Abstract

Tearing and detachment of subducted slabs in subduction zones have been an important focus of geoscience research as they have serious seismic hazard implications. Based on evidence, including the pattern of seismicity, great earthquake ruptures, tomographic studies, back-arc volcanism, and trench morphology, we suggest that the lack of sufficient width of subducting Indian plate slab under the Irrawaddy region (between latitudes 15° N and 18° N) of the Sunda arc due to the presence of a tear in the subducting Indo-Australian slab makes the region aseismic. The lack of slab there also limits the potential for major and great earthquakes to be generated. Accordingly, the seismic and tsunami potential of this region may not be as high as it is in the Andaman and Arakan regions.

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