Articles | Volume 12, issue 1
Solid Earth, 12, 79–93, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-12-79-2021
Solid Earth, 12, 79–93, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-12-79-2021
Research article
20 Jan 2021
Research article | 20 Jan 2021

Effects of basal drag on subduction dynamics from 2D numerical models

Lior Suchoy et al.

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Agrusta, R., Goes, S., and van Hunen, J.: Subducting-slab transition-zone interaction: Stagnation, penetration and mode switches, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 464, 10–23, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2017.02.005, 2017. 
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We use 2D numerical models to highlight the role of basal drag in subduction force balance. We show that basal drag can significantly affect velocities and evolution in our simulations and suggest an explanation as to why there are no trends in plate velocities with age in the Cenozoic subduction record (which we extracted from recent reconstruction using GPlates). The insights into the role of basal drag will help set up global models of plate dynamics or specific regional subduction models.