Subduction pp 79-133 | Cite as

Relationship between Subduction Regime and Back Arc Dynamics

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


In all experiments presented in the previous chapter densities of the lithosphereρland the asthenosphere ρaare equal. Such a condition corresponds to reality only to a first approximation. In fact, ρl may be either less than or greater than ρa. The lithospheric density depends on many factors, the “thermal” age being the most important one[Oxburgh and Parmentier, 1977;Oxburgh and Turcotte, 1976;England and Wortel, 1980]. The greater the age of lithosphere (i.e., the colder and thicker it is), the higher its average density p l. Estimates for \( \Delta \rho (\Delta \rho = {\rho _l} - {\rho _a})\) vary from very small values to those in excess of 0.1 x 103kg/m3[Yoshii, 1973;Toksoz et al., 1973;Grow, 1973;Watts and Talwani, 1975]. The average lithospheric and asthenospheric densities become equal when the age of the oceanic lithosphere reaches about 50 Ma[Oxburgh and Parmentier, 1977;Molnar and Atwater, 1978;England and Wortel, 1980;Sacks, 1983].


Subduction Zone Aegean Region Benioff Zone South American Plate Overriding Plate 
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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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