A model comparison study of large-scale mantle-lithosphere dynamics driven by subduction

OzBench, Mark, Regenauer-Lieb, Klaus, Stegman, Dave R., Morra, Gabriele, Farrington, Rebecca, Hale, Alina, May, David, A., Freeman, Justin, Bourgouin, Laurent, Muhlhaus, Hans and Moresi, Louis (2008) A model comparison study of large-scale mantle-lithosphere dynamics driven by subduction. Physics of The Earth And Planetary Interiors, 171 1-4: 224-234. doi:10.1016/j.pepi.2008.08.011

Author OzBench, Mark
Regenauer-Lieb, Klaus
Stegman, Dave R.
Morra, Gabriele
Farrington, Rebecca
Hale, Alina
May, David, A.
Freeman, Justin
Bourgouin, Laurent
Muhlhaus, Hans
Moresi, Louis
Title A model comparison study of large-scale mantle-lithosphere dynamics driven by subduction
Journal name Physics of The Earth And Planetary Interiors   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0031-9201
Publication date 2008-12-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.pepi.2008.08.011
Open Access Status
Volume 171
Issue 1-4
Start page 224
End page 234
Total pages 11
Editor G. Helffrich
M. Jellinek
D. Rubie
K. Zhang
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherland
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 040403 Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
010110 Partial Differential Equations
970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences
Abstract Modelling subduction involves solving the dynamic interaction between a rigid (solid yet deformable) plate and the fluid (easily deformable) mantle. Previous approaches neglected the solid-like behavior of the lithosphere by only considering a purely fluid description. However, over the past 5 years, a more self-consistent description of a mechanically differentiated subducting plate has emerged. The key feature in this mechanical description is incorporation of a strong core which provides small resistance to plate bending at subduction zones while simultaneously providing adequate stretching resistance Such that slab Pull drives forward plate motion. Additionally, the accompanying numerical approaches for simulating large-scale lithospheric deformation processes coupled to the underlying viscous mantle flow, have been become available. Here we put forward three fundamentally different numerical strategies, each of which is capabable of treating the advection of mechanically distinct materials that describe the subducting plate. We demonstrate their robustness by calculating the numerically challenging problem of subduction of a 6000 kin wide slab at high-resolution in three-dimensions, the successfuly achievement of which only a few codes in the world can presently even attempt. In spite of the differences of the approaches, all three codes pass the simple qualitative test of developing an "S-bend" trench curvature previously observed in similar models. While reproducing this emergent feature validates that the lithosphere-mantle interaction has been correctly modelled, this is not a numerical benchmark in the traditional sense where the objective is for all codes to achieve exact agreement on a unique numerical Solution. However, we do provide some quantitative comparisons such as trench and plate kinematics in addition to discussing the strength and weaknesses of the individual approaches. Consequently, we believe these developed algorithms can now be applied to study the parameters involved in the dynamics of subduction and offer a toolbox to be used by the entire geoscience community. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keyword Plate tectonics
Mantle dynamics
Lithosphere dynamics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Thu, 09 Apr 2009, 06:21:30 EST by Tracy Paroz on behalf of Earth Systems Science Computational Centre