State of Stress of Subducting Slabs from Viscoelastic Plane Strain Numerical Modelling

E. Carminati[1] and P. Petricca[1]
[1]Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Roma La Sapienza, Roma, Italy

Using 2D viscoelastic plane strain models we investigate the dependency of the stress field of slabs on geometry and kinematics of subduction zones (relative velocity of interacting plates and their absolute velocity with respect to the mantle). We conclude that the concentration of Von Mises stress is controlled by the geometry (curvature) of the slab and that downdip compression in subducting slabs is enhanced by mantle flow opposing the dip of the slab, whereas overall downdip extension is favoured by mantle flow in the same direction of the slab dip.

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