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Depressed continental hypsometry behind oceanic trenches: A clue to subduction controls on sea-level change

Gurnis, Michael (1993) Depressed continental hypsometry behind oceanic trenches: A clue to subduction controls on sea-level change. Geology, 21 (1). pp. 29-32. ISSN 0091-7613. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(1993)021<0029:DCHBOT>2.3.CO;2.

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In the western Pacific there is a strong spatial correlation between areas predicted to be depressed because of subducted slabs and the location of flooded continental crust. Elevation of continental crust behind oceanic trenches and above subducting slabs is 400-500 m lower than the global average, and hypsometry of this crust is shallower and flatter than the global average, especially for crust just below sea level. Reduction in continental elevation in such areas is dependent on distance from the trench: the closer crust is to the trench (and hence to the slab), the greater is the reduction in average elevation. Shape of the hypsometry is consistent with a finite-element model with active sedimentation above a slab that becomes older with time. The results strongly suggest that dynamic distortion of Earth's surface by slabs may have been a fundamental control on location of shallow seas through geologic time.

Item Type:Article
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Gurnis, Michael0000-0003-1704-597X
Additional Information:© 1993 Geological Society of America. Manuscript received April 27, 1992; Revised manuscript received September 18, 1992; Manuscript accepted October 13, 1992. Supported in part by the donors of the Petroleum Research Fund, administered by the American Chemical Society, by National Science Foundation grants EAR-8957164 and EAR-8904660, and by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. I thank Herb McQueen, who tracked down some of the Australian crustal thickness references, and B. Wilkinson and M. Steckler for helpful reviews.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
American Chemical Society Petroleum Research FundUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130222-093036955
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:37067
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:22 Feb 2013 23:38
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:26

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