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

  • Author / Creator
    Okeler, Ahmet
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Physics
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Gu, Yu Jeffrey (Department of Physics)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Schmitt, Douglas R. (Department of Physics)
    • Currie, Claire (Department of Physics)
    • Luth, Robert W. (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
    • van der Lee, Suzan (Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Northwestern University)