Effects of relative plate motion on the deep structure and penetration depth of slabs below the Izu-Bonin and Mariana island arcs

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doi: 10.1016/0012-821X(93)90253-6
Authors:van der Hilst, Rob; Seno, Tetsuzo
Author Affiliations:Primary:
Australian National University, Research School of Earth Sciences, Institute of Advanced Studies, Canberra, Australia
University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Volume Title:Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Source:Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 120(3-4), p.395-407. Publisher: Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ISSN: 0012-821X
Publication Date:1993
Note:In English. 52 refs.; illus. incl. block diag., sects., sketch maps
Summary:An increasing number of seismological studies indicate that slabs of subducted lithosphere penetrate the Earth's lower mantle below some island arcs but are deflected, or, rather, laid down, in the transition zone below others. Recent numerical simulations of mantle flow also advocate a hybrid form of mantle convection, with intermittent layering. We present a multi-disciplinary analysis of slab morphology and mantle dynamics in which we account explicitly for the history of subduction below specific island arcs in an attempt to understand what controls lateral variations in slab morphology and penetration depth. Central in our discussion are the Izu-Bonin and Mariana subduction zones. We argue that the differences in the tectonic evolution of these subduction zones-in particular the amount and rate of trench migration-can explain why the slab of subducted oceanic lithosphere seems to be (at least temporarily) stagnant in the Earth's transition zone below the Izu-Bonin arc but penetrates into the lower mantle below the Mariana arc. We briefly speculate on the applicability of our model of the temporal and spatial evolution of slab morphology to other subduction zones. Although further investigation is necessary, our tentative model shows the potential for interpreting seismic images of slab structure by accounting for the plate-tectonic history of the subduction zones involved. We therefore hope that the ideas outlined here will stimulate and direct new research initiatives.
Subjects:Deep-seated structures; Island arcs; Lithosphere; Mantle; Models; Movement; Philippine Sea Plate; Plate tectonics; Reconstruction; Subduction; Subduction zones; Variations; Izu-Bonin Arc; Mariana Islands; Micronesia; North Pacific; Northwest Pacific; Oceania; Pacific Ocean; West Pacific; Evolution
Abstract Numbers:94M/3767
Record ID:1994017564
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from CAPCAS, Elsevier Scientific Publishers, Amsterdam, Netherlands
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