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Flat versus normal subduction zones : a comparison based on 3-D regional travel-time tomography and petrological modeling of Central Chile and Western Argentina (29°-35°S)

Abstract : Beneath central Chile and western Argentina, the oceanic Nazca slab drastically changes geometry from horizontal to dipping at an angle of 30°, and correlates with the subduction of the Juan Fernandez seamount ridge. The aim of our study is to assess, using a thermo-petrological-seismological approach, the differences of the overriding lithosphere between these two regions, in order to better understand the deep structure of the continental lithosphere above the flat slab, and the links between the deformations at the surface and at depth. We show the most complete regional 3-D seismic tomography images of this region, whereby, in comparison to previous studies, we use (1) a much larger seismic dataset compiled from several short-term seismic catalogs, (2) a much denser seismic station network which enables us to resolve better the subduction zone. We show significant seismic differences between the flat and normal subduction zones. As expected, the flat slab region is impacted by colder temperatures, and therefore by faster seismic velocities and more intense seismic activity, compared to the normal slab region. We show evidence that the flat slab dehydrates within the mantle wedge, but also along the subducting ridge prior to re-subducting. The forearc crust above the flat slab is described by unusual seismic properties, correlated to the slab geometry at depth, and/or, to the aftershock effects of the 1997 Mw 7.1 Punitaqui earthquake which occurred two years before the recording of our events. The continental crust above the flat slab has very heterogeneous seismic properties which correlate with important deformation structures and geological terranes at the surface. We confirm previous studies that have shown that the thick lower crust of the present day Andean arc is non-eclogitized and maybe representing the felsic Chilenia terrane, whereas to the east, the Cuyania terrane in the backarc is more mafic and contains an eclogitized lower crust.
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 1:12:09 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, August 4, 2022 - 4:55:15 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00917761, version 1

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Marianne Marot. Flat versus normal subduction zones : a comparison based on 3-D regional travel-time tomography and petrological modeling of Central Chile and Western Argentina (29°-35°S). Earth Sciences. Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, 2013. English. ⟨NNT : 2013NICE4046⟩. ⟨tel-00917761⟩

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