Slab morphology and deformation beneath Izu-Bonin

Haijiang Zhang*, Fan Wang, Robert Myhill, Hao Guo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
202 Downloads (Pure)


Seismic tomography provides unique constraints on the morphology, the deformation, and (indirectly) the rheology of subducting slabs. We use teleseismic double-difference P-wave tomography to image with unprecedented clarity the structural complexity of the Izu-Bonin slab. We resolve a tear in the slab in the mantle transition zone (MTZ) between 26.5° N and 28° N. North of the tear, the slab is folded in the MTZ. Immediately above the fold hinge, a zone of reduced P-wavespeed may result from viscous dissipation within an incipient shear zone. To the south of the tear, the slab overturns and lies flat at the base of the MTZ. The ~680 km deep 2015 Bonin earthquake (Mw~7.9) is located at the northernmost edge of the overturning part of the slab. The localised tearing, shearing and buckling of the Izu-Bonin slab indicates that it remains highly viscous throughout the upper mantle and transition zone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1310
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2019

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