A slab in depth: three-dimensional geometry and evolution of the Indo-Australian plate

Richards, Simon, Lister, Gordon, and Kennett, Brian (2007) A slab in depth: three-dimensional geometry and evolution of the Indo-Australian plate. G3: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 8 (12). pp. 1-11.

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View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2007GC001657


Geoscientists use plate tectonics to explain many aspects of both continental evolution and evolution of the planet as a whole. The subduction of material at convergent plate boundaries forms a fundamental component to the theory of plate tectonics. Plates, continents, subduction zones, and spreading centers all exhibit motion and geometric evolution, so to try and resolve the past geometries of the planet, geologists have utilized plate tectonic reconstructions. Here we present a three-dimensional image of the subducted Indo-Australian plate below southeast Asia and show that the geometry of the subducted slab at depth is intimately related to the geometric evolution of SE Asia over the past 50 Ma, including the collision of India with the Asian continent. We show how the once semicontinuous subducting Indo-Australian plate has been segmented during collision between India, Australian, and the subduction margin to the north. Thus we have found that the geometry of the subducted plate should form a key component to the interpretation of the evolution of Earth's surface, as complexities and evolution of the subducted plate are manifest in the evolution of the overriding plate.

Item ID: 9013
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1525-2027
Keywords: plate tectonics; slab; subduction; tomography; Australia; Sumatra
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2010 05:48
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040313 Tectonics @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0404 Geophysics > 040402 Geodynamics @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
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