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Slab avalanche-induced tectonics in self-consistent dynamic models

Yang, Ting and Gurnis, Michael and Zahirovic, Sabin (2018) Slab avalanche-induced tectonics in self-consistent dynamic models. Tectonophysics, 746 . pp. 251-265. ISSN 0040-1951. doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2016.12.007.

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Subducted slabs often temporarily stagnate within the transition zone and then periodically penetrate into the lower mantle in the form of a slab avalanche. We investigate the influence of such slab avalanches on tectonics with dynamically consistent numerical models. We suggest that slab avalanches can induce substantial changes in surface tectonics, including synchronous broad-scale basin inversion and dynamic subsidence in regions above the avalanched slab, and reducing (or even reversing) trench retreat. However, basins distal from the trench and avalanched slab continue extension following avalanche onset. We suggest that a slab avalanche event beneath the Sundaland continental promontory began in the early Miocene to trigger a wide range of tectonic responses within Southeast Asia, including (1) a reduction of the Sunda-Java Trench retreat velocity (that may have transitioned to advance regionally) since the early Miocene; (2) synchronous basin compression and subsidence within southern Sundaland since the early Miocene; and (3) continuous basin extension, with some developing to ultra-deep rifted basins, in the northern part of Sundaland. We also discuss the implication of the slab avalanche model in the context of the history of the Taranaki Basin offshore New Zealand.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Yang, Ting0000-0003-2301-2525
Gurnis, Michael0000-0003-1704-597X
Zahirovic, Sabin0000-0002-6751-4976
Additional Information:© 2016 Elsevier B.V. Received 13 June 2016; Received in revised form 29 November 2016; Accepted 3 December 2016; Available online 6 December 2016. We thank Philippe Agard, Vincent Strak, a guest editor and an anonymous reviewer for their constructive comments. T.Y. and M.G. were supported by Statoil ASA and the NSF (through EAR-1247022 and EAR-1028978), and S.Z. was supported by ARC grant IH130200012.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Australian Research CouncilIH130200012
Subject Keywords:Slab avalanche; Tectonics; Synchronous basin inversion and subsidence; Trench motion; Ultra-deep basins
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161216-155104772
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Ting Yang, Michael Gurnis, Sabin Zahirovic, Slab avalanche-induced tectonics in self-consistent dynamic models, Tectonophysics, Volume 746, 2018, Pages 251-265, ISSN 0040-1951, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:72920
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Dec 2016 00:06
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 05:08

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