Variations of Mantle Lithosphere Buoyancy Reflect Seismogenic Behaviors in Subduction Zones

Project Details


Earthquakes play a major role in the natural hazard. Large earthquakes could cause huge damage and lose of life and money. Great earthquakes mostly generate on plate interface of subduction zones. Furthermore, great subduction zone earthquakes sometimes generate tsunamis and cause nature hazards. Intuitively, stress is more easily accumulated, and greater amounts of seismic energy can be released to produce earthquakes, where the subducting and overriding plates are strongly coupled in a subduction zone. Therefore, understanding the strength of a plate coupling is critical for assessing potential seismic and tsunamic hazards in subduction zones. The interaction between an overriding plate and the associated subducting plate can be used to evaluate the strength of plate coupling by examining the mantle lithospheric buoyancy. The Ryukyu Trench, around 1400 km long, is part of the circum-Pacific seismic belt, where the Philippine Sea Plate is sudducted beneath the Eurasian Plate. Previous studies suggested that the Ryukyu arc can divide into three segments, and the structural characteristics of each segment were different. Besides, the strength of the plate coupling and the potential of great earthquake occurrence in the Ryukyu subduction zone has been a controversial issue. In this study, we try to calculate the mantle lithosphere buoyancy across subduction zones. Then, we can evaluate the strength of the plate coupling in subduction zones to further understand the relationship between the plate coupling status and large earthquakes.
Effective start/end date1/08/2031/07/21

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


  • Earthquake
  • plate coupling
  • Ryukyu subduction zone
  • mantle lithosphere buoyancy


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