Abstract

Erosion by high stress abrasion of convergent margins from horsts and grabens on the subducting plate is not shown in seismic images. In a proposed model, the frontal sediment prism is a dynamic mass that elevates pore-fluid pressure. Overpressured fluid invades fractures in the upper plate and separates fragments that are dragged into a subduction channel along the plate interface. Removed fragments are smaller than surface ship seismic techniques have resolved and beyond the reach of past scientific ocean drilling; however, current drill capability and downhole geophysics can test the model.

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