Geophysics

Going dry in the Pacific Northwest

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Science  19 Jan 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6373, pp. 286
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6373.286-b

Volcanic belts such as the Andes result from deep melting as water dragged down during subduction fluxes into the crust. Canales et al. show that the Juan de Fuca slab, which is subducting below the Pacific Northwest in North America, is much drier than other subducting slabs. The distribution of water in the slab may help determine the origins of seismic tremor and episodic slip that occur in this region. It also confirms a hypothesis that volcanism in the region is not the result of the influence of water, but rather is due to the decompression trigger melting more commonly seen along midocean ridges.

Nat. Geosci. 10, 864–870 (2017).

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