Articles | Volume 11, issue 1
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-11-37-2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-11-37-2020
Research article
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08 Jan 2020
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 08 Jan 2020

Can subduction initiation at a transform fault be spontaneous?

Diane Arcay, Serge Lallemand, Sarah Abecassis, and Fanny Garel

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Latest update: 17 Jun 2024
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Short summary
We propose a new exploration of the concept of spontaneous lithospheric collapse at a transform fault (TF) by performing a large study of conditions allowing instability of the thicker plate using 2-D thermomechanical simulations. Spontaneous subduction is modelled only if extreme mechanical conditions are assumed. We conclude that spontaneous collapse of the thick older plate at a TF evolving into mature subduction is an unlikely process of subduction initiation at modern Earth conditions.