placeholder image

Ridge subduction sparked reorganization of the Pacific plate-mantle system 60–50 million years ago

Journal Article


Download full-text (Open Access)

Abstract


  • A reorganization centered on the Pacific plate occurred ~53–47 million years ago. A “top-down” plate tectonic mechanism, complete subduction of the Izanagi plate, as opposed to a “bottom-up” mantle flow mechanism, has been proposed as the main driver. Verification based on marine geophysical observations is impossible as most ocean crust recording this event has been subducted. Using a forward modeling approach, which assimilates surface plate velocities and shallow thermal structure of slabs into mantle flow models, we show that complete Izanagi plate subduction and margin-wide slab detachment induced a major change in sub-Pacific mantle flow, from dominantly southward before 60 Ma to north-northeastward after 50 Ma. Our results agree with onshore geology, mantle tomography, and the inferred motion of the Hawaiian hot spot and are consistent with a plate tectonic process driving the rapid plate-mantle reorganization in the Pacific hemisphere between 60 and 50 Ma. This reorganization is reflected in tectonic changes in the Pacific and surrounding ocean basins.

Authors


  •   Seton, Maria (external author)
  •   Flament, Nicolas
  •   Whittaker, Joanne (external author)
  •   Muller, R. Dietmar (external author)
  •   Gurnis, Michael (external author)
  •   Bower, Dan J. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • Seton, M., Flament, N., Whittaker, J., Muller, R. Dietmar., Gurnis, M. & Bower, D. J. (2015). Ridge subduction sparked reorganization of the Pacific plate-mantle system 60–50 million years ago. Geophysical Research Letters, 42 (6), 1732-1740.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84927720956

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5224&context=smhpapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/4200

Number Of Pages


  • 8

Start Page


  • 1732

End Page


  • 1740

Volume


  • 42

Issue


  • 6

Abstract


  • A reorganization centered on the Pacific plate occurred ~53–47 million years ago. A “top-down” plate tectonic mechanism, complete subduction of the Izanagi plate, as opposed to a “bottom-up” mantle flow mechanism, has been proposed as the main driver. Verification based on marine geophysical observations is impossible as most ocean crust recording this event has been subducted. Using a forward modeling approach, which assimilates surface plate velocities and shallow thermal structure of slabs into mantle flow models, we show that complete Izanagi plate subduction and margin-wide slab detachment induced a major change in sub-Pacific mantle flow, from dominantly southward before 60 Ma to north-northeastward after 50 Ma. Our results agree with onshore geology, mantle tomography, and the inferred motion of the Hawaiian hot spot and are consistent with a plate tectonic process driving the rapid plate-mantle reorganization in the Pacific hemisphere between 60 and 50 Ma. This reorganization is reflected in tectonic changes in the Pacific and surrounding ocean basins.

Authors


  •   Seton, Maria (external author)
  •   Flament, Nicolas
  •   Whittaker, Joanne (external author)
  •   Muller, R. Dietmar (external author)
  •   Gurnis, Michael (external author)
  •   Bower, Dan J. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • Seton, M., Flament, N., Whittaker, J., Muller, R. Dietmar., Gurnis, M. & Bower, D. J. (2015). Ridge subduction sparked reorganization of the Pacific plate-mantle system 60–50 million years ago. Geophysical Research Letters, 42 (6), 1732-1740.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84927720956

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5224&context=smhpapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/4200

Number Of Pages


  • 8

Start Page


  • 1732

End Page


  • 1740

Volume


  • 42

Issue


  • 6