The dynamics of plate tectonics and mantle flow: From local to global scales

Georg Stadler, Michael Gurnis, Carsten Burstedde, Lucas C. Wilcox, Laura Alisic, Omar Ghattas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Plate tectonics is regulated by driving and resisting forces concentrated at plate boundaries, but observationally constrained high-resolution models of global mantle flow remain a computational challenge. We capitalized on advances in adaptive mesh refinement algorithms on parallel computers to simulate global mantle flow by incorporating plate motions, with individual plate margins resolved down to a scale of 1 kilometer. Back-arc extension and slab rollback are emergent consequences of slab descent in the upper mantle. Cold thermal anomalies within the lower mantle couple into oceanic plates through narrow high-viscosity slabs, altering the velocity of oceanic plates. Viscous dissipation within the bending lithosphere at trenches amounts to ∼5 to 20% of the total dissipation through the entire lithosphere and mantle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1033-1038
Number of pages6
JournalScience
Volume329
Issue number5995
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 27 2010

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Viscosity
Hot Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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Stadler, G., Gurnis, M., Burstedde, C., Wilcox, L. C., Alisic, L., & Ghattas, O. (2010). The dynamics of plate tectonics and mantle flow: From local to global scales. Science, 329(5995), 1033-1038. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1191223

The dynamics of plate tectonics and mantle flow : From local to global scales. / Stadler, Georg; Gurnis, Michael; Burstedde, Carsten; Wilcox, Lucas C.; Alisic, Laura; Ghattas, Omar.

In: Science, Vol. 329, No. 5995, 27.08.2010, p. 1033-1038.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Stadler, G, Gurnis, M, Burstedde, C, Wilcox, LC, Alisic, L & Ghattas, O 2010, 'The dynamics of plate tectonics and mantle flow: From local to global scales', Science, vol. 329, no. 5995, pp. 1033-1038. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1191223
Stadler G, Gurnis M, Burstedde C, Wilcox LC, Alisic L, Ghattas O. The dynamics of plate tectonics and mantle flow: From local to global scales. Science. 2010 Aug 27;329(5995):1033-1038. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1191223
Stadler, Georg ; Gurnis, Michael ; Burstedde, Carsten ; Wilcox, Lucas C. ; Alisic, Laura ; Ghattas, Omar. / The dynamics of plate tectonics and mantle flow : From local to global scales. In: Science. 2010 ; Vol. 329, No. 5995. pp. 1033-1038.
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