EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Trench Advance in Collisional settings: insights from large scale 2D and 3D models

Arijit Laik, Wouter P. Schellart, and Vincent Strak
Arijit Laik et al.
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Earth Sciences, Netherlands (

Continental collision, which leads to mountain building (e.g. Himalayas, Alps), has been under the geodynamic modelling lenses for the last few decades. Such processes subjected to physical and numerical investigations, in conjunction with observational studies, enrich knowledge on mountain belts and have worked out the general architectural large-scale structure and crustal shortening in such regions. The intent to understand the driving forces of long term (~50 Ma) and consistent convergence at the India-Eurasia collisional zone is the goal of the dynamic self-consistent buoyancy-driven whole-mantle scale 2D and 3D models presented in this contribution. The maximum post-collisional convergence rate (~0.362 cm/year) in 2D models, is less than 2 cm/year convergence of India considering it advanced ~1000 km in about 50 Ma.  Additionally, the 2D models are inadequate in exploring the spatio-temporal evolution and dynamics of natural systems, thus necessitating modelling large scale subduction and subsequent continental collision resolving the 3D components of mantle flow.  With a whole mantle reservoir and buoyancy-driven 2D models, the observed trench advance rate, with a large and fixed overriding plate, is relatively novel and higher than previous studies and the high resolution in 2D models also shows crustal-scale localisation in conjunction with large scale mantle flow. The computationally intensive simulations have significantly large (11520 km) trench-perpendicular (in 2D and 3D) and parallel (in 3D) lengths, include two sets of modelled depths: whole mantle (2880 km) and, upper mantle + partial lower mantle (960 km) and use the Underworld2 framework. In 3D, the interaction of an adjacent subducting oceanic plate(s) significantly aids the indentation and trench advance in the collisional margin. These would help understand the dynamics of analogues system(s) in nature such as the Sunda subduction zone and the India-Eurasia collision zone.

How to cite: Laik, A., Schellart, W. P., and Strak, V.: Trench Advance in Collisional settings: insights from large scale 2D and 3D models, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7210,, 2021.

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