Mantle flow in regions of complex tectonics: Insights from Indonesia



[1] Indonesia is arguably one of the tectonically most complex regions on Earth today due to its location at the junction of several major tectonic plates and its long history of collision and accretion. It is thus an ideal location to study the interaction between subducting plates and mantle convection. Seismic anisotropy can serve as a diagnostic tool for identifying various subsurface deformational processes, such as mantle flow, for example. Here, we present novel shear wave splitting results across the Indonesian region. Using three different shear phases (local S, SKS, and downgoing S) to improve spatial resolution of anisotropic fabrics allows us to distinguish several deformational features. For example, the block rotation history of Borneo is reflected in coast-parallel fast directions, which we attribute to fossil anisotropy. Furthermore, we are able to unravel the mantle flow pattern in the Sulawesi and Banda region: We detect toroidal flow around the Celebes Sea slab, oblique corner flow in the Banda wedge, and sub-slab mantle flow around the arcuate Banda slab. We present evidence for deep, sub-520 km anisotropy at the Java subduction zone. In the Sumatran backarc, we measure trench-perpendicular fast orientations, which we assume to be due to mantle flow beneath the overriding Eurasian plate. These observations will allow to test ideas of, for example, slab–mantle coupling in subduction regions.