Modeling low-angle subduction initiation by ductile deformation Academic Article uri icon


  • The concept that new subduction systems are initiated repeatedly arises from the absence of oceanic crust older than~ 200 Ma. Passive margins are considered a favorable site for subduction nucleation due to the existence of Andean type convergence margins. However, the force constellation and mechanisms that enable the development of a subduction system from a passive margin remain unclear. The difficulty arises when comparing the sum of the driving forces to the sum of the resisting forces. Such a calculation suggests that subduction cannot initiate spontaneously at passive margins, despite geological observations that indicate otherwise. To further investigate the subduction onset problem, we conduct scaled analogue experiments under the enhanced gravity of a centrifuge, and no other external force. We aim to study the conditions and processes by which the instability emerging from lateral d...

publication date

  • January 1, 2005