Thin-Sheet Dynamics of Free Subduction

Speaker: Neil M. Ribe
Because the thickness of Earth’s surface plates is much smaller than their typical lateral dimensions, many aspects of their dynamics can be understood using mechanical fluid’ form of that theory together with numerical and experimental modeling to gain insight into three aspects of free (buoyancy-driven) subduction of oceanic lithosphere: (1) the mechanical interaction of a subducted slab with its surroundings in the upper mantle; (2) buckling instabilities of subducted lithosphere below the transition zone; and (3) the interaction of subducted slabs with the core-mantle boundary.