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A two-way interaction between the Hainan plume and the Manila subduction zone

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Anne-Sophie Meriaux


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The interaction between mantle plumes and subducting slabs is well accepted, but the influence of slabs on plumes has more often been portrayed than the reverse. Here we present three-dimensional upper mantle laboratory models in which a compositional plume rises underneath a subducting plate. Slab/plume buoyancy flux ratios ranged between 7 and 18. The models exhibit a two-way interaction. While the plume conduit increasingly tilts away from the trench as a result of slab rollback-induced toroidal mantle flow, the slab subduction rate decreases as a function of the amount of plume buoyancy opposing that of the slab, which gets subducted beneath the slab. We propose that our models apply to the Hainan/Manila system and explain the recently imaged tilt of the Hainan plume by the Manila slab-induced mantle return flow. The Hainan plume could lessen the Manila subduction rate from 8 Ma into the future.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Meriaux CA, Duarte JC, Wouter PS, Meriaux AS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geophysical Research Letters

Year: 2015

Volume: 42

Issue: 14

Pages: 5796-5802

Print publication date: 28/07/2015

Online publication date: 23/07/2015

Acceptance date: 03/06/2015

ISSN (print): 0094-8276

ISSN (electronic): 1944-8007

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishnig, Inc.


DOI: 10.1002/2015GL064313


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Funder referenceFunder name
DECRA grant from Australian Research Council
DP110103387Discovery Grant
FT110100560Future Fellowship from Australian Research Council
iPLUS-PTDC/CTE-GIX/122232/2010Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia