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Variations of upper plate mechanics, seismicity, and arc volcanism along the Middle America Trench

AuthorsRuh, Jonas Bruno ; Sallarès, Valentí ; Ranero, César R. ; van Dinther, Ylona
Issue Date15-Dec-2015
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
CitationAGU Fall Meeting 2015: T21E-2874 (2015)
AbstractThe Middle America Trench (MAT) extends from the Riviera Fracture Zone offshore Mexico down to the Panama Fracture Zone. Along the MAT, the oceanic Cocos plate changes in character from the older, deeper and relatively smooth plate offshore Guatemala-Nicaragua to the ~20 km thick crust of Cocos Ridge off Costa Rica. These changes occur because the northern part of the the Cocos plate has been formed at the East Pacific Rise, while the southern part is formed at the Cocos-Nazca spreading center, which is in turn influenced by the Galapagos Hotspot, originating prominent submarine structures such as the Cocos Ridge. In contrast, the terrane forming the overriding plate in the Pacific convergent margin, which is mainly made by the Caribbean Igneous Province rocks, is relatively homogeneous. Thus, this region is an excellent natural example to study the effect of changes in the incoming plate on the tectonics and deformation of the overriding plate. The Nicaragua lake in the north is a result of upper plate extension related to rollback of the subducting slab, whereas in the south, the Talamanca Cordillera indicates compression of the Caribbean crust probably related with the subduction of the Cocos Ridge. We present numerical models that help to understand the long-term effects of variable subducting oceanic crust age and thickness on upper plate deformation and magmatism. Furthermore, we investigate the seismic behavior of these different convergent systems. The applied numerical model consists of a 2D seismo-thermo-mechanical finite difference scheme with visco-elasto-plastic rheology and a stick-slip frictional formulation to simulate spontaneous nucleation, propagation and arrest of earthquake-like ruptures on physically consistent faults
DescriptionAmerican Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, 14-18 December 2015, San Francisco
Publisher version (URL)https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm15/webprogram/Paper77880.html
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Comunicaciones congresos
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