How Mantle Slabs Drive Plate Tectonics

  title={How Mantle Slabs Drive Plate Tectonics},
  author={Clinton P. Conrad and Carolina R. Lithgow‐Bertelloni},
  pages={207 - 209}
The gravitational pull of subducted slabs is thought to drive the motions of Earth's tectonic plates, but the coupling between slabs and plates is not well established. If a slab is mechanically attached to a subducting plate, it can exert a direct pull on the plate. Alternatively, a detached slab may drive a plate by exciting flow in the mantle that exerts a shear traction on the base of the plate. From the geologic history of subduction, we estimated the relative importance of “pull” versus… 

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