Slab-gap dynamics

Evolution of an opening and sinking slab gap during oceanic subduction. This conclusive image is based on analog models of subduction, where the slab surface was monitored by 3-D scanning and the mantle flow was imaged using PIV technique. The opening slab gap allows mantle to flow from the sub-slab area to the mantle wedge area. However, this flow might only have an effect on the surface when the slab gap is near-surface and has a significant vertical extent.

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