Global analysis of the effect of fluid flow on subduction zone temperatures



[1] Knowledge of the controls on temperature distributions at subduction zones is critical for understanding a wide range of seismic, metamorphic, and magmatic processes. Here, we present the results of ∼220 thermal model simulations covering the majority of known subduction zone convergence rates, incoming plate ages, and slab dips. We quantify the thermal effects of fluid circulation in the subducting crust by comparing results with and without advective heat transfer in the oceanic crustal aquifer. We find that hydrothermal cooling of a subduction zone is maximized when the subducting slab is young, slowly converging, steeply dipping, and the crustal aquifer is ventilated near the trench. Incoming plate age is one of the primary controls on the effectiveness of advective heat transfer in the aquifer, and the greatest temperature effects occur with an incoming plate <50 Ma. The thermal effects of fluid circulation decrease dramatically with increasing age of the incoming plate. Temperatures in the Cascadia, Nankai, southern Chile, Colombia/Ecuador, Mexico, and Solomon Islands subduction zones are likely strongly affected by fluid circulation; for these systems, only thermal models of Cascadia and Nankai have included fluid flow in subducting crust.