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Amount of Asian lithospheric mantle subducted during the India/Asia collision

AuthorsReplumaz, A.; Guillot, S.; Villaseñor, Antonio ; Negredo, Ana M.
KeywordsBudget of continental subduction
Amount of convergence
India–Asia collision
Asian continental slab
Issue Date2013
CitationGondwana Research 24: 936- 945 (2013)
AbstractBody wave seismic tomography is a successful technique for mapping lithospheric material sinking into the mantle. Focusing on the India/Asia collision zone, we postulate the existence of several Asian continental slabs, based on seismic global tomography. We observe a lower mantle positive anomaly between 1100 and 900 km depths, that we interpret as the signature of a past subduction process of Asian lithosphere, based on the anomaly position relative to positive anomalies related to Indian continental slab. We propose that this anomaly provides evidence for south dipping subduction of North Tibet lithospheric mantle, occurring along 3000 km parallel to the Southern Asian margin, and beginning soon after the 45 Ma break-off that detached the Tethys oceanic slab from the Indian continent. We estimate the maximum length of the slab related to the anomaly to be 400 km. Adding 200 km of presently Asian subducting slab beneath Central Tibet, the amount of Asian lithospheric mantle absorbed by continental subduction during the collision is at most 600 km. Using global seismic tomography to resolve the geometry of Asian continent at the onset of collision, we estimate that the convergence absorbed by Asia during the indentation process is ~ 1300 km. We conclude that Asian continental subduction could accommodate at most 45% of the Asian convergence. The rest of the convergence could have been accommodated by a combination of extrusion and shallow subduction/underthrusting processes. Continental subduction is therefore a major lithospheric process involved in intraplate tectonics of a supercontinent like Eurasia.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gr.2012.07.019
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.gr.2012.07.019
issn: 1341-5484
Appears in Collections:(Geo3Bcn) Artículos
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