The anomalous density structure at subduction zones, both in the wedge and in the upper mantle, is analysed to shed light on the processes that are responsible for the characteristic gravity fingerprints of two types of subduction: ocean-continent and ocean-ocean. Our modelling is then performed within the frame of the EIGEN-6C4 gravitational disturbance pattern of two subductions representative of the above two types, the Sumatra and Mariana complexes, finally enabling the different characteristics of the two patterns to be observed and understood on a physical basis, including some small-scale details. A 2-D viscous modelling perpendicular to the trench accounts for the effects on the gravity pattern caused by a wide range of parameters in terms of convergence velocity, subduction dip angle and lateral variability of the crustal thickness of the overriding plate, as well as compositional differentiation, phase changes and hydration of the mantle. Plate coupling, modelled within a new scheme where the relative velocity at the plate contact results self-consistently from the thermomechanical evolution of the system, is shown to have an important impact on the gravity signature. Beyond the already understood general bipolar fingerprint of subduction, perpendicular to the trench, we obtain the density and gravity signatures of the processes occurring within the wedge and mantle that are responsible for the two different gravity patterns. To be compliant with the geodetic EIGEN-6C4 gravitational disturbance and to compare our predictions with the gravity at Sumatra and Mariana, we define a model normal Earth. Although the peak-to-peak gravitational disturbance is comparable for the two types of subductions, approximately 250 mGal, from both observations and modelling, encompassing the highest positive maximum on the overriding plates and the negative minimum on the trench, the trough is wider for the ocean-ocean subduction: approximately 300 km compared to approximately 180 km for the ocean-continent subduction. Furthermore, the gravitational disturbance pattern is more symmetric for the ocean-ocean subduction compared to the ocean-continent subduction in terms of the amplitudes of the two positive maxima over the overriding and subducting plates. Their difference is, for the ocean-ocean type, approximately one half of the ocean-continent one. These different characteristics of the two types of subductions are exploited herein in terms of the different crustal thicknesses of the overriding plate and of the different dynamics in the wedge and in the mantle for the two types of subduction, in close agreement with the gravity data.

The static and time-dependent signature of ocean-continent and ocean-ocean subduction : The case studies of Sumatra and Mariana complexes / A.M. Marotta, F. Restelli, A. Bollino, A. Regorda, R. Sabadini. - In: GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 0956-540X. - 221:2(2020), pp. 788-825. [10.1093/gji/ggaa029]

The static and time-dependent signature of ocean-continent and ocean-ocean subduction : The case studies of Sumatra and Mariana complexes

A.M. Marotta
Primo
;
F. Restelli;A. Bollino;A. Regorda;R. Sabadini
2020

Abstract

The anomalous density structure at subduction zones, both in the wedge and in the upper mantle, is analysed to shed light on the processes that are responsible for the characteristic gravity fingerprints of two types of subduction: ocean-continent and ocean-ocean. Our modelling is then performed within the frame of the EIGEN-6C4 gravitational disturbance pattern of two subductions representative of the above two types, the Sumatra and Mariana complexes, finally enabling the different characteristics of the two patterns to be observed and understood on a physical basis, including some small-scale details. A 2-D viscous modelling perpendicular to the trench accounts for the effects on the gravity pattern caused by a wide range of parameters in terms of convergence velocity, subduction dip angle and lateral variability of the crustal thickness of the overriding plate, as well as compositional differentiation, phase changes and hydration of the mantle. Plate coupling, modelled within a new scheme where the relative velocity at the plate contact results self-consistently from the thermomechanical evolution of the system, is shown to have an important impact on the gravity signature. Beyond the already understood general bipolar fingerprint of subduction, perpendicular to the trench, we obtain the density and gravity signatures of the processes occurring within the wedge and mantle that are responsible for the two different gravity patterns. To be compliant with the geodetic EIGEN-6C4 gravitational disturbance and to compare our predictions with the gravity at Sumatra and Mariana, we define a model normal Earth. Although the peak-to-peak gravitational disturbance is comparable for the two types of subductions, approximately 250 mGal, from both observations and modelling, encompassing the highest positive maximum on the overriding plates and the negative minimum on the trench, the trough is wider for the ocean-ocean subduction: approximately 300 km compared to approximately 180 km for the ocean-continent subduction. Furthermore, the gravitational disturbance pattern is more symmetric for the ocean-ocean subduction compared to the ocean-continent subduction in terms of the amplitudes of the two positive maxima over the overriding and subducting plates. Their difference is, for the ocean-ocean type, approximately one half of the ocean-continent one. These different characteristics of the two types of subductions are exploited herein in terms of the different crustal thicknesses of the overriding plate and of the different dynamics in the wedge and in the mantle for the two types of subduction, in close agreement with the gravity data.
Asia; Gravity anomalies and Earth structure; Numerical modelling; Subduction zone processes
Settore GEO/10 - Geofisica della Terra Solida
Article (author)
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Marotta&al_2020.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Publisher's version/PDF
Dimensione 18.04 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
18.04 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/735540
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 2
social impact