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Subduction related crustal and mantle deformations and their implications for plate dynamics Open Access


Other title
SS precursors
surface waves
mantle transition zone
waveform modeling
Mediterranean region
southern Apennines
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Okeler, Ahmet
Supervisor and department
Gu, Yu Jeffrey (Department of Physics)
Examining committee member and department
van der Lee, Suzan (Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Northwestern University)
Luth, Robert W. (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Currie, Claire (Department of Physics)
Schmitt, Douglas R. (Department of Physics)
Department of Physics

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Ocean-continent convergence and subsequent continental collision are responsible for continental growth, mountain building, and severe tectonic events including volcanic eruptions and earthquake activity. They are also key driving forces behind the extensive thermal and compositional heterogeneities at crustal and mantle depths. Active subduction along the Calabrian Arc in southern Italy and the Hellenic Arc are examples of such collisional tectonics. The first part of this thesis examines the subduction related deformations within the crust beneath the southern Apennines. By modeling regional surface wave recordings of the largest temporary deployment in the southern Apennines, a lower-crustal/upper-mantle low-velocity volume extending down to 50 km beneath the mountain chain is identified. The magnitude (~ 0.4 km/s slower) and anisotropic nature (~ 10%) of the anomaly suggest the presence of hot and partially molten emplacement that may extend into the upper-crust towards Mt. Vulture, a once active volcano. Since the Apulian basement units are deformed during the compressional and consequent extensional events, our observations favor the ``thick-skin'' tectonic growth model for the region. In the deeper mantle, active processes are thermodynamically imprinted on the depth and strength of the phase transitions. This thesis examines more than 15000 SS precursors and provides the present-day reflectivity structure and topography associated with these phase transitions. Through case studies I present ample evidence for both slab penetration into the lower mantle (beneath the Hellenic Arc, Kurile Island and South America) and slab stagnation at the bottom of the Mantle Transition Zone (beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea and eastern China). Key findings include (1) thermal anomalies (~ 200 K) at the base of the MTZ, which represent the deep source for Cenozoic European Rift Zone, Mount Etna and Mount Cameroon volcanism, (2) significant depressions (by 20-40 km) at the bottom of the Mantle Transition Zone beneath subducting slabs, (3) a strong 520-km reflector near subducting slabs, (4) a weak and elevated (15-25 km) 410-km reflector within active deformation zones, (5) strong lower mantle reflectors (~ 900 km) while slabs penetrate into the lower mantle, and (6) consistency between the topography of a 300-km reflector and an exothermic phase transformation.
License granted by Ahmet Okeler ( on 2010-09-29T06:10:21Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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File title: Subduction Related Crustal and Mantle Deformations and Their Implications for Plate Dynamics, Ph. D. Thesis
File author: Ahmet ??keler
File author: Ahmet keler
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