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Diapiric Flow at Subduction Zones: A Recipe for Rapid Transport

Science  29 Jun 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5526, pp. 2472-2475
DOI: 10.1126/science.1060488

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Abstract

Recent geochemical studies of uranium-thorium series disequilibrium in rocks from subduction zones require magmas to be transported through the mantle from just above the subducting slab to the surface in as little as ∼30,000 years. We present a series of laboratory experiments that investigate the characteristic time scales and flow patterns of the diapiric upwelling model of subduction zone magmatism. Results indicate that the interaction between buoyantly upwelling diapirs and subduction-induced flow in the mantle creates a network of low-density, low-viscosity conduits through which buoyant flow is rapid, yielding transport times commensurate with those indicated by uranium-thorium studies.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed: E-mail: phall{at}gso.uri.edu

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