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Dynamic interaction between tectonic plates, subducting slabs, and the mantle

Zhong, Shijie and Gurnis, Michael (1997) Dynamic interaction between tectonic plates, subducting slabs, and the mantle. Earth Interactions, 1 (3). pp. 1-18. ISSN 1087-3562. doi:10.1175/1087-3562(1997)001<0001:DIBTPS>2.3.CO;2.

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Mantle convection models have been formulated to investigate the relation between plate kinematics and mantle dynamics. The cylindrical geometry models incorporate mobile, faulted plate margins, a phase change at 670 km depth, non-Newtonian rheology, and tectonic plates. Models with a variety of parameters indicate that a relatively stationary trench is more likely to be associated with a subducted slab that penetrates into the lower mantle with a steep dip angle. However, a subducted slab that is deflected above the 670-km phase change with a shallow dip is more likely to be associated with a margin that has undergone rapid retrograde trench migration. This relation between slab morphology and plate kinematics is consistent with seismic tomography and plate reconstruction of western Pacific subduction zones. The efficiency of slab penetration through the 670-km phase change is controlled by both the buoyancy of the subducting plate and the mobility of the overriding plate. While older subducting plates have a greater propensity for slab penetration, trench mobility reduces the propensity for slab penetration. Smaller overriding plates have a greater mobility. When subducted slabs approach the bottom thermal boundary layer, hot fluid is pushed aside, and plumes form on the periphery of slab accumulations. There are sharp temperature contrasts between the subducted slab and the thermal boundary layer at the core mantle boundary (CMB). Old subducted slabs and a thermal boundary layer lead to large-scale lateral structure near the CMB.

Item Type:Article
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Gurnis, Michael0000-0003-1704-597X
Additional Information:© 1997 American Meteorological Society. Received August 1996; accepted 12 February 1997. Funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and NSF grant EAR-9496185. Thanks to S. King and an anonymous reviewer for their reviews. This is contribution 5781 of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences of the California Institute of Technology.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Dynamics of lithosphere and mantle—General; Dynamics, convection currents, and mantle plumes; Plate motions—General; Rheology—General
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences5781
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120131-110139283
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Official Citation:Zhong, Shijie, Michael Gurnis, 1997: Dynamic interaction between tectonic plates, subducting slabs, and the mantle. Earth Interact., 1, 1–18. doi:<0001:DIBTPS>2.3.CO;2
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:29040
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:28 Feb 2012 18:56
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 17:03

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