DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5498.1910 ISSN:

Subduction and Slab Detachment in the Mediterranean-Carpathian Region

M. J. R. Wortel, W. Spakman
  • Multidisciplinary

Seismic tomography models of the three-dimensional upper mantle velocity structure of the Mediterranean-Carpathian region provide a better understanding of the lithospheric processes governing its geodynamical evolution. Slab detachment, in particular lateral migration of this process along the plate boundary, is a key element in the lithospheric dynamics of the region during the last 20 to 30 million years. It strongly affects arc and trench migration, and causes along-strike variations in vertical motions, stress fields, and magmatism. In a terminal-stage subduction zone, involving collision and suturing, slab detachment is the natural last stage in the gravitational settling of subducted lithosphere.

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