GG672 Seminar in Tectonics, Spring 2009



A seminar-style, literature-based, discussion of the geodynamics of subduction.

Instructors: Clint Conrad and Greg Moore

Meeting Time: Generally Tuesdays 1:30 to 4:30 PM, but adjustable to accomodate student schedules.

Meeting Location: Generally 702 POST, unless otherwise noted.

Topics: We will be discussing a variety of processes occurring throughout the subduction zone, including:

The Seaward Edge
  • The Accretionary Prism
  • Tectonic Erosion
The Seismogenic Zone
  • Shallow Aseismic Slip
  • Great Earthquakes
  • Seismic Tremor and Slow Slip
  • Back-Arc Tectonics
  • Slab Rollback and Trench Motion
  • Water and Volatile Transport
The Slab
  • Thermal and Mechanical Structure
  • Bending and Deformation
Subduction Factory
  • Andesite and Formation of Continental Crust
  • Geochemistry and Metamorphism
  • Petrology and Mineral Physics
Global Tectonics
  • Mantle Tomography and Seismic Anisotropy
  • Mantle Flow and Plate-Driving Forces
  • Subduction and Earth History
More Information: A preliminary syllabus can be downloaded here: GG672_syllabus.pdf

Class Schedule and Reading List: Please see below for a list of upcoming meeting times. Please be prepared to discuss the assigned readings during the associated class period.
  • Jan. 6, 2009 (Tue, 1:15 PM): Organization

  • Jan. 13, 2009 (Tue, 1:30 PM): Introduction to Arc Systems
    Assigned Reading:
    • Karig, D.E., Evolution of arc systems in the western Pacific, Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 2, 51-75, 1974. [Reprint]
    • Stern, R.J., Subduction Zones, Reviews of Geophysics, 40, 1012, doi:10.1029/2001RG000108, 2002. [Reprint]

  • Jan. 15, 2009 (Thu., 1:30 PM): The Seaward Edge
    Assigned Reading:
    • von Huene, R., C.R. Ranero, and D.W. Scholl, Convergent margin structure in high-quality geophysical images and current kinematic and dynamic models, Subduction Zone Dynamics, ed. by S. Lallemand and F. Funiciello, Springer-Verlag Berlin, 2009. [Reprint]

  • Jan. 29, 2009 (Thu., 1:30 PM): The Seismogenic Zone
    Assigned Reading:
    • Hyndman, R.D., The seismogenic zone of subduction thrust faults, in The Seismogenic Zone of Subduction Thrust Faults, ed. by T. Dixon and C. Moore, Columbia University Press, 15-40, 2007. [Reprint]
    • Bilek, S.L., Influence of subducting topography on earthquake rupture, in The Seismogenic Zone of Subduction Thrust Faults, ed. by T. Dixon and C. Moore, Columbia University Press, 123-146, 2007. [Reprint]

  • Feb. 10, 2009 (Tue., 1:30 PM): Great Earthquakes
    Assigned Reading:
    • McCaffrey, R., Global frequency of magnitude 9 earthquakes, Geology, 36, 263-266, 2008. [Reprint]
    • Lamb, S., Shear stresses on megathrusts: Implications for mountain building behind subduction zones, Journal of Geophysical Research, 111, B07401, doi:10.1029/2005JB003916, 2006. [Reprint]

  • Feb. 24, 2009 (Tue., 1:30 PM): Seismic Tremor and Slow Slip
    Assigned Reading:
    • Yoshioka, S., M. Toda, and J. Nakajima, Regionality of deep low-frequency earthquakes associated with subduction of the Philippine Sea plate along the Nankai Trough, southwest Japan, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 272, 189-198, 2008. [Reprint]
    • Schwartz, S.Y., and J.M. Rokosky, Slow slip events and seismic tremor at circum-Pacific subduction zones, Reviews of Geophysics, 45, RG3004, doi:10.1029/2006RG000208, 2007. [Reprint]

  • Mar. 3, 2009 (Tue., 1:30 PM): The Thermal and Mechanical Structure of the Slab
    Assigned Reading:
    • Abers, G.A., P.E. van Keken, E.A. Kneller, A. Ferris, and J.C. Stachnik, The thermal structure of subduction zones constrained by seismic imaging: Implications for slab dehydration and wedge flow, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 241, 387-397, 2006. [Reprint]
    • Brudzinski, M.R., C.H. Thurber, B.R. Hacker, and E.R. Engdahl, Global prevalence of double Benioff zones, Science, 316, 1472-1474, 2007. [Reprint]

  • Mar. 17, 2009 (Tue., 1:30 PM): Subduction Initiation and Slab Deformation
    Assigned Reading:
    • Billen, M.I., Modeling the dynamics of subducting slabs, Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science, 36, 325-356, 2008. [Reprint]
    • Gurnis, M., C. Hall, and L. Lavier, Evolving force balance during incipient subduction, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 5, Q07001, doi:10.1029/2003GC000681, 2004. [Reprint]

  • Mar. 24, 2009 (Tue., 1:30 PM): Subduction Factory: Andesite & Formation of Continental Crust
    Assigned Reading:
    • Tatsumi, Y.,Making continental crust: The sanukitoid connection, Chinese Science Bulletin, 53, 1620-1633, 2008. [Reprint]
    • Tatsumi., Y, and T. Takahashi, Operation of subduction factory and production of andesite, Journal of Mineralogical and Petrological Sciences, 101, 145-153, 2006. [Reprint]

  • Mar. 27, 2009 (Fri., 1:30 PM): Subduction Factory: Geochemistry & Metamorphism
    Assigned Reading:
    • Agard, P., P. Yamato, L. Jolivet, and E. Burov, Exhumation of oceanic blueschists and eclogites in subduction zones: Timing and mechanisms, Earth-Science Reviews, 92, 53-79, 2009. [Reprint]
    • Ernst, W.G., Alpine and Pacific styles of Phanerozoic mountain building: subduction-zone petrogenesis of continental crust, Terra Nova, 17, 165-188, 2005. [Reprint]

  • Apr. 2, 2009 (Thu., 1:30 PM): Subduction Factory: Petrology & Mineral Physics
    Assigned Reading:
    • Poli, S., and M.W. Schmidt, Petrology of Subducted Slabs, Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci., 30,, 207-235, 2002. [Reprint]
    • Karato, S.-i., M.R. Riedel, and D. Yuen, Rheological structure and deformation of subducted slabs in the mantle transition zone: implications for mantle circulation and deep earthquakes, Phys. Earth Planet. Int, 127, 83-108, 2001. [Reprint]

  • Apr. 7, 2009 (Tue., 1:30 PM): Geodynamics: Water and Volatile Transport
    Assigned Reading:
    • Hacker, B.R., H2O subduction beyond arcs, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 9,, Q03001, doi:10.1029/2007GC001707, 2008. [Reprint]
    • Shaw, A.M., D.R. Hilton, T.P. Fischer, J.A. Walker, and G.E. Alvarado, Contrasting He-C relationships in Nicaragua and Costa Rica: insights into C cycling through subduction zones, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 214, 499-513, 2003. [Reprint]

  • Apr. 9, 2009 (Thu., 1:30 PM): Geodynamics: Back-Arc Tectonics
    Assigned Reading:
    • Martinez, F., and B. Taylor, Modes of crustal accretion in Back-Arc Basins: Inferences from the Lau Basin, Geophysical Monograph Series, 166,, 5-30, 2006. [Reprint] NOTE: We will only be discussing sections 1 and 2.
    • Heuret, A., and S. Lallemand, Plate motions, slab dynamics, and back-arc deformation, Phys. Earth Planet. Int, 149, 31-51, 2005. [Reprint]
    • Sdrolias, M., and R.D. Muller, Controls on back-arc basin formation, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 7, Q04016, doi:10.1029/2005GC001090, 2006. [Reprint]

  • Apr. 14, 2009 (Tue., 1:30 PM): Global Tectonics: Subduction and Earth History
    Assigned Reading:
    • Collins, W.J., Slab pull, mantle convection, and Pangaean assembly and dispersal, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 205, 225-237, 2003. [Reprint]
    • Cawood, P.A., A. Kroner, and S. Pisarevsky, Precambrian plate tectonics: Criteria and evidence, GSA Today, 16, 4-11, 2006. [Reprint]
    • O'Neill, C., A. Lenardic, L. Moresi, T.H. Torsvik, and C.-T.A. Lee, Episodic Precambrian subduction, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 262, 552-562, 2007. [Reprint]

  • Apr. 23, 2009 (Thu., 1:30 PM): Global Tectonics: Mantle Tomography and Seismic Anisotropy
    Assigned Reading:
    • Behn, M.D., G. Hirth, and P.B. Keleman, Trench-parallel anisotropy produced by foundering of arc lower crust, Science, 317, 108-111, 2007. [Reprint]
    • Long, M.D.,and P.G. Silver, The subduction zone flow field from seismic anisotropy: A global view, Science, 319, 315-318, 2008. [Reprint]
    • Fukao, Y., M. Obayashi, T. Nakakuki, and the Deep Slab Project Group, Stagnant slab: A review, Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 37, 10.1-10.27, 2009. [Reprint]

  • Apr. 28, 2009 (Tue., 1:30 PM): Global Tectonics: Mantle Flow and Plate-Driving Forces
    Assigned Reading:
    • Capitanio, F.A., G. Morra, and S. Goes, Dynamics of plate bending at the trench and slab-plate coupling, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 7, Q04002, doi:10.1029/2008GC002348, 2009. [Reprint]
    • Kellogg, L.H., B.H. Hager, and R.D. van der Hilst,Compositional stratification in the deep mantle, Science, 283, 1881-1884, 1999. [Reprint]

  • May 5, 2009 (Tue., 1:30 PM): Geodynamics: Slab Rollback and Trench Motion
    Assigned Reading:
    • Funiciello, F., C. Faccenna, A. Heuret, S. Lallemand, E. Di Giuseppe, and T.W. Becker, Trench migration, net rotation, and slab-mantle coupling, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 271, 233-240, 2008. [Reprint]
    • Schellart, W.P., D.R. Stegman, and J. Freeman, Global trench migration velocities and slab migration induced upper mantle volume fluxes: Constraints to find an Earth reference frame based on minimizing viscous dissipation, Earth-Science Reviews, 88, 118-144, 2008. [Reprint]