GSA home

| support GSA programs | GSA Community | GSA Store | Contact Us

Abstract View

Volume 20 Issue 9 (September 2010)

GSA Today

Bookmark and Share

Article, pp. 4-10 | Full Text | PDF (3.8MB)

Subduction of the Chile Ridge: Upper mantle structure and flow

R.M. Russo1*, John C. VanDecar2, Diana Comte3, Victor I. Mocanu4, Alejandro Gallego5, Ruth E. Murdie6**

1 Dept. of Geological Sciences, P.O. Box 112120, 241 Williamson Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
2 Dept. of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 5241 Broad Branch Road NW, Washington, D.C. 20015, USA
3 Depto. de Geofisica, Universidad de Chile, Blanco Encalada 2002, Santiago, Chile
4 Dept. of Geophysics, University of Bucharest, 6 Traian Vuia Street, Bucharest, Romania
5 Dept. of Geological Sciences, P.O. Box 112120, 241 Williamson Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
6 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, Vienna Centre, Vienna, Austria

Search GoogleScholar for

Search GSA Today


 

Subaru benefit for
GSA members!

Abstract

We deployed 39 broadband seismometers in southern Chile from Dec. 2004 to Feb. 2007 to determine lithosphere and upper mantle structure in the vicinity of the subducting Chile Ridge. Body-wave travel-time tomography clearly shows the existence of a long-hypothesized slab window, a gap between the subducted Nazca and Antarctic lithospheres. P-wave velocities in the slab gap are distinctly slow relative to surrounding asthenospheric mantle. Thus, the gap between slabs visible in the imaging appears to be filled by unusually warm asthenosphere, consistent with subduction of the Chile Ridge. Shear wave splitting in the Chile Ridge subduction region is very strong (mean delay time ~3 s) and highly variable. North of the slab windows, splitting fast directions are mostly trench parallel, but, in the region of the slab gap, splitting fast trends appear to fan from NW-SE trends in the north, through ENE-WSW trends toward the middle of the slab window, to NE-SW trends south of the slab window. We interpret these results as indicating flow of asthenospheric upper mantle into the slab window.

*E-mail:

** Now at St. Ives Gold Mining Company, Kambalda, Australia.

Manuscript received 3 June 2009; accepted 4 Feb. 2010

DOI: 10.1130/GSATG61A.1

top