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Coupled geochemical-petrological-geodynamical modelling of subduction zones and global mantle convection

English title Coupled geochemical-petrological-geodynamical modelling of subduction zones and global mantle convection
Applicant Gerya Taras
Number 113672
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Institut für Geophysik ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Geophysics
Start/End 01.12.2006 - 30.11.2009
Approved amount 142'693.00
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Keywords (6)

Mantle convection; Subduction; Geochemistry; numerical modeling; volcanic arcs; trace elements

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Reconciling geochemical and geophysical constraints on the structure and evolution of the mantle remains one of the 'grand challenges' in the field of solid Earth geosciences. Geochemical heterogeneities of the global mantle are mainly induced within subduction zones, and, thus, it is essential to understand geochemical processes in the subducting slab and mantle wedge in order to understand the chemical evolution of the global mantle. Trace elements participating in crust formation within volcanic arcs serve as indicators of different mechanisms involved (e.g. hydration/dehydration processes, subducted crust melting, mantle wedge depletion, crystallization differentiation etc.), and one recent approach of understanding complex interactions between different geochemical mechanisms operating in subduction zones consists in numerical geodynamic modeling. We, thus, propose to use a fully integrated geophysical-geochemical-petrological approach to study the trace element evolution of the mantle using numerical geodynamical models that track water and trace elements. The model will use straightforward developments of codes I2ELVIS and I3ELVIS that already exist in the applicants ' group and already track many compositional quantities of interest, and will be run on a newly-acquired computational cluster.Important scientific advances often occur at the interface of traditional fields, and several developments make the time ripe for combining geochemistry and geophysics, including an explosion in the range and precision of geochemical measurements due to the spread of MC-ICPMS machines, constant advances in numerical modeling technology that can now facilitate the required type of modeling, and an improved knowledge of the complicated phase diagrams that exist in the temperature and pressure range relevant to subduction zones. Further development is expected to depend on cross-disciplinary approaches combining numerical modelling that includes petrological relations with geochemical data and seismic observations (e.g., [Abers, et al., 2006; Gerya, et al., 2006a; Tackley, et al., 2005]. Systematic coupled geochemical-thermomechanical numerical modelling of subduction zones can crucially contribute to our understanding of geochemical patterns and dynamics of modern and ancient volcanic arcs and stimulate/be a part of further studies of the global mantle evolution.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


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Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
129487 Coupled geochemical-petrological-geodynamical modelling of subduction zones 01.04.2010 Project funding
126832 High-resolution 3D geochemical-petrological-thermomechanical modelling of subduction and magmatic arcs development 01.10.2009 Project funding