Can slab melting be caused by flat subduction?

  • Gutscher M
  • Maury F
  • Eissen J
 et al. 
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Abstract

Slab melting has been suggested as a likely source of adakitic are magmas (i.e., andesitic and dacitic magmas strongly depleted in Y and heavy rare earth elements). Existing numerical and petrologic models, however, restrict partial melting to very young (less than or equal to 5 Ma) oceanic crust (typically at 60-80 km depth). Paradoxically, most of the known Pliocene-Quaternary adakite occurrences are related to subduction of 10-45 Ma lithosphere, which should not be able to melt under normal subduction-zone thermal gradients, We propose an unusual mode of subduction known as flat subdution, occurring in similar to 10% of the world's convergent margins, that can produce the temperature and pressure conditions necessary for fusion of moderately old oceanic crust, Of the 10 known flat subduction regions worldwide, eight are linked to present or recent (

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adakites
  • Flat subduction
  • Slab melting
  • Thermal structure

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Authors

  • M. A. Gutscher

  • F. Maury

  • J. P. Eissen

  • E. Bourdon

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