Driving surface deformation by mantle flow

Abstract : Surface expressions of plate tectonics include subsiding back-arc basins, intra-plate plateau, subduction trenches and uplifting orogenic belts. While geodetic measurements, coupled with geological observations, enable to achieve a fairly good understanding of the dynamic evolution of these active features, the origins of this kinematics are still controversial. For example, mantle flow is often proposed as a driver of plate tectonics, but lithospheric processes such as continental collision, subduction and trench motion are also known to affect mantle flow. Relations between subduction dynamics, upper mantle flow and the tectonic history recorded in the continental crust, in particular, have attracted significant interest. Major results confirmed that mantle convection is a valuable mechanism behind much of the observed dynamic topography and plate motion. However, the degree to which mantle flow controls surface deformation is a major open question and more definitive conclusions, especially regarding how horizontal to sub-horizontal mantle flow affects crustal deformation, require the investigation of the three-dimensional relations between mantle flow, slab rollback and trench migration.
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Pietro Sternai, Laurent Jolivet, Armel Menant, Taras Gerya. Driving surface deformation by mantle flow. European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2014, EGU, Apr 2014, Vienne, Austria. pp.EGU2014-5068. ⟨insu-01143051⟩

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