Abstract

We present seismic images of the mantle beneath East Russia and adjacent regions and discuss geodynamic implications. Our mantle tomography shows that the subducting Pacific slab becomes stagnant in the mantle transition zone under Western Alaska, Bering Sea, Sea of Okhotsk, Japan Sea, and Northeast Asia. Many intraplate volcanoes exist in these areas, which are located above the low-velocity zones in the upper mantle above the stagnant slab, suggesting that the intraplate volcanoes are related to the dynamic processes in the big mantle wedge above the stagnant slab and the deep slab dehydration. Teleseismic tomography revealed a low-velocity zone extending down to 660 km depth beneath the Baikal rift zone, which may represent a mantle plume. The bottom depths of the Wadati–Benioff deep seismic zone and the Pacific slab itself become shallower toward the north under Kamchatka Peninsula, and the slab disappears under the northernmost Kamchatka. The slab loss is considered to be caused by the friction between the slab and the surrounding asthenosphere as the Pacific plate rotated clockwise at about 30 Ma ago, and then the slab loss was enlarged by the slab-edge pinch-off by the hot asthenospheric flow and the presence of Meiji seamounts.

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