local faults but generally decrease northwestward from 1.2-1.6 m ky- 1 on Cape Muroto to 0.3-0.7 m ky- 1 in the Kochi Plain. The vertical deformation of the Muroto Peninsula since MIS 5e and 5c was interpreted as a combination of regional uplift and folding related to the arc-normal offshore Muroto-Misaki fault. A regional uplift rate of 0.46 m ky- 1 was estimated from terraces on the Muroto Peninsula, and the residual deformation of these terraces was attributed to fault-related folding. A mass-balance calculation yielded a shortening rate of 0.71-0.77 m ky- 1 for the Muroto Peninsula, with the Muroto-Misaki fault accounting for 0.60-0.71 m ky- 1, but these rates may be overestimated by as much as 10% given variations of several meters in the elevation difference between the buried shoreline angles and terrace inner edges in the study area. A thrust fault model with flat (5-10° dip) and ramp (60° dip) components is proposed to explain the shortening rate and uplift rate of the Muroto-Misaki fault since MIS 5e. Bedrock deformation also indicates that the northern extension of this fault corresponds to the older Muroto Flexure.

  8. Phenomenology of non-volcanic deep tremor, slow slip and the third slow earthquake in southwest Japan subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obara, K.; Ito, Y.; Sekine, S.; Hirose, H.; Shiomi, K.

    2006-12-01

    Coupling phenomena of the non-volcanic low-frequency tremor and short-term slow slip event reflect the subduction process at the transition zone of deeper plate interface. In southwest Japan, non-volcanic tremors are distributed in some clusters along the 30km depth contour line of the upper boundary of the subducting Philippine Sea plate [Obara, 2002]. Peak of tremor activity recurs with regular intervals accompanying to short- term slow slip event lasting for a several days [Obara, et al., 2004]. In western Shikoku, the episodic tremor and slow slip have been clearly detected every six months. On the other hand, in central and eastern Shikoku, the tremor occurs with a few months interval. This suggests that the periodic stick-slip behavior has a spatial variation along the same slab. The regularity of recurrence interval is sometimes distorted by other seismic phenomena. In western Shikoku, the episodic tremor and slip occurred in winter and summer during two years of 2001 and 2002. However, during and after the period of the long-term slow slip event on the latter half of 2003 in this area, the recurrence interval was shortened to three months. Then, the half-year interval returned again since 2005. Northern Kii and Tokai areas, located on both sides of the Ise Bay, central part of Japan, are active tremor and slip source areas with the recurrence interval of six months. In December 2004 and July 2005, the episodic tremor and slip occurred in both areas independently with time gap of a few weeks. On the other hand, in January 2006, the tremor and slow slip began from the central part of Kii peninsula and gradually migrated to northeast. The activity at last went across the Ise Bay and advanced through the Tokai area. This continuous activity extending for 200km is the first accident since the tremor monitoring has started from 2001. Beneath the Ise Bay area, the configuration of the subducting Philippine Sea plate has a small ridge structure estimated from the

  9. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keren, Tucker T.; Kirkpatrick, James D.

    2016-05-01

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

  11. Repeatability of high-speed migration of tremor along the Nankai subduction zone, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kato, A.; Tsuruoka, H.; Nakagawa, S.; Hirata, N.

    2015-12-01

    Tectonic tremors have been considered to be a swarm or superimposed pulses of low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs). To systematically analyze the high-speed migration of tremor [e.g., Shelly et al., 2007], we here focus on an intensive cluster hosting many low-frequency earthquakes located at the western part of Shikoku Island. We relocated ~770 hypocenters of LFEs identified by the JMA, which took place from Jan. 2008 to Dec. 2013, applying double differential relocation algorithm [e.g., Waldhauser and Ellsworth, 2000] to arrival times picked by the JMA and those obtained by waveform cross correlation measurements. The epicentral distributions show a clear alignment parallel to the subduction of the Philippine Sea plate, as like a slip-parallel streaking. Then, we applied a matched-filter technique to continuous seismograms recorded near the source region using relocated template LFEs during 6 years (between Jan. 2008 and Dec. 2013). We newly detected about 60 times the number of template events, which is fairly larger than ones obtained by conventional envelope cross correlation method. Interestingly, we identified many repeated sequences of tremor migrations along the slip-parallel streaking (~350 sequences). Front of each or stacked migration of tremors can be modeled by a parabolic envelope, indicating a diffusion process. The diffusivity of parabolic envelope is estimated to be around 105 m2/s, which is categorized as high-speed migration feature (~100 km/hour). Most of the rapid migrations took place during occurrences of short-term slow slip events (SSEs), and seems to be triggered by ocean and solid Earth tides. The most plausible explanation of the high-speed propagation is a diffusion process of stress pulse concentrated within a cluster of strong brittle patches on the ductile shear zone [Ando et al., 2012]. The viscosity of the ductile shear zone within the streaking is at least one order magnitude smaller than that of the slow-speed migration. This

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, D.

    2011-12-01

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

  13. Relationship between 3He/4He ratios and subduction of the Philippine Sea plate beneath southwest Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Umeda, Koji; Kusano, Tomohiro; Asamori, Koichi; McCrank, Glen F.

    2012-10-01

    Regional and local variations in mantle helium provide insight into the coupling of mantle-crust tectonics, and heat and/or mass transfer from the Earth's interior. In order to further elucidate the geographic distribution of3He/4He ratios in southwest Japan, the data from a total of 924 sites were compiled and synthesized. These include data from 48 additional hot spring and drinking water well sites on the northern Kyushu Island and in the northern Chugoku region. There appears to be good correlation between variations in helium isotope ratios and the geophysical evidence used to determine the configuration of the subducting Philippine Sea plate (PHS). Seismological studies reveal that the leading edge of the aseismic slab does not extend to the northern Chugoku region nor to the Osaka Bay area, where gas samples with significantly elevated 3He/4He ratios occur. This is consistent with a mantle-derived helium in these areas, from melts and/or mantle fluids ascribed to upwelling asthenosphere without being hindered by the descending PHS slab. In contrast, gas samples in the regions where the overriding crust comes into direct contact with the subducting PHS are dominated by radiogenic helium derived from the crust because of the absence of a mantle wedge, the most plausible source of mantle helium. Owing to the abrupt changes in the seismicity and focal mechanisms of intraplate earthquakes, the PHS is considered to have slab tears beneath the Kii Channel and/or the eastern Kii Peninsula oriented in a NW-SE direction. However, the lenear alignment of anomalously high3He/4He ratios does not appear to be NW-SE trending along the assumed slab tears but rather forms an broad, ENE-WSW trending zone between the tears where low-frequency events occur. The emanation of gas with elevated3He/4He ratios in the central peninsula can be explained by the upward mobilization of mantle volatiles derived from the mantle wedge above the PHS and/or transferred from the hydrated slab

  14. Stress Drops of Earthquakes on the Subducting Pacific Plate in the South-East off Hokkaido, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, Y.; Yamada, T.

    2013-12-01

    Large earthquakes have been occurring repeatedly in the South-East of Hokkaido, Japan, where the Pacific Plate subducts beneath the Okhotsk Plate in the north-west direction. For example, the 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake (Mw8.3 determined by USGS) took place in the region on September 26, 2003. Yamanaka and Kikuchi (2003) analyzed the slip distribution of the earthquake and concluded that the 2003 earthquake had ruptured the deeper half of the fault plane of the 1952 Tokachi-oki earthquake. Miyazaki et al. (2004) reported that a notable afterslip was observed at adjacent areas to the coseismic rupture zone of the 2003 earthquake, which suggests that there would be significant heterogeneities of strength, stress and frictional properties on the surface of the Pacific Plate in the region. In addition, some previous studies suggest that the region with a large slip in large earthquakes permanently have large difference of strength and the dynamic frictional stress level and that it would be able to predict the spatial pattern of slip in the next large earthquake by analyzing the stress drop of small earthquakes (e.g. Allmann and Shearer, 2007 and Yamada et al., 2010). We estimated stress drops of 150 earthquakes (4.2 ≤ M ≤ 5.0), using S-coda waves, or the waveforms from 4.00 to 9.11 seconds after the S wave arrivals, of Hi-net data. The 150 earthquakes were the ones that occurred from June, 2002 to December, 2010 in south-east of Hokkaido, Japan, from 40.5N to 43.5N and from 141.0E to 146.5E. First we selected waveforms of the closest earthquakes with magnitudes between 3.0 and 3.2 to individual 150 earthquakes as empirical Green's functions. We then calculated source spectral ratios of the 150 pairs of interested earthquakes and EGFs by deconvolving the individual S-coda waves. We finally estimated corner frequencies of earthquakes from the spectral ratios by assuming the omega-squared model of Boatwright (1978) and calculated stress drops of the earthquakes by

  15. Physical properties of the top of the subducting Philippine Sea plate beneath the SW Japan arc, derived from onshore - offshore integrated seismic survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurashimo, E.; Hirata, N.; Iwasaki, T.; Kodaira, S.; Kaneda, Y.

    2004-12-01

    The Nankai trough region, where the Philippine Sea Plate is subducting beneath the southwestern Japan arc, is a well-known seismogenic zone of interplate earthquakes (e.g. the 1944 Tonankai Earthquake (M=7.9) and the 1946 Nankai Earthquake (M=8.0)). A detailed crustal and upper mantle structure of the subducted Philippine Sea Plate and the overlying SW Japan arc is inevitably important to constrain the physical process of earthquake occurrence. In the summer of 1999, we conducted a highly dense onshore-offshore integrated seismic experiment in the eastern part of Shikoku Island and the adjacent Nankai trough, SW Japan. The most remarkable feature of the record sections is that extremely high amplitude reflections (bright reflections) can be recognized. This phase was interpreted as a reflected wave from the top of the subducting Philippine Sea plate at a depth of 18-30km (Kurashimo et al., 2002). Physical properties across the reflecting interface control amplitude versus offset (AVO) response. To obtain physical properties of the material between the subducting Philippine Sea plate and island arc crust, we investigated AVO response on this bright reflection. Analyzing this bright reflection, we could obtain the reflection coefficient (Rpp) as a function of the incident angle. Rpp tends to increase beyond about 50 degrees. To discuss about this characteristic, we calculated reflection coefficient for different velocity models. The single interface models (positive velocity contrast exists between the interface. negative velocity gradient exists upper side of the reflecter) can not explain the characteristic of the Rpp. Thin layer model (about 200 m) with a P-wave velocity of 4.0 km/s (a thin layer with a negative reflection coefficient at its upper boundary and a much larger, but positive reflection coefficient at its base exists) explains the characteristic of the Rpp. The P-wave velocity of the sediments shows 2.0-4.2km/s off Shikoku Island (Kodaira et al., 2002

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  20. Salty Trench

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshioka, Shoichi; Takagi, Rumi; Matsumoto, Takumi

    2015-05-01

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

  2. Backarc spreading and mantle wedge flow beneath the Japan Sea: insight from Rayleigh-wave anisotropic tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xin; Zhao, Dapeng

    2016-10-01

    We present the first high-resolution Rayleigh-wave phase-velocity azimuthal anisotropy tomography of the Japan subduction zone at periods of 20-150 s, which is determined using a large number of high-quality amplitude and phase data of teleseismic fundamental-mode Rayleigh waves. The obtained 2-D anisotropic phase-velocity models are then inverted for a 3-D shear-wave velocity azimuthal anisotropy tomography down to a depth of ˜300 km beneath Japan. The subducting Pacific slab is imaged as a dipping high-velocity zone with trench-parallel fast-velocity directions (FVDs) which may indicate the anisotropy arising from the normal faults produced at the outer-rise area near the Japan trench axis, overprinting the slab fossil fabric, whereas the mantle wedge generally exhibits lower velocities with trench-normal FVDs which reflect subduction-driven corner flow and anisotropy. Depth variations of azimuthal anisotropy are revealed in the big mantle wedge beneath the Japan Sea, which may reflect past deformations in the Eurasian lithosphere related to backarc spreading during 21 to 15 Ma and complex current convection in the asthenosphere induced by active subductions of both the Pacific and Philippine Sea plates.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiomi, K.; Park, J.

    2008-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuzawa, T.; Iio, Y.

    2011-12-01

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

  11. An approximately 9-yr-period variation in seismicity and crustal deformation near the Japan Trench and a consideration of its origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, Yoshiyuki

    2014-02-01

    It is well known that the statistical probability of earthquake occurrence changes over the course of a day due to periodic variations in the tidal stress acting on faults. However, periodicity on a decadal scale has been studied by relatively few researchers. It has been reported that an approximately 10-yr periodicity is observed globally for the seismicity of M-8-class large earthquakes. However, the mechanism underlying this periodicity has not yet been revealed. In this study, the decadal-scale periodicity of earthquakes along the Japan Trench is investigated. A new finding is presented that in northeast Japan, the probability of the occurrence of historical earthquakes with an M ≥ 6 that have occurred during the past 1000 yr has increased approximately every 9 yr. Periodicity becomes even more apparent for large earthquakes with an M > 7.5 and approximately half the recorded events intensively occurred within two successive years on a cycle of approximately 9 yr. This implies the presence of a periodic stress disturbance at an appreciably regular interval. The past strain and tilt observations conducted in Japan during the 1950s through the 1970s indicate that, nationwide, gradual compression repeated every 8-10 yr in the direction of relative plate motion. These compression periods are in accordance with the periods of higher seismic activity discussed above. As a first step in investigating the origin of earthquake periodicity, periods associated with lunar motion are considered. It is shown that long-term motion primarily governed by the period of the lunar perigee is synchronized with the cyclic variation in seismicity and crustal deformation described above. Decadal changes in tidal stress, as calculated using an ordinary theory of solid Earth tides, are too small to cause periodic variations in seismicity. Therefore, the conditions by which tidal stress is sufficiently amplified to trigger an earthquake are investigated. The results show that, if one

  12. Dynamic Simulation of the 2011 M9.0 Tohoku Earthquake with Geometric Complexity on a Rate- and State-dependent Subduction Plane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, B.; Duan, B.

    2015-12-01

    The Mw 9.0 Tohoku megathrust earthquake on 11 March 2011 is a great surprise to the scientific community due to its unexpected occurrence on the subduction zone of Japan Trench where earthquakes of magnitude ~7 to 8 are expected based on historical records. Slip distribution and kinematic slip history inverted from seismic data, GPS and tsunami recordings reveal two major aspects of this big event: a strong asperity near the hypocenter and large slip near the trench. To investigate physical conditions of these two aspects, we perform dynamic rupture simulations on a shallow-dipping rate- and state-dependent subduction plane with topographic relief. Although existence of a subducted seamount just up-dip of the hypocenter is still an open question, high Vp anomalies [Zhao et al., 2011] and low Vp/Vs anomalies [Yamamoto et al., 2014] there strongly suggest some kind of topographic relief exists there. We explicitly incorporate a subducted seamount on the subduction surface into our models. Our preliminary results show that the subducted seamount play a significant role in dynamic rupture propagation due to the alteration of the stress state around it. We find that a subducted seamount can act as a strong barrier to many earthquakes, but its ultimate failure after some earthquake cycles results in giant earthquakes. Its failure gives rise to large stress drop, resulting in a strong asperity in slip distribution as revealed in kinematic inversions. Our preliminary results also suggest that the rate- and state- friction law plays an important role in rupture propagation of geometrically complex faults. Although rate-strengthening behavior near the trench impedes rupture propagation, an energetic rupture can break such a barrier and manage to reach the trench, resulting in significant uplift at seafloor and hence devastating tsunami to human society.

  13. 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.

  14. Marine electromagnetics: A new tool for mapping fluids at subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Key, K.; Naif, S.; Constable, S.; Evans, R. L.

    2013-12-01

    The recent adoption of marine electromagnetic (EM) methods by the hydrocarbon exploration industry has driven technological innovations in acquisition hardware and modeling software that have created new opportunities for studying plate boundary structure at subduction zones. Because the bulk electrical resistivity measured by EM surveys is strongly dependent on crustal porosity and hence fluid content, EM data can provide valuable constraints on crustal hydration in the incoming oceanic plate, fluids released through sediment compaction and dehydration reactions occurring after the plate is subducted, and fluids escaping through the overlying forearc crust. Since water also plays an important role in regulating subduction earthquake processes and frictional behavior along the plate boundary, EM data have the potential to reveal new insights on the causes of large subduction zone earthquakes and their potential for generating tsunamis. As a demonstration of this novel technique, we present new results from the first controlled-source EM survey of a subduction zone, carried out at the Middle America Trench offshore Nicaragua in 2010. During this survey 50 seafloor EM receivers were deployed along a 280 km profile extending from the abyssal plain, across the trench and onto the forearc. Controlled-source EM signals were broadcast to the receivers by deep-towing a low-frequency electric dipole transmitter close to the seafloor along the entire survey profile, generating diffusive EM waves that traveled through the crust and uppermost mantle. Non-linear two-dimensional inversion of the data reveals a significant decrease in crustal resistivity with the onset of bending faults at the trench outer rise and images a continuous zone of low resistivity porous sediments being carried down with the subducting plate to at least 10 km down dip from the trench. Further landward at about 25 km from the trench, a sub-vertical low-resistivity zone extending from the plate boundary

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  16. Japan.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geiger, Rita; And Others

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-05-01

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

  18. Back-arc Extension: Critical Analisys of Subduction-related and Non Subduction-related Driving Mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mantovani, E.; Viti, M.; Babbucci, D.; Tamburelli, C.; Albarello, D.

    It is argued that the opening of back arc basins can hardly be explained as an effect of subduction related forces, since this kind of interpretation has not yet provided plausible explanations for several major features of such processes in the world. In particular, it is not clear why back arc extension occurs in some subduction zones and not in others, why extension ceased in zones where subduction has remained active, why the arcs associated with back arc basins are often characterized by a strongly curved shape, why arc-trench-back arc systems do not develop along the entire length of consuming borders and why no significant correlation can be recognized between any parameter of subduction processes and the occurrence of back arc extension. In addition, modelling experiments indicate that the magnitude of the tensional stress induced in the overriding plate by subduction-related forces is significantly lower than the lithospheric strength. These problems are discussed, in particular, for three subduction-related interpretations, the "slab-pull", the "corner flow" and the "sea an- chor" models, which seem to be the most quoted in literature. It is then argued that possible solutions of the above problems may be provided by the extrusion model, which postulates that back arc basins are generated by the forced separation of the arc from the overriding plate, along a sector of the consuming border. This separa- tion is generally caused by the oblique indentation of strong and buoyant structures against the accretionary belt. In this view, subduction and back arc extension are not causally linked one to the other, but rather represent simultaneous effects of the lateral migration of the arc, driven by plate convergence. It is pointed out that the conditions required for the occurrence of this kind of mechanism may be recognized in the tec- tonic contexts where back arc basins developed in the wake of arc-trench migrating systems. On the other hand, in the zones

  19. Phoenix Trenches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

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

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

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

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

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

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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1993-03-01

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

  2. Global overview of subduction seismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  3. A discussion of numerical subduction initiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buiter, Susanne; Ellis, Susan

    2016-04-01

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

  4. Japan.

    PubMed

    1987-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coulson, Sophie; Garth, Thomas; Reitbrock, Andreas

    2016-04-01

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

  6. A Hybrid Tsunami Risk Model for Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  7. Trench Connection

    PubMed Central

    Jamieson, Alan J.; Fujii, Toyonobu

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  9. The effect of a power-law mantle viscosity on trench retreat rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, Adam F.; Becker, Thorsten W.

    2016-10-01

    The subduction of lithospheric plates is partitioned between subducting plate motion and lateral slab migration (i.e., trench retreat and advance). We use 3-D, dynamic models of subduction to address the role of a power-law mantle viscosity on subduction dynamics and, in particular, rates of trench retreat. For all numerical models tested, we find that a power-law rheology results in reduced rates of trench retreat, and elevated slab dip angles, relative to the equivalent isoviscous mantle model. We analyze the asthenospheric pressure distribution and the style of mantle flow, which exhibits only limited variability as a function of mantle rheology, in order to compute estimates of the mantle forces associated with subduction. The inclusion of a power-law rheology reduces the mantle shear force (which resists subducting plate motion) to a greater degree than it reduces the dynamic pressure gradient across the slab (which resists trench retreat). Therefore, the inclusion of a power-law mantle rheology favors a shift towards a subduction mode with a reduced trench retreat component, typically a relative reduction of order 25% in our 3-D models. We suggest that this mechanism may be of importance for reducing the high trench retreat rates observed in many previous models to levels more in line with the average subduction partitioning observed on Earth at present (i.e., trench velocity ≤ plate velocity), for most absolute plate motion reference frames.

  10. Seismotectonics at the Trench-Trench-Trench triple junction off central Honshu

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seno, Tetsuzo; Takano, Takashi

    1989-03-01

    We study earthquakes in and near the TTT type triple junction off Boso peninsula, central Honshu, to elucidate the plate interaction in this area. The Pacific, North America (northeast Japan) and Philippine Sea plates meet at the junction of the Japan and Izu-Bonin Trenches, and the Sagami Trough. We determine focal mechanisms using WWSSN data. We also determine accurate focal depths by modeling body-waves. There is no serious trade-off between focal depth and source time function for the events treated in this study. The earthquake mechanisms and their focal depths show two major modes of deformation of the Pacific slab at the junction. One mode is represented by nearly vertical normal faults with strikes perpendicular to the Bonin Trench. This mode of faulting is dominant in regions south of the junction and characteristically the southwest block is downthrown. The other mode is represented by nearly vertical normal faults that strike parallel to the Japan Trench and indicate the northwest block is downthrown. This latter mode is dominant in regions north of the junction. The former mode may represent the accommodation of the slab geometry to the change in dip angle between the northeast Japan and Izu-Bonin arcs; the Izu-Bonin slab has a larger dip than that of the northeast Japan slab. The latter mode shows that normal faults parallel to the trench strike, usually seen in trench axis-outer rise regions, continue to occur further landward of the trench axis in the area just north of the junction. This might be caused by the loading of the Philippine Sea slab which penetrates between northeast Japan and the Pacific slab north of the Sagami Trough. Further north of these normal faults north of the junction, we find earthquakes which represent the relative motion between the Pacific and North American plates. This means that the Philippine Sea slab does not exist there. With the aid of earthquakes which represent the Philippine Sea-Pacific and Philippine Sea

  11. Japan.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Savannah C.

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

  12. Subduction Initiation in Eastern Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, R.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  14. Crustal structure and configuration of the subducting Philippine Sea plate beneath the Pacific coast industrial zone in Japan inferred from receiver function analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Igarashi, T.; Iidaka, T.; Sakai, S.; Hirata, N.

    2012-12-01

    We apply receiver function (RF) analyses to estimate the crustal structure and configuration of the subducting Philippine Sea (PHS) plate beneath the Pacific coast industrial zone stretching from Tokyo to Fukuoka in Japan. Destructive earthquakes often occurred at the plate interface of the PHS plate, and seismic activities increase after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake (Mw9.0) around the Tokyo metropolitan area. Investigation on the crustal structure is the key to understanding the stress concentration and strain accumulation process, and information on configuration of the subducting plate is important to mitigate future earthquake disasters. In this study, we searched for the best-correlated velocity structure model between an observed receiver function at each station and synthetic ones by using a grid search method. Synthetic RFs were calculated from many assumed one-dimensional velocity structures that consist of four layers with positive velocity steps. Observed receiver functions were stacked without considering back azimuth or epicentral distance. We further constructed the vertical cross-sections of depth-converted RF images transformed the lapse time of time series to depth by using the estimated structure models. Telemetric seismographic network data covered on the Japanese Islands including the Metropolitan Seismic Observation network, which constructed under the Special Project for Earthquake Disaster Mitigation in the Tokyo Metropolitan area and maintained by Special Project for Reducing Vulnerability for Urban Mega Earthquake Disasters, are used. We selected events with magnitudes greater or equal to 5.0 and epicentral distance between 30 and 90 degrees based on USGS catalogues. As a result, we clarify spatial distributions of the crustal S-wave velocities. Estimated average one-dimensional S-wave velocity structure is approximately equal to the JMA2011 structural model although the velocity from the ground surface to 5 km in depth is slow. In particular

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kita, Saeko; Matsubara, Makoto

    2016-03-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niu, Y.

    2013-12-01

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

  3. Overriding Plate Deformation During Subduction Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, J. H.; Garel, F.; Davies, R.; Goes, S. D. B.

    2015-12-01

    Subduction dynamics has been widely studied in free subduction models, which document the important control of the downgoing plate. However, various models have shown how the overriding plate can influence subduction dynamics through its thermal structure, thickness and coupling. Using the code Fluidity we investigate overriding plate deformation in a 2-D thermo-mechanical model of the two-plate subduction system. We use Fluidity's adaptive mesh and free-surface formulation. The model includes a composite temperature- and stress-dependent rheology, and plates are decoupled by a weak layer, which allows for free trench motion. We focus on the evolution of the topography and state of stress in the overriding plate during the different phases of the subduction process: early stages of subduction, free-fall sinking in the upper mantle and interaction of the slab with the high-viscosity lower mantle.

  4. Three-Dimensional Numerical Models of Subduction and Subduction-Induced Mantle Flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

    The kinematics of subduction and its influence on mantle convection and plate-scale deformation have been the focus of numerous geodynamic studies [e.g. Garfunkel et al., 1986; Gurnis and Hager, 1988; Zhong and Gurnis, 1995; Christensen, 1996; Olbertz et al., 1997; Conrad and Hager, 1999; Eberle et al., 2002]. Most geodynamic models have considered only two-dimensional aspects of subduction dynamics by incorporating the assumption that subduction zones are infinite in trench-parallel extent. However, natural subduction zones are intrinsically three-dimensional, due in part to their limited lateral extent. Lateral length scales of natural subduction zones vary from only a few hundred kilometres (e.g. the Calabrian, Hellenic and Scotia slabs) to several thousand kilometres (e.g. the Aleutian, Indonesian, Northwest Pacific and South American slabs). Here, we present results from three-dimensional numerical experiments that simulate lithospheric subduction and subduction induced mantle flow for slabs with a varying lateral extent.

  5. Unusually large earthquakes inferred from tsunami deposits along the Kuril trench

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nanayama, F.; Satake, K.; Furukawa, R.; Shimokawa, K.; Atwater, B.F.; Shigeno, K.; Yamaki, S.

    2003-01-01

    The Pacific plate converges with northeastern Eurasia at a rate of 8-9 m per century along the Kamchatka, Kuril and Japan trenches. Along the southern Kuril trench, which faces the Japanese island of Hokkaido, this fast subduction has recurrently generated earthquakes with magnitudes of up to ???8 over the past two centuries. These historical events, on rupture segments 100-200 km long, have been considered characteristic of Hokkaido's plate-boundary earthquakes. But here we use deposits of prehistoric tsunamis to infer the infrequent occurrence of larger earthquakes generated from longer ruptures. Many of these tsunami deposits form sheets of sand that extend kilometres inland from the deposits of historical tsunamis. Stratigraphic series of extensive sand sheets, intercalated with dated volcanic-ash layers, show that such unusually large tsunamis occurred about every 500 years on average over the past 2,000-7,000 years, most recently ???350 years ago. Numerical simulations of these tsunamis are best explained by earthquakes that individually rupture multiple segments along the southern Kuril trench. We infer that such multi-segment earthquakes persistently recur among a larger number of single-segment events.

  6. Unusually large earthquakes inferred from tsunami deposits along the Kuril trench.

    PubMed

    Nanayama, Futoshi; Satake, Kenji; Furukawa, Ryuta; Shimokawa, Koichi; Atwater, Brian F; Shigeno, Kiyoyuki; Yamaki, Shigeru

    2003-08-01

    The Pacific plate converges with northeastern Eurasia at a rate of 8-9 m per century along the Kamchatka, Kuril and Japan trenches. Along the southern Kuril trench, which faces the Japanese island of Hokkaido, this fast subduction has recurrently generated earthquakes with magnitudes of up to approximately 8 over the past two centuries. These historical events, on rupture segments 100-200 km long, have been considered characteristic of Hokkaido's plate-boundary earthquakes. But here we use deposits of prehistoric tsunamis to infer the infrequent occurrence of larger earthquakes generated from longer ruptures. Many of these tsunami deposits form sheets of sand that extend kilometres inland from the deposits of historical tsunamis. Stratigraphic series of extensive sand sheets, intercalated with dated volcanic-ash layers, show that such unusually large tsunamis occurred about every 500 years on average over the past 2,000-7,000 years, most recently approximately 350 years ago. Numerical simulations of these tsunamis are best explained by earthquakes that individually rupture multiple segments along the southern Kuril trench. We infer that such multi-segment earthquakes persistently recur among a larger number of single-segment events.

  7. Strong Quake Strikes Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2011-03-01

    As Eos was about to go to press, a powerful earthquake with a preliminary estimated magnitude of 8.9 shook the northeast coast of Japan on 11 March at 05:46:23 UTC. It is the largest known earthquake along the Japan Trench subduction zone since 869 A.D. or earlier, Brian Atwater, geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), told Eos. The quake's magnitude would place it fifth in terms of any earthquake magnitude worldwide since at least 1900, according to information from the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program. The amount of energy released in the quake—which occurred 130 kilometers east of Sendai, Honshu, at a depth of 24.4 kilometers—was equivalent to the energy from 30 earthquakes the size of the 1906 quake in San Francisco, Calif., according to David Applegate, USGS senior science advisor for earthquake and geologic hazards. He said the economic losses from the shaking are estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars.

  8. Imaging the Subduction Decollement, Hikurangi Subduction Zone, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bannister, S.; Toulmin, S.; Henrys, S.; Reyners, M.; Barker, D.; Pecher, I.; Sutherland, R.; Uruski, C.; Maslen, G.

    2006-12-01

    Beneath the eastern coastline of North Island, New Zealand, the subducted Pacific plate dips at less than 3 degrees to the northwest and the subduction decollement is at a depth of less than 15-km. The active-source NIGHT and passive-source CNIPSE experiments carried out in 2001 image the shallow dipping decollement down to more than 6 s (twt) at which point it steepens landward, 120 km from the Hikurangi trench. This change in dip appears to be closely associated with the onset of seismogenesis in the subducted plate. Velocity inversion of CNIPSE earthquake times reveals the forearc to be a relatively low Vp (<5.5 km/s), high Vp/Vs (>1.85), high Poisson's ratio (>0.29) region overlying the 12-15 km thick subducted crust. In March-May 2005 a new industry-seismic survey, 05CM, was carried out offshore the east coast, seismically imaging the subducted plate. More than 278000 airgun shots were also recorded by temporary seismometer stations placed along the coastline, out to offsets of more than 100 km. The combined marine and offshore- onshore seismic data highlight an area of more than 400 sq.kms. with higher reflectivity on the subduction decollement up-dip of the up-dip limit of seismogenesis, which we further examine using AVO and finite- difference modelling.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Subduction initiation: spontaneous and induced

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, Robert J.

    2004-10-01

    The sinking of lithosphere at subduction zones couples Earth's exterior with its interior, spawns continental crust and powers a tectonic regime that is unique to our planet. In spite of its importance, it is unclear how subduction is initiated. Two general mechanisms are recognized: induced and spontaneous nucleation of subduction zones. Induced nucleation (INSZ) responds to continuing plate convergence following jamming of a subduction zone by buoyant crust. This results in regional compression, uplift and underthrusting that may yield a new subduction zone. Two subclasses of INSZ, transference and polarity reversal, are distinguished. Transference INSZ moves the new subduction zone outboard of the failed one. The Mussau Trench and the continuing development of a plate boundary SW of India in response to Indo-Asian collision are the best Cenozoic examples of transference INSZ processes. Polarity reversal INSZ also follows collision, but continued convergence in this case results in a new subduction zone forming behind the magmatic arc; the response of the Solomon convergent margin following collision with the Ontong Java Plateau is the best example of this mode. Spontaneous nucleation (SNSZ) results from gravitational instability of oceanic lithosphere and is required to begin the modern regime of plate tectonics. Lithospheric collapse initiates SNSZ, either at a passive margin or at a transform/fracture zone, in a fashion similar to lithospheric delamination. The theory of hypothesis predicts that seafloor spreading will occur in the location that becomes the forearc, as asthenosphere wells up to replace sunken lithosphere, and that seafloor spreading predates plate convergence. This is the origin of most boninites and ophiolites. Passive margin collapse is a corollary of the Wilson cycle but no Cenozoic examples are known; furthermore, the expected strength of the lithosphere makes this mode unlikely. Transform collapse SNSZ appears to have engendered new

  12. Subduction initiation: spontaneous and induced

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2004-10-01

    The sinking of lithosphere at subduction zones couples Earth's exterior with its interior, spawns continental crust and powers a tectonic regime that is unique to our planet. In spite of its importance, it is unclear how subduction is initiated. Two general mechanisms are recognized: induced and spontaneous nucleation of subduction zones. Induced nucleation (INSZ) responds to continuing plate convergence following jamming of a subduction zone by buoyant crust. This results in regional compression, uplift and underthrusting that may yield a new subduction zone. Two subclasses of INSZ, transference and polarity reversal, are distinguished. Transference INSZ moves the new subduction zone outboard of the failed one. The Mussau Trench and the continuing development of a plate boundary SW of India in response to Indo Asian collision are the best Cenozoic examples of transference INSZ processes. Polarity reversal INSZ also follows collision, but continued convergence in this case results in a new subduction zone forming behind the magmatic arc; the response of the Solomon convergent margin following collision with the Ontong Java Plateau is the best example of this mode. Spontaneous nucleation (SNSZ) results from gravitational instability of oceanic lithosphere and is required to begin the modern regime of plate tectonics. Lithospheric collapse initiates SNSZ, either at a passive margin or at a transform/fracture zone, in a fashion similar to lithospheric delamination. The theory of hypothesis predicts that seafloor spreading will occur in the location that becomes the forearc, as asthenosphere wells up to replace sunken lithosphere, and that seafloor spreading predates plate convergence. This is the origin of most boninites and ophiolites. Passive margin collapse is a corollary of the Wilson cycle but no Cenozoic examples are known; furthermore, the expected strength of the lithosphere makes this mode unlikely. Transform collapse SNSZ appears to have engendered new

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. Mmax Inferred from the Back Slip Rate Distributions along the Japan Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koketsu, K.; Yokota, Y.; Higuchi, S.

    2012-12-01

    The devastating Tohoku earthquake of magnitude (M) 9.0 occurred on 11 March 2011 UTC along the Japan Trench, where the Pacific plate is subducting beneath the Tohoku district. Koketsu, Yokota, Kato, and Kato (2012) recovered annual rates of back slip, which is the drag of the overriding plate by interplate coupling, using GPS data in northeastern Japan before the Tohoku earthquake. They then recovered coseismic slips through an inversion of GPS data during the earthquake. The distributions of recovered coseismic slips and back slip rates bear a close resemblance to each other. They also calculated the recurrence period of such a megathrust event to be about 400 years using the coseismic moment releases and moment accumulation rate. They confirmed these relations by conducting seismic cycle simulations.The national program of seismic hazard assessment, which was initiated by the Japanese government after the 1995 Kobe earthquake, failed to foresee the Tohoku earthquake. However, the above results suggest the Tohoku earthquake could be foreseen with respect to at least its location and extent, if we monitored GPS data. In addition, the above method can be applicable to consider the Mmax of an other subduction zone, because the size of the Tohoku earthquake is propably the Mmax in the subduction zone along the Japan Trench. We first inspected the back slip rate distribution by Koketsu, Yokota, Kato and Kato (2012) carefully, and found similar areas of large back slip rate along the southernmost Kuril Trench and the Sagami Trough. The former area is as large as that along the Japan Trench. Therefore, the Mmax along the southernmost Kuril Trench should be around the M of the Tohoku earthquake, though Nanayama et al. (2003) estimated it to be 8.4 from tsunami deposit surveys. The latter area looks like the source region of the 1703 Genroku earthquake. Since this region is twice larger than that of the 1923 Kanto earthquake, the Mmax along the Sagami Trough should be

  19. Subduction erosion and accretion in the Solomon Sea region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Honza, Eiichi; Miyazaki, Teruki; Lock, Jo

    1989-03-01

    The Solomon Sea region is an area of intense tectonic activity characterized by structural complexity, a high level of seismicity and volcanism, and rapid evolution of plate boundaries. There is little accretion in the eastern New Britain Trench. Accretion gradually increases westward with thick accretion in the western New Britain Trench and in the Trobriand Subduction System. The thick accretion in the western part of the New Britain Trench may be a result of collision from the north of Finisterre-Huon block with New Guinea mainland. The present boundary of the collision is along the Ram-Markham fault. Deformation structures and present day seismicity suggest that the northern block is under compression. Accretion has occurred in the sediment filled trenches in the Solomon Sea. The scale of the accretionary wedge depends on the amount of trench-fill sediment available. It is unlikely that there is no sediment supply to the eastern part of the New Britain Trench where no accretion is observed and subduction erosion may be occurring. There are two possible mechanisms for subduction erosion of sediment; either a rapid rate of subduction relative to the supply of sediment inhibiting sediment accumulation in the trench; or horizontal tensional force superimposed on both the forearc and backarc regions of the arc. Seafloor spreading in both the Manus and Woodlark basins is fan-like with nearby poles in the western margins of the basins. This may be a reflection of a horizontally compressional field in the western part and a tensional field in the eastern part of the Solomon Sea. Therefore it is possible to conclude that the consumption of sediment in the eastern New Britain Trench is related to the horizontal tensional field superimposed on both the forearc and backarc regions of the subduction system. Imbricated thrust and overthrust faults in the western New Britain Trench and Trobriand Trough are not linear over long distance, but form wavy patterns in blocks with

  20. Geodynamic models of deep subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, Ulrich

    2001-12-01

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

  1. Dynamic evolution in a Cretaceous high-P/T subduction channel evidenced by the juxtaposition of amphibolite blocks with different P-T paths: an example from the Kamuikotan belt, northern Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okamoto, A.; Takeshita, T.

    2013-12-01

    compositional zoning in garnet indicates an increase in both temperature and pressure during the initial growth, followed by temperature decrease during the later growth, comparable with the P-T paths inferred from the amphibole zoning. These different types of compositional zonings in amphibole and garnet show different P-T paths. Hence, these amphibolite tectonic blocks with different temperature-pressure-time paths could have been juxtaposed perhaps by large-scale ductile flow in the ancient subduction channel, which occurred during the initial stage of subduction from the onset to a steady state. This kind of dynamic evolution in subduction channel at the initial stage has now been reported from other well-known high-pressure terrains (e.g. Sambagawa, Japan; Samaná, Dominican Repúblic).

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandwell, David T.; Schubert, Gerald

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  5. Varying Structure and Physical Properties of the Lithosphere Subducting Beneath Indonesia, Consequences on the Subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacob, J.; Dyment, J.

    2013-12-01

    We make inferences on the structure, age and physical properties of the subducting northern Wharton Basin lithosphere by (1) modeling the structure and age of the lithosphere subducted under the Sumatra trench through three-plate reconstructions involving Australia, Antarctica, and India, and (2) superimposing the resulting fracture zones and magnetic isochrons to the geometry of the subducting plate as imaged by seismic tomography. The model of Pesicek et al. (2010) was digitized and smoothed in order to get a realistic topography of the subducting plate. The fracture zone and magnetic isochron geometry was draped on this topography assuming a N18°E direction of subduction. This model provides an effective means to study the effect of varying physical properties of the subducting lithosphere on the subduction along the Sumatra trench. 1) The age of the oceanic lithosphere determines its thickness and buoyancy, then its ability to comply with or resist subduction. We define the "subductability" of the lithosphere as the extra weight applied on the asthenosphere by the part of the bulk lithospheric density exceeding the asthenospheric density. A negative subductability means that the bulk lithospheric density is lower than the asthenospheric density, i.e. the plate will resist subduction, which is the case for lithosphere less than ~23 Ma. The area off Sumatra corresponds to oceanic lithosphere formed between 80 and 38 Ma, with a lower subductability than other areas along the Sunda Trench. 2) The spreading rate at which the oceanic lithosphere was formed has implications of the structure and composition of the oceanic crust, and therefore on its rheology. In a subduction zone, the contact between the subducting and overriding plates is often considered to be the top of the oceanic crust and the overlying sediments. The roughness of this interface and the rheology of its constitutive material are essential parameters constraining the slip of the down going plate in

  6. Deep mantle subduction flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, Katherine A.; White, William M.

    2009-12-01

    We assess the flux of incompatible trace elements into the deep mantle in the Aleutian, Central America, Izu-Bonin, Kurile, Lesser Antilles, Mariana, Sunda, and Tonga subduction zones. We use a simple mass balance approach in which we assume that all of the material lost from the subducting crust and sediment (the "slab") is incorporated into the magmas erupted above the subduction zone, and we use these assumptions to calculate a residual slab composition. The calculated residual slabs are enriched in incompatible elements compared to mid-ocean ridge basalts and highly enriched compared to primitive or depleted mantle. Almost all of the subducted Nb, Ta, and intermediate and heavy rare earths survive into the deep mantle, as do most of the light rare earths. On average, 73% of Th and Pb, 74% of K, 79% of U, 80% of Rb, 80% of Sr, and 82% of Ba survive into the deep mantle. Pb/Ce ratios are systematically lower, and Nb/U ratios are systematically higher, in the deep mantle flux than they are in the flux of material into the trench. Nevertheless, most residual slabs have Pb/Ce and Nb/U ratios outside the typical mantle range. Changes to U/Pb and Th/U ratios tend to be small and are not systematic. Rb/Sr ratios significantly decrease in some subduction zones but increase in others. In contrast, Sm/Nd ratios increase by small but significant amounts in most arcs. Based on these results, we attempt to predict the Sr, Nd, and Pb composition of anciently recycled material now in the mantle. We find that such material would most resemble enriched mantle II-type oceanic island basalts (OIB). None of our calculated residual slabs would evolve to Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic compositions similar to either high 238U/204Pb or enriched mantle I. The range of Sr and Pb isotope ratios in anciently recycled material is similar to that seen in modern OIB, but Nd isotopic compositions do not range to ɛNd values as low as those in some modern OIB. Neither radiogenic nor unradiogenic Pb isotope

  7. Three-dimensional laboratory modeling of the Tonga trench and Samoan plume interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Druken, K. A.; Kincaid, C. R.; Pockalny, R. A.; Griffiths, R. W.; Hart, S. R.

    2009-12-01

    Plume processes occurring near ridge centers (e.g. Iceland) or mid-plate (e.g. Hawaii) have been well studied; however, the behavior of a plume near a subducting plate is still poorly understood and may in fact differ from the typical expected plume surfacing patterns. We investigate how three-dimensional subduction-driven flow relates to the deformation and dispersal of nearby upwelling plume material and the associated geochemical spatial patterns, with site-specific comparisons to the Tonga trench and Samoan plume system. Eighteen plume-trench laboratory experiments were conducted with varied combinations of subduction motions (down-dip, trench rollback, slab steepening and back-arc extension) and plume parameters (position and temperature.) A phenolic plate and glucose syrup, with a temperature dependent viscosity, are used to model the slab and upper mantle, respectively. Hydraulic pistons control longitudinal, translational and steepening motions of the slab as a simplified kinematic approach to mimic dynamic experiments. Results show that the subduction-induced flow dominates the upwelling strength of the plume, causing a significant portion of the plume head to subduct before reaching the melt zone. The remaining material is entrained around the slab edge into the mantle wedge by the trench rollback-induced flow. The proportion of subducted verses entrained material is predominantly dependent on plume location (relative to the trench) and thermal strength, with additional effects from back-arc extension and plate steepening.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. Saline Fluids in Subduction Channels and Mantle Wedge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. The Banda Arc subduction enigma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spakman, Wim; Hall, Robert

    2010-05-01

    The spectacularly curved Banda arc comprises young oceanic crust enclosed by a volcanic inner arc, outer arc islands, and a trough parallel to the Australian continental margin. Seismicity defines a spoon-shaped lithospheric fold in the upper mantle for which there are two contrasting explanations: deformation of a single subducted slab, or two different slabs subducted from north and south. We show that the Banda arc resulted from subduction of a single slab. Based on geology and seismic tomography, we argue that the arc formed since 15 Ma by subduction of a Jurassic oceanic embayment within the Australian plate. Viewed in an Atlantic-Indian hotspot reference frame, the stationary E-W striking Java trench propagated ESE into the Banda embayment by hinge rollback. Extension of the upper plate formed oceanic crust in the present Banda Sea between stretched continental crust of Australian origin. Slab morphology depends primarily on the geometry of the continental margin enclosing the embayment. Our model explains the first order tectonic development of the Banda region and links slab deformation to absolute plate motion.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  20. Upper Pleistocene uplifted shorelines as tracers of (local rather than global) subduction dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henry, Hadrien; Regard, Vincent; Pedoja, Kevin; Husson, Laurent; Martinod, Joseph; Witt, Cesar; Heuret, Arnauld

    2014-08-01

    Past studies have shown that high coastal uplift rates are restricted to active areas, especially in a subduction context. The origin of coastal uplift in subduction zones, however, has not yet been globally investigated. Quaternary shorelines correlated to the last interglacial maximum (MIS 5e) were defined as a global tectonic benchmark (Pedoja et al., 2011). In order to investigate the relationships between the vertical motion and the subduction dynamic parameters, we cross-linked this coastal uplift database with the “geodynamical” databases from Heuret (2005), Conrad and Husson (2009) and Müller et al. (2008). Our statistical study shows that: (1) the most intuitive parameters one can think responsible for coastal uplift (e.g., subduction obliquity, trench motion, oceanic crust age, interplate friction and force, convergence variation, dynamic topography, overriding and subducted plate velocity) are not related with the uplift (and its magnitude); (2) the only intuitive parameter is the distance to the trench which shows in specific areas a decrease from the trench up to a distance of ∼300 km; (3) the slab dip (especially the deep slab dip), the position along the trench and the overriding plate tectonic regime are correlated with the coastal uplift, probably reflecting transient changes in subduction parameters. Finally we conclude that the first order parameter explaining coastal uplift is small-scale heterogeneities of the subducting plate, as for instance subducting aseismic ridges. The influence of large-scale geodynamic setting of subduction zones is secondary.

  1. 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

  2. Relationships among temperature, dehydration of the subducting Philippine Sea plate, and the occurrence of a megathrust earthquake, low-frequency earthquakes, and a slow slip event in the Tokai district, central Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suenaga, Nobuaki; Yoshioka, Shoichi; Matsumoto, Takumi

    2016-11-01

    In this study, we performed two-dimensional numerical simulations of temperature distribution associated with subduction of the Philippine Sea (PHS) plate, and estimated the dehydration process of hydrous mid-ocean-ridge basalt (MORB) in the oceanic crust in the Tokai district, central Japan. We discuss the relationship among temperature, dehydration, and a seismogenic zone of an expected megathrust Tokai earthquake, and the occurrence of a slow slip event (SSE) and deep low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs). The depth range of the seismogenic zone for the megathrust earthquake was estimated to be 8-22 km, narrowing toward the east. The most suitable value of the pore pressure ratio on the plate interface was estimated to be 0.97, indicating minimal frictional heating there. The temperatures of the upper surface of the PHS plate, where the Tokai SSE occurred from 2000 to 2005, were estimated to be 350-450 °C. Therefore, the Tokai SSE is considered to have occurred at the transition zone between unstable and stable sliding. In addition, hydrous MORB was transformed from blueschist into greenschist near the region where the Tokai SSE occurred. The temperatures of the upper surface of the PHS plate, where LFEs occur, were estimated to be 450-500 °C. Therefore, LFEs are considered to occur near the down-dip limit of the transition zone. The amount of dehydration from the oceanic crust of the subducting PHS plate near the region where LFEs are distributed in a belt-like form decreases toward the east with deepening of the hypocenters of the LFEs. Thus, the mechanisms of generation of LFEs in the Tokai district might differ from those in southwest and central Japan where LFEs generally occur at depths between 27 and 35 km. In summary, we consider that the occurrence of LFEs is related to both temperature conditions and dehydration process. However, there is an exceptional area in the eastern part of the Tokai district where the occurrence of LFEs is restricted by

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Shear wave splitting and upper mantle anisotropy beneath Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, M. D.; van der Hilst, R. D.

    2003-12-01

    Shear wave birefringence is a consequence of seismic anisotropy and is often used, with constraints from mineral physics, to characterize the pattern of upper mantle deformation. In the context of a subduction zone, however, the relationship between measured shear wave splitting parameters (φ , δ t) and geodynamical processes is not straightforward. The three-dimensional pattern of anisotropy in a subduction zone may reflect processes such as corner flow in the mantle wedge, flow around the slab edge, back-arc extension, and motion of the overriding plate. This relationship may be further complicated by complex slab morphology, by the presence of frozen anisotropy in the slab itself, and by the presence of volatiles such as water. In this study, we take advantage of dense station coverage in Japan and use seismic phases covering a wide range of incidence angles, incoming polarization angles, and backazimuths. We take advantage of the good data coverage needed to consider complexities in structure such as multiple anisotropic layers, dipping symmetry axes, and small-scale lateral variations in anisotropic properties. We utilize data from the Japanese F-net network, which comprises 65 broadband seismic stations. We have compiled a database of approximately 1500 splitting measurements of S, SKS, and SKKS phases at F-net stations, and investigate the variations of measured splitting parameters with incoming polarization angle and incidence angle. In the southern part of the array, along the Ryukyu arc, we find that fast directions are consistently trench-parallel, with splitting times of 1 second or more. Moving northward along the array, the measured splitting patterns become more complicated, with significant variations in apparent splitting parameters that indicate complex anisotropic structure. Additionally, measured fast directions vary significantly over short length scales, and stations separated by less than 100 km often exhibit very different splitting

  5. Subduction of oceanic asthenosphere: A critical appraisal in central Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Teh-Ru Alex; Kawakatsu, Hitoshi

    2013-04-01

    Song and Kawakatsu (2012) have shown that the sub-slab fast splitting pattern observed in most subduction zones can be a direct consequence of subduction of the oceanic asthenosphere that has strong radial anisotropy. This model not only explains the non-intuitive trench-parallel splitting pattern in most of subduction zones, but also predicts the trench-normal behavior (fast polarization direction sub-parallel to the absolute plate motion of the incoming plate) observed in several shallow subduction zones. The general validity of such a scenario is crucial to fundamental understandings of the development of mantle anisotropy in sub-lithosphere or/and sub-slab conditions, the nature and formation of oceanic asthenosphere as well as the flow pattern and mass transport near subduction zones. To validate this scenario, we examine SKS splitting patterns observed across the fore-arc in central Alaska. Here the fast splitting direction varies from plate motion sub-parallel near the trench to mostly trench-parallel beyond the 100 km slab-isodepth contour, while being strongly variable in between. After taking into account the rotation of anisotropy symmetry in the oceanic asthenosphere with respect to the local plate motion obliquity and down-dip variations in the slab dip, we reproduce a general 90-degree switch in fast splitting direction as well as the back azimuth dependent splitting pattern across the entire fore-arc. The current validation further augments the idea that, apart from anisotropy in the mantle wedge and the subducting slab, subduction of the oceanic asthenosphere is likely to be the dominant source of seismic anisotropy in central Alaska and potentially in many subduction zones. Furthermore, this result also provides alternative views to models of seismic anisotropy in the mantle wedge and on the length scale in which the 3D mantle flow may be important.

  6. Geological and historical evidence of irregular recurrent earthquakes in Japan.

    PubMed

    Satake, Kenji

    2015-10-28

    Great (M∼8) earthquakes repeatedly occur along the subduction zones around Japan and cause fault slip of a few to several metres releasing strains accumulated from decades to centuries of plate motions. Assuming a simple 'characteristic earthquake' model that similar earthquakes repeat at regular intervals, probabilities of future earthquake occurrence have been calculated by a government committee. However, recent studies on past earthquakes including geological traces from giant (M∼9) earthquakes indicate a variety of size and recurrence interval of interplate earthquakes. Along the Kuril Trench off Hokkaido, limited historical records indicate that average recurrence interval of great earthquakes is approximately 100 years, but the tsunami deposits show that giant earthquakes occurred at a much longer interval of approximately 400 years. Along the Japan Trench off northern Honshu, recurrence of giant earthquakes similar to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake with an interval of approximately 600 years is inferred from historical records and tsunami deposits. Along the Sagami Trough near Tokyo, two types of Kanto earthquakes with recurrence interval of a few hundred years and a few thousand years had been recognized, but studies show that the recent three Kanto earthquakes had different source extents. Along the Nankai Trough off western Japan, recurrence of great earthquakes with an interval of approximately 100 years has been identified from historical literature, but tsunami deposits indicate that the sizes of the recurrent earthquakes are variable. Such variability makes it difficult to apply a simple 'characteristic earthquake' model for the long-term forecast, and several attempts such as use of geological data for the evaluation of future earthquake probabilities or the estimation of maximum earthquake size in each subduction zone are being conducted by government committees.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  8. The subduction of young lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sacks, I. S.

    1983-04-01

    Studies, using a variety of techniques, of the subduction beneath western South America and the southwest Honshu-Kyushu region of Japan indicate that volcano-free segments occur where the subducted and continental lithospheres remain in contact without intervening asthenosphere. The subduction is initiated at normal dip angles, but the plate deforms at some depth (100 km under central Peru) to travel horizontally immediately beneath continental lithosphere. The most plausible reason for this geometry is that the subducted plate is buoyant. A model is developed constrained by age of the plate, bathymetry, and heat flow. Estimates of the density of oceanic plates as a function of age show that younger ocean floor may be less dense than the asthenosphere into which it subducts. If the high-density tranformation of crustal basalt to eclogite is retarded by low temperatures, the plate can remain buoyant to considerable depth for long periods of time. Heat flow data from western South America are consistent with this model.

  9. Relationship between outer forearc subsidence and plate boundary kinematics along the Northeast Japan convergent margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regalla, Christine; Fisher, Donald M.; Kirby, Eric; Furlong, Kevin P.

    2013-12-01

    Tectonic erosion along convergent plate boundaries, whereby removal of upper plate material along the subduction zone interface drives kilometer-scale outer forearc subsidence, has been purported to explain the evolution of nearly half the world's subduction margins, including part of the history of northeast Japan. Here, we evaluate the role of plate boundary dynamics in driving forearc subsidence in northeastern Japan. A synthesis of newly updated analyses of outer forearc subsidence, the timing and kinematics of upper plate deformation, and the history of plate convergence along the Japan trench demonstrate that the onset of rapid fore-arc tectonic subsidence is contemporaneous with upper plate extension during the opening of the Sea of Japan and with an acceleration in convergence rate at the trench. In Plio-Quaternary time, relative uplift of the outer forearc is contemporaneous with contraction across the arc and a decrease in plate convergence rate. The coincidence of these changes across the forearc, arc, backarc system appears to require an explanation at the scale of the entire plate boundary. Similar observations along other western Pacific margins suggest that correlations between forearc subsidence and major changes in plate kinematics are the rule, rather than the exception. We suggest that a significant component of forearc subsidence at the northeast Japan margin is not the consequence of basal tectonic erosion, but instead reflects dynamic changes in plate boundary geometry driven by temporal variations in plate kinematics. If correct, this model requires a reconsideration of the mass balance and crustal recycling of continental crust at nonaccretionary margins.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeppson, T.; Tobin, H. J.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-07-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 'Snow White' Trench

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

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

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorbatov, Alexei; Fukao, Yoshio

    2005-03-01

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

  1. Phoenix's Snow White Trench

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    A soil sample taken from the informally named 'Snow White' trench at NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander work site produced minerals that indicate evidence of past interaction between the minerals and liquid water.

    This image was taken by the Surface Stereo Imager on Sol 103, the 103rd day since landing (Sept. 8, 2008).

    The trench is approximately 23 centimeters (9 inches) long.

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

  2. Numerical Models of Subduction Beneath Non-Uniform Overriding Plates. Implications for Subduction Velocity and Seismic Anisotropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-González, J.; Billen, M. I.; Negredo, A. M.

    2015-12-01

    Subduction zones show significant along-strike variations of different subduction features. In particular there is a good correlation between variations of overriding plate thickness and variations of slab dip, seismic anisotropy and subduction velocity. Previous numerical models have shown that overriding plate thermal state influences the slab dip and variations in slab dip can cause trench-parallel flow above the slab. This suggests a causal link between overriding plate structure, slab geometry and mantle flow in subduction zones. Models also show that interplate coupling is stronger for colder overriding plates, which might lead to lower subduction velocities. We implement generic numerical models to study the effect of the overriding plate structure on the evolution of slab geometry, induced mantle flow and subduction velocity. We solve the 3D, time dependent thermo-mechanical equations with a non-linear rheology to simulate buoyancy driven subduction processes. We find that along-strike variations in thermal thickness of the overriding plate cause increased hydrodynamic suction and shallower slab dip beneath the colder portion of the overriding plate; the variation in slab geometry drives strong trench-parallel flow beneath the slab and a complex flow pattern above the slab. Induced mantle flow varies significantly with time, suggesting that the global variability in seismic anisotropy observations in subduction zones is in part due to the non-steady-state behavior of these systems. This new mechanism for driving trench-parallel flow provides a good explanation for seismic anisotropy observations from the Middle and South America subduction zones. Our results also show that increased interplate coupling beneath a colder portion of the overriding plate leads to a reduction of the subduction velocity in the region, leading to along-strike variations subduction velocity. These results provide a good explanation of the observed present-day variations in

  3. Interplate coupling along the Java trench from CGPS observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meilano, I.; Kuncoro, H.; Susilo, S.; Efendi, J.; Abidin, H. Z.; Nugraha, A. D.; Widiyantoro, S.

    2014-12-01

    Interplate seismogenic zones along the Java trench were estimated by using continuous GPS observation from South of Lampung in the west to Lombok Island in the east. The observation period starting from 2010 to 2013 with more than 60 CGPS observation stations. The GPS analysis indicates that present-day deformation of Java Island is controlled by rotation of Sunda land, extension in the southern Strait of Sunda, postseismic deformation of the 2006 earthquake and the coupling between Indo-Australian plate and Sunda land. Strain rate solutions indicate compression in the south of Java Island. Using elastic dislocation theory the estimated interplate seismozonic coupling in the Java trench is about 50 percent in the sunda strait, smaller in the south west java and become larger to the east. Slip deficit on subduction interface has important implication for seismic hazard of Java Island. Keywords: CGPS observation, Interplate Seismogenic, Java Trench

  4. The Trobriand Subduction System in the Western Solomon Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lock, J.; Davies, H. L.; Tiffin, D. L.; Murakami, F.; Kisimoto, K.

    1987-09-01

    A south-dipping Subduction system which underlies the Trobriand Trough and 149° Embayment, on the southern margin of the Solomon Sea, is active or was recently active. Oceanic basement is overlain by 2.5 s, two-way travel time (TWTT), of sediment that shows at least two stages of deformation: early thrusts (inner wall) and normal faults (outer wall), and later normal faults that have elevated the outer trench margin. Thrust anticlines and slope basins are developed on the inner wall. The floor of the Solomon Sea Basin arches upward between the Trobriand Trough and the New Britain Trench to form isolated peaks and ridges in the east (152° Peaks) and an east-west Central Ridge in the west. Structures in the subduction system, and in the Solomon Sea Basin, plunge westward towards the point of collision with the New Britain Trench.

  5. The northeast Japan margin: an example of slow accretion rather than tectonic erosion?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regalla, C.; Fisher, D. M.; Kirby, E.; Furlong, K. P.

    2015-12-01

    Tectonic erosion at convergent plate boundaries is invoked to explain the evolution of nearly half the world's subduction zones. In northeast Japan, basal tectonic erosion is argued to explain regional Miocene forearc subsidence and the lack of a large, young accretionary prism. However, new analysis of upper and lower plate kinematics in northeast Japan suggest that both of can be explained by alternate mechanisms. New analysis of the timing and kinematics of deformation demonstrate that the onset of Miocene forearc tectonic subsidence was coeval with the initiation of upper plate extension and subsidence associated with the opening of the Sea of Japan, and with a rapid acceleration in local plate convergence. The coincidence of tectonic events across the upper and lower plates suggest they are both a response to lithospheric-scale processes, and that forearc tectonic subsidence represents a response to changes in plate boundary geometry, rather than tectonic erosion. New high resolution seismic profiles and 10Be geochronology of the outer wedge at the Japan Trench indicate that much of the incoming Pacific plate sediments are actively accreted, and while subducting horst and graben topography severely deforms the frontal prism, it is not an efficient mechanism for frontal tectonic erosion. The presence of a small, Plio-Quaternary accretionary wedge and the eastward younging of basal slope basin sediments argue that the outer forearc crustal structure could be explained as the result of slow, but relatively continuous frontal accretion throughout the Cenozoic. These data suggest that the northeast Japan margin has not experienced large quantities of tectonic erosion, but instead experienced: 1) forearc subsidence caused by plate velocity driven changes in slab geometry, and 2) slow accretion and frontal wedge growth disrupted by subduction of seafloor topography.

  6. Snow White 5 Trench

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This image was acquired by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Robotic Arm Camera on the 35th Martian day of the mission, or Sol 34 (June 29, 2008), after the May 25, 2008, landing. This image shows the trench informally called 'Snow White 5.' The trench is 4-to-5 centimeters (about 1.5-to-1.9 inches) deep, 24 centimeters (about 9 inches) wide and 33 centimeters (13 inches) long.

    Snow White 5 is Phoenix's current active digging area after additional trenching, grooming, and scraping by Phoenix's Robotic Arm in the last few sols to trenches informally called Snow White 1, 2, 3, and 4. Near the top center of the image is the Robotic Arm's Thermal and Electrical Conductivity Probe.

    Snow White 5 is located in a patch of Martian soil near the center of a polygonal surface feature, nicknamed 'Cheshire Cat.' The digging site has been named 'Wonderland.'

    This image has been enhanced to brighten shaded areas.

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ten Brink, U.; Lin, J.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  9. Trench migration, net rotation and slab mantle coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  10. Subduction of Oceanic Asthenosphere: A Critical Appraisal in Central Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, T.; Kawakatsu, H.

    2012-12-01

    Strong radial anisotropy, or transverse isotropy, observed in the oceanic asthenosphere has invited numerous discussions concerning its origin. Near subduction zones where the slab plunges into the mantle, shear wave birefringence (or splitting) measurements attributed to the sub-slab regime often reveal fast splitting direction sub-parallel to the trench, apparently at odds with predictions from a dominant sub-slab entrained flow. However, taking into account strong radial anisotropy observed in the oceanic asthenosphere beneath ocean basins, Song and Kawakatsu [2012, GRL in press] recently concluded that sub-slab fast splitting pattern observed in most subduction zones can be a direct consequence of subducting oceanic asthenosphere, apparently manifested at several shallow subduction zones showing fast polarization direction sub-parallel to the absolute plate motion of the incoming plate. We refer to the term "subduction of oceanic asthenosphere" as a slightly different expression from slab entrainment and put emphasis on the fact that the entrained sub-slab mantle displays anisotropy property analogous to oceanic asthenosphere beneath ocean basins except the angle of symmetry axis changes with the slab dip. To further validate this scenario and distinguish it from more sophisticated hypothesis such as sub-slab trench-parallel flow, we examine complicated SKS splitting patterns observed across the fore-arc central Alaska [Christensen and Abers, 2010; Hanna and Long, 2012], where the rate of trench migration is very low regardless of the mantle reference frame. Observations of fast splitting direction vary from plate motion parallel near the trench to mostly trench-parallel beyond 100 km slab isodepth and there are strong back-azimuth variations in between these regions. After taking into account the rotation of anisotropy symmetry in the subducted oceanic asthenosphere with respect to the obliquity of plate motion and down-dip variations in slab dip, we reproduce

  11. 3D Numerical simulations of oblique subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynard, Bruno

    2013-04-01

    Seismological and magneto-telluric tomographies are potential tools for imaging fluid circulation when combined with petrophysical models. Recent measurements of the physical properties of serpentine allow refining hydration of the mantle and fluid circulation in the mantle wedge from geophysical data. In the slab lithospheric mantle, serpentinization caused by bending at the trench is limited to a few kilometers below the oceanic crust (<5 km). Double Wadati-Benioff zones, 20-30 km below the crust, are explained by deformation of dry peridotites, not by serpentine dehydration. It reduces the required amount of water stored in solid phases in the slab (Reynard et al., 2010). In the cold (<700°C) fore-arc mantle wedge above the subducting slab, serpentinization is caused by the release of large amounts of hydrous fluids in the cold mantle above the dehydrating subducted plate. Low seismic velocities in the wedge give a time-integrated estimate of hydration and serpentinization. Serpentinization reaches 50-100% in hot subduction, while it is below 10% in cold subduction (Bezacier et al., 2010; Reynard, 2012). Electromagnetic profiles of the mantle wedge reveal high electrical-conductivity bodies. In hot areas of the mantle wedge (> 700°C), water released by dehydration of the slab induces melting of the mantle under volcanic arcs, explaining the observed high conductivities. In the cold melt-free wedge (< 700°C), high conductivities in electromagnetic profiles provide "instantaneous" images of fluid circulation because the measured electrical conductivity of serpentine is below 0.1 mS/m (Reynard et al., 2011). A small fraction (ca. 1% in volume) of connective high-salinity fluids accounts for the highest observed conductivities. Low-salinity fluids (≤ 0.1 m) released by slab dehydration evolve towards high-salinity (≥ 1 m) fluids during progressive serpentinization in the wedge. These fluids can mix with arc magmas at depths and account for high-chlorine melt

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  15. Phoenix's La Mancha Trench

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

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

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

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

  16. Snow White Trenches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This image was acquired by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager on the 25th Martian day of the mission, or Sol 24 (June 19, 2008), after the May 25, 2008, landing. This image shows the trenches informally called 'Snow White 1' (left) and 'Snow White 2' (right). The trench is about 5 centimeters (2 inches) deep and 30 centimeters (12 inches) long.

    'Snow White' is located in a patch of Martian soil near the center of a polygonal surface feature, nicknamed 'Cheshire Cat.' The 'dump pile' is located at the top of the trench, the side farthest away from the lander, and has been dubbed 'Croquet Ground.' The digging site has been named 'Wonderland.'

    This image has been enhanced to brighten shaded areas.

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

  17. Mid mantle seismic anisotropy around subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faccenda, M.

    2014-02-01

    There is increasing evidence for mid mantle seismic anisotropy around subduction zones whose interpretation remains elusive. In this study I estimate the strain-induced mid mantle fabric and associated seismic anisotropy developing in 3D petrological-thermo-mechanical subduction models where the slab is either stagnating over the 660 km discontinuity or penetrating into the lower mantle. The modelling of synthetic lattice-preferred-orientation (LPO) development of wadsleyite and perovskite has been calibrated with results from deformational experiments and ab-initio atomic scale models, and the single crystal elastic tensor of the different mineral phases is scaled by local P-T conditions. The lower transition zone (ringwoodite + garnet) is assumed to be isotropic. Mid mantle fabric develops in proximity of the subducting slab where deformation and stresses are high, except at depths where upwelling or downwelling material undergoes phase transformations, yielding to LPO reset. The upper transition zone (wadsleyite + garnet) is characterized by weak transverse isotropy (2-3%) with symmetry axes oriented and fast S wave polarized dip-normal. A slightly stronger transverse isotropy develops in the lower mantle (perovskite + periclase), where the symmetry axes, the polarization of the fast S wave and the maximum Vp and dVs are parallel to the slab dip and subduction direction. For stagnating slab models this translates into negative and positive radial anisotropy in the upper transition zone and lower mantle back-arc, respectively, minimum delay times for vertically travelling shear waves and large shear wave splitting for waves propagating horizontally in the lower mantle. These results may help in reconciling the seismic anisotropy patterns observed in some subduction zones with subduction-induced deformation, such as those measured in the mid mantle between the Australian plate and the New Hebrides-Tonga-Kermadec trenches that I interpret as related to stagnating

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  19. 3D Finite-Difference Modeling of Scattered Teleseismic Wavefields in a Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozov, I. B.; Zheng, H.

    2005-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strak, Vincent; Schellart, Wouter P.

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  5. A Regime Diagram for Subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stegman, D. R.; Farrington, R.; Capitanio, F. A.; Schellart, W. P.

    2009-12-01

    Regime diagrams and associated scaling relations have profoundly influenced our understanding of planetary dynamics. Previous regime diagrams characterized the regimes of stagnant-lid, small viscosity contrast, transitional, and no-convection for temperature-dependent (Moresi and Solomatov, 1995), and non-linear power law rheologies (Solomatov and Moresi, 1997) as well as stagnant-lid, sluggish-lid, and mobile-lid regimes once the finite strength of rock was considered (Moresi and Solomatov, 1998). Scalings derived from such models have been the cornerstone for parameterized models of thermal evolution of rocky planets and icy moons for the past decade. While such a theory can predict the tectonic state of a planetary body, it is still rather incomplete in regards to predicting tectonics. For example, the mobile-lid regime is unspecific as to how continuous lithospheric recycling should occur on a terrestrial planet. Towards this goal, Gerya et al., (2008) advanced a new regime diagram aiming to characterize when subduction would manifest itself as a one-sided or two-sided downwelling and either symmetric or asymmetric. Here, we present a regime diagram for the case of a single-sided, asymmetric type of subduction (most Earth-like type). Using a 3-D numerical model of a free subduction, we describe a total of 5 different styles of subduction that can possibly occur. Each style is distinguished by its upper mantle slab morphology resulting from the sinking kinematics. We provide movies to illustrate the different styles and their progressive time-evolution. In each regime, subduction is accommodated by a combination of plate advance and slab rollback, with associated motions of forward plate velocity and trench retreat, respectively. We demonstrate that the preferred subduction mode depends upon two essential controlling factors: 1) buoyancy of the downgoing plate and 2) strength of plate in resisting bending at the hinge. We propose that a variety of subduction

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  7. Snow White Trench (Animation)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on image for animation

    This animation shows the evolution of the trench called 'Snow White' that NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander began digging on the 22nd Martian day of the mission after the May 25, 2008, landing.

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  9. Topography of the 410 and 660 km discontinuities beneath the Korean Peninsula and southwestern Japan using teleseismic receiver functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sang-Hyun; Rhie, Junkee; Park, Yongcheol; Kim, Kwang-Hee

    2014-09-01

    Topography of the 410 and 660 km seismic upper mantle discontinuities beneath the Korean Peninsula and southwestern Japan were determined using teleseismic receiver functions. P receiver functions were migrated from delayed times to corresponding piercing (conversion) points of P-to-S converted phases, using one-dimensional (1-D) and three-dimensional (3-D) models. Receiver functions were then stacked using Common Conversion Point (CCP) techniques, to enhance signal-to-noise ratios and thereby reduce uncertainty (noise). The 410 and 660 km discontinuities were clearly imaged, as positively valued amplitude peaks of CCP stacked receiver functions in the study area. Topographic variations were roughly consistent with the low temperature of the subducting Pacific Plate. However, the complex structure of the subducting Pacific Plate produced distinct changes of upper mantle discontinuities, which cannot be explained by temperature variations alone. Depression of the 410 km discontinuity, observed in a wide region extending from the Korean Peninsula to Kyushu Island, may be related to trench rollback history. Furthermore, the topography of the 660 km discontinuity varies significantly with latitude. At latitudes higher than 38°N, its depth remains unchanged, despite the presence of the stagnant slab, while significant depression has been observed at latitudes below 36°N. This may have been caused by differences in the angles of subduction of the Japan slab and the Izu-Bonin slab. However, heterogeneity of the water content of slabs may also have contributed to this topographical difference.

  10. Temperature Models for the Mexican Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-12-01

    It is well known that the temperature is one of the major factors which controls the seismogenic zone. The Mexican subduction zone is characterized by a very shallow flat subducting interplate in its central part (Acapulco, Oaxaca), and deeper subduction slabs northern (Jalisco) and southern (Chiapas). It has been proposed that the seismogenic zone is controlled, among other factors, by a temperature. Therefore, we have developed four two-dimensional steady state thermal models for Jalisco, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas. The updip limit of the seismogenic zone is taken between 100 §C and 150 §C, while the downdip limit is thought to be at 350 §C because of the transition from stick-slip to stable-sliding. The shape of the subducting plate is inferred from gravity and seismicity. The convergence velocity between oceanic and continental lithospheric plates is taken as the following: 5 cm/yr for Jalisco profile, 5.5 for Guerrero profile, 5.8 for Oaxaca profile, and 7.8 for Chiapas profile. The age of the subducting plates, since they are young, and provides the primary control on the forearc thermal structure, are as the following: 11 My for Jalisco profile, 14.5 My for Guerrero profile, 15 My for Oaxaca profile, and 28 My for Chiapas profile. We also introduced in the models a small quantity of frictional heating (pore pressure ratio 0.98). The value of 0.98 for pore pressure ratio was obtained for the Guerrero profile, in order to fit the intersection between the 350 §C isotherm and the subducting plate at 200 Km from trench. The value of 200 km coupling zone from trench is inferred from GPS data for the steady interseismic period and also for the last slow aseismic slip that occurred in Guerrero in 2002. We have used this value of pore pressure ratio (0.98) for all the other profiles. For the others three profiles we obtained the following coupling extents: Jalisco - 100 km, Oaxaca - 170 km and Chiapas - 125 km (from the trench). Independent constrains of the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-09-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1985-01-01

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

  13. A plan of continuous monitoring of seismic signature at the top of the subducting Philippine Sea Plate using the ACROSS active monitoring method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasahara, J.; Tsuruga, K.; Hasada, Y.; Yamaoka, K.; Kunitomo, T.; Watanabe, T.; Fujii, N.; Yoshida, Y.; Kumazawa, M.

    2004-12-01

    Recently, a very strong reflected PP phase from the subducting plate boundary was found beneath the aseismic forearc slope of the Japan Trench (Fujie et al., 2003, Kasahara et al., 2003). This strong PP reflection is interpreted as a reflection from the non-asperity region along the plate boundary caused by the presence of low-Vp material. Similar strong PP reflection phase was observed near the plate boundary of the subducting Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian Plate, in the western part of Shizuoka Prefecture along the NS seismic survey line across the central part of Japan using explosive sources (Iidaka et al., 2003, Kodaira et al., 2004). This region is match to the aseismic slip zone since 2000 observed by GPS (Ozawa et al., 2002). This region is supposed to the lower edge of future Tokai or Tonankai earthquake along the Nankai Trough. The "ACROSS" (Accurately Controlled and Routinely Operated Signal System) (Kunitomo and Kumazawa, 2004) can continuously transmit accurately-controlled seismic waves in amplitude, frequency and phase. Using continuous transmission of seismic waves from the ACROSS source located in Toki City, Japan and /or the new ACROSS source under planning in the western part of Shizuoka Prefecture and the high sensitivity seismometers along the NS traverse line, we can delineate the temporal variation of seismic wave properties of the anomalously reflected PP phase along the boundary of subducting Philippine Sea Plate. This observation can give information on variation of the physical state of frictional slip and clues for the earthquake generation. It is also very useful for the monitoring of precursory slip and/or after-slip of the future Tokai and Tonankai earthquakes (or any large earthquakes) with sources along the Philippine Sea Plate.

  14. Friction and stress coupling on the subduction interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Stress distribution and subduction of aseismic ridges in the Middle America Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lefevre, L. Victoria; McNally, Karen C.

    1985-05-01

    The regional distribution of stresses associated with the subduction of the Cocos plate is inferred from a synthesis of 190 earthquake focal mechanisms, body and surface wave analyses of large earthquakes, and seismicity distributions. Broad patterns of consistent behavior are found across the region, from the Rivera Plate boundary in the northwest to the Guatemala/El Salvador border in the southeast, and are used as a framework to evaluate evidence for variations in local stresses due to the subduction of two aseismic ridges, the Tehuantepec Ridge and the Orozco Fracture Zone. Information which bears on the seismic potential at locations of aseismic ridge subduction is particularly important in that no large (Ms ≥ 7.5) earthquakes have occurred historically. We identify three major zones with consistent patterns in focal mechanisms and hypocentral distributions of seismicity. The first, closest to the trench and reflecting the mechanical interaction of the converging plates, is a zone of shallow thrust earthquakes extending 100-150 km inland from the trench. The second is a zone of normal faulting, beginning at about 200 km inland from the trench, h ≥ 60 km, which extends continuously along the entire length of the descending plate throughout the region. The third distinct zone exhibits a relatively low level of activity and separates the zones of thrust and normal faulting at about 150-200 km inland from the trench. This zone extends from the Rivera plate boundary in the northwest to the Guatamala region in the southeast. At this point, the quiet region pinches out, and the thrust and normal faulting zones abut and overlap. Superimposed on this overall pattern, we find locally only minor changes in areas of aseismic ridge subduction, aside from the prominent seismic slip gaps. Furthermore, on October 25, 1981, the Playa Azul earthquake (Ms = 7.3) occurred in the midregion of the Orozco Fracture Zone. Body and surface wave analyses of this event show a simple

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biryol, Cemal Berk

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

  18. Tectonic stress state in NE Japan as part of the Okhotsk plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Altis, Sungat

    2001-09-01

    latter zone. The calculated rotation rates from the geodetic flow model are clockwise (CW) in both of the ˜E-W contractional regions. NE Japan, extruding southward, faces buttresses in (1) the Oga-Ojika Line (OOL), and/or a crustal weakness zone between the northern and the southern halves of Tohoku approx. at ˜38.5°N latitude, and, especially, (2) the Japanese Alps rampart; these obstacles cause the northern and southernmost Tohoku to veer to its right and rotate CW, thereby setting up the ˜E-W-trending compressional deformation in their respective inner zones. Between the OOL (or the 38.5°N boundary) and the Kanto Tectonic Line (KTL), the sense of the differential rotations is counterclockwise (CCW), towards the ocean to the SE. The northern Tohoku (north of the OOL) and the southernmost Tohoku (south of the KTL) cannot rotate CCW towards the ocean because of the Izu block's collision in the south and the relatively strong coupling along the subduction interface beneath the Japan trench in the north off-Sanriku. The relatively stronger long-term coupling between the northern Tohoku and the Pacific plate at the Sanriku coast, with respect to that in off-Fukushima, is due to a flatter subduction of the Pacific slab there, increasing the plates' interface contact area; the flattening of the subduction dip angle was caused by CCW rotation and shifting of the northern Tohoku along the dextral Honjo-Matsushima Line, roughly corresponding to the OOL, towards the Pacific and overriding of the subduction zone during the formation of the Japan Sea.

  19. Earthquake Recurrence along the Kuril Trench: A New View from Paleoseismology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satake, K.; Nanayama, F.

    2003-12-01

    Paleoseismological data along the Pacific coast of eastern Hokkaido indicate that unusual earthquakes have repeated at about 500 year interval with the most recent event in the 17th century. Along the Kuril trench, interplate earthquakes with rupture length of 100-200 km occurred in 1952 (Mw 8.1) and 1973 (Mw 7.8), as well as 1843 (M 8.0) and 1894 (M 7.9), which have been considered characteristics of this subduction zone. We review paleoseismological data, examine coastal deformation and tsunami inundation from fault models, and propose a model of earthquake recurrence in the Kuril subduction zone. Pleistocene marine terraces on the Pacific coast show slight net uplift, at an average of 0.1-0.4 mm/yr in the past several hundred thousand years, whereas tide-gauge data show gradual subsidence of 8-9 mm/yr since 1900. Infrequent unusual event (Armageddon) has been inferred (Ikeda, 1996) to resolve this conflict. Holocene stratigraphic and microfossil studies have indicated sea-level changes in the last 3 ka (e.g., Sawai, 2001). Each event is marked by an abrupt upward change from brackish bay deposits to freshwater peat. The youngest change has been dated in the 17th century with an estimated uplift amount of 0.5-1m (Atwater et al., 2003). Such evidence has been found along the 100 km long coast and recurred up to seven times in the last 2.5 ka (Kelsey et al., 2002). Extensive tsunami deposits indicate large prehistoric tsunamis (Nanayama et al., 2003). At Kiritappu, for instance, sand sheets extend 3 km inland, much further than historic tsunamis. Ten sheets of tsunami deposits indicate recurrence of such unusual tsunami with an average recurrence interval of about 500 years. The most recent event occurred in the 17th century. Historic documents in Honshu rules out unusual tsunamis that would cause damage along the Sanriku coast. Tsunami damage from the 1611 and 1677 earthquakes, both along the Japan trench, have been documented along the Sanriku coast. We modeled

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, S.; Lin, W.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bakun, W.H.

    2005-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Relations between plate kinematics, slab geometry and overriding plate deformation in subduction zones: insights from statistical observations and laboratory modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

    3-D laboratory models have been performed in order to investigate the way plates kinematics (subducting and overriding plate absolute motions and the resulting plate convergence rate) influences the geometry of the slab and the overriding plate deformation in subduction zones. In the experiments a viscous plate of silicone (subducting plate) is pushed beneath another plate, which is itself pushed toward or pulled away from the trench (overriding plate), and sinks into a viscous layer of glucose syrup (upper mantle). The subducting and overriding plate velocities explored the variability field of natural subduction plates kinematics. The overriding plate motion exerts a primary role in the control of slab geometries and overriding plate deformation rates. The experiments have revealed two different subduction behaviours: (Style I) the overriding plate moves toward the trench and shortens at high rates, the slab is flat and deflected when reaching the bottom of the box in a forward direction; (Style II) the overriding plates moves away from the trench and shortens at low rates the slab is steep and deflected on the box bottom in a backward direction. To a lesser extent, increasing subducting plate motion is associated to increasing slab dips and overriding plate shortening. Slab geometry and overriding plate deformation are less sensitive to the overall plate convergence rate. These laboratory models behaviours are consistent with statistical analysis performed on natural subduction zones, and enlighten the first order control exerted by the overriding plate absolute motion, on the geometry adopted by the slab and the way the overriding plate deforms.

  5. Subduction of fracture zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  6. Seismic velocity structure and deformation due to the collision of the Louisville Ridge with the Tonga-Kermadec Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

    New marine geophysical data recorded across the Tonga-Kermadec subduction zone are used to image deformation and seismic velocity structures of the forearc and Pacific Plate where the Louisville Ridge seamount chain subducts. Due to the obliquity of the Louisville Ridge to the trench and the fast 128 mm yr-1 south-southwest migration of the ridge-trench collision zone, post-, current and pre-seamount subduction deformation can be investigated between 23°S and 28°S. We combine our interpretations from the collision zone with previous results from the post- and pre-collision zones to define the along-arc variation in deformation due to seamount subduction. In the pre-collision zone the lower-trench slope is steep, the mid-trench slope has ˜3-km-thick stratified sediments and gravitational collapse of the trench slope is associated with basal erosion by subducting horst and graben structures on the Pacific Plate. This collapse indicates that tectonic erosion is a normal process affecting this generally sediment starved subduction system. In the collision zone the trench-slope decreases compared to the north and south, and rotation of the forearc is manifest as a steep plate boundary fault and arcward dipping sediment in a 12-km-wide, ˜2-km-deep mid-slope basin. A ˜3 km step increase in depth of the middle and lower crustal isovelocity contours below the basin indicates the extent of crustal deformation on the trench slope. At the leading edge of the overriding plate, upper crustal P-wave velocities are ˜4.0 km s-1 and indicate the trench fill material is of seamount origin. Osbourn Seamount on the outer rise has extensional faulting on its western slope and mass wasting of the seamount provides the low Vp material to the trench. In the post-collision zone to the north, the trench slope is smooth, the trench is deep, and the crystalline crust thins at the leading edge of the overriding plate where Vp is low, ˜5.5 km s-1. These

  7. Mechanisms of sediment accretion in the Middle America Trench off Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Gregory F.; Shipley, Thomas H.

    1988-08-01

    High-resolution seismic reflection and Sea Beam bathymetrie data provide insights into the processes of sediment offscraping and accretion in the Middle America Trench off southern Mexico. Thick terrigenous sediments that are transported down Ometepec Canyon and accumulate along the trench floor are scraped off the oceanic plate and accreted in thrust packets to the lower trench slope. The packets offscraped represent most of the trench strata. Underlying hemipelagic deposits that accumulate on the seafloor seaward of the trench are subducted landward of the toe of the slope. Horizontal displacement on the thrusts is less than 1 km. Leading edge folds are the surface expressions of the thrusts and strike subparallel to the base of the trench slope. The folds are continuous for as much as 10 km and have amplitudes as high as 200 m and wavelengths of 0.5 to 2 km. Folds are best developed along sections of the trench with interbedded silly turbidite and mud deposits. Folds are absent where thick coarse-grained fan deposits occur. Thickening of the thrust packets occurs by large-scale thrust duplication, by layer-parallel shortening, and by deposition of material that slumps off the leading edge of older upslope thrust blocks.

  8. Developing framework to constrain the geometry of the seismic rupture plane on subduction interfaces a priori - A probabilistic approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

    A key step in many earthquake source inversions requires knowledge of the geometry of the fault surface on which the earthquake occurred. Our knowledge of this surface is often uncertain, however, and as a result fault geometry misinterpretation can map into significant error in the final temporal and spatial slip patterns of these inversions. Relying solely on an initial hypocentre and CMT mechanism can be problematic when establishing rupture characteristics needed for rapid tsunami and ground shaking estimates. Here, we attempt to improve the quality of fast finite-fault inversion results by combining several independent and complementary data sets to more accurately constrain the geometry of the seismic rupture plane of subducting slabs. Unlike previous analyses aimed at defining the general form of the plate interface, we require mechanisms and locations of the seismicity considered in our inversions to be consistent with their occurrence on the plate interface, by limiting events to those with well-constrained depths and with CMT solutions indicative of shallow-dip thrust faulting. We construct probability density functions about each location based on formal assumptions of their depth uncertainty and use these constraints to solve for the ‘most-likely’ fault plane. Examples are shown for the trench in the source region of the Mw 8.6 Southern Sumatra earthquake of March 2005, and for the Northern Chile Trench in the source region of the November 2007 Antofagasta earthquake. We also show examples using only the historic catalogues in regions without recent great earthquakes, such as the Japan and Kamchatka Trenches. In most cases, this method produces a fault plane that is more consistent with all of the data available than is the plane implied by the initial hypocentre and CMT mechanism. Using the aggregated data sets, we have developed an algorithm to rapidly determine more accurate initial fault plane geometries for source inversions of future

  9. Arc lavas on both sides of a trench: Slab window effects at the Solomon Islands triple junction, SW Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chadwick, John; Perfit, Michael; McInnes, Brent; Kamenov, George; Plank, Terry; Jonasson, Ian; Chadwick, Claire

    2009-03-01

    The Woodlark Spreading Center (WSC) is subducted at the San Cristobal trench, forming a triple junction at the New Georgia Group (NGG) arc in the Solomon Islands. WSC lavas are N-MORB at > 100 km from the trench, but with decreasing distance they have increasingly arc-like Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic ratios, enrichments in Rb > K > Pb > Sr, and depletions in HFSE and Y. Within 50 km of the trench on the Simbo and Ghizo Ridges, many recovered samples are island arc tholeiites to medium-K calc-alkaline andesites and dacites, and many have the same or similar major and trace element and isotopic characteristics as true arc lavas in the NGG on the other side of the trench. Previous investigations have concluded that these WSC lavas are the result of relic back arc mantle enrichments resulting from subduction of the Pacific plate prior to the late Miocene at the North Solomon trench, > 200 km to the north. However, the high-silica WSC lavas are more arc-like than those recovered from other distal back arcs, and are more voluminous, forming large submarine ridges and stratovolcanoes. We suggest that true arc mantle migrates across the plate boundary from the adjacent NGG arc through slab windows created by the subduction of the WSC. This leads to variable mixing between NGG arc and WSC N-MORB end-members, forming the transitional lavas recovered from the WSC. Lavas with similar arc-like characteristics have previously been recovered on the Chile Rise near where it is subducted at the Chile Trench, raising the possibility that such mantle transfer is a common phenomenon where active spreading centers are subducted. The presence of slab windows may also be responsible for the unusual forearc volcanism in the NGG, and melting of slab window margins may account for the presence of high-silica adakite-like lavas on the WSC.

  10. 'Dodo' and 'Baby Bear' Trenches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager took this image on Sol 11 (June 5, 2008), the eleventh day after landing. It shows the trenches dug by Phoenix's Robotic Arm. The trench on the left is informally called 'Dodo' and was dug as a test. The trench on the right is informally called 'Baby Bear.' The sample dug from Baby Bear will be delivered to the Phoenix's Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA. The Baby Bear trench is 9 centimeters (3.1 inches) wide and 4 centimeters (1.6 inches) deep.

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

  11. Phoenix Deepens Trenches on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander took this false color image on Oct. 21, 2008, during the 145th Martian day, or sol, since landing. The bluish-white areas seen in these trenches are part of an ice layer beneath the soil.

    The trench on the upper left, called 'Dodo-Goldilocks,' is about 38 centimeters (15 inches) long and 4 centimeters (1.5 inches) deep. The trench on the right, called 'Upper Cupboard,' is about 60 centimeters (24 inches) long and 3 centimeters (1 inch) deep. The trench in the lower middle is called 'Stone Soup.'

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

  12. Phoenix Deepens Trenches on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander took this false color image on Oct. 21, 2008, during the 145th Martian day, or sol, since landing. The white areas seen in these trenches are part of an ice layer beneath the soil.

    The trench on the upper left, called 'Upper Cupboard,' is about 60 centimeters (24 inches) long and 3 centimeters (1 inch) deep. The trench in the middle, called 'Ice Man,' is about 30 centimeters (12 inches) long and 3 centimeters (1 inch) deep. The trench on the right, called 'La Mancha,' is about 31 centimeters (12 inches) and 5 centimeters (2 inches) deep.

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

  13. Velocities of Subducted Sediments and Continents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  14. Deformation and topography above the lateral transition from continental to oceanic subduction in three-dimensional laboratory models: what can we learn on the Hellenic subduction?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillaume, B.; Funiciello, F.; Faccenna, C.; Husson, L.; Royden, L. H.

    2012-04-01

    We use three-dimensional dynamically self-consistent laboratory models to analyze relationships between surface evolution and deep dynamics at convergent margins. Our models are setup with a viscous plate of silicone (lithosphere) subducting under negative buoyancy in a viscous layer of glucose syrup (upper mantle). We focus on the subduction of a laterally heterogeneous lithosphere characterized by an abrupt transition of density using negatively and positively buoyant silicone to reproduce oceanic and continental subduction, respectively. We quantify and establish relationships between the subduction dynamics and resulting slab geometry, trench kinematics and pattern of horizontal/vertical deformation for both the overriding plate and the upper mantle. Assuming that our modeling results can be representative of the natural behavior of subduction zones, we compare them to the Neogene to Quaternary evolution of the Hellenic subduction zone. We more particularly focus on the deformation and topography of the Hellenic upper plate, which may have been influenced by the difference in subduction dynamics north and south of the Kephalonia Transform Zone, with a slowly subducting Adriatic continental lithosphere in the north and a rapidly subducting Ionian oceanic lithosphere in the south.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  16. On the importance of plumes to initiate subduction and plate tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davaille, Anne

    2015-04-01

    Understanding the details of plate failure and the initiation of subduction remains a challenge due to the complexity of mantle rocks. We carried out experiments on convection in aqueous colloidal dispersions heated from below, and dried and cooled from above. The rheology of these fluids depends strongly on solid particle fraction fp, being Newtonian at low fp, and presenting memory, yield stress, elasticity, and brittle properties as fp increases. Such a behaviour is analogue to the rheology of mantle rocks as temperature decreases. When drying is sufficiently rapid in the laboratory, a visco-elasto-plastic skin ("lithosphere") forms on the fluid surface. Depending on its rheology, and on the different scales of convection existing in our laboratory mantle, we observed different modes of one-sided subduction initiation. However, not all of them lead to continuous plate tectonics. If subduction is definitely a necessary condition for plate tectonics, it is not sufficient. Amongst the different modes of subduction initiation, we observed two of them where one-sided subduction was induced by the impingement of a hot plume under the skin, the trench being localized on the rim of the plume impingement zone under the lithosphere. Then depending on the lithospheric rheology, the nascent subduction can then either stop as the result of subducted plate necking, or continue to sink smoothly. Due to the brittle character of the skin, the subduction trench will never describe a complete circle, but several tears and/or transform faults will develop as subduction and roll back proceed. Inspection of the geological record on Earth suggests that such a strong association between plumes and subduction may have been instrumental in the nucleation and growth of cratons, the onset of continuous plate tectonics, and present-day initiation of subduction around some large oceanic plateaus.

  17. Offshore double-planed shallow seismic zone in the NE Japan forearc region revealed by sP depth phases recorded by regional networks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gamage, S.S.N.; Umino, N.; Hasegawa, A.; Kirby, S.H.

    2009-01-01

    We detected the sP depth phase at small epicentral distances of about 150 km or more in the seismograms of shallow earthquakes in the NE Japan forearc region. The focal depths of 1078 M > 3 earthquakes that occurred from 2000 to 2006 were precisely determined using the time delay of the sP phase from the initial P-wave arrival. The distribution of relocated hypocentres clearly shows the configuration of a double-planed shallow seismic zone beneath the Pacific Ocean. The upper plane has a low dip angle near the Japan Trench, increasing gradually to ???30?? at approximately 100 km landward of the Japan Trench. The lower plane is approximately parallel to the upper plane, and appears to be the near-trench counterpart of the lower plane of the double-planed deep seismic zone beneath the land area. The distance between the upper and lower planes is 28-32 km, which is approximately the same as or slightly smaller than that of the double-planed deep seismic zone beneath the land area. Focal mechanism solutions of the relocated earthquakes are determined from P-wave initial motion data. Although P-wave initial motion data for these offshore events are not ideally distributed on the focal sphere, we found that the upper-plane events that occur near the Japan Trench are characterized by normal faulting, whereas lower-plane events are characterized by thrust faulting. This focal mechanism distribution is the opposite to that of the double-planed deep seismic zone beneath the land area. The characteristics of these focal mechanisms for the shallow and deep doubled-planed seismic zones can be explained by a bending-unbending model of the subducting Pacific plate. Some of relocated earthquakes took place in the source area of the 1933 Mw8.4 Sanriku earthquake at depths of 10-23 km. The available focal mechanisms for these events are characterized by normal faulting. Given that the 1933 event was a large normal-fault event that occurred along a fault plane dipping landward, the

  18. Offshore double-planed shallow seismic zone in the NE Japan forearc region revealed by sP depth phases recorded by regional networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gamage, Shantha S. N.; Umino, Norihito; Hasegawa, Akira; Kirby, Stephen H.

    2009-07-01

    We detected the sP depth phase at small epicentral distances of about 150 km or more in the seismograms of shallow earthquakes in the NE Japan forearc region. The focal depths of 1078 M > 3 earthquakes that occurred from 2000 to 2006 were precisely determined using the time delay of the sP phase from the initial P-wave arrival. The distribution of relocated hypocentres clearly shows the configuration of a double-planed shallow seismic zone beneath the Pacific Ocean. The upper plane has a low dip angle near the Japan Trench, increasing gradually to ~30° at approximately 100 km landward of the Japan Trench. The lower plane is approximately parallel to the upper plane, and appears to be the near-trench counterpart of the lower plane of the double-planed deep seismic zone beneath the land area. The distance between the upper and lower planes is 28-32 km, which is approximately the same as or slightly smaller than that of the double-planed deep seismic zone beneath the land area. Focal mechanism solutions of the relocated earthquakes are determined from P-wave initial motion data. Although P-wave initial motion data for these offshore events are not ideally distributed on the focal sphere, we found that the upper-plane events that occur near the Japan Trench are characterized by normal faulting, whereas lower-plane events are characterized by thrust faulting. This focal mechanism distribution is the opposite to that of the double-planed deep seismic zone beneath the land area. The characteristics of these focal mechanisms for the shallow and deep doubled-planed seismic zones can be explained by a bending-unbending model of the subducting Pacific plate. Some of relocated earthquakes took place in the source area of the 1933 Mw8.4 Sanriku earthquake at depths of 10-23 km. The available focal mechanisms for these events are characterized by normal faulting. Given that the 1933 event was a large normal-fault event that occurred along a fault plane dipping landward, the

  19. Slab detachment of subducted Indo-Australian plate beneath Sunda arc, Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kundu, Bhaskar; Gahalaut, V. K.

    2011-04-01

    Necking, tearing, slab detachment and subsequently slab loss complicate the subduction zone processes and slab architecture. Based on evidences which include patterns of seismicity, seismic tomography and geochemistry of arc volcanoes, we have identified a horizontal slab tear in the subducted Indo-Australian slab beneath the Sunda arc. It strongly reflects on trench migration, and causes along-strike variations in vertical motion and geochemically distinct subduction-related arc magmatism. We also propose a model for the geodynamic evolution of slab detachment.

  20. 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.

  1. Subduction zone evolution and low viscosity wedges and channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manea, Vlad; Gurnis, Michael

    2007-12-01

    Dehydration of subducting lithosphere likely transports fluid into the mantle wedge where the viscosity is decreased. Such a decrease in viscosity could form a low viscosity wedge (LVW) or a low viscosity channel (LVC) on top of the subducting slab. Using numerical models, we investigate the influence of low viscosity wedges and channels on subduction zone structure. Slab dip changes substantially with the viscosity reduction within the LVWs and LVCs. For models with or without trench rollback, overthickening of slabs is greatly reduced by LVWs or LVCs. Two divergent evolutionary pathways have been found depending on the maximum depth extent of the LVW and wedge viscosity. Assuming a viscosity contrast of 0.1 with background asthenosphere, models with a LVW that extends down to 400 km depth show a steeply dipping slab, while models with an LVW that extends to much shallower depth, such as 200 km, can produce slabs that are flat lying beneath the overriding plate. There is a narrow range of mantle viscosities that produces flat slabs (5 to10 × 10 19 Pa s) and the slab flattening process is enhanced by trench rollback. Slab can be decoupled from the overriding plate with a LVC if the thickness is at least a few 10 s of km, the viscosity reduction is at least a factor of two and the depth extent of the LVC is several hundred km. These models have important implications for the geochemical and spatial evolution of volcanic arcs and the state of stress within the overriding plate. The models explain the poor correlation between traditional geodynamic controls, subducting plate age and convergence rates, on slab dip. We predict that when volcanic arcs change their distance from the trench, they could be preceded by changes in arc chemistry. We predict that there could be a larger volatile input into the wedge when arcs migrate toward the trench and visa-versa. The transition of a subduction zone into the flat-lying regime could be preceded by changes in the volatile

  2. Multi-beam surveys of the Michelson Ridge guyots: Subduction or obduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christian Smoot, N.

    1983-12-01

    This is the first graphic presentation of the Michelson Ridge in its entirety from a total coverage, multi-beam survey. The ridge splits the Izu and Bonin Trenches, is comprised of four guyots, and is anomalous to the strike of all other ridges heretofore discovered in the Pacific Ocean. The ridge is obducting/offscraping onto the Philippine plate instead of subducting.

  3. Novel trench gate field stop IGBT with trench shorted anode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xudong, Chen; Jianbing, Cheng; Guobing, Teng; Houdong, Guo

    2016-05-01

    A novel trench field stop (FS) insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) with a trench shorted anode (TSA) is proposed. By introducing a trench shorted anode, the TSA-FS-IGBT can obviously improve the breakdown voltage. As the simulation results show, the breakdown voltage is improved by a factor of 19.5% with a lower leakage current compared with the conventional FS-IGBT. The turn off time of the proposed structure is 50% lower than the conventional one with less than 9% voltage drop increased at a current density of 150 A/cm2. Additionally, there is no snapback observed. As a result, the TSA-FS-IGBT has a better trade-off relationship between the turn off loss and forward drop. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 61274080) and the Postdoctoral Science Foundation of China (No. 2013M541585).

  4. Seafloor Geodesy for Approaching Great Earthquakes Around Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujita, M.; Sato, M.; Ishikawa, T.; Watanabe, S. I.; Yokota, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Seafloor geodesy has been developed as an application of space geodetic technique for the purpose of investigating geodynamic phenomena having their major information in offshore regions. One of such targets is the occurrence of disastrous earthquakes in plate subduction areas. Japan, among others, has repeatedly experienced offshore megathrust earthquakes because of its tectonic location, where multiple plates interact with each other. Most recently, an earthquake of M9.0 occurred off the Pacific coast of east Japan in 2011 with a subsequent huge tsunami, which totally devastated coastal areas and claimed nearly 20,000 lives including those still missing. We, the group of Japan Coast Guard (JCG), have developed a seafloor geodetic technique combining the GPS positioning and underwater acoustic ranging, which is able to measure the position of the seafloor reference point consisting of multiple acoustic transponders with a precision of a few centimeters. We have deployed our seafloor reference points over two regions on the Pacific side of Japan; one is the region along the Japan trench off the eastern coast where the huge 2011 event occurred and another is the region along the Nankai Trough off the southern coast where earthquakes of around M8 have repeated every 100-150 years. With these measurements, we have so far successfully obtained important results providing exclusive information for elucidating the plate boundary behavior causing huge earthquakes. In particular, in the region off east Japan, we have revealed different phases of seafloor movements during the period between several years before and after the 2011 event. They include linear intraplate movements with several centimeters per year before the event, which were the first significant offshore geodetic signals detected around Japan, as well as the coseismic displacements of unprecedentedly huge amount over 20 m close to the epicenter and subsequent postseismic movements with various characteristics

  5. Control of paleoshorelines by trench forebulge uplift, Loyalty Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dickinson, William R.

    2013-07-01

    Unlike most tropical Pacific islands, which lie along island arcs or hotspot chains, the Loyalty Islands between New Caledonia and Vanuatu owe their existence and morphology to the uplift of pre-existing atolls on the flexural forebulge of the New Hebrides Trench. The configuration and topography of each island is a function of distance from the crest of the uplifted forebulge. Both Maré and Lifou are fully emergent paleoatolls upon which ancient barrier reefs form highstanding annular ridges that enclose interior plateaus representing paleolagoon floors, whereas the partially emergent Ouvea paleoatoll rim flanks a drowned remnant lagoon. Emergent paleoshoreline features exposed by island uplift include paleoreef flats constructed as ancient fringing reefs built to past low tide levels and emergent tidal notches incised at past high tide levels. Present paleoshoreline elevations record uplift rates of the islands since last-interglacial and mid-Holocene highstands in global and regional sea levels, respectively, and paleoreef stratigraphy reflects net Quaternary island emergence. The empirical uplift rates vary in harmony with theoretical uplift rates inferred from the different positions of the islands in transit across the trench forebulge at the trench subduction rate. The Loyalty Islands provide a case study of island environments controlled primarily by neotectonics.

  6. 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.

  7. The role of deep subduction in supercontinent breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Mw 8.6 Sumatran earthquake of 11 April 2012: rare seaward expression of oblique subduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ishii, Miaki; Kiser, Eric; Geist, Eric L.

    2013-01-01

    The magnitude 8.6 and 8.2 earthquakes off northwestern Sumatra on 11 April 2012 generated small tsunami waves that were recorded by stations around the Indian Ocean. Combining differential travel-time modeling of tsunami waves with results from back projection of seismic data reveals a complex source with a significant trench-parallel component. The oblique plate convergence indicates that ~20-50 m of trench-parallel displacement could have accumulated since the last megathrust earthquake, only part of which has been taken up by the Great Sumatran fault. This suggests that the remaining trench-parallel motion was released during the magnitude 8.6 earthquake on 11 April 2012 within the subducting plate. The magnitude 8.6 earthquake is interpreted to be a result of oblique subduction as well as a reduction in normal stress due to the occurrence of the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake in 2004.

  9. Evidence for the formation of a new trench in the western Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kroenke, Loren W.; Walker, Daniel A.

    Shallow intraplate earthquakes, recently detected along an arcuate zone extending from the northern side of the Caroline Ridge across the western Pacific to the southern end of Kiribati (see cover), may portend a northward shift in convergence between the Indo-Australia and Pacific plates. Low-amplitude seafloor structures along this zone indicate recent deformation and, in places, suggest trench-forearc morphology. These earthquakes and seafloor structures may provide evidence for the formation of a new subduction zone: the Micronesian Trench. The western end of the postulated trench seems to be part of a complex triple junction at the concurrence of the Yap, Mariana, and Micronesian trenches. The eastern end joins the Tonga Trench south of Savaii, Western Samoa. Detailed regional studies will be necessary to delineate further the postulated Micronesian Trench. The fact that important earthquakes indicating this structure were not detected by the existing worldwide network of seismic stations suggests the need for a comprehensive reevaluation of oceanic intraplate seismicity.

  10. Vertical motions of the Puerto Rico Trench and Puerto Rico and their cause

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ten Brink, U.

    2005-01-01

    The Puerto Rico trench exhibits great water depth, an extremely low gravity anomaly, and a tilted carbonate platform between (reconstructed) elevations of +1300 m and -4000 m. I argue that these features are manifestations of large vertical movements of a segment of the Puerto Rico trench, its forearc, and the island of Puerto Rico that took place 3.3 m.y. ago over a time period as short as 14-40 kyr. I explain these vertical movements by a sudden increase in the slab's descent angle that caused the trench to subside and the island to rise. The increased dip could have been caused by shearing or even by a complete tear of the descending North American slab, although the exact nature of this deformation is unknown. The rapid (14-40 kyr) and uniform tilt along a 250 km long section of the trench is compatible with scales of mantle flow and plate bending. The proposed shear zone or tear is inferred from seismic, morphological, and gravity observations to start at the trench at 64.5??W and trend southwestwardly toward eastern Puerto Rico. The tensile stresses necessary to deform or tear the slab could have been generated by increased curvature of the trench following a counterclockwise rotation of the upper plate and by the subduction of a large seamount.

  11. The dynamics of laterally variable subductions: laboratory models applied to the Hellenides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillaume, B.; Husson, L.; Funiciello, F.; Faccenna, C.

    2013-07-01

    We designed three-dimensional dynamically self-consistent laboratory models of subduction to analyse the relationships between overriding plate deformation and subduction dynamics in the upper mantle. We investigated the effects of the subduction of a lithosphere of laterally variable buoyancy on the temporal evolution of trench kinematics and shape, horizontal flow at the top of the asthenosphere, dynamic topography and deformation of the overriding plate. Two subducting units, which correspond to a negatively buoyant oceanic plate and positively buoyant continental one, are juxtaposed via a trench-perpendicular interface (analogue to a tear fault) that is either fully-coupled or shear-stress free. Differential rates of trench retreat, in excess of 6 cm yr-1 between the two units, trigger a more vigorous mantle flow above the oceanic slab unit than above the continental slab unit. The resulting asymmetrical sublithospheric flow shears the overriding plate in front of the tear fault, and deformation gradually switches from extension to transtension through time. The consistency between our models results and geological observations suggests that the Late Cenozoic deformation of the Aegean domain, including the formation of the North Aegean Trough and Central Hellenic Shear zone, results from the spatial variations in the buoyancy of the subducting lithosphere. In particular, the lateral changes of the subduction regime caused by the Early Pliocene subduction of the old oceanic Ionian plate redesigned mantle flow and excited an increasingly vigorous dextral shear underneath the overriding plate. The models suggest that it is the inception of the Kefalonia Fault that caused the transition between an extension dominated tectonic regime to transtension, in the North Aegean, Mainland Greece and Peloponnese. The subduction of the tear fault may also have helped the propagation of the North Anatolian Fault into the Aegean domain.

  12. 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

  13. Overriding plate thickness control on subducting slab curvature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, A.; Buffett, B. A.; Becker, T. W.

    2014-12-01

    The curvature of subducting lithosphere controls deformation due to bending at the trench, which results in a force that dissipates gravitational potential energy and may affect seismic coupling. We use 2-D, thermo-mechanical subduction models to explore the dependence of the radius of curvature on the thickness of the subducting and overriding plates for models with both viscous and effectively plastic lithospheric rheologies. Such a plastic rheology has been shown to reproduce the bending stresses/moment computed using a kinematic strain rate description and a laboratory derived composite rheology. Laboratory and numerical models show that the bending geometry of subducting slabs with a viscous rheology is strongly dependent on slab thickness; thicker plates have a larger radius of curvature. However, the curvature of subducting plates on Earth, illuminated by the distribution of earthquake hypocenters, shows little to no dependence on the plate thickness or age. Such an observation is instead compatible with plates that have a plastic rheology. Indeed, our numerical models show that the radius of curvature of viscous plates has a stronger dependence on subducting plate thickness than in equivalent plastic models. In viscous plates, the bending moment produces a torque, which balances the torque exerted by buoyancy. However, for the plastic plate case the bending moment saturates at a maximum value and so cannot balance the gravitational torque. The saturation of bending moment means that, (a) the radius of curvature of the bending region is not constrained by this torque balance, and, (b) other forces are required to balance the gravitational torque. We explore the role that the overriding plate could play in controlling the subducting plate curvature in plastic plate models where the bending stresses have saturated. For such plates, we find that increasing the thickness of the overriding plate causes the radius of curvature to increase. The same correlation is

  14. 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.

  15. Deformation of Japan as measured by improved analysis of GEONET data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owen, S. E.; Dong, D.; Webb, F. H.; Newport, B. J.; Simons, M.

    2006-12-01

    The Japan subduction zone represents a complex set of plate interfaces with significant trench-parallel variability in great earthquakes and transient deep slip events. Within the Japan arc the Nankai segment of the Eurasian-Philippine plate boundary is one of the classic subduction zone segments that last produced a set of temporally linked great earthquakes in the 1940's. Recently, down-dip of the Nankai seismogenic portion of the plate interface, transient slip events and seismic tremor events were observed. Through analysis of the GEONET GPS data, the spatial and higher frequency temporal characteristics of transient slip events can be captured. We describe our analysis methods, the spatial filtering technique that has been developed for use on large networks, a periodic signal filtering method that improves on commonly-used sinusoidal function models, and the resultant velocities and time series. Our newly developed analysis method, the GPS Network Processor, gives us the ability to process large volumes of data extremely fast. The basis of the GPS Network Processor is the JPL-developed GIPSY-OASIS GPS analysis software and the JPL-developed precise point positioning technique. The Network Processor was designed and developed to efficiently implement precise point positioning and bias fixing on a 1000-node (2000 cpu) Beowulf cluster. The entire 10 year ~1000-station GEONET data set can be reanalyzed using the Network Processor in a matter of days. This permits us to test different processing strategies, each with potentially large influence on our ability to detect strain transients from the subduction zones. For example, we can test different ocean loading models, which can effect the diurnal positions of coastal GPS sites by up to 2 cm. We can also test other potentially important factors such as using reprocessed satellite orbits and clocks, the parameterization of the tropospheric delay, or the implementation of refined solid body tide estimates. We will

  16. Varying mechanical coupling along the Andean margin: Implications for trench curvature, shortening and topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iaffaldano, G.; Di Giuseppe, E.; Corbi, F.; Funiciello, F.; Faccenna, C.; Bunge, H.-P.

    2012-03-01

    Convergent margins often exhibit spatial and temporal correlations between trench curvature, overriding plate shortening and topography uplift that provide insights into the dynamics of subduction. The Andean system, where the Nazca plate plunges beneath continental South America, is commonly regarded as the archetype of this class of tectonics systems. There is distinctive evidence that the degree of mechanical coupling between converging plates, i.e. the amount of resistive force mutually transmitted in the direction opposite to their motions, may be at the present-day significantly higher along the central Andean margin compared to the northern and southern limbs. However quantitative estimates of such resistance are still missing and would be desirable. Here we present laboratory models of subduction performed to investigate quantitatively how strong lateral coupling variations need to be to result in trench curvature, tectonic shortening and distribution of topography comparable to estimates from the Andean margin. The analogue of a two-layers Newtonian lithosphere/upper mantle system is established in a silicone putty/glucose syrup tank-model where lateral coupling variations along the interface between subducting and overriding plates are pre-imposed. Despite the simplicity of our setup, we estimate that coupling in the central margin as large as 20% of the driving force is sufficient to significantly inhibit the ability of the experimental overriding plate to slide above the subducting one. As a consequence, the central margin deforms and shortens more than elsewhere while the trench remains stationary, as opposed to the advancing lateral limbs. This causes the margin to evolve into a peculiar shape similar to the present-day trench of the Andean system.

  17. Nonuniform seismic slip rates along the Middle America Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNally, Karen C.; Minster, J. Bernard

    1981-06-01

    Revised estimates of seismic slip rates along the Middle America Trench are lower on the average than plate convergence rates but match them locally (for example, Oaxaca). Along the Cocos-North American plate boundary this can be explained by nonuniformities in slip at points of aseismic ridge or fracture zone subduction. For at least 81 yr (and possibly several hundred years), no major (Ms ≥ 7.5) shallow earthquake is known to have occurred near the Orozco Fracture Zone and Tehuantepec Ridge areas. Compared with the average recurrence periods for large earthquakes (33 ± 8 yr since 1898 and 35 ± 24 yr between 1542 and 1979), this suggests that either a large (M ≥ 8.4) event may be anticipated at such locations, or that these are points of aseismic subduction. Large coastal terraces and evidence suggesting tectonic uplift are found onshore near the Orozco Fracture zone. The larger discrepancy between plate convergence and seismic slip rates along the Cocos-Carribbean plate boundary is more likely due to decoupling and downbending of the subducted plate. We used the limited statistical evidence available to characterize both spatial and temporal deficiencies in recent seismic slip. The observations appear consistent with a possible forthcoming episode of more intense seismic activity. Based on a series of comparisons with carefully delineated aftershock zones, we conclude that the zones of anomalous seismic activity can be identified by a systematic, automated analysis of the worldwide earthquake catalog (mb ≥ 4).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  19. Rupture process of large earthquakes in the northern Mexico subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruff, Larry J.; Miller, Angus D.

    1994-03-01

    The Cocos plate subducts beneath North America at the Mexico trench. The northernmost segment of this trench, between the Orozco and Rivera fracture zones, has ruptured in a sequence of five large earthquakes from 1973 to 1985; the Jan. 30, 1973 Colima event ( M s 7.5) at the northern end of the segment near Rivera fracture zone; the Mar. 14, 1979 Petatlan event ( M s 7.6) at the southern end of the segment on the Orozco fracture zone; the Oct. 25, 1981 Playa Azul event ( M s 7.3) in the middle of the Michoacan “gap”; the Sept. 19, 1985 Michoacan mainshock ( M s 8.1); and the Sept. 21, 1985 Michoacan aftershock ( M s 7.6) that reruptured part of the Petatlan zone. Body wave inversion for the rupture process of these earthquakes finds the best: earthquake depth; focal mechanism; overall source time function; and seismic moment, for each earthquake. In addition, we have determined spatial concentrations of seismic moment release for the Colima earthquake, and the Michoacan mainshock and aftershock. These spatial concentrations of slip are interpreted as asperities; and the resultant asperity distribution for Mexico is compared to other subduction zones. The body wave inversion technique also determines the Moment Tensor Rate Functions; but there is no evidence for statistically significant changes in the moment tensor during rupture for any of the five earthquakes. An appendix describes the Moment Tensor Rate Functions methodology in detail. The systematic bias between global and regional determinations of epicentral locations in Mexico must be resolved to enable plotting of asperities with aftershocks and geographic features. We have spatially “shifted” all of our results to regional determinations of epicenters. The best point source depths for the five earthquakes are all above 30 km, consistent with the idea that the down-dip edge of the seismogenic plate interface in Mexico is shallow compared to other subduction zones. Consideration of uncertainties in

  20. Influence of subduction history on South American topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  1. Intensive hydration of the wedge mantle at the Kuril arc - NE Japan arc junction: implications from mafic lavas from Usu Volcano, northern Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuritani, T.; Tanaka, M.; Yokoyama, T.; Nakagawa, M.; Matsumoto, A.

    2015-12-01

    The southwestern part of Hokkaido, northern Japan, is located at the junction of the NE Japan arc and the Kuril arc. The subducting Pacific plate under this region shows a hinge-like shape due to the dip change of the subducting plate along the trench. Because of the interest in this unique tectonic setting, this arc-arc junction has been the focus of extensive geophysical studies (e.g. Kita et al., 2010, Morishige and van Keken, 2014; Wada et al., 2015). This region is also known as an area in which magmatism has been intense; there are many active volcanoes such as Usu, Tarumae, and Komagatake, and large calderas including Toya, Shikotsu, and Kuttara. In this region, the temporal and spatial evolution of the volcanism and the chemical compositions of the volcanic rocks are well characterized (e.g. Nakagawa, 1992). However, the generation conditions of magmas have not been estimated for these volcanoes, probably because of the scarcity of basaltic products. Therefore, a possible link between the tectonic setting and the intense magmatism is still unclear. In this study, we carried out a petrological and geochemical study on mafic lavas (49.6-51.3 wt.% SiO2) from Usu Volcano, and estimated the conditions under which the magmas were generated. By application of a plagioclase-melt hygrometer to the plagioclase and the host magma, the water content of ~6.5 wt.% was obtained for the basaltic magma. Using this information, as well as the olivine maximum fractionation model (Tatsumi et al., 1983), the composition of the primary magma is estimated to be 47.9 wt.% SiO2, 15.1 wt.% MgO, and 4.1 wt.% H2O. Analyses using the multi-component thermodynamics suggest that the primary magma was generated in the source mantle with 0.9 wt.% H2O at 1310ºC and at 1.6 GPa. The water content of 0.9 wt.% of the source mantle is significantly higher than the estimates for the source mantle in the main NE Japan arc (<0.7 wt.% H2O); this implies that the flux of slab-derived fluids is

  2. Initiation of subduction by post-collision foreland thrusting and back-thrusting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, A. H. G.

    1984-07-01

    While postulated causes of initial subduction and trench formation include underthrusting, controls on its location and age have not been determined. Consideration of the age of subduction zones bordering five collisional orogens suggests that subduction may have been initiated by foreland thrusts and back-thrusts. Foreland thrusts develop within a continental foreland on the subducting plate mostly within 50 my of collision with an arc system; where the foreland is narrow the thrusts may intersect the continent-ocean crust boundary. Back-thrusts develop in the fore-arc or back-arc area on the overriding plate within 10 to 20 my of collision, and can result in tectonic burial of the magmatic arc; where the arc system is oceanic the back-thrusts may intersect the arc-ocean crust boundary. Possible examples of subduction initiated by foreland thrusts are the start of subduction in the late Jurassic beneath the northern Sunda Arc, and at the end-Miocene in the Negros Trench. Examples of back-thrusts which have initiated or may initiate subduction are the late Cenozoic eastward translation of Taiwan over the Philippine Sea plate, the incipient southward subduction of the Banda Sea beneath Timor, and the W-dipping back-thrust comprising the Highland Boundary Fault zone and postulated early Ordovician thrusts to the SE in Scotland. The suggested relationship of subduction to collision helps to explain the persistence of Wilson cycles in the still-active late Mesozoic to Cenozoic orogenic belts and implies that orogeny will cease only with collision between major continents.

  3. The dynamics of double slab subduction from numerical and semi-analytic models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Regional interactions between multiple subducting slabs have been proposed to explain enigmatic slab kinematics in a number of subduction zones, a pertinent example being the rapid pre-collisional plate convergence of India and Eurasia. However, dynamically consistent 3-D numerical models of double subduction have yet to be explored, and so the physics of such double slab systems remain poorly understood. Here we build on the comparison of a fully numerical finite element model (CitcomCU) and a time-dependent semi-analytic subduction models (FAST) presented for single subduction systems (Royden et. al., 2015 AGU Fall Abstract) to explore how subducting slab kinematics, particularly trench and plate motions, can be affected by the presence of an additional slab, with all of the possible slab dip direction permutations. A second subducting slab gives rise to a more complex dynamic pressure and mantle flow fields, and an additional slab pull force that is transmitted across the subduction zone interface. While the general relationships among plate velocity, trench velocity, asthenospheric pressure drop, and plate coupling modes are similar to those observed for the single slab case, we find that multiple subducting slabs can interact with each other and indeed induce slab kinematics that deviate significantly from those observed for the equivalent single slab models. References Jagoutz, O., Royden, L. H., Holt, A. F. & Becker, T. W., 2015, Nature Geo., 8, 10.1038/NGEO2418. Moresi, L. N. & Gurnis, M., 1996, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 138, 15-28. Royden, L. H. & Husson, L., 2006, Geophys. J. Int. 167, 881-905. Zhong, S., 2006, J. Geophys. Res., 111, doi: 10.1029/2005JB003972.

  4. Thermal structure, coupling and metamorphism in the Mexican subduction zone beneath Guerrero

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manea, V. C.; Manea, M.; Kostoglodov, V.; Currie, C. A.; Sewell, G.

    2004-08-01

    Temperature is one of the most important factors that controls the extent and location of the seismogenic coupled and transition, partially coupled segments of the subduction interplate fault. The width of the coupled fault inferred from the continuous GPS observations for the steady interseismic period and the transient width of the last slow aseismic slip event (Mw~ 7.5) that occurred in the Guerrero subduction zone in 2001-2002 extends up to 180-220 km from the trench. Previous thermal models do not consider this extremely wide coupled interface in Guerrero subduction zone that is characterized by shallow subhorizontal plate contact. In this study, a finite element model is applied to examine the temperature constraints on the width of the coupled area. The numerical scheme solves a system of 2-D Stokes equation and 2-D steady-state heat transfer equations. The updip limit of the coupling zone is taken between 100 and 150 °C, while the downdip limit is accepted at 450 °C as the transition from partial coupling to stable sliding. From the entire coupled zone, the seismogenic zone extends only up to ~82 km from the trench (inferred from the rupture width of large subduction thrust earthquakes), corresponding to the 250 °C isotherm. Only a small amount of frictional heating is needed to fit the intersection of the 450 °C isotherm and the subducting plate surface at 180-205 km from the trench. The calculated geotherms in the subducting slab and the phase diagram for MORB are used to estimate the metamorphic sequences within the oceanic subducting crust. A certain correlation exists between the metamorphic sequences and the variation of the coupling along the interplate fault.

  5. Seismic properties of the Nazca oceanic crust in southern Peruvian subduction system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Y.; Clayton, R. W.

    2015-12-01

    The horizontal Nazca slab, extending over a distance of ~800 km along the trench is one of enigmatic features in Peruvian subduction zone. Increased buoyancy of the oceanic lithosphere alone due to the subduction of Nazca Ridge is insufficient to fully explain such a lengthy segment. We use data from the recent seismic experiment in southern Peru to find that the subduction-related hydration plays a major role in controlling shear wave velocities within the upper part of the oceanic crust and overlying materials. We observe substantial velocity reductions of ~20-40% near the top plate interface along- and perpendicular-to the trench from ~40-120 km depths. In particular, significant shear wave velocity reductions and subsequently higher P-to-S velocity ratio (exceeding 2.0) at the flat slab region suggest that the seismically probed layer is fluid-rich and mechanically weak. The dominant source of fluid comes from metasediments and subducted crust (Nazca Ridge). Long-term supply of fluid from the southward migrating Nazca Ridge provides additional buoyancy of the subducting oceanic lithosphere and also lowers the viscosity of the overlying mantle wedge to drive and sustain the flat plate segment of ~800 km along the trench. Also, by comparing calculated seismic velocities with experimentally derived mineral physics data, we additionally provide mechanical constraints on the possible changes in frictional behavior across the subduction zone plate interface. Observed low seismic velocities in the seismogenic zone suggest a presence of low strength materials that may be explained by overpressured pore fluids (i.e., accreted sediment included in the subduction channel).

  6. Seismic properties of the Nazca oceanic crust in southern Peruvian subduction system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, YoungHee; Clayton, Robert W.

    2015-11-01

    The horizontal Nazca slab, extending over a distance of ∼800 km along the trench is one of enigmatic features in Peruvian subduction zone. Increased buoyancy of the oceanic lithosphere alone due to the subduction of Nazca Ridge is insufficient to fully explain such a lengthy segment. We use data from the recent seismic experiment in southern Peru to find that the subduction-related hydration plays a major role in controlling shear wave velocities within the upper part of the oceanic crust and overlying materials. We observe substantial velocity reductions of ∼20-40% near the top plate interface along- and perpendicular-to the trench from ∼40-120 km depths. In particular, significant shear wave velocity reductions and subsequently higher P-to-S velocity ratio (exceeding 2.0) at the flat slab region suggest that the seismically probed layer is fluid-rich and mechanically weak. The dominant source of fluid comes from metasediments and subducted crust (Nazca Ridge). Long-term supply of fluid from the southward migrating Nazca Ridge provides additional buoyancy of the subducting oceanic lithosphere and also lowers the viscosity of the overlying mantle wedge to drive and sustain the flat plate segment of ∼800 km along the trench. Also, by comparing calculated seismic velocities with experimentally derived mineral physics data, we additionally provide mechanical constraints on the possible changes in frictional behavior across the subduction zone plate interface. Observed low seismic velocities in the seismogenic zone suggest a presence of low strength materials that may be explained by overpressured pore fluids (i.e., accreted sediment included in the subduction channel).

  7. The dynamics of laterally variable subductions: laboratory models applied to the Hellenides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillaume, B.; Husson, L.; Funiciello, F.; Faccenna, C.

    2013-04-01

    We design three-dimensional dynamically self-consistent laboratory models of subduction to analyze the relationships between overriding plate deformation and subduction dynamics in the upper mantle. We investigate the effects of the subduction of a lithosphere of laterally variable buoyancy on the temporal evolution of trench kinematics and shape, horizontal flow at the top of the asthenosphere, dynamic topography and deformation of the overriding plate. The interface between the two units, analogue to a trench-perpendicular tear fault between a negatively buoyant oceanic plate and positively buoyant continental one, is either fully-coupled or shear-stress free. Differential rates of trench retreat, in excess of 6 cm yr-1 between the two units, trigger a more vigorous mantle flow above the oceanic slab unit than above the continental slab unit. The resulting asymmetrical sublithospheric flow shears the overriding plate in front of the tear fault, and deformation gradually switches from extension to transtension through time. The consistency between our models results and geological observations suggests that the Late Cenozoic deformation of the Aegean domain, including the formation of the North Aegean Trough and Central Hellenic Shear zone, results from the spatial variations in the buoyancy of the subducting lithosphere. In particular, the lateral changes of the subduction regime caused by the Early Pliocene subduction of the old oceanic Ionian plate redesigned mantle flow and excited an increasingly vigorous dextral shear underneath the overriding plate. The models suggest that it is the inception of the Kefalonia Fault that caused the transition between an extension dominated tectonic regime to transtension, in the North Aegean, Mainland Greece and Peloponnese. The subduction of the tear fault may also have helped the propagation of the North Anatolian Fault into the Aegean domain.

  8. Variation in Crustal Structure and Deformation along the Tonga-Kermadec Forearc: Temporal and Spatial Changes in the Structure and Morphology of the Subducting Pacific Plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funnell, M.

    2015-12-01

    Pacific oceanic lithosphere has been subducting along the Tonga-Kermadec Trench for at least 28 Myr. Variations in the sediment thickness, subduction angle and roughness of the subducting plate over this time have controlled deformation along the forearc. This constant process of forearc evolution has been punctuated since at least 7 Ma by the subduction of seamounts, as the trench-oblique Louisville Seamount Chain (LSC) migrates southward along the trench. The subduction of these seamounts is associated with accelerated tectonic erosion, the tilting of sedimentary units and 80 km of forearc shortening north of the present-day collision zone at 26°S. South of this collision zone, the overriding and subducting plates exhibit structures expected of normal Pacific plate subduction. In 2011, a series of integrated geophysical profiles were acquired to image the crustal and upper mantle structure along the Tonga-Kermadec subduction system and LSC, with the aim of: a) establishing the nature of major structural variations along the forearc; b) resolving the flexural state of the overriding and underthrusting plates in regions of normal subduction and at the point of LSC-collision; and from these c) determining the primary influences on the flexural behaviour and nature of deformation in the underthrusting and overriding plates along the Tonga-Kermadec subduction system. From the 2011 acquisition, we present multichannel reflection and wide-angle refraction seismic data that reveal the dominant structural differences between the Kermadec forearc and the raised Tonga Platform. Superimposed on these are structures associated with differing modes and extents of tectonic deformation that have occurred more recently along the margin. Most notably, the increased crustal strength around the seamounts results in an ~2 km shallowing of the trench and the development of an ~100 km-wide complex network of faulting on the overriding plate in the area of seamount collision.

  9. Seismicity and tectonics of the subducted Cocos Plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burbach, George Vanness; Frohlich, Cliff; Pennington, Wayne D.; Matumoto, Tosimatu

    1984-09-01

    We have examined teleseismic earthquake locations reported by the International Seismological Centre (ISC) for the Middle America region and selected 220 as the most reliable. These hypocenters and other data are used to delineate the deep structure of the subducted Cocos Plate. The results indicate that the subducted plate consists of three major segments: Segment I extends from the Panama Fracture Zone to the Nicoya Peninsula. The structure of this segment is poorly defined. Segment II is the largest and best-defined segment. This segment consists of two parts, IIA and IIB. Part IIA extends from the Nicoya Peninsula to western Guatemala and is very well defined and continuous in structure. Its strike follows the curvature of the trench and dips at about 60°. Part IIB extends from western Guatemala to Orizaba, Mexico. The dip of this part of the segment decreases slightly toward the northwest, and its strike is more northward than that of the trench. Segment III extends from Orizaba to the Rivera Fracture Zone, and is not well defined due to a lack of earthquake activity beneath about 100 km. Its orientation differs markedly from segment II and strikes somewhat more westward than the trench. Between parts IIA and IIB of segment II the subducted plate seems to be continuous, bending smoothly to accommodate the change in geometry. Local network data from Costa Rica suggest there may be a tear between segments I and II. Between segments II and III there is a gap in the hypocenters which makes it difficult to define the boundary. The change in geometry between these two segments indicates that there may be a tear, and two strike-slip focal mechanisms in the region support this conclusion. We find no convincing evidence supporting the existence of segments smaller than the three described above. If there is smaller-scale segmentation in the shallow part of the subducting plate the plate must still maintain enough continuity to appear continuous at greater depths

  10. Interseismic Strain Along the Sumatra Subduction Zone: A Case for a Locked Fault Portion Extending Well Below the Forearc Moho

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simoes, M.; Avouac, J.; Cattin, R.; Henry, P.; Natawidjaja, D. H.

    2003-12-01

    A current and most accepted view about the seismogenic zone along subduction zones is that the downdip extent of the locked fault portion would correspond either to the 350° C isotherm if this temperature is reached above the Moho, or to the intersection with the forearc Moho for colder subduction zones [Oleskevich et al., 1999]. This limit would reflect the transition from slip-weakening friction to aseismic stable-sliding, or else ductile flow. In the first case, when the downdip end of the locked zone is temperature-controlled, stable-sliding of quartzo-feldspathic rocks would be the controlling factor, while the systematic presence of serpentinite or other hydrated minerals is advocated to explain aseismic interplate slip in the mantle at temperatures much less that the 750° C needed for ductile flow of mantle rocks [Peacock and Hyndman, 1999]. Here, we consider the case of the Sumatra subduction zone where the ~53 Myr Indian oceanic crust subducts below an island-arc characterized by a relatively thin crust, with a Moho depth estimated to ~23 km. We model interseismic deformation from a creeping dislocation embedded in an elastic half-space, using the back-slip approach. In addition to recently published GPS velocities, we take advantage of recent data on the pattern and rate of interseismic uplift that have been obtained from the study of coral growth [Natawidjaja, 2003; Sieh et al., 1999]. These data are found to put tight constraints on the horizontal position of the downdip limit of the locked fault zone, at 127 +/- 4/2 km from the trench. This position corresponds to a depth between 40 and 58 km and to a temperature of 269° C +/- 155° C, when compared with thermal modeling. So, in this particular setting, the locked fault portion extends well into the mantle. However, temperature is not high enough to advocate stable sliding or ductile flow of unaltered or altered mantle rocks. This case appeals to some reappraisal of the physical control on the depth

  11. KSC Launch Pad Flame Trench Environment Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calle, Luz Marina; Hintze, Paul E.; Parlier, Christopher R.; Curran, Jerome P.; Kolody, Mark R.; Sampson, Jeffrey W.

    2010-01-01

    This report summarizes conditions in the Launch Complex 39 (LC-39) flame trenches during a Space Shuttle Launch, as they have been measured to date. Instrumentation of the flame trench has been carried out by NASA and United Space Alliance for four Shuttle launches. Measurements in the flame trench are planned to continue for the duration of the Shuttle Program. The assessment of the launch environment is intended to provide guidance in selecting appropriate test methods for refractory materials used in the flame trench and to provide data used to improve models of the launch environment in the flame trench.

  12. 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

  13. Magnesium Isotopic Composition of Subducting Marine Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Quaternary Sediment Accumulation in the Aleutian Trench: Implications for Dehydration Reaction Progress and Pore Pressure Development Offshore Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meridth, L. N.; Screaton, E.; Jaeger, J. M.; James, S. R.; Villaseñor, T. G.

    2015-12-01

    Sediment inputs to subduction zones impart a significant control on diagenetic reaction progress, fluid production and pore pressure development and thus affect hydrologic and tectonic behavior during subduction. Intensified glaciation following the mid-Pleistocene transition increased sediment flux to the Gulf of Alaska. Rapid sediment accumulation (>1 km/my) in the Aleutian Trench increases overburden and should accelerate dehydration of hydrous sedimentary components by elevating temperatures in the incoming sediment column. These processes have the potential to generate fluid overpressures in the mud-dominated, low permeability sediments deposited on the incoming plate, offshore SE Alaska. Mineralogical analyses on incoming sediments from Deep Sea Drilling Project Leg 18 and Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 341 show that both smectite and Opal-A are present as hydrous mineral phases. A 1-D numerical model was developed to track dehydration reaction progress and pore pressures in the incoming sediment column from the abyssal plain to the Aleutian Trench. Simulated temperatures in the incoming column increase due to the insulating effect of trench sediments. As a result, trench sedimentation causes smectite dehydration to begin and Opal-A dehydration to nearly reach completion at the deformation front. Simulated excess pore pressures in the proto-decollement zone increase from nearly hydrostatic to almost half of lithostatic due to the rapid deposition of trench sediments. The 1-D modeling results were incorporated into a 2-D model that follows the underthrust column at the deformation front into the subduction zone. Simulated results of the 2-D flow model illustrate the effects of lateral flow on pore pressure distribution following subduction.

  15. 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

  16. 'Snow White' Trench After Scraping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This view from the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander shows the trench informally named 'Snow White.' This image was taken after a series of scrapings by the lander's Robotic Arm on the 58th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (July 23, 2008). The scrapings were done in preparation for collecting a sample for analysis from a hard subsurface layer where soil may contain frozen water.

    The trench is 4 to 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) deep, about 23 centimeters (9 inches) wide and about 60 centimeters (24 inches) long.

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

  17. Parameters controlling dynamically self-consistent plate tectonics and single-sided subduction in global models of mantle convection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crameri, Fabio; Tackley, Paul J.

    2015-05-01

    Recent advances in numerical modeling allow global models of mantle convection to more realistically reproduce the behavior at convergent plate boundaries; in particular, the inclusion of a free surface at the outer boundary has been shown to facilitate self-consistent development of single-sided subduction. This allows for a more extensive study of subduction in the context of global mantle convection, as opposed to commonly used regional models. Our first study already indicated important differences between mantle convection with single-sided subduction and mantle convection with double-sided subduction. Here we further investigate the effect of various physical parameters and complexities on inducing Earth-like plate tectonics and its evolution in time. Results reinforce the previous finding that using a free surface instead of a free-slip outer boundary dramatically changes subduction style, with free surface cases displaying many episodes of single-sided subduction, which leads to more realistic slab dip, stress state, trench retreat rate, and slab-induced mantle flow. Longevity of single-sided subduction is promoted by a layer of hydrated crust with a low yield strength to lubricate the subduction channel, a low-viscosity asthenosphere, and a high strength of the slab (determined by a combination of high-diffusion creep viscosity and intermediate friction coefficient), although its effective viscosity is in the observationally constrained range in the bending region. The time evolution displays interesting events including subduction polarity reversals, subduction shut-off, and slab break-off.

  18. Development of seismic anisotropy during subduction-induced 3D mantle flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faccenda, M.; capitanio, F. A.

    2012-12-01

    Subduction zones are convergent margins where the rigid lithosphere sinks into the Earth's mantle inducing complex 3D flow patterns. Seismic anisotropy generated by strain-induced lattice/crystal preferred orientation (LPO/CPO) of intrinsically anisotropic minerals is commonly used to study flow in the mantle and its relations with plate motions. As the development of seismic anisotropy due to upper and lower plate motions occurs at depths and timescales such that it is not directly observable, numerical modelling provides a useful tool to investigate these processes. We computed the seismic anisotropy of dry olivine-enstatite aggregates due to strain-induced LPO in 3D mechanical models of dynamic subduction by using, respectively, D-Rex and Underworld. Subsequently, FSTRACK was used to compute seismogram synthetics and SKS splitting patterns. We found that for relatively narrow subducting plates, retreat motions are maximized producing strong subslab trench-parallel anisotropy. Here, synthetic data reproduce quite well the observations in analogous subduction systems like Calabria and South Sandwich, where the fast azimuths orients parallel to the trench in the forearc and follow the toroidal flow patterns on the slab edges. Furthermore, we found that the amount of anisotropy is proportional to the amount of subduction, while it does not depend on the rate at which the plate subducts. On the other hand, larger subducting plates subducts mainly by plate advance, favoring poloidal motions and trench-perpendicular anisotropy. Additional Earth-like plate geometries involving along-trench variation of the subducting plate age that induces differential slab retreat motions are considered. We also tested different olivine fabrics (A, B, C, E type), yielding distinct SKS splitting patterns that may help to constrain the composition of the upper mantle. Although more sophisticated numerical modelling taking into account temperature-dependent mantle rock rheologies and P

  19. Numerical modeling on the source parameter scaling relations and synthetic surface deformation of episodic slow slip events in subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Y.

    2013-12-01

    A spectrum of slow slip phenomena in subduction zones, ranging from low-frequency earthquakes to long-term slow slip events (SSE), demonstrates a linear relation between event moment M0 and duration T spanning 7 to 8 orders of magnitude in each dimension [Ide et al., Nature, 2007; Gao et al., BSSA, 2012]. However, such a linear relation is not clearly established for each type of slow phenomena. For example, slow earthquakes beneath the Kii Peninsula in western Japan show M0 ~ T1.5 [Ide et al., GRL, 2008]. Except for the episodic SSEs in Cascadia, SSEs in other subduction zones have more scattered M0 -T relation. Understanding this scaling relation is thus key to the study of the physical mechanism of SSEs and why they are different from regular earthquakes. Here we set up a 3D planar Cascadia subduction fault model using gabbro rate-state friction parameters and incorporating near-lithostatic pore pressure around the velocity-weakening to strengthening friction stability transition at depths between 30 and 40 km. SSEs appear at the transitional depths and repeat roughly every year. Complex along-strike migration patterns are also modeled by introducing small (<5%) along-strike perturbations in frictional parameters. By identifying individual episodes of SSEs using a slip velocity threshold, we quantify the following SSE source properties, along-strike propagation length, total duration, equivalent moment, stress drop, migration speed, derive their scaling relations and compare to the observations summarized by Gao et al. [2012]. Our modeled SSEs have nearly constant stress drops between 0.001 and 0.01 MPa, due to the small effective normal stress on the order of 1 MPa in the SSE region. They have moment M0 between 1017.5 to 1019.5 Nm and duration T between 0.1 to 1 year, and the relation is best described by M0 ~ T1.8 for about 70 episodes recorded in 20 years along the 1000 km long margin. More simulation cases are conducted to systematically investigate how the

  20. Subduction zones: Not relevant to present-day problems of waste disposal

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Silver, E.A.

    1972-01-01

    SUBDUCTION zones are considered to be sites of disposal for vast areas of the Earth's surface1, while new surface is generated simultaneously at rise crests2. Bostrom and Sherif3 suggest that the world's industrial and domestic waste be dumped into subduction zones at deep sea trenches to allow nature to complete the recycling process at geologically rapid rates of 5 to 10 cm/yr. They also point out that trenches are often sites of rapid rates of deposition and suggest that the dumped wastes would, speaking geologically, soon be buried. Francis4 suggests that canisters of toxic chemical and radioactive wastes could be dumped onto trench sediments and be expected to sink at rates of 20 m/yr, assuming that the mass of turbidites in the trench fill often spontaneously liquefies on shaking by earthquakes. The assumption is based on the supposed lack of evidence for deformed sediment in trenches. I will argue that the suggestion of Bostrom and Sherif3 is not useful for the next few dozen generations of human populations and will point out observational evidence to show that Francis's4 assumption is incorrectly founded. ?? 1972 Nature Publishing Group.

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

    PubMed

    Chen, W P; Brudzinski, M R

    2001-06-29

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

  2. Chilean Analog for 17th-Century Uplift Along the Southern Kuril Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atwater, B. F.; Ikeda, Y.; Satake, K.

    2002-12-01

    What caused a meter or so of widespread uplift in eastern Hokkaido in the last decades of the 17th century A.D.? Coasts along the Kamchatka, Kuril, and Japan Trenches lack documented modern analogs for uplift this large and geologically fast. But a meter of uplift, in 1960-1990, raised shorelines inland from the seismic rupture plane of the 1960 Chile earthquake. By this Chilean analogy, Hokkaido's 17th-century uplift may have occurred aseismically-during minutes of precursory slip and also during decades of postseismic creep, all downdip from the seismic rupture surface. Hokkaido's area of 17th-century uplift extends at least 50 km along the southern Kuril Trench. It includes the estuaries Akkeshi-ko and Hichirippu, on the Pacific coast, and Furen-ko and Onneto, on the Okhotsk Sea. At each estuary, intertidal and subtidal flats rose with respect to tide level; wetland plants colonized the emerging land; and peaty wetland deposits thereby covered mud and sand of the former flats. Such evidence for uplift was first reported by Sawai and coworkers, who identified at least three uplift events from the past 2500 years at Akkeshi-ko [Quat. Res. 56, 231-241, 2001]. The youngest of the uplift events probably began in the 1660s or 1670s, as dated by tephra layers. The uplift probably exceeded 1/2 m (inferred from paleoecology) without far exceeding 1 m (estimated by comparing early descriptions of Akkeshi-ko). Though this evidence permits the Hokkaido uplift to have been coseismic or aseismic or both, depths to the subducting Pacific plate probably preclude seismic rupture of the plate boundary directly beneath the uplifted area. These depths exceed 50 km and also exceed depths of seismic coupling inferred from continuous GPS [Mazzotti et al., JGR 105, 13159-13177, 2000; Ito et al., EPSL 176, 117-130, 2000]. When Hokkaido's plate boundary ruptured in earthquakes of Mw 8.1 (in 1952) and 7.8 (1973), the ruptures occurred offshore at depths less than 50 km, and the adjoining

  3. Subducted slabs beneath the eastern Indonesia-Tonga region: insights from tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, Robert; Spakman, Wim

    2002-07-01

    Tomographic images of mantle structure beneath the region north and northeast of Australia show a number of anomalously fast regions. These are interpreted using a recent plate tectonic reconstruction in terms of current and former subduction systems. Several strong anomalies are related to current subduction. The inferred slab lengths and positions are consistent with Neogene subduction beneath the New Britain and Halmahera arcs, and at the Tonga and the New Hebrides trenches where there has been rapid rollback of subduction hinges since about 10 Ma. There are several deeper flat-lying anomalies which are not related to present subduction and we interpret them as former subduction zones overridden by Australia since 25 Ma. Beneath the Bird's Head and Arafura Sea is an anomaly interpreted to be due to north-dipping subduction beneath the Philippines-Halmahera arc between 45 and 25 Ma. A very large anomaly extending from the Papuan peninsula to the New Hebrides, and from the Solomon Islands to the east Australian margin, is interpreted to be the remnant of south-dipping subduction beneath the Melanesian arc between 45 and 25 Ma. This interpretation implies that a flat-lying slab can survive for many tens of millions of years at the bottom of the upper mantle. In the lower mantle there is a huge anomaly beneath the Gulf of Carpentaria and east Papua New Guinea. This is located above the position where the tectonic model interprets a change in polarity of subduction from north-dipping to south-dipping between 45 and 25 Ma. We suggest this deep anomaly may be a slab subducted beneath eastern Australian during the Cretaceous, or subducted north of Australia during the Cenozoic before 45 Ma. The tomography also supports the tectonic interpretation which suggests little Neogene subduction beneath western New Guinea since no slab is imaged south of the New Guinea trench. However, one subduction zone in the tectonic model and many others, that associated with the Trobriand

  4. Sedimentation in the central segment of the Aleutian Trench: Sources, transport, and depositional style

    SciTech Connect

    Stevenson, A.J.; Scholl, D.W.; Vallier, T.L. ); Underwood, M.B. )

    1990-05-01

    The central segment of the Aleutian Trench (162{degree}W to 175{degree}E) is an intraoceanic subduction zone that contains an anomalously thick sedimentary fill (4 km maximum). The fill is an arcward-thickening and slightly tilted wedge of sediment characterized acoustically by laterally continuous, closely spaced, parallel reflectors. These relations are indicative of turbidite deposition. The trench floor and reflection horizons are planar, showing no evidence of an axial channel or any transverse fan bodies. Cores of surface sediment recover turbidite layers, implying that sediment transport and deposition occur via diffuse, sheetlike, fine-grained turbidite flows that occupy the full width of the trench. The mineralogy of Holocene trench sediments document a mixture of island-arc (dominant) and continental source terranes. GLORIA side-scan sonar images reveal a westward-flowing axial trench channel that conducts sediment to the eastern margin of the central segment, where channelized flow cases. Much of the sediment transported in this channel is derived from glaciated drainages surrounding the Gulf of Alaska which empty into the eastern trench segment via deep-sea channel systems (Surveyor and others) and submarine canyons (Hinchinbrook and others). Insular sediment transport is more difficult to define. GLORIA images show the efficiency with which the actively growing accretionary wedge impounds sediment that manages to cross a broad fore-arc terrace. It is likely that island-arc sediment reaches the trench either directly via air fall, via recycling of the accretionary prism, or via overtopping of the accretionary ridges by the upper parts of thick turbidite flows.

  5. Farallon plate dynamics prior to the Laramide orogeny: Numerical models of flat subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Sibiao; Currie, Claire A.

    2016-01-01

    The Laramide orogeny (~ 80-50 Ma) was an anomalous period of mountain-building in the western United States that occurred more than 1000 km inboard of the Farallon Plate subduction margin. It is widely believed that this orogeny is coincident with a period of flat (subhorizontal) subduction. However, the factors that caused the Farallon Plate to evolve from a normal (steep) geometry to flat subduction are not well understood. Three proposed factors are: (1) a westward (trenchward) increase in North America motion, (2) an increased slab suction force owing to the presence of thick Colorado Plateau lithosphere, and (3) subduction of a low-density oceanic plateau. This study uses 2D upper mantle scale numerical models to investigate these factors. The models show that trenchward continental motion is the primary control on subduction geometry, with decreasing slab dip as velocity increases. However, this can only create low-angle subduction, as the Farallon Plate was old (> 100 Myr) and denser than the mantle. A transition to flat subduction requires: (1) subduction of a buoyant oceanic plateau that includes an 18-km-thick crust that does not undergo metamorphic densification and an underlying depleted harzburgite layer, and (2) a slab break-off at the landward side of the plateau. The break-off removes the dense frontal slab, and flat subduction develops as the buoyant plateau deflects the slab upward. The slab suction force has only a minor effect on slab flattening, but the thickness of the Colorado Plateau lithosphere controls the depth of the flat slab. With a continental velocity of 4 cm/yr and a 400-km-wide oceanic plateau, flat subduction develops within 15 Ma after plateau subduction. The flat slab underthrusts the continent at ~ 200 km depth, eventually extending > 1500 km inboard of the trench.

  6. Plate kinematics, slab shape and back-arc stress: A comparison between laboratory models and current subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-04-01

    A combination of statistical studies on present-day subduction zones and three-dimensional (3D) laboratory models is performed with the aim to clarify the way that plate kinematics control the geometry of the slab and the overriding plate deformation in subduction zones. In 3D laboratory models, the analogue of a two layer linearly viscous lithosphere-upper mantle system is achieved by means of silicon putty glucose syrup tank experiment. The subducting and overriding plate velocities are systematically changed by exploring the variability field of natural plate kinematics. Both statistical and modelling approaches recognize the importance of overriding plate motion on subduction process behavior: (1) trenches migrate at a rate close to the overriding plate motion, but always move slower than the overriding plates. The mechanism at work is a direct consequence of "slab anchoring" opposed by both lithosphere and mantle viscous resistance and is responsible for overriding plate deformation and slab geometry variability. (2) An overriding plate shortens when the overriding plate moves toward the trench and conditions that are favourable for overriding plate extension are created when the overriding plate moves away from the trench. (3) Shallow and steep dips are found if the overriding plate moves toward and away from the trench, respectively.

  7. Seismic evidence for a slab tear at the Puerto Rico Trench

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meighan, Hallie E.; Pulliam, Jay; Brink, Uri ten; López-Venegas, Alberto M.

    2013-01-01

    The fore-arc region of the northeast Caribbean plate north of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands has been the site of numerous seismic swarms since at least 1976. A 6 month deployment of five ocean bottom seismographs recorded two such tightly clustered swarms, along with additional events. Joint analyses of the ocean bottom seismographs and land-based seismic data reveal that the swarms are located at depths of 50–150 km. Focal mechanism solutions, found by jointly fitting P wave first-motion polarities and S/P amplitude ratios, indicate that the broadly distributed events outside the swarm generally have strike- and dip-slip mechanisms at depths of 50–100 km, while events at depths of 100–150 km have oblique mechanisms. A stress inversion reveals two distinct stress regimes: The slab segment east of 65°W longitude is dominated by trench-normal tensile stresses at shallower depths (50–100 km) and by trench-parallel tensile stresses at deeper depths (100–150 km), whereas the slab segment west of 65°W longitude has tensile stresses that are consistently trench normal throughout the depth range at which events were observed (50–100 km). The simple stress pattern in the western segment implies relatively straightforward subduction of an unimpeded slab, while the stress pattern observed in the eastern segment, shallow trench-normal tension and deeper trench-normal compression, is consistent with flexure of the slab due to rollback. These results support the hypothesis that the subducting North American plate is tearing at or near these swarms. The 35 year record of seismic swarms at this location and the recent increase in seismicity suggest that the tear is still propagating.

  8. 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.

  9. Organochemical characteristics of carbonaceous materials as indicators of heat recorded on an ancient plate-subduction fault

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaneki, S.; Hirono, T.; Mukoyoshi, H.; Sampei, Y.; Ikehara, M.

    2016-07-01

    Coseismic shear stress and slip distance affect subduction-related earthquake processes. They need to be understood to evaluate the earthquake's mechanism and the tsunami generation potential near trenches. The amount of frictional heat generated depends on the shear stress and slip distance, which are therefore able to be derived from the temperature recorded in the fault. Here we developed a new temperature proxy for carbonaceous materials by performing spectroscopic, thermogravimetric, and organic elemental analyses in conjunction with heating experiments. We found marked anomalies in the infrared and Raman spectra and atomic compositions of carbonaceous materials retrieved from the slip zone of an ancient megasplay fault in the Cretaceous Shimanto accretionary complex, Japan: the infrared spectra show extinction of aliphatic C-H bonding and very weak aromatic C=C bonding, and the Raman spectra show a slightly elevated ratio of disordered band intensity to graphitic band intensity and relatively low H/C and O/C ratios. These correlate well with the spectral and elemental features of host-rock carbonaceous materials after heating to 600°C. Thus, we conclude that the slip zone experienced a temperature of 600°C during a past earthquake event, indicating coseismic slip of 2-9 m, which could have generated a large tsunami if the ruptures propagated to the seafloor.

  10. Formation of forearc basins by collision between seamounts and accretionary wedges: an example from the New Hebrides subduction zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Collot, J.-Y.; Fisher, M.A.

    1989-01-01

    Seabeam data reveal two deep subcircular reentrants in the lower arc slope of the New Hebrides island arc that may illustrate two stages in the development of a novel type of forearc basin. The Malekula reentrant lies just south of the partly subducted Bougainville seamount. This proximity, as well as the similarity in morphology between the reentrant and an indentation in the lower arc slope off Japan, suggests that the Malekula reentrant formed by the collision of a seamount with the arc. An arcuate fold-thrust belt has formed across the mouth of the reentrant, forming the toe of a new accretionary wedge. The Efate reentrant may show the next stage in basin development. This reentrant lies landward of a lower-slope ridge that may have begun to form as an arcuate fold-thrust belt across the mouth of a reentrant. This belt may have grown by continued accretion at the toe of the wedge, by underplating beneath the reentrant, and by trapping of sediment shed from the island arc. These processes could result in a roughly circular forearc basin. Basins that may have formed by seamount collision lie within the accretionary wedge adjacent to the Aleutian trenches. -Authors

  11. Slip distribution of the 1952 Tokachi-Oki earthquake (M 8.1) along the Kuril Trench deduced from tsunami waveform inversion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hirata, K.; Geist, E.; Satake, K.; Tanioka, Y.; Yamaki, S.

    2003-01-01

    We inverted 13 tsunami waveforms recorded in Japan to estimate the slip distribution of the 1952 Tokachi-Oki earthquake (M 8.1), which occurred southeast off Hokkaido along the southern Kuril subduction zone. The previously estimated source area determined from tsunami travel times [Hatori, 1973] did not coincide with the observed aftershock distribution. Our results show that a large amount of slip occurred in the aftershock area east of Hatori's tsunami source area, suggesting that a portion of the interplate thrust near the trench was ruptured by the main shock. We also found more than 5 m of slip along the deeper part of the seismogenic interface, just below the central part of Hatori's tsunami source area. This region, which also has the largest stress drop during the main shock, had few aftershocks. Large tsunami heights on the eastern Hokkaido coast are better explained by the heterogeneous slip model than previous uniform-slip fault models. The total seismic moment is estimated to be 1.87 ?? 1021 N m, giving a moment magnitude of Mw = 8.1. The revised tsunami source area is estimated to be 25.2 ?? 103 km2, ???3 times larger than the previous tsunami source area. Out of four large earthquakes with M ??? 7 that subsequently occurred in and around the rupture area of the 1952 event, three were at the edges of regions with relatively small amount of slip. We also found that a subducted seamount near the edge of the rupture area possibly impeded slip along the plate interface.

  12. Slip distribution of the 1952 Tokachi-Oki earthquake (M 8.1) along the Kuril Trench deduced from tsunami waveform inversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirata, Kenji; Geist, Eric; Satake, Kenji; Tanioka, Yuichiro; Yamaki, Shigeru

    2003-04-01

    We inverted 13 tsunami waveforms recorded in Japan to estimate the slip distribution of the 1952 Tokachi-Oki earthquake (M 8.1), which occurred southeast off Hokkaido along the southern Kuril subduction zone. The previously estimated source area determined from tsunami travel times [, 1973] did not coincide with the observed aftershock distribution. Our results show that a large amount of slip occurred in the aftershock area east of Hatori's tsunami source area, suggesting that a portion of the interplate thrust near the trench was ruptured by the main shock. We also found more than 5 m of slip along the deeper part of the seismogenic interface, just below the central part of Hatori's tsunami source area. This region, which also has the largest stress drop during the main shock, had few aftershocks. Large tsunami heights on the eastern Hokkaido coast are better explained by the heterogeneous slip model than previous uniform-slip fault models. The total seismic moment is estimated to be 1.87 × 1021 N m, giving a moment magnitude of Mw = 8.1. The revised tsunami source area is estimated to be 25.2 × 103 km2, ˜3 times larger than the previous tsunami source area. Out of four large earthquakes with M ˜ 7 that subsequently occurred in and around the rupture area of the 1952 event, three were at the edges of regions with relatively small amount of slip. We also found that a subducted seamount near the edge of the rupture area possibly impeded slip along the plate interface.

  13. Arc-arc Collision Structure in the Southernmost Part of the Kuril Trench Region -Results from Integrated Analyses of the 1998-2000 Hokkaido Transect Seismic Data-

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwasaki, Takaya; Tsumura, Noriko; Ito, Tanio; Sato, Hiroshi; Kurashimo, Eiji; Hirata, Naoshi; Arita, Kazunori; Noda, Katsuya; Fujiwara, Akira; Abe, Susumu; Kikkuchi, Shunsuke; Suzuki, Kazuko

    2015-04-01

    The Hokkaido Island, located in the southernmost part of the Kuril trench region, has been under a unique tectonic environment of arc-arc collision. Due to the oblique subduction of the Pacific (PAC) plate, the Kuril forearc sliver started to collide against Northeast (NE) Japan arc from the east at the time of middle Miocene to form complicated structures in the Hidaka collision zone (HCZ), as characterized by the westward obduction of the crustal rocks of the Kuril arc (the Hidaka metamorphic belt (HMB)) along the Hidaka main thrust (HMT) and a thick foreland fold-and-thrust belt. In and around the HCZ, a series of seismic reflection/refraction experiments were undertaken from 1994 to 2000, which provided important structural features including crustal delamination in the southern HCZ and a thick fold-and-thrust belt with velocity reversals (low velocity layers) in the northern HCZ. Reprocessing/reinterpretation for these data sets, which started in 2012, is aimed to construct a more detailed collision model through new processing and interpretation techniques. A multi-disciplinary project of the 1998-2000 Hokkaido Transect, crossing the northern part of the HCZ in EW direction, collected high-quality seismic data on a 227-km seismic refraction/wide-angle reflection profile and three seismic reflection lines. Our reanalyses revealed interesting collision structure ongoing in the northern part of the HCZ. The westward obduction of the Kuril arc crust was clearly imaged along the HMT. This obduction occurs at a depth of 27-30 km, much deeper than in the southern HCZ (23-25 km). The CRS/MDRS processing to the reflection data firstly succeeded in imaging clear reflection events at a 30-45 km depth below the obducted Kuril arc crust. These events show an eastward dip, probably corresponding to the lower crust/Moho within the NE Japan arc descending down to the east under the collision zone. Gently eastward dipping structures above these events (in a depth range of 5

  14. Plate Tectonics: From Initiation of Subduction to Global Plate Motions (Augustus Love Medal Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurnis, Michael

    2013-04-01

    Plates are driven by buoyancy forces distributed in the mantle, within cooling oceanic plates (ridge push) and within subducted slabs. Although the case is often made that subducted slabs provide the principle driving force on plate motion, consensus has not been achieved. This is at least partially due to the great difficulty in realistically capturing the role of slabs in observationally-constrained models as slabs act to drive and resist plate motions through their high effective viscosity. Slab buoyancy acts directly on the edge of the plate (slab pull), while inducing mantle flow that tends to drag both subducting and overriding plates toward the trench. While plates bend during subduction they undergo a form of 'plastic failure' (as evident through faulting, seismicity and reduction of flexural parameters at the outer trench wall). The birth of a new subduction zone, subduction initiation, provides important insight into plate motions and subduction dynamics. About half of all subduction zones initiated over the Cenozoic and the geophysical and geological observations of them provide first order constraints on the mechanics of how these margins evolved from their preexisting tectonic state to self-sustaining subduction. We have examples of subduction initiation at different phases of the initiation process (e.g. early versus late) as well as how margins have responded to different tectonic forcings. The consequences of subduction initiation are variable: intense trench roll back and extensive boninitic volcanism followed initiation of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc while both were absent during Aleutian arc initiation. Such differences may be related to the character of the preexisting plates, the size of and forces on the plates, and how the lithosphere was initially bending during initiation. I will address issues associated with the forces driving plate tectonics and initiating new subduction zones from two perspectives. A common thread is the origin and

  15. Towards a new thermomechanical model of subduction channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinteros, J.; Sobolev, S. V.

    2009-04-01

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

  16. Laboratory models of the thermal evolution of the mantle during rollback subduction.

    PubMed

    Kincaid, C; Griffiths, R W

    2003-09-01

    The subduction of oceanic lithosphere plays a key role in plate tectonics, the thermal evolution of the mantle and recycling processes between Earth's interior and surface. Information on mantle flow, thermal conditions and chemical transport in subduction zones come from the geochemistry of arc volcanoes, seismic images and geodynamic models. The majority of this work considers subduction as a two-dimensional process, assuming limited variability in the direction parallel to the trench. In contrast, observationally based models increasingly appeal to three-dimensional flow associated with trench migration and the sinking of oceanic plates with a translational component of motion (rollback). Here we report results from laboratory experiments that reveal fundamental differences in three-dimensional mantle circulation and temperature structure in response to subduction with and without a rollback component. Without rollback motion, flow in the mantle wedge is sluggish, there is no mass flux around the plate and plate edges heat up faster than plate centres. In contrast, during rollback subduction flow is driven around and beneath the sinking plate, velocities increase within the mantle wedge and are focused towards the centre of the plate, and the surface of the plate heats more along the centreline. PMID:12955138

  17. Laboratory models of the thermal evolution of the mantle during rollback subduction.

    PubMed

    Kincaid, C; Griffiths, R W

    2003-09-01

    The subduction of oceanic lithosphere plays a key role in plate tectonics, the thermal evolution of the mantle and recycling processes between Earth's interior and surface. Information on mantle flow, thermal conditions and chemical transport in subduction zones come from the geochemistry of arc volcanoes, seismic images and geodynamic models. The majority of this work considers subduction as a two-dimensional process, assuming limited variability in the direction parallel to the trench. In contrast, observationally based models increasingly appeal to three-dimensional flow associated with trench migration and the sinking of oceanic plates with a translational component of motion (rollback). Here we report results from laboratory experiments that reveal fundamental differences in three-dimensional mantle circulation and temperature structure in response to subduction with and without a rollback component. Without rollback motion, flow in the mantle wedge is sluggish, there is no mass flux around the plate and plate edges heat up faster than plate centres. In contrast, during rollback subduction flow is driven around and beneath the sinking plate, velocities increase within the mantle wedge and are focused towards the centre of the plate, and the surface of the plate heats more along the centreline.

  18. Megathrust Earthquakes and Sediment Input to the Subduction Channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholl, David W.; Keranen, Katie; von Huene, Roland; Wells, Ray; Ryan, Holly; Kirby, Stephen

    2010-05-01

    HABITATS OF GREAT MEGATHRUST EARTHQUAKES: Great megathrust earthquakes (Mw8.5 or higher) most commonly (~65%) nucleate along subduction zones (SZ) bordered by laterally continuous (more than 500 km), sediment-flooded trenches. Examples include: south-central Chile (1922, Mw8.5; 1960, Mw9.5), eastern Alaska (1964, Mw9.2), Sumatra (2004, Mw9.1), Cascadia (1700, Mw9.0), Colombia (1906, Mw8.8), Sumatra (1883, Mw8.8), west-central Aleutian (1965, Mw8.7), central Aleutian (1986, Mw8.7), Sumatra (2005, Mw8.6), and Nankai (1707, Mw8.5). All known megathrust events greater than Mw9 ruptured at sediment-charged SZs (Alaska, S.C. Chile, Sumatra). Sediment entering high-seismicity SZs is typically a 1-3-km-thick wedge of trench-axis turbidite beds overlying a 0.3-2-km-thick sequence of hemipelagic or abyssal turbiditic deposits that accrued seaward of the trench. Most commonly, laterally-continuous turbidite wedges are built by down-axis flowing turbidity currents sourced from mountainous and/or glaciated drainages (e.g., SE Alaska, Cascadia, Southern Andes, Himalaya). Great rupture events also occur at SZs receiving little sediment, for example Kamchatka (1952, Mw9.0), Kuril Islands (1963, Mw8.5) and north Chile SZs (1868, Mw9.0). These SZs exhibit evidence of upper plate thinning, subsidence, and truncation effected by frontal and basal subduction erosion. They also have a SC filled with ~1 km or more of debris in transport toward the mantle. 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 ultimately into the mantle. The SC is the lowest structural unit containing upper plate crustal material and the seismogenic zone runs along the SC's upper boundary. It has long been conjectured (e.g., Ruff, 1989; PAGEOPH, v. 129. Nos 1/2) that a laterally uninterrupted, sediment- or debris-charged SC serves to smooth the surface of interplate slip to set

  19. 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.

  20. Global Outer-Rise/Near Trench Seismicity and Focal Mechanisms: Trends and Diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kita, S.; Nakajima, J.; Hasegawa, A.; Kirby, S. H.; Engdahl, E.

    2004-12-01

    Based on well-constrainted hypocenter information and focal mechanism solutions, Seno and Yamanaka (1996) identify two classes of outer-rise/near-trench (OR/NT) earthquakes: 1) Shallow tensional events and 2) Deeper compressional events. They indicate that subduction zones with compressional deep events (DCE) also tend to have double seismic zones (DSZ), and proposed a hypothesis that earthquakes in the lower plane of the DSZ represent reactivation of faults by dehydration embrittlement previously active as DCE_fs. They suggest that plates can be hydrated even at depths as great as 40 km by passing over the superplume volcanic centers. In this study we examine the characteristics of many more earthquakes at the outer-rise/near-trench region using the EHB hypocenter catalogue (Engdahl et al., 2002) and Harvard CMT focal-mechanism. We studied M>5.5 OR/NT events in the Circum-Pacific/Indonesian earthquake belts from 1977 to 2002 that occurred at depths shallower than 60 km depth and within 150 km from the trench axis. In order to select trench-outer-rise events, we checked carefully all event locations and CMT solutions in map- and cross-sectional-views superposed on the background seismicity. We also compared event locations with global maps of seafloor bathymetry, gravity and Kawakatsu_fs 1986 investigation of the DSZ in the Tonga subduction zone. Our results are as follows: 1) Eighteen compressional and 93 tensional events were found. 2) Solitary compressional events were found in two areas (Vanuatu and Guam) where a DSZ has not been observed. 3) Thirteen compressional events are concentrated in the Tonga-Kermadec reagion. 4) Tensional events occur at depths of less than about 33 km and the compressional group occurs at greater depths in the Tonga-Kermadec region, corresponding to Kawakatsu_fs upper an lower zones but with opposite focal mechanisms. 5) Many trench-outer-rise events occur where seamount/guyot volcanic chains are subducting. 6) Compressional OR

  1. Digging in 'Snow White' Trench

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This image was acquired by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager on the 44th Martian day of the mission, or Sol 43 (July 7, 2008), after the May 25, 2008, landing, showing the current sample scraping area in the trench informally called 'Snow White.'

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

  2. Cascadia Subduction Zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Frankel, Arthur D.; Petersen, Mark D.

    2008-01-01

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

  3. Recent Results of Hadal Investigations in the Southern Mariana Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fryer, P. B.; Hellebrand, E.; Sharma, S. K.; Acosta-Maeda, T.; Jicha, B. R.; Cameron, J.

    2014-12-01

    The deepest parts of the southern Mariana Trench have variously been interpreted to 1) indicate strike-slip motion along the trench, 2) contain a series of 3 sediment ponds at greater than 10,900 m depth separated from one another by fault-controlled ridges on the subducting plate, and 3) have an even deeper feature in the western-most pond (Vitiaz Deep). Recent lander deployments in all three ponds and the Deepsea Challenger submersible dive by J. Cameron in 2012 showed that the deepest ponds within the Challenger Deep area have nearly unbroken, flat surfaces. One point explored showed veined serpentinite at a depth of 10,800+ m. The potential for active serpentinite-hosted seeps and vent communities was demonstrated for the Shinkai Vent Field at 5,800m depth. Rocks collected using the Wood Hole Oceanographic Institution's hybrid remotely operated vehicle, Nereus, in 2009 from deep (10,879 m) on the incoming plate south of the Challenger Deep, were recovered from the base of a fault scarp where large, columnar-jointed blocks are draped with sediment. Optical microscopy, electron-microprobe and Raman analysis show that they are partially altered massive diabase with altered interstitial glass and containing microbial tubules in vug-filling secondary phases. The chain of seamounts striking NNW, colinear with the Lyra Trough, has been interpreted as a boundary between the Pacific Plate and the seafloor north of the Caroline Ridge. Sediments, drilled from above postulated basement north of the Caroline Ridge are no older that Oligocene. Ar/Ar age dates completed for one rock collected by Nereus in 2009 give a weighted mean plateau age, based on two experiments, of 24.6 +/- 3.2 Ma. Thus, the igneous basement of the subducting plate south of the Challenger Deep is, far younger than the Jurassic Pacific Plate subducting further east. This represents a previously unidentified tectonic plate. With new vehicles and technologies the future for hadal exploration is ripe.

  4. 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

  5. Complete 40Ar resetting in an ultracataclasite by reactivation of a fossil seismogenic fault along the subducting plate interface in the Mugi Mélange of the Shimanto accretionary complex, southwest Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonai, Satoshi; Ito, Shun; Hashimoto, Yoshitaka; Tamura, Hajimu; Tomioka, Naotaka

    2016-08-01

    We used the K-Ar ages of clay-sized mineral grains to investigate the timing of activity on the Minami-Awa Fault, which is a fossil seismogenic fault along a subducting plate interface separating the coherent strata of the Shimanto accretionary complex to the north from the tectonic mélange to the south. The K-Ar ages from the matrix shale of the mélange range from 85 to 48 Ma and decrease with decreasing amount of detrital mica, indicating that they record a mixture of authigenic illite related to burial diagenesis and detrital mica. In contrast, the K-Ar ages of an ultracataclasite within the fault core are significantly younger, ranging from 29 to 23 Ma, and are unrelated to grain size and amount of detrital mica. This indicates that s Ar diffused completely from the ultracataclasite between 29 and 23 Ma, which postdates the formation of authigenic illite by at least several million years. The diffusion of 40Ar in the ultracataclasite was probably caused by frictional heating or high-temperature fluid migration that occurred when the fault was reactivated. The results indicate that seismogenic faults that separate tectonic mélange from coherent strata in accretionary complexes may slip, not only during accretion, but also long after accretion.

  6. Subduction Zone Processes and Implications for Changing Composition of the Upper and Lower Mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, J. D.; Ryan, J. G.

    2003-12-01

    With ca. forty thousand kilometers of subduction zones and convergence rates from 30 km Ma-1 to 180 km Ma-1, subduction carries massive amounts of material into seafloor trenches, and beyond. Most of the subducting plate is made of mantle material returning to the depths from which it originated. The hydrated and altered upper oceanic section and the overlying sediments, however, carry a record of low-temperature interaction with the ocean, atmosphere, and continents. Subduction and recycling of these components into the mantle has the potential to change mantle composition in terms of volatile contents, heat-producing elements, radiogenic isotope systematics, and trace element abundances. Enrichments in volatile and potassium, uranium, and thorium contents could change the rheological, thermal, and geodynamical behavior of portions of the mantle. Changing isotope and trace-element systematics provide a means for tracking mantle mixing and the possible subduction modification of the deep mantle. A large number of studies point to possible contributions of subducted sediments and altered oceanic crust (AOC) to the mantle-source region for enriched mantle II (EMII) and high mu (HiMU) enriched oceanic island basalts. Transit through the subduction zone, however, changes the composition of the subducting sediment and AOC from that measured outboard of trenches.This chapter focuses on subduction zone processes and their implications for mantle composition. It examines subduction contributions to the shallow mantle that may be left behind in the wedge following arc magma genesis, as well as the changing composition of the slab as it is processed beneath the fore-arc, volcanic front and rear arc on its way to the deep mantle. Much of this chapter uses boron and the beryllium isotopes as index tracers: boron, because it appears to be completely recycled in volcanic arcs with little to none subducted into the deep mantle, and cosmogenic 10Be, with a 1.5 Ma half

  7. Effects of water transportation on subduction dynamics: Roles of viscosity and density reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakao, Atsushi; Iwamori, Hikaru; Nakakuki, Tomoeki

    2016-11-01

    The effects of water on subduction dynamics, e.g., plate migration rate, slab geometry, stress field, and back-arc spreading, are investigated by using a 2-D self-consistent model for lithosphere subduction and whole mantle convection. We solve water transportation coupled with hydrous mineral phase changes. Mantle flows and water transportation are interactive through constitutive and state equations for hydrous rocks. Our model has successfully reproduced the water distribution in a mantle wedge and along the slab with sufficient resolution comparable to that of previous models that focus on the mantle wedge structure. As a result, low density owing to hydration reduces subduction rates, back-arc spreading, and slab stagnation on the phase boundary at 660-km depth, whereas low viscosity owing to hydration enhances rapid subduction, trench migration, and slab stagnation. We attribute these results to mechanisms that cause the hydrous buoyancy of subducting plates to reduce the slab pull force and the accompanying tensile stress on overlying lithosphere. In addition, hydrous weakening diminishes the mechanical coupling of the subducted slab with the wedge mantle and overriding lithosphere. Thus, water is capable of generating two opposite situations in the stress field of the overlying lithosphere and the subduction rate. Water is therefore expected to be an important mechanism for generating broad styles of the subduction structure and kinematics, as observed in actual subduction zones such as Tonga and Mariana. Such observed variation in the subduction mode can be caused by variation in buoyancy corresponding to the water content from relatively dry to several thousands of parts per million for the wedge mantle and slab surface, whereas the extremely buoyant case does not appear to occur in nature. Water in the mantle is thus key to better understand the whole-mantle-scale slab dynamics as well as island arc volcanic processes.

  8. GPS determined eastward Sundaland motion with respect to Eurasia confirmed by earthquakes slip vectors at Sunda and Philippine trenches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chamot-Rooke, N.; Le Pichon, X.

    1999-12-01

    GPS measurements acquired over Southeast Asia in 1994 and 1996 in the framework of the GEODYSSEA program revealed that a large piece of continental lithosphere comprising the Indochina Peninsula, Sunda shelf and part of Indonesia behaves as a rigid `Sundaland' platelet. A direct adjustment of velocity vectors obtained in a Eurasian frame of reference shows that Sundaland block is rotating clockwise with respect to Eurasia around a pole of rotation located south of Australia. We present here an additional check of Sundaland motion that uses earthquakes slip vectors at Sunda and Philippine trenches. Seven sites of the GEODYSSEA network are close to the trenches and not separated from them by large active faults (two at Sumatra Trench, three at Java Trench and two at the Philippine Trench). The difference between the vector at the station and the adjacent subducting plate vector defines the relative subduction motion and should thus be aligned with the subduction earthquake slip vectors. We first derive a frame-free solution that minimizes the upper plate (or Sundaland) motion. When corrected for Australia-Eurasia and Philippines-Eurasia NUVEL1-A motion, the misfit between GPS and slip vectors azimuths is significant at 95% confidence, indicating that the upper plate does not belong to Eurasia. We then examine the range of solutions compatible with the slip vectors azimuths and conclude that the minimum velocity of Sundaland is a uniform 7-10 mm/a eastward velocity. However, introducing the additional constraint of the fit of the GEODYSSEA sites with the Australian IGS reference ones, or tie with the NTUS Singapore station, leads to a much narrower range of solutions. We conclude that Sundaland has an eastward velocity of about 10 mm/a on its southern boundary increasing to 16-18 mm/a on its northern boundary.

  9. A new seismically constrained subduction interface model for Central America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kyriakopoulos, C.; Newman, A. V.; Thomas, A. M.; Moore-Driskell, M.; Farmer, G. T.

    2015-08-01

    We provide a detailed, seismically defined three-dimensional model for the subducting plate interface along the Middle America Trench between northern Nicaragua and southern Costa Rica. The model uses data from a weighted catalog of about 30,000 earthquake hypocenters compiled from nine catalogs to constrain the interface through a process we term the "maximum seismicity method." The method determines the average position of the largest cluster of microseismicity beneath an a priori functional surface above the interface. This technique is applied to all seismicity above 40 km depth, the approximate intersection of the hanging wall Mohorovičić discontinuity, where seismicity likely lies along the plate interface. Below this depth, an envelope above 90% of seismicity approximates the slab surface. Because of station proximity to the interface, this model provides highest precision along the interface beneath the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, an area where marked geometric changes coincide with crustal transitions and topography observed seaward of the trench. The new interface is useful for a number of geophysical studies that aim to understand subduction zone earthquake behavior and geodynamic and tectonic development of convergent plate boundaries.

  10. Deep current measurements at 38°N east of Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujio, Shinzou; Yanagimoto, Daigo

    2005-02-01

    Deep currents east of Japan were investigated using direct current measurements and hydrographic observations. Current data, recorded for 9 months along 38°N, showed a pair of currents, one southward and the other northward, flowing along local isobaths above the western and eastern flanks. respectively, of the Japan Trench. Geostrophic velocities calculated from conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) data showed a similar velocity pattern to the current measurements. The transports referring to the mean current velocities were estimated. Below 2000 m, the deep transports above the trench were southward 5.5 Sv and northward 13.5 Sv, and the boundary was at the deepest point of the trench. The mean current measured above the abyssal plain to the east of the trench was westward at 38°N. Since the bottom water properties above the eastern flank of the trench were colder and more saline than those on the abyssal plain, the westward current does not enter the trench but rather is expected to turn northward just east of the trench. Its northward transport was estimated to be 6.2 Sv, and the total northward transport was estimated to be 19.7 Sv at 38°N. A pair of oppositely flowing deep currents is confirmed in the Japan Trench. While the transports were similar to those of the Izu-Ogasawara and Kuril-Kamchatka trenches, whose ends connect with the Japan Trench, the current structure resembles that at the Izu-Ogasawara Trench rather than that at the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench.

  11. Melt Inclusion Evidence for Subduction-modified Mantle Beneath the Woodlark Spreading Center, Solomon Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chadwick, J.; Turner, A.; Collins, E.

    2015-12-01

    The Woodlark Spreading Center (WSC) to the east of Papua New Guinea separates the Indo-Australian plate and Solomon Sea microplate. At its eastern terminus, the WSC is being subducted at the New Britain trench, forming a triple junction near the New Georgia Group arc in the Solomon Islands. Previous studies have shown that lavas recovered from greater than 100 km from the trench on the WSC are N-MORB, but closer to the trench they have arc-like Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic ratios, enrichments in LILE, and depletions in HFSE. In the complex triple junction area of the WSC on the Simbo and Ghizo Ridges, island arc tholeiites to medium-K calc-alkaline andesites and dacites have been recovered, many with trace element and isotopic characteristics that are similar to the true arc lavas in the New Georgia Group on the other side of the trench. We suggest that subduction-modified arc mantle migrates through slab windows created by the subduction of the WSC as the plates continue to diverge after subduction. This transfer of mantle across the plate boundary leads to variable mixing between arc and N-MORB end-members, forming the hybrid to arc-like lavas recovered on the WSC. To test this hypothesis and to characterize the end-member compositions, we have analyzed melt inclusions in olivine, pyroxene, and plagioclase phenocrysts in Simbo and Ghizo Ridge lava samples. Major elements were analyzed using the electron microprobe facility at Fayetteville State University and volatiles were analyzed on the ion probe facility at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The melt inclusions show a wide diversity of magmas from basalts to dacites, and mixing modeling shows that most Woodlark Spreading Center lava compositions are explained by mixing between the most extreme mafic (MORB) and felsic (arc) inclusion compositions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-11-01

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

  13. Shallow subduction zone earthquakes and their tsunamigenic potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polet, J.; Kanamori, H.

    2000-09-01

    We have examined the source spectra of all shallow subduction zone earthquakes from 1992 to 1996 with moment magnitude 7.0 or greater, as well as some other interesting events, in the period range 1-20s, by computing moment rate functions of teleseismic P waves. After comparing the source spectral characteristics of `tsunami earthquakes' (earthquakes that are followed by tsunamis greater than would be expected from their moment magnitude) with regular events, we identified a subclass of this group: `slow tsunami earthquakes'. This subclass consists of the 1992 Nicaragua, the 1994 Java and the February 1996 Peru earthquakes. We found that these events have an anomalously low energy release in the 1-20s frequency band with respect to their moment magnitude, although their spectral drop-off is comparable to those of the other earthquakes. From an investigation of the centroid and body wave locations, it appears that most earthquakes in this study conformed to a simple model in which the earthquake nucleates in a zone of compacted and dehydrated sediments and ruptures up-dip until the stable sliding friction regime of unconsolidated sediments stops the propagation. Sediment-starved trenches, e.g. near Jalisco, can produce very shallow slip, because the fault material supports unstable sliding. The slow tsunami earthquakes also ruptured up-dip; however, their centroid is located unusually close to the trench axis. The subduction zones in which these events occurred all have a small accretionary prism and a thin layer of subducting sediment. Ocean surveys show that in these regions the ocean floor close to the trench is highly faulted. We suggest that the horst-and-graben structure of a rough subducting oceanic plate will cause contact zones with the overriding plate, making shallow earthquake nucleation and up-dip propagation to the ocean floor possible. The rupture partly propagates in sediments, making the earthquake source process slow. Two factors have to be

  14. Distribution and origin of igneous rocks from the landward slopes of the Mariana Trench: Implications for its structure and evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Bloomer, S.H.

    1983-09-10

    The landward slope of the Mariana Trench is composed largely of igneous rocks. Serpentinites and serpentinized ultramafic rocks occur at nearly all structural levels on the slope from depths of 8000 to 1200 m. Seamountlike features on the trench slope break are the surface expression of serpentinite diapirs. Cumulate and massive gabbros are found; several varieties of volcanic rocks are common including boninites, altered and metamorphosed basalts, andesites, and dacites. The chemical characteristics of the volcanic rocks indicate that nearly all are products of island arc volcanism. Together with the gabbros, these volcanic rocks represent what is probably a late Eocene arc complex. These rocks were probably the first volcanic products to result from the subduction of the Pacific plate beneath the Phillippine Sea plate; their exposure on the trench slope today implies a significant amount of tectonic erosion of the landward slope since Eocene time. Most of this removal of material appears to have occurred during the early stages of subduction. There are isolated occurrences on the landward slope of rock assemblages including alkalic basalts, chert, hyaloclastites, upper Cretaceous siliceous sediments, and shallow water limestones. These assemblages are very similar to rocks dredged from seamounts on the offshore flank of the trench, and their presence on the landward slope suggests that since the cessation of vigorous tectonic erosion, there has been episodic accretion of seamount fragments to the landward slope.

  15. Ophiolites of the deep-sea trenches of the western Pacific

    SciTech Connect

    Chudaev, O.

    1990-06-01

    Igneous and metamorphic rocks of ophiolites are widespread in the basement of the Izu-Bonin, Volcano, Mariana, Philippine, Yap, Palau, New Hebrides, West Melanesian, Tonga, and Mussau trenches. Ophiolite in the trenches includes (1) metamorphic rocks ranging from low-T and low P to high-T and moderate P; (2) serpentinites after harzburgite; (3) ultramafic-mafic layered series; (4) tholeiitic basalts, dolerites, and their metamorphosed varieties; and (5) rocks of the boninitic series. Two geodynamic stages could be distinguished in the formation of the ophiolites of the Western Pacific. At the rifting stage, mantle diapir ascended during rifting and magmatic series were formed. In this period, rocks underwent intense low-temperature metasomatic alterations in the zones of heated seawater circulation. At the compression stage (subduction zone) regional pressure metamorphism of the ophiolites superimposed on the low-temperature metasomatic processes.

  16. New seafloor map of the Puerto Rico Trench helps assess earthquake and tsunami hazards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

    The Puerto Rico Trench, the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean, is located where the North American (NOAM) plate is subducting under the Caribbean plate (Figure l). The trench region may pose significant seismic and tsunami hazards to Puerto Rico and the U.S.Virgin Islands, where 4 million U.S. citizens reside. Widespread damage in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola from an earthquake in 1787 was estimated to be the result of a magnitude 8 earthquake north of the islands [McCann et al., 2004]. A tsunami killed 40 people in NW Puerto Rico following a magnitude 7.3 earthquake in 1918 [Mercado and McCann, 1998]. Large landslide escarpments have been mapped on the seafloor north of Puerto Rico [Mercado et al., 2002; Schwab et al., 1991],although their ages are unknown.

  17. Structure of the tsunamigenic plate boundary and low-frequency earthquakes in the southern Ryukyu Trench

    PubMed Central

    Arai, Ryuta; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Kodaira, Shuichi; Kaiho, Yuka; Nakanishi, Ayako; Fujie, Gou; Nakamura, Yasuyuki; Yamamoto, Yojiro; Ishihara, Yasushi; Miura, Seiichi; Kaneda, Yoshiyuki

    2016-01-01

    It has been recognized that even weakly coupled subduction zones may cause large interplate earthquakes leading to destructive tsunamis. The Ryukyu Trench is one of the best fields to study this phenomenon, since various slow earthquakes and tsunamis have occurred; yet the fault structure and seismic activity there are poorly constrained. Here we present seismological evidence from marine observation for megathrust faults and low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs). On the basis of passive observation we find LFEs occur at 15–18 km depths along the plate interface and their distribution seems to bridge the gap between the shallow tsunamigenic zone and the deep slow slip region. This suggests that the southern Ryukyu Trench is dominated by slow earthquakes at any depths and lacks a typical locked zone. The plate interface is overlaid by a low-velocity wedge and is accompanied by polarity reversals of seismic reflections, indicating fluids exist at various depths along the plate interface. PMID:27447546

  18. Structure of the tsunamigenic plate boundary and low-frequency earthquakes in the southern Ryukyu Trench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arai, Ryuta; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Kodaira, Shuichi; Kaiho, Yuka; Nakanishi, Ayako; Fujie, Gou; Nakamura, Yasuyuki; Yamamoto, Yojiro; Ishihara, Yasushi; Miura, Seiichi; Kaneda, Yoshiyuki

    2016-07-01

    It has been recognized that even weakly coupled subduction zones may cause large interplate earthquakes leading to destructive tsunamis. The Ryukyu Trench is one of the best fields to study this phenomenon, since various slow earthquakes and tsunamis have occurred; yet the fault structure and seismic activity there are poorly constrained. Here we present seismological evidence from marine observation for megathrust faults and low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs). On the basis of passive observation we find LFEs occur at 15-18 km depths along the plate interface and their distribution seems to bridge the gap between the shallow tsunamigenic zone and the deep slow slip region. This suggests that the southern Ryukyu Trench is dominated by slow earthquakes at any depths and lacks a typical locked zone. The plate interface is overlaid by a low-velocity wedge and is accompanied by polarity reversals of seismic reflections, indicating fluids exist at various depths along the plate interface.

  19. Structure of the tsunamigenic plate boundary and low-frequency earthquakes in the southern Ryukyu Trench.

    PubMed

    Arai, Ryuta; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Kodaira, Shuichi; Kaiho, Yuka; Nakanishi, Ayako; Fujie, Gou; Nakamura, Yasuyuki; Yamamoto, Yojiro; Ishihara, Yasushi; Miura, Seiichi; Kaneda, Yoshiyuki

    2016-01-01

    It has been recognized that even weakly coupled subduction zones may cause large interplate earthquakes leading to destructive tsunamis. The Ryukyu Trench is one of the best fields to study this phenomenon, since various slow earthquakes and tsunamis have occurred; yet the fault structure and seismic activity there are poorly constrained. Here we present seismological evidence from marine observation for megathrust faults and low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs). On the basis of passive observation we find LFEs occur at 15-18 km depths along the plate interface and their distribution seems to bridge the gap between the shallow tsunamigenic zone and the deep slow slip region. This suggests that the southern Ryukyu Trench is dominated by slow earthquakes at any depths and lacks a typical locked zone. The plate interface is overlaid by a low-velocity wedge and is accompanied by polarity reversals of seismic reflections, indicating fluids exist at various depths along the plate interface. PMID:27447546

  20. Structure of the tsunamigenic plate boundary and low-frequency earthquakes in the southern Ryukyu Trench.

    PubMed

    Arai, Ryuta; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Kodaira, Shuichi; Kaiho, Yuka; Nakanishi, Ayako; Fujie, Gou; Nakamura, Yasuyuki; Yamamoto, Yojiro; Ishihara, Yasushi; Miura, Seiichi; Kaneda, Yoshiyuki

    2016-07-22

    It has been recognized that even weakly coupled subduction zones may cause large interplate earthquakes leading to destructive tsunamis. The Ryukyu Trench is one of the best fields to study this phenomenon, since various slow earthquakes and tsunamis have occurred; yet the fault structure and seismic activity there are poorly constrained. Here we present seismological evidence from marine observation for megathrust faults and low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs). On the basis of passive observation we find LFEs occur at 15-18 km depths along the plate interface and their distribution seems to bridge the gap between the shallow tsunamigenic zone and the deep slow slip region. This suggests that the southern Ryukyu Trench is dominated by slow earthquakes at any depths and lacks a typical locked zone. The plate interface is overlaid by a low-velocity wedge and is accompanied by polarity reversals of seismic reflections, indicating fluids exist at various depths along the plate interface.

  1. New seafloor map of the Puerto Rico trench helps assess earthquake and tsunami hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-09-01

    The Puerto Rico Trench, the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean, is located where the North American (NOAM) plate is subducting under the Caribbean plate (Figure l). The trench region may pose significant seismic and tsunami hazards to Puerto Rico and the U.S.Virgin Islands, where 4 million U.S. citizens reside. Widespread damage in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola from an earthquake in 1787 was estimated to be the result of a magnitude 8 earthquake north of the islands [McCann et al., 2004]. A tsunami killed 40 people in NW Puerto Rico following a magnitude 7.3 earthquake in 1918 [Mercado and McCann, 1998]. Large landslide escarpments have been mapped on the seafloor north of Puerto Rico [Mercado et al., 2002; Schwab et al., 1991],although their ages are unknown.

  2. Abrupt change in the dip of the subducting plate beneath north Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Contreras-Reyes, E.; Jara, J.; Grevemeyer, I.; Ruiz, S.; Carrizo, D.

    2012-05-01

    No large tsunamigenic earthquake has occurred in north Chile since 1877 and the region has been largely recognized as a mature seismic gap. At the southern end of the seismic gap, the 2007 Mw7.7 Tocopilla earthquake ruptured the deeper seismogenic interface, whereas the coupled upper interface remained unbroken. Seismological studies onshore show a gently varying dip of 20° to 30° of the downgoing Nazca plate, which extends from the trench down to depths of 40-50km. Here, we study the lithospheric structure of the subduction zone of north Chile at about 22°S, using wide-angle seismic refraction and reflection data from land and sea, complemented by hypocentre data recorded during the 2007 Tocopilla aftershocks. Our data document an abrupt increase in the dip of the subducting plate, from less than 10° to about 22°, at a depth of approximately 20km. The distribution of the 2007 aftershocks indicates that the change in dip acted as a barrier for the propagation of the 2007 earthquake towards the trench, which, in turn, indicates that the subduction megathrust is not only segmented along the trench, but also in the direction of the dip. We propose that large-magnitude tsunamigenic earthquakes must cross the barrier and rupture the entire seismogenic zone.

  3. Gravity and Flexure Modelling of Subducting Plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigloch, Karin; Mihalynuk, Mitchell G.

    2016-04-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Mantle plumes in the vicinity of subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mériaux, C. A.; Mériaux, A.-S.; Schellart, W. P.; Duarte, J. C.; Duarte, S. S.; Chen, Z.

    2016-11-01

    We present three-dimensional deep-mantle laboratory models of a compositional plume within the vicinity of a buoyancy-driven subducting plate with a fixed trailing edge. We modelled front plumes (in the mantle wedge), rear plumes (beneath the subducting plate) and side plumes with slab/plume systems of buoyancy flux ratio spanning a range from 2 to 100 that overlaps the ratios in nature of 0.2-100. This study shows that 1) rising side and front plumes can be dragged over thousands of kilometres into