Studia Geophysica et Geodaetica

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 375–388 | Cite as

Recent geodynamic evolution of convergent plate margins and the reconstruction of fossil plate boundaries

  • Václav Hanuš
  • Jiří Vaněk
Article

Summary

The discovery of paleoplates buried in the upper mantle leads to an interpretation of the subduction as a discontinuous process running in cycles and shifting the place of its operation in or against the direction of ocean floor spreading. This mechanism explains the distribution of calc-alkaline volcanism of different age in fossil convergent plate boundaries. The establishment of regular spatial correlation of the aseismic gap in the Wadati-Benioff zones with the distribution of calc-alkaline volcanism enables to reconstruct fossil plate boundaries and to define allochtonous terranes in apparently homogeneous continental plates. The hampering effect of the ocean floor morphology and of the fragments of continental plates approaching the trench, which substantially influences the rates of subduction and the geodynamic history of active continental margins in different domains along the trench, allows us to understand the complicated geological development of continental wedges in fossil convergent plate margins. The establishment of the segmented nature of active subduction zones and the dramatic morphology of the lower limit of the active subducted slab along the trench help us to interpret extensive lateral gaps in volcanic chains overlying active as well as fossil subduction zones.

Keywords

Plate tectonics convergent plate margins Wadati-Benioff zones calc-alkaline volcanism fossil plate boundaries 

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Copyright information

© StudiaGeo s.r.o. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Václav Hanuš
    • 1
  • Jiří Vaněk
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Global Tectonics and Metallogeny, Geophysical InstituteAcad. Sci. Czech RepublicPrague

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