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Quantifying the net slab pull force as a driving mechanism for plate tectonics

Schellart, Wouter


It has remained unclear how much of the negative buoyancy force of the slab (FB) is used to pull the trailing plate at the surface into the mantle. Here I present three-dimensional laboratory experiments to quantify the net slab pull force (FNSP) with respect to FB during subduction. Results show that FNSP increases with increasing slab length and dip up to ∼8-12% of FB, making FNSP up to twice as large as the ridge push force. The remainder of FB is primarily used to drive rollback-induced...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2004
Type: Journal article
Source: Geophysical Research Letters
DOI: 10.1029/2004GL019528


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