Project Title: Unravelling subduction zone topography through analogue and numerical modelling.

Supervisor: TeamFrancesca Funiciello, Claudio Faccenna

Objectives:  The surface topography of subduction zones arises from the complex interplay between isostatic contributions and dynamic processes. Contrasting models have been proposed to constrain the expected topography of subduction zones with uncertainties deriving from the lack of knowledge on the rheological and thermo-chemical structure of the lithosphere and it’s coupling with the underlying mantle. This project aims to unravel the topographic signal characterising subduction zones, evaluating the contribution by dynamic topography. To achieve this we plan to use a joint analogue-numerical modelling approach, the results of which will be compared and validated with first-order observations of the topography in active subduction zones.

Expected Results: A conceptual model to explain the topographic signature characterising subduction zones.

Academic secondment: J. van Hunen (Durham Univ.), Month 19-24: setup of numerical models and run of the first tests; Month 30-31: Comparison analogue-numerical results.  Industrial secondment: MP Strumenti, Months 12-13: Definition of strategies for selection of new analogue materials and development of the first rheological test measurements.

Links to other ESR projects: ESR1 will share data, methods or concepts with ESR2, 3, 4, 7, 8,11,13,14.