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Angle of subduction

Stevenson, D. J. and Turner, J. S. (1977) Angle of subduction. Nature, 270 (5635). pp. 334-336. ISSN 0028-0836. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20130612-103100140

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Abstract

Plate tectonics is well established as an empirical description for modification of the Earth's outermost solid layer, although the dynamics of the plates are poorly understood. One view is that the plates are surface manifestations of the deep mantle convection which must inevitably occur if there are deepseated energy sources. Mantle convection, however, may not be an efficient driver of plate motions, and the negative buoyancy of subducting slabs may be more important. We consider here a simple fluid dynamical model which illustrates some of the general principles of subduction dynamics, and suggest an explanation for the observed subduction angle (the angle between the subducting slab and the Earth's surface). The model depends on the concept of a 'critical' negative buoyancy that plate material must attain before it can undergo steady-state subduction.


Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/270334a0 DOIArticle
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v270/n5635/abs/270334a0.htmlPublisherArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Stevenson, D. J.0000-0001-9432-7159
Additional Information:© 1977 Nature Publishing Group. Received 11 July; accepted 20 September 1977. We thank A. L. Hales and A. E. Ringwood for useful comments.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130612-103100140
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20130612-103100140
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:38910
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Jun 2013 21:52
Last Modified:24 Nov 2015 21:09

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