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A low viscosity wedge in subduction zones

Billen, Magali I. and Gurnis, Michael (2001) A low viscosity wedge in subduction zones. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 193 (1-2). pp. 227-236. ISSN 0012-821X. doi:10.1016/S0012-821X(01)00482-4.

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Geochemical, petrologic and seismological observations indicate that there may be high concentrations of water in the region above a subducting slab (the mantle wedge), which could decrease the viscosity of the mantle locally by several orders of magnitude. Using numerical models we demonstrate that a low viscosity wedge has a dramatic influence on the force balance in a subduction zone and leads to an observable signal in the topography, gravity and geoid. A regional dynamic model of the Tonga–Kermadec subduction zone shows that the viscosity of the wedge is at least a factor of 10 smaller than surrounding mantle lithosphere and asthenosphere, consistent with estimates from seismic dissipation and deformation experiments.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Billen, Magali I.0000-0002-7316-1791
Gurnis, Michael0000-0003-1704-597X
Additional Information:© 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. Received 22 May 2001; received in revised form 14 August 2001; accepted 20 August 2001. We thank J. Huw Davies, D. Bercovici and an anonymous reviewer for their reviews, D. Anderson, J. Eiler, L. Lavier, and M. Simons for constructive comments on the manuscript and Shun Karato for helpful discussion of experimental data on attenuation and viscosity. Calculations were carried out on the facilities of the Caltech Center for Advanced Computer Research (CACR). Supported by NSF grants EAR-9725629 and EAR-9814577, Contribution No. 8805, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:subduction zones; viscosity; gravity anomalies; topography; Tonga Trench; Kermadec Trench
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences8805
Issue or Number:1-2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130301-095848743
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Official Citation:Magali I. Billen, Michael Gurnis, A low viscosity wedge in subduction zones, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 193, Issues 1–2, 30 November 2001, Pages 227-236, ISSN 0012-821X, 10.1016/S0012-821X(01)00482-4.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:37227
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:01 Mar 2013 23:32
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:27

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