The surface tectonics of mantle lithosphere delamination following ocean lithosphere subduction: Insights from physical-scaled analogue experiments

Göğüş O. H., Pysklywec R. N., Corbi F., Faccenna C.

GEOCHEMISTRY GEOPHYSICS GEOSYSTEMS, vol.12, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1029/2010gc003430
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: No


Many postulated lithospheric removal events occur in regions with an earlier history of subduction, but the relationship between the two processes has not been explored. In this work, we use physical-scaled analogue experiments to investigate the evolution from ocean lithosphere subduction to collision and possible delamination of the mantle lithosphere from the crust. We test how varying the magnitude of plate convergence alters the behavior of the subduction-delamination model. Our experiments show that a retreating ocean proplate can evolve to continental mantle lithosphere delamination. Negative surface topography is supported at the delamination hinge, and this migrates back with the peeling lithosphere. With high plate convergence, delamination is suppressed. Rather, the crust and mantle lithosphere split at the collision zone in a form of flake tectonics as oncoming procrust is accreted on top of the retroplate and the promantle lithosphere subducts below. Localized high topography develops at this zone of crustal accretion and thickening. The results suggest that delamination may be a continental continuation of plate retreat and that lithospheric removal is triggered by the transition from one process to another.