The location and timing of metamorphic reactions in subducting lithosph??re are influenced by thermal effects of fluid circulation in the ocean crust aquifer. Fluid circulation in subducting crust extracts heat from the Nankai subduction zone, causing the crust to pass through cooler metamorphic faci??s than if no fluid circulation occurs. This fluid circulation shifts the basalt-to-eclogite transition and the associated slab dehydration 14 km deeper (35 km farther landward) than would be predicted with no fluid flow. For most subduction zones, hydrothermal cooling of the subducting slab will delay eclogitization relative to estimates made without considering fluid circulation. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
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Links between fluid circulation, temperature, and metamorphism in subducting slabs