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Title: Characterizing the Complexity of Subduction Zone Flow With an Ensemble of Multiscale Global Convection Models
Abstract

Subduction zones are fundamental features of Earth's mantle convection and plate tectonics, but mantle flow and pressure around slabs are poorly understood because of the lack of direct observational constraints on subsurface flow. To characterize the linkages between slabs and mantle flow, we integrate high‐resolution representations of Earth's lithosphere and slabs into a suite of global mantle convection models to produce physically plausible present‐day flow fields for Earth's mantle. We find that subduction zones containing wide, thick, and long slabs dominate regional mantle flow in the neighboring regions and this flow conforms to patterns predicted by simpler regional subduction models. These subduction zones, such as Kuril‐Japan‐Izu‐Bonin‐Mariana, feature prismatic poloidal flow coupled to the downgoing slab that rotates toward toroidal slab‐parallel flow near the slab edge. However, other subduction zones, such as Sumatra, deviate from this pattern because of the competing influence of other slabs or longer‐wavelength mantle flow, showing that upper mantle flow can link separate subduction zones and how flow at subduction zones is influenced by broader scale mantle flow. We find that the non‐linear dislocation creep reduces the coupling between slab motion and asthenospheric flow and increases the occurrence of non‐ideal flow, in line with inferences derived from seismological constraints on mantle anisotropy.

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10492588
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Volume:
25
Issue:
2
ISSN:
1525-2027
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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