Mantle flow at a slab edge: Seismic anisotropy in the Kamchatka Region



The junction of the Aleutian Island and the Kamchatka peninsula defines a sharp turn in the boundary of the Pacific and North American plates, terminating the subduction zones of the northwest Pacific. The regional pattern of shear-wave birefringence near the junction indicates that trench-parallel strain follows the seismogenic Benioff zone, but rotates to trench-normal beyond the slab edge. Asthenospheric mantle is inferred to flow around and beneath the disrupted slab edge, and may influence the shallowing dip of the Benioff zone at the Aleutian junction.