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Abstract

Seismic imaging provides an opportunity to constrain mantle wedge processes associated with subduction, slab dehydration, arc volcanism, and backarc spreading. The mantle wedge is characterized by a low attenuation forearc, an inclined zone of low velocity and high attenuation underlying the volcanic front, and a broad region of low velocity and high attenuation beneath the backarc spreading center when present. Seismic velocities, bathymetry, and basalt chemistry suggest mantle temperature variations of ∼100°C between different backarc regions. Rock physics experiments and geodynamic modeling are essential for interpreting seismic observations. Seismic anisotropy indicates a complex pattern of mantle flow that can be modeled with along-strike flow in a low viscosity channel beneath the arc and backarc. Comparison of geodynamic models with seismic tomographic results using experimentally derived relations between velocity, attenuation, and temperature suggests the existence of small melt fractions in the mantle at depths of 30–150 km.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.earth.33.092203.122633
2008-05-30
2024-06-19
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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