Subduction pp 25-34 | Cite as

Model Setting, Technique and Facilities

  • Alexander I. Shemenda
Part of the Modern Approaches in Geophysics book series (MAGE, volume 11)


As pointed out in the previous chapter, the main difficulties in the physical modeling are associated with the creation of model materials and experimental conditions that satisfy the physical similarity conditions. Some subduction-related processes have been already modeled in laboratory using different techniques which have allowed one to achieve different degrees of similarity between the original (prototype) and the model.Turner[1973] simulated subduction qualitatively. Glycerine was used to model the upper mantle. The subduction of the upper more rigid film, the lithosphere was driven by ascending gas bubbles.Jacoby[1976] andJacoby and Schmeling[1981] simulated the upper mantle with molten paraffin. The cooled and crystallized upper layer was the lithosphere. Subduction developed due to thermal convection in the melt and gravitational sinking of the crystallized layer.Kincaid and Olson[1987] modeled the lithosphere and the underlying mantle using sugar syrup of various concentrations. They studied the interaction between a slab descending under its own weight and mantle transition zone at 670 km depth. The materials used allowed model parameters to be varied within sufficiently wide ranges, to make quantitative estimates possible.


Subduction Zone Oceanic Lithosphere Yield Limit Sugar Syrup Mantle Transition Zone 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander I. Shemenda
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Géophysique et TectoniqueUniversité de Montpellier IIMontpellierFrance

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