Subduction of Oceanic Plate -Its Realities- Summary of French-Japanese Cooperative "Kaiko" Project

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
Brief summary of results obtained by a French-Japanese cooperative study on the bottom of trenches around Japan. The geophysical prospection, multi beam echo sounding and direct observation with submersible dives of the trench bottom clarified the details of the subduction of oceanic plates. It may be noted, among many new facts found: 1. The subduction and geologic structure resulted from the process is different according to the nature of subducting oceanic plate, and the geology of the land behind the trench. Thus the Nankai trough characterized by the developpement of accretionary prisms is contrasted to that of the Japan Trench where the basement rocks are exposed on the land side cliff of the trench wall. 2. The compressional tectonic situation prevailing in the trench bottom provokes the venting, along the fissures on the bottom, of water contained in sediments. Hydrocarbons contained in the sediments are comming out with water and give nutrients for bacteria. Clams, tube warms, sea slugs and shrimps are taking these bacteria as their food and biological communities with exceptionally dense population for the deep sea of more than 3000 meters in depth are formed on the field of accretionary prism and wall of the land side cliff. 3. An intense compressional tectonic field resulted from the subduction is inducing the transition from the subduction of oceanic plate to the collision of a part of the plate to the continental plate.
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