Intermediate depth (70-300 km) and deep (> 300 km) earthquakes have always been puzzling Earth scientists: their occurrence is a paradox, since the ductile behavior of rocks and the high confining pressure with increasing depths would theoretically preclude brittle failure and frictional sliding. The mechanisms proposed to explain deep earthquakes, mainly depending on the subducting plate age and stress state, are generally expressed by single parameters, unsuitable to comprehensively account for differences among distinct subduction zones or within the same slab. We analyze the Kurile and Izu-Bonin intraslab seismicity and detail the Gutenberg-Richter b-value along the subducted planes, interpreting its variation in terms of stress state, analogously to what usually done for shallow earthquakes. We demonstrate that, despite the slabs different properties (e.g., lithospheric age, stress state, dehydration rate), in both cases deep earthquakes are restricted to depths characterized by equal age from subduction initiation and are driven by stress regimes affected by the persistence of the metastable olivine wedge.

Subduction age and stress state control on seismicity in the NW Pacific subducting plate

Godano, Cataldo;
2022

Abstract

Intermediate depth (70-300 km) and deep (> 300 km) earthquakes have always been puzzling Earth scientists: their occurrence is a paradox, since the ductile behavior of rocks and the high confining pressure with increasing depths would theoretically preclude brittle failure and frictional sliding. The mechanisms proposed to explain deep earthquakes, mainly depending on the subducting plate age and stress state, are generally expressed by single parameters, unsuitable to comprehensively account for differences among distinct subduction zones or within the same slab. We analyze the Kurile and Izu-Bonin intraslab seismicity and detail the Gutenberg-Richter b-value along the subducted planes, interpreting its variation in terms of stress state, analogously to what usually done for shallow earthquakes. We demonstrate that, despite the slabs different properties (e.g., lithospheric age, stress state, dehydration rate), in both cases deep earthquakes are restricted to depths characterized by equal age from subduction initiation and are driven by stress regimes affected by the persistence of the metastable olivine wedge.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11591/479489
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