Earth Planets Space, Vol. 53 (No. 4), pp. 261-273, 2001
Shoichi Yoshioka1 and Yoshihiro Ito2
1Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Kyushu University, Hakozaki 6-10-1, Higashi-ward, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan
2Minamidai 4-50-10-201, Nakano-ku, Tokyo 164-0014, Japan
(Received July 2, 1999; Revised September 6, 2000; Accepted September 19, 2000)
Abstract: We investigated lateral variations of effective elastic thickness of the subducting Philippine Sea plate along the Nankai trough. For this purpose, we applied two-dimensional thin elastic plate bending theory to several profiles almost perpendicular to the trough axis, correcting the effect of thick marine sediments in the Shikoku Basin. The 15 topographic profiles were selected from 61 profiles and were fit to respective theoretical deflection curves by minimization of the L1 norm. Classifying the Shikoku Basin into three regions, namely, the western, the middle, and the eastern regions, we obtained the results that the effective elastic plate thickness tends to decrease gradually from the east of the Ryukyu-Palau ridge to the Kinan seamount chain. This is consistent with heat flow data, seafloor age, formation process of the Shikoku Basin, length of the slab subducted from the Nankai trough, and spatial distribution of subcrustal earthquakes associated with subduction of the Philippine Sea plate.