This dissertation explores subduction zone-related deformation both on short time scales in the form of subduction zone earthquakes and over larger time and geographical scales in the form of subduction rollback or detachment of the subducting lithosphere. The study presented here is composed of two parts. First, we analyzed the source-rupture processes of the April 1, 2007 Solomon Islands Earthquake (Mw=8.1) using a body-wave inversion technique. Our analysis indicated that the earthquake ruptured approximately 240 km of the southeast Pacific subduction zone in two sub-events.
In the second part of this study, we used shear-wave splitting analysis to investigate the effects of the subducting African lithosphere on the upper-mantle flow field beneath the Anatolian Plate in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Our shear-wave splitting results are consistent with relatively uniform southwest-directed flow towards the actively southwestward-retreating Aegean slab. Based on spatial variations in observed delay times we identified varying flow speeds beneath Anatolia and we attribute this variation to the differential retreat rates of the Aegean and the Cyprean trenches.
Finally, we used teleseismic P-wave travel-time tomography to image the geometry of the subducting African lithosphere beneath the Anatolia region. Our tomograms show that the subducting African lithosphere is partitioned into at least two segments along the Cyprean and the Aegean trenches. We observed a gap between the two segments through which hot asthenosphere ascends beneath the volcanic fields of western Anatolia. Our results show that the Cyprean slab is steeper than the Aegean slab. We inferred that this steep geometry, in part, controls the flow regime of asthenosphere beneath Anatolia causing variations in flow speeds inferred from shear-wave splitting analysis.
|Advisor:||Beck, Susan L.|
|Commitee:||Bennett, Richard A., Johnson, Roy A., Kapp, Paul, Zandt, George|
|School:||The University of Arizona|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-B 70/12, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Geology, Geophysics, Plate Tectonics|
|Keywords:||Earthquakes, Plate boundaries, Seismic anisotropy, Seismic tomography, Solomon Islands, Subduction zone|
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