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Transient stripping of subducting slabs controls periodic forearc uplift

Abstract : Topography in forearc regions reflects tectonic processes along the subduction interface, from seismic cycle-related transients to long-term competition between accretion and erosion. Yet, no consensus exists about the topography drivers, especially as the contribution of deep accretion remains poorly constrained. Here, we use thermo-mechanical simulations to show that transient slab-top stripping events at the base of the forearc crust control uplift-then-subsidence sequences. This 100s-m-high topographic signal with a Myr-long periodi-city, mostly inaccessible to geodetic and geomorphological records, reflects the nature and influx rate of material involved in the accretion process. The protracted succession of stripping events eventually results in the pulsing rise of a large, positive coastal topography. Trench-parallel alternation of forearc highs and depressions along active margins worldwide may reflect temporal snapshots of different stages of these surface oscillations, implying that the 3D shape of topography enables tracking deep accretion and associated plate-interface frictional properties in space and time.
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Submitted on : Monday, August 31, 2020 - 4:38:00 PM
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Armel Menant, Samuel Angiboust, Taras Gerya, Robin Lacassin, Martine Simoes, et al.. Transient stripping of subducting slabs controls periodic forearc uplift. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2020, 11 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41467-020-15580-7⟩. ⟨insu-02926350⟩

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