Thermo-mechanical evolution of oceanic lithosphere: Implications for the subduction process and deep earthquakes

Seth Stein, Carol A. Stein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

67 Scopus citations

Abstract

Because subduction involves the return of cold oceanic lithosphere to the warmer mantle, much of our thinking about subduction reflects models of temperatures in subducting slabs. These models, in turn, rely on thermal models of the oceanic lithosphere before it subducts, developed using variations in ocean depth and heat flow with age. Such models predict that subducting slabs are colder, denser, and stronger than the surrounding mantle, in accord with evidence from seismic velocities and earthquake depths. Although the simple models describe the basic observable phenomena which reflect thermal structure, the variation in depth and heat flow between and among plates before they subduct, and in velocity structure and distribution of seismicity when they subduct, illustrates the need for improved models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSubduction Top to Bottom, 1996
EditorsGray E. Bebout, David W. Scholl, Stephen H. Kirby, John P. Platt
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
Pages1-17
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781118664575
ISBN (Print)9780875900780
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996

Publication series

NameGeophysical Monograph Series
Volume96
ISSN (Print)0065-8448
ISSN (Electronic)2328-8779

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics

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