The mechanisms driving plate motion and the Earth’s geodynamics are still not entirely clarified. Lithospheric volumes recycled at subduction zones or emerging at rift zones testify mantle convection. The cooling of the planet and the related density gradients are invoked to explain mantle convection either driven from the hot interior or from the cooler outer boundary layer. In this paper we summarize a number of evidences supporting generalized asymmetries along the plate boundaries that point to a polarization of plate tectonics. W-directed slabs provide 2-3 times larger volumes to the mantle with respect to the opposite E- or NE-directed subduction zones. W-directed slabs are deeper and steeper, usually characterized by down-dip compression. Moreover they show a shallow decollement and low elevated accretionary prism, a steep regional monocline with a deep trench or foredeep, a backarc basin with high heat flow and positive gravity anomaly. Conversely directed subduction zones show antithetic signatures and no similar backarc basin. Rift zones also show an asymmetry, e.g., faster Vs in the western lithosphere and a slightly deeper bathymetry with respect to the eastern flank. These evidences can be linked to the westward drift of the lithosphere relative to the underlying mantle and may explain the differences among subduction and rift zones as a function of their geographic polarity with respect to the “tectonic equator”. Therefore also mantle convection and plate motion should be polarized. All this supports a general tuning of the Earth’s geodynamics and mantle convection by astronomical forces.

Polarized plate tectonics / Doglioni, Carlo; G. F., Panza. - In: ADVANCES IN GEOPHYSICS. - ISSN 0065-2687. - STAMPA. - 56(2015), pp. 1-167. [10.1016/bs.agph.2014.12.001]

Polarized plate tectonics

DOGLIONI, Carlo
;
2015

Abstract

The mechanisms driving plate motion and the Earth’s geodynamics are still not entirely clarified. Lithospheric volumes recycled at subduction zones or emerging at rift zones testify mantle convection. The cooling of the planet and the related density gradients are invoked to explain mantle convection either driven from the hot interior or from the cooler outer boundary layer. In this paper we summarize a number of evidences supporting generalized asymmetries along the plate boundaries that point to a polarization of plate tectonics. W-directed slabs provide 2-3 times larger volumes to the mantle with respect to the opposite E- or NE-directed subduction zones. W-directed slabs are deeper and steeper, usually characterized by down-dip compression. Moreover they show a shallow decollement and low elevated accretionary prism, a steep regional monocline with a deep trench or foredeep, a backarc basin with high heat flow and positive gravity anomaly. Conversely directed subduction zones show antithetic signatures and no similar backarc basin. Rift zones also show an asymmetry, e.g., faster Vs in the western lithosphere and a slightly deeper bathymetry with respect to the eastern flank. These evidences can be linked to the westward drift of the lithosphere relative to the underlying mantle and may explain the differences among subduction and rift zones as a function of their geographic polarity with respect to the “tectonic equator”. Therefore also mantle convection and plate motion should be polarized. All this supports a general tuning of the Earth’s geodynamics and mantle convection by astronomical forces.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11573/645405
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