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The lack of correlation between flat slabs and bathymetric impactors in South America

Skinner, Steven M. and Clayton, Robert W. (2013) The lack of correlation between flat slabs and bathymetric impactors in South America. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 371 . pp. 1-5. ISSN 0012-821X. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2013.04.013.

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Flat slab subduction has been attributed to various causes including mantle wedge dynamics, overriding by the upper plate, age of the subducting plate, and subduction of anomalously thick oceanic crust. One often favored explanation for flat slabs is the subduction of buoyant features on the oceanic plate in the form of an aseismic-ridge or oceanic plateau. We show through plate tectonic reconstructions of the Marquesas, Tuamotu, and Austral plateau, assuming that features on the conjugate plate can be used as proxies for subducted bathymetric anomalies, that there is very little correlation between the subduction of such anomalies and historic zones of flat subduction in South America. It is apparent that subduction of a bathymetric anomaly need not lead to a flat slab and not all flat slabs are associated with the subduction of a bathymetric anomaly.

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Clayton, Robert W.0000-0003-3323-3508
Additional Information:© 2013 Elsevier B.V. Received 6 August 2012. Received in revised form 8 April 2013. Accepted 10 April 2013. Editor: Y. Ricard. Available online 11 May 2013. We thank J.P. Avouac and J. Stock for discussion and comments on the manuscript. We thank the editor, M.A. Gutscher, and V. Ramos for helpful reviews. This study was supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through the Tectonics Observatory at Caltech. This is contribution number 201 from the Caltech Tectonics Observatory.
Group:Caltech Tectonics Observatory, Seismological Laboratory, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
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Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Caltech Tectonics ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords: flat slab; subduction; South America
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Caltech Tectonics Observatory201
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130801-130008317
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Official Citation:Steven M. Skinner, Robert W. Clayton, The lack of correlation between flat slabs and bathymetric impactors in South America, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volumes 371–372, June 2013, Pages 1-5, ISSN 0012-821X, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:39709
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:01 Aug 2013 20:27
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:46

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