A schematic highlighting the formation of the Puysegur trench, New Zealand, where subduction zone initiation may be both horizontally and then vertically driven, according to a 4D evolution model of this margin.

A schematic highlighting the formation of the Puysegur trench, New Zealand, where subduction zone initiation may be both horizontally and then vertically driven, according to a 4D evolution model of this margin. Its gradual evolution from north to south represents a pseudo-temporal sequence of a forming subduction zone, which naturally spans a few millions of years. In the northern segment, where subduction nucleated, horizontal forces may have dominated, representative of the early stages of subduction initiation. With time, vertical forces took over, propagating along the evolving megathrust and helping to finally form a self-sustaining subduction zone.

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