Journal article

The role of viscoelasticity in subducting plates

RJ Farrington, L-N Moresi, FA Capitanio

GEOCHEMISTRY GEOPHYSICS GEOSYSTEMS | AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION | Published : 2014

Abstract

Subduction of tectonic plates into Earth's mantle occurs when one plate bends beneath another at convergent plate boundaries. The characteristic time of deformation at these convergent boundaries approximates the Maxwell relaxation time for olivine at lithospheric temperatures and pressures, it is therefore by definition a viscoelastic process. While this is widely acknowledged, the large-scale features of subduction can, and have been, successfully reproduced assuming the plate deforms by a viscous mechanism alone. However, the energy rates and stress profile within convergent margins are influenced by viscoelastic deformation. In this study, viscoelastic stresses have been systematically i..

View full abstract

Grants

Awarded by Australian Research Council


Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Bruce Buffett, Boris Kaus, and an anonymous reviewer for their insightful comments. The authors acknowledge support from the Australian Research Council's Discovery Projects funding scheme (projects DP0878501, DP1095166, DE130100604) and the use of NCI National Facility in Canberra, Australia, which is supported by the Australian Commonwealth Government. Underworld development was supported by AuScope, under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.