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Constraints on subducting plate strength within the Kermadec trench

Billen, Magali I. and Gurnis, Michael (2005) Constraints on subducting plate strength within the Kermadec trench. Journal of Geophysical Research B, 110 . Art. No. B05407. ISSN 0148-0227.

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Four specially designed surveys parallel to the Kermadec trench allow localized estimates of plate strength within the subducting Pacific plate to be made. The transfer function between topography and gravity is estimated for five trench-parallel ship tracks at distances of 25–110 km from the trench axis. We find a clear reduction in the magnitude and peak wavelength of the transfer function from the outer rise to the trench axis. The change in the transfer function indicates a decrease in plate strength and is consistent with a reduction in flexural rigidity by 3–5 orders of magnitude or a decrease in effective elastic thickness by more than 15 km. Such a large-magnitude decrease in the effective elastic strength suggests that the plate has little or no elastic strength within the trench and that viscous stresses play an important role in transferring slab-pull forces to the subducting plate and regulating plate speeds in subduction zones.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Billen, Magali I.0000-0002-7316-1791
Gurnis, Michael0000-0003-1704-597X
Additional Information:© 2005 American Geophysical Union. Received 8 July 2004; accepted 11 February 2005; published 24 May 2005. We are particularly grateful to Joann M. Stock for arranging the transects on the Nathaniel B. Palmer. We thank the Associate Editor, Frederick Simons, reviewer Laura Wallace, and an anonymous reviewer for their thorough reviews and insightful comments and suggestions. This work has been supported by the National Science Foundation and represents contribution 9087 of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
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Subject Keywords:flexure; rheology; admittance
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences9087
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121116-133010809
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Official Citation:Billen, M. I. and M. Gurnis (2005), Constraints on subducting plate strength within the Kermadec trench, J. Geophys. Res., 110, B05407, doi:10.1029/2004JB003308.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35521
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:16 Nov 2012 22:39
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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