Lithosphere thinning induced by slab penetration into a hydrous mantle transition zone

Zhensheng Wang, Timothy M. Kusky, Fabio Capitanio

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Water plays an important role in deformation and partial melting of Earth's mantle. The mantle transition zone (MTZ) is a deep reservoir of bound water from subducting slabs. When this reservoir is perturbed by subducting slabs, water is released, impacting the rheology and dynamics of the mantle. We model the role of released water from the MTZ in lithospheric destruction, deformation and deep-source magmatism. Comparing the model results from the North China Craton, we infer that the first peak period of magmatism during craton destruction and lithospheric removal (135–115 Ma) resulted from the subducting Izanagi plate perturbing the strongly hydrous MTZ, whereas the second peak period of magmatism (80 Ma-Cenozoic) is related to extension and asthenospheric partial melting caused by Pacific slab rollback.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11567-11577
Number of pages11
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2016


  • craton destruction
  • hydroweakening
  • lithospheric thinning
  • North China Craton
  • numerical modeling

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