Subduction history of the Caribbean from upper-mantle seismic imaging and plate reconstruction

Braszus, Benedikt, Goes, Saskia, Allen, Rob, Rietbrock, Andreas, Collier, Jenny, Harmon, Nick, Henstock, Tim, Hicks, Stephen, Rychert, Catherine A., Maunder, Ben, van Hunen, Jeroen, Bie, Lidong ORCID:, Blundy, Jon, Cooper, George, Davy, Richard, Kendall, J. Michael, Macpherson, Colin, Wilkinson, Jamie and Wilson, Marjorie (2021) Subduction history of the Caribbean from upper-mantle seismic imaging and plate reconstruction. Nature Communications, 12 (1). ISSN 2041-1723

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The margins of the Caribbean and associated hazards and resources have been shaped by a poorly understood history of subduction. Using new data, we improve teleseismic P-wave imaging of the eastern Caribbean upper mantle and compare identified subducted-plate fragments with trench locations predicted from plate reconstruction. This shows that material at 700–1200 km depth below South America derives from 90–115 Myr old westward subduction, initiated prior to Caribbean Large-Igneous-Province volcanism. At shallower depths, an accumulation of subducted material is attributed to Great Arc of the Caribbean subduction as it evolved over the past 70 Ma. We interpret gaps in these subducted-plate anomalies as: a plate window and tear along the subducted Proto-Caribbean ridge; tearing along subducted fracture zones, and subduction of a volatile-rich boundary between Proto-Caribbean and Atlantic domains. Phases of back-arc spreading and arc jumps correlate with changes in age, and hence buoyancy, of the subducting plate.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: This research was funded by the VoiLA NERC consortium grant (NE/K010824/1). Acknowledgements: We thank all who sailed on cruises RRS James Cook JC133 and JC149 and our partners at the University of West Indies Seismic Research Centre (SRC), in particular Lloyd Lynch, Kemron Alexander, Richard Robertson and Joan Latchman as well as Laura Petrescu and Ben Chichester for support with island station installation, the German Instrument Pool for Amphibian Seismology (DEPAS), hosted by the Alfred Wegener Institute Bremerhaven for providing the ocean-bottom and temporary island seismometers, and UCSD (Scripps) for providing additional ocean-bottom seismometers.
Uncontrolled Keywords: chemistry(all),biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology(all),physics and astronomy(all) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1600
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2022 09:30
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2024 06:32
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-24413-0


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