Subduction is a process that occurs at tectonic plate boundaries whereby one plate moves under the other and into the mantle as the two plates converge.
As a part of the subduction process material from the colliding tectonic plates is either ‘squeezed’ straight back out as a superheated fluid, transferred to the sub arc mantle as magma or deposited into the deeper mantle.
Curtin University researcher Dr Katy Evans says very little is known about the fundamental processes that occur in these subduction zones.
“This is one of the methods by which we cycle stuff that is on the outside of the earth onto the inside of the earth,” she says.
“The earth’s atmosphere and oceans are highly oxidised … so the process of subduction is taking stuff that’s quite oxidised and delivering it inside the earth to a place that’s quite reduced.
“We don’t really know what the potential consequences of that are.”
Read more at: Phys.org