Research ArticleGEOLOGY

3D anisotropic structure of the Japan subduction zone

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Science Advances  20 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 4, eabc9620
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc9620


How mantle materials flow and how intraslab fabrics align in subduction zones are two essential issues for clarifying material recycling between Earth’s interior and surface. Investigating seismic anisotropy is one of a few viable technologies that can directly answer these questions. However, the detailed anisotropic structure of subduction zones is still unclear. Under a general hexagonal symmetry anisotropy assumption, we develop a tomographic method to determine a high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) P wave anisotropic model of the Japan subduction zone by inverting 1,184,018 travel time data of local and teleseismic events. As a result, the 3D anisotropic structure in and around the dipping Pacific slab is firstly revealed. Our results show that slab deformation plays an important role in both mantle flow and intraslab fabric, and the widely observed trench-parallel anisotropy in the forearc is related to the intraslab deformation during the outer-rise yielding of the subducting plate.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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