Subducting slab structure below the eastern Sunda arc inferred from non-linear seismic tomographic imaging
S. Widiyantoro, J. D. Pesicek, C. H. Thurber, 2011. "Subducting slab structure below the eastern Sunda arc inferred from non-linear seismic tomographic imaging", The SE Asian Gateway: History and Tectonics of the Australia-Asia Collision, R. Hall, M. A. Cottam, M. E. J. Wilson
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Detailed P-wave speed velocity structure beneath the Sunda arc has been successfully imaged by applying a non-linear approach to seismic tomography. Nearly one million compressional phases from events within the Indonesian region have been used. These include the surface-reflected depth phases pP and pwP in order to improve the sampling of the upper-mantle structure, particularly below the back-arc regions. We have combined a high-resolution regional inversion with a low-resolution global inversion to minimize the mapping of distant aspherical mantle structure into the study region. In this paper, we focus our discussion on the upper mantle structure beneath the eastern part of the Sunda arc. The tomographic images confirm previous observations of a hole in the subducted slab in the upper mantle beneath eastern Java. The images also suggest that a tear in the slab exists below the easternmost part of the Sunda arc, where the down-going slab is deflected in the mantle transition zone. In good agreement with previous studies, the properties of the deflected slab show a strong bulk-sound signature.
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Collision between Australia and SE Asia began in the Early Miocene and reduced the former wide ocean between them to a complex passage which connects the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Today, the Indonesian Throughflow passes through this gateway and plays an important role in global thermohaline flow. The surrounding region contains the maximum global diversity for many marine and terrestrial organisms. Reconstruction of this geologically complex region is essential for understanding its role in oceanic and atmospheric circulation, climate impacts, and the origin of its biodiversity.
The papers in this volume discuss the Palaeozoic to Cenozoic geological background to Australia and SE Asia collision. They provide the background for accounts of the modern Indonesian Throughflow and oceanographic changes since the Neogene, and consider aspects of the region’s climate history.