Water transportation ability of flat-lying slabs in the mantle transition zone and implications for craton destruction

Water transportation ability of flat-lying slabs in the mantle transition zone and implications... Water transported by deep subduction to the mantle transition zone (MTZ) that is eventually released and migrates upwards is invoked as a likely cause for hydroweakening and cratonic lithosphere destruction. The destruction of the North China Craton (NCC) during the Mesozoic has been proposed to be related to hydroweakening. However, the source of water related to large-scale craton destruction in the NCC is poorly constrained. Some suggest that the water was mainly released from a flat-lying (or stagnating) slab in the MTZ, whereas others posit that most water was released from a previously existing strongly hydrous MTZ then perturbed by the stagnating subduction in the MTZ layer. In this study, we use numerical modeling to evaluate the water carrying ability of flat-lying slabs in the MTZ with different slab ages and water contents to simulate its maximum value and discuss its potential role on large-scale hydroweakening and craton destruction. Our results reveal that a single flat-lying slab in the MTZ cannot provide enough water for large-scale cratonic lithosphere hydroweakening and thinning. Water estimates invoked for craton destruction as experienced by the NCC can only be the result of long-term piling of multiple slabs in the MTZ or penetrating deeper into the lower mantle. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Tectonophysics Elsevier

Water transportation ability of flat-lying slabs in the mantle transition zone and implications for craton destruction

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V.
ISSN
0040-1951
eISSN
1879-3266
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.tecto.2017.11.041
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Water transported by deep subduction to the mantle transition zone (MTZ) that is eventually released and migrates upwards is invoked as a likely cause for hydroweakening and cratonic lithosphere destruction. The destruction of the North China Craton (NCC) during the Mesozoic has been proposed to be related to hydroweakening. However, the source of water related to large-scale craton destruction in the NCC is poorly constrained. Some suggest that the water was mainly released from a flat-lying (or stagnating) slab in the MTZ, whereas others posit that most water was released from a previously existing strongly hydrous MTZ then perturbed by the stagnating subduction in the MTZ layer. In this study, we use numerical modeling to evaluate the water carrying ability of flat-lying slabs in the MTZ with different slab ages and water contents to simulate its maximum value and discuss its potential role on large-scale hydroweakening and craton destruction. Our results reveal that a single flat-lying slab in the MTZ cannot provide enough water for large-scale cratonic lithosphere hydroweakening and thinning. Water estimates invoked for craton destruction as experienced by the NCC can only be the result of long-term piling of multiple slabs in the MTZ or penetrating deeper into the lower mantle.

Journal

TectonophysicsElsevier

Published: Jan 16, 2018

References

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