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Slab stress and strain rate as constraints on global mantle flow

Alisic, Laura and Gurnis, Michael and Stadler, Georg and Burstedde, Carsten and Wilcox, Lucas C. and Ghattas, Omar (2010) Slab stress and strain rate as constraints on global mantle flow. Geophysical Research Letters, 37 . Art. No. L22308. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/2010GL045312.

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Dynamically consistent global models of mantle convection with plates are developed that are consistent with detailed constraints on the state of stress and strain rate from deep focus earthquakes. Models that best fit plateness criteria and plate motion data have strong slabs that have high stresses. The regions containing the M_W 8.3 Bolivia and M_W 7.6 Tonga 1994 events are considered in detail. Modeled stress orientations match stress patterns from earthquake focal mechanisms. A yield stress of at least 100 MPa is required to fit plate motions and matches the minimum stress requirement obtained from the stress drop for the Bolivia 1994 deep focus event. The minimum strain rate determined from seismic moment release in the Tonga slab provides an upper limit of ~200 MPa on the strength in the slab.

Item Type:Article
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Gurnis, Michael0000-0003-1704-597X
Additional Information:© 2010 American Geophysical Union. Received 28 August 2010; accepted 14 October 2010; published 23 November 2010. We thank H. Kanamori and D. Stegman for helpful discussions. This work was partially supported by NSF’s PetaApps program (OCI‐0749334, OCI‐0748898), NSF Earth Sciences (EAR‐ 0426271, EAR‐0810303), and the Caltech Tectonics Observatory (by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation). Computing resources on TACC’s Ranger and Spur systems were provided through the NSF TeraGrid under grant number TG‐MCA04N026. The figures in this paper were produced using GMT and Paraview.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF PetaAppsOCI-0749334
NSF PetaAppsOCI-0748898
NSF Earth SciencesEAR-0426271
NSF Earth SciencesEAR-0810303
NSF TeraGridTG-MCA04N026
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:mantle convection; stress drop; slab strength; rheology ; 0560 Computational Geophysics: Numerical solutions (4255); 8120 Tectonophysics: Dynamics of lithosphere and mantle: general (1213); 8121 Tectonophysics: Dynamics: convection currents, and mantle plumes; 8160 Tectonophysics: Rheology: general (1236, 8032); 8168 Tectonophysics: Stresses: general.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20101220-093224319
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Alisic, L., M. Gurnis, G. Stadler, C. Burstedde, L. C. Wilcox, and O. Ghattas (2010), Slab stress and strain rate as constraints on global mantle flow, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L22308, doi:10.1029/2010GL045312
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:21425
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Dec 2010 19:18
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 15:57

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