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Faulting within the Pacific plate at the Mariana Trench: Implications for plate interface coupling and subduction of hydrous minerals

AutorEmry, E.L; Wiens, D.A; García-Castellanos, Daniel
Palabras claveMariana Subduction
Outer Rise
Plate Hydration
Subducting Slab
Subduction Trench
Fecha de publicaciónabr-2014
EditorAmerican Geophysical Union
CitaciónJournal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth, 119 (4) : 3076-3095 (2014)
ResumenWe investigate faulting within the incoming Pacific plate at the Mariana subduction trench to understand stresses within the bending plate, regional stresses acting upon the plate interface, and the extent of possible faulting-induced mantle serpentinization. We determine accurate depths by inverting teleseismic P and SH waveforms for earthquakes occurring during 1990-2011 with Global Centroid Moment Tensor (GCMT) solutions. For earthquakes with Mw 5.0+, we determine centroid depths and source time functions and refine the fault parameters. Results from Central Mariana indicate that all earthquakes are extensional and occur at centroid depths down to 11 km below the Moho. At the Southern Mariana Trench, extensional earthquakes continue to 5 km below the Moho. One compressional earthquake at 34 km below the seafloor suggests stronger plate interface coupling here. In addition, we model the stress distribution within the Pacific plate along two bathymetric profiles extending seaward from the Mariana subduction trench axis to better understand whether our earthquake depth solutions match modeled scenarios for plate bending under applied external forces. Results from our flexure models match the locations of extensional and compressional earthquakes and suggest that the Pacific plate at Southern Mariana is experiencing larger, compressional stresses, possibly due to greater interplate coupling. Additionally, we conclude that if extensional faulting promotes the infiltration of water into the subducting plate mantle, then the top 5-15 km of the Pacific plate mantle are partially serpentinized, and a higher percentage of serpentinization is located near the Central Mariana trench where extensional events extend deeper.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2013JB010718
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