Slow seismic velocity anomalies are commonly imaged beneath subducting slabs in tomographic studies, yet a unifying explanation for their distribution has not been agreed upon. In South America two such anomalies have been imaged associated with subduction of the Nazca Ridge in Peru and the Juan Fernández Ridge in Chile. Here we present new seismic images of the subslab slow velocity anomaly beneath Chile, which give a unique view of the nature of such anomalies. Slow seismic velocities within a large hole in the subducted Nazca slab connect with a subslab slow anomaly that appears correlated with the extent of the subducted Juan Fernández Ridge. The hole in the slab may allow the subslab material to rise into the mantle wedge, revealing the positive buoyancy of the slow material. We propose a new model for subslab slow velocity anomalies beneath the Nazca slab related to the entrainment of hot spot material.
- South America
- hot spots
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)