Numerical models of trench migration for lateral heterogeneous subducting plates

Magni, Valentina (2012) Numerical models of trench migration for lateral heterogeneous subducting plates, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Geofisica, 24 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/4280.
Documenti full-text disponibili:
Documento PDF (English) - Richiede un lettore di PDF come Xpdf o Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (13MB) | Anteprima


The aim of this Thesis is to investigate the effect of heterogeneities within the subducting plate on the dynamics of subduction. In particular, I study the motion of the trench for oceanic and continental subduction, first, separately, and, then, together in the same system to understand how they interact. The understanding of these features is fundamental to reconstruct the evolution of complex subduction zones, such as the Central Mediterranean. For this purpose, I developed 2D and 3D numerical models of oceanic and continental subduction where the rheological, geometrical and compositional properties of the plates are varied. In these models, the trench and the overriding plate move self-consistently as a function of the dynamics of the system. The effect of continental subduction on trench migration is largely investigated. Results from a parametric study showed that despite different rheological properties of the plates, all models with a uniform continental crust share the same kinematic behaviour: the trench starts to advance once the continent arrives at the subduction zone. Hence, the advancing mode in continental collision scenarios is at least partly driven by an intrinsic feature of the system. Moreover, the presence of a weak lower crust within the continental plate can lead to the occurrence of delamination. Indeed, by changing the viscosity of the lower crust, both delamination and slab detachment can occur. Delamination is favoured by a low viscosity value of the lower crust, because this makes the mechanical decoupling easier between crust and lithospheric mantle. These features are observed both in 2D and 3D models, but the numerical results of the 3D models also showed that the rheology of the continental crust has a very strong effect on the dynamics of the whole system, since it influences not only the continental part of plate but also the oceanic sides.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Magni, Valentina
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze matematiche, fisiche ed astronomiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Subduction process, trench migration, numerical model, continental subduction
Data di discussione
16 Marzo 2012

Altri metadati

Statistica sui download

Gestione del documento: Visualizza la tesi