1EarthByte Group, School of Geosciences, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
2Computer Graphics and Visualization Group, Technische Universität München, Germany
In light of the extremely deformed and complex surface geology in the Central and Eastern Asian convergence zones, the subsurface mantle structure holds vital clues to the evolution of the subduction zones and collisional chronologies. This is especially true for the Tethyan convergence zone, where the mantle structure has been used to suggest intra-oceanic subduction preceded the terminal collision between the Indian and Eurasian continents. Geodynamic models of such a scenario have confirmed that a two-stage collision better reproduces the present-day mantle structure, and particularly the latitudinal range of discrete Tethyan mid-mantle slabs. Using our plate reconstruction software, GPlates, we visualise our evolving geodynamic models of subduction and the mantle structure interpreted from seismic tomographic models to account for the evolution of subduction zones in Central and East Asia in a combined plate tectonic and 3D mantle structure context for times since the Jurassic. By visualising the source and trajectory of slabs in the mantle over time enables correlations with positive seismic velocity anomalies at present day with improved confidence. Our approach emphasises the need to capture mantle convection that includes slab advection resulting from return flow and the complex slab interactions from multiple nearby subduction zones such as the Pacific and Tethyan domains.
The GPlates software framework with 3D functionality can be found at www.gplates.org.