Geologists Say Earth's Tectonic Movements...
According to a new study from a team of German researchers, geological forces are stagnating in certain regions because of pressure-induced phase transitions.
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“Geologist [I'm Climate Change]”
Since: Mar 07
#1 Apr 3, 2013
This nice little article explains the seismic quiet spot in the plate between 250Km and 400Km depth in the descending slab off Tonga.
In large part descending plate quakes are caused by plate compression events as the compressing descending plate shrinks and earthquakes result from the rocks sliding inward into the core of the descending slab to fill in the size differential. This is why descending plate earthquakes come in all orientations, and is why the descending plate tends to stay together.
The article does not indicate that the descending plate is slowed. If it was slowed, the plate would break into 2 slabs at shallow and deep regions as in the Andes of the Altiplano.
Still despite the sensationalism the descent of the subducted plate appears smooth and the result instead is the seismic quiet zone.
Of MORE interest in the Tonga rift is the upwarp of the descending plate caused by a rising plume slightly W. of Fiji and responsible also for the uplift and radial rift spreading of the deepwater oceanic Fiji plateau. This plume does NOT slow the descent of the subducted pacific plate , but does cause substantial faulting related earthquakes in the compressed subducted slab being upwarped, heated and decompressed by the Fiji plateau plume.
Have a nice day: Ag
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