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I am looking for geometrical differences in subduction zones. What are the differences, in dip, curvature of the interface, thickness of the plates etc.?

There are differences between the Chile and the Mariana type (as sketched here), but what about the other subduction zones like Alaska, Japan, Sumatra?

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  • $\begingroup$ are you asking for a list of all the differences in specific subduction zones or what CAN differ ? $\endgroup$ – Neo Jul 28 '14 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ Ideally, in what they actually differ. Doesn't need to be a list, an annotated cartoon would be perfectly fine. $\endgroup$ – traindriver Jul 28 '14 at 18:26
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    $\begingroup$ If you want an answer that specific: amazon.com/Subduction-Top-Bottom-Geophysical-monograph/dp/… the AGU monograph series is an excellent resource that you might be able to read at your local academic library. There is so much going on in subduction zones that listing specific differences between them I think is out of the scope of this website: its too much information and too hard to get a reasonable answer in the given format. I think its a great question, just very large in scope. $\endgroup$ – Neo Jul 28 '14 at 18:57
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for the recommendation, seems like a very detailed resource. I have edited the question to narrow down what I am most interested in: the actual geometry. $\endgroup$ – traindriver Jul 28 '14 at 19:36
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Differences in subduction geometry depend mostly on what type crust takes part in the collision (oceanic to oceanic, continent to continent, oceanic to continent), the speed of the two (or three) colliding parts and the relative movement of the two plates. Many subduction zones share similar characteristics (like back arc compression and volcanic arc) but there are many differences too. The general geometry of a subduction zone is, in general, well understood, but there are still many questions about how, why and when, mostly because most of our measurements are indirect and the interpretation is still problematic. You can read http://www.platetectonics.com/book/index.asp for a very good and simplified explanation of tectonic plate movement.

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