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Intraslab Earthquakes: Dehydration of the Cascadia Slab

Science  14 Nov 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5648, pp. 1197-1200
DOI: 10.1126/science.1090751

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Abstract

We simultaneously invert travel times of refracted and wide-angle reflected waves for three-dimensional compressional-wave velocity structure, earthquake locations, and reflector geometry in northwest Washington state. The reflector, interpreted to be the crust-mantle boundary (Moho) of the subducting Juan de Fuca plate, separates intraslab earthquakes into two groups, permitting a new understanding of the origins of intraslab earthquakes in Cascadia. Earthquakes up-dip of the Moho's 45-kilometer depth contour occur below the reflector, in the subducted oceanic mantle, consistent with serpentinite dehydration; earthquakes located down-dip occur primarily within the subducted crust, consistent with the basalt-to-eclogite transformation.

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