Implications of slab mineralogy for subduction dynamics

C. R. Bina, S. Stein, F. C. Marton, E. M. Van Ark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Phase relations among mantle are perturbed by the thermal environment of subducting slabs, both under equilibrium and disequilibrium (metastable) conditions. Such perturbations yield anomalics not only in seismic velocities but also in density. The buoyancy forces arising from these density anomalies may exert several important effects. They contribute to the stress field within the slab, in a fashion consistent with observed patterns of seismicity. They may affect subduction rates, both by inducing time-dependent velocity changes under equilibrium conditions and by imposing velocity limits through a thermal feedback loop under disequilibrium conditions. They may affect slab morphology, possibly inhibiting penetration of slabs into the lower mantle and allowing temporary stagnation of deflected or detached slabs. Latent heat release from phase transitions under disequilibrium conditions in slabs can yield isobaric superheating, which may generate adiabatic shear instabilities capable of triggering deep seismicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-66
Number of pages16
JournalPhysics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Morphology
  • Slab mineralogy
  • Subduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Implications of slab mineralogy for subduction dynamics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this