Possible petrological controls on the location and time scale of slow slip in SW Japan

Friday, 19 December 2014: 12:05 PM
Simon Wallis1, Tomoyuki Mizukami2, Hironori Yokoyama2, Yoshihiro Hiramatsu2, Shoji Arai2, Hirokazu Kawahara1 and Takayoshi Nagaya1, (1)Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan, (2)Kanazawa University, Kanagawa, Japan
To examine the possibility that there was a petrological control on the location and nature of episodic tremor and slip (ETS), we compared the petrological characteristics of wedge mantle material to the results of recent geophysical observations in the Shikoku area, southwest Japan. This study revealed a close relationship between predicted mineral assemblages in the mantle wedge and the characteristics of slow slip behaviour recorded in the Shikoku area: Short-term ETSs take place in the antigorite +olivine stability field and silent long-term slow slip events (SSEs) take place in the antigorite+brucite stability field. The petrology of the mantle wedge may be an important control on the fluid pressure along the subduction interface and influence the time scales of SSEs. The Cretaceous Sanbagawa oceanic subduction complex of SW Japan preserves fragments of the former mantle wedge in contact with subducted slab units. P-T paths and peak P-T conditions show this belt formed as the result of subduction of a young slab under relatively warm conditions. These characteristics make the Sanbagawa belt a good analogue to modern warm subduction zones such as the Philippine Sea subduction zone beneath SW Japan and offer the possibility of directly examining the former plate boundary. Mantle wedge units derived from shallow depths show evidence for widely developed primary brucite and antigorite. In contrast, units derived from greater depths and higher peak temeratures consist dominantly of antigorite and olivine. Observations of the natural serpentinites suggest that the shallow serpentinite with brucite shows higher absorbency of water and provides fluid pathways that can reduce the fluid pore pressure on the subduction boundary.