Spatial variations in the nature of the oceanic plate in the northwestern Pacific margin.

Fujie, G., Kodaira, S., Shirai, T., Dannowski, Anke , Thorwart, Martin, Grevemeyer, Ingo , Phipps Morgan, Jason and Miura, S. (2016) Spatial variations in the nature of the oceanic plate in the northwestern Pacific margin. [Talk] In: AGU Fall Meeting 2016. , 12.-16.12.2016, San Francisco, USA .

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Subduction of the oceanic plate plays an important role in the various processes in subduction zones, including arc magmatism and generation of earthquakes. Thus the nature of the incoming plate, such as its relief, thermal state, lithology, and the water content, are considered to shape these subduction zone processes.
In 2014 and 2015, to reveal the nature of the incoming plate in the ocean-ward area of the 2011 M9 Tohoku earthquake, we conducted wide-angle seismic surveys in the trench-outer rise region of the Japan Trench. We designed a 600 km long seismic survey line perpendicular to the trench axis and deployed 88 OBSs at intervals of 6 km and shot a tuned airgun array of R/V Kairei.
We have applied a traveltime inversion to model the P-wave velocity (Vp) structure. The resulting Vp model shows that Vp within the oceanic crust and the topmost mantle decreases in the vicinity of the trench axis probably due to the plate bending. In addition, we observed low Vp at the top of the oceanic crust in the area of petit spot volcanos. The low Vp area may be related to magma intrusions because we observed several structural interfaces in the shallow area.
We found two structural features that we did not anticipate. First, crustal thickness abruptly changes at around the center of our survey line (~300-km east from the trench axis); crust thickness is 7-km in the west and 6-km in the east. Second, mantle Vp shows significant variations along the survey line, ~7.5 km/s in the bend-fault area (western area), 8.0 km/s around the center, 8.5 km/s in the eastern area. Based on the shear wave splitting observed in our data set, we infer that high mantle Vp in the eastern area is related with the changes in the orientation of the mantle anisotropy. Since we do not see any remarkable topographic features indicating the off-ridge activities, we consider that these observed structural features are related with the activities near the ancient spreading ridge when the oceanic plate formed, indicating that the oceanic plate in the NW Pacific margin, the input to the northeastern Japanese island arc, is more complicated here than we previously thought.
In this presentation, we will show an overview of the Vp model along the whole profile and detailed seismic structure beneath the petit-spot area derived by the P-to-S converted waves.

Document Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Talk)
Additional Information: T22C-07
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Kiel University
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2016 10:59
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 17:24

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