Subduction of the Rivera plate beneath the Jalisco block as imaged by magnetotelluric data

  • Fernando Corbo-Camargo
  • Jorge Arturo Arzate-Flores
  • Román Álvarez-Béjar
  • José Jorge Aranda-Gómez
  • Vsevolod Yutsis
Keywords: magnetotelluric images, subducting slab, mantle upwelling, Jalisco block, Mexico


Two magnetotelluric (MT) profiles perpendicular to the trench provide information on the subduction of the Rivera plate under the Jalisco block (JB). The geometry of the subducting slab is inferred by the anomalous conductor on the top of the profile in the central part of the JB. High conductivity zones (<50 ohm-m) at depths shallower than 10 km are associated to dewatering of the oceanic crust below the accretion prism in the SW of the profile. Away from the coast, observed upper crustal conductors (<10 km) are interpreted as partial melt related to the Central Jalisco volcanic lineament. The source of the crustal conductor in the central part of the MT profile, ~25–75 km inland and depths between 40 and 60 km, is interpreted as a region of interconnected fluids associated with the metamorphic dehydration of the oceanic plate. Contrasting resistivity in the mantle wedge at depths below 40 km suggests that hot mantle material may be migrating upwards, mixing with dehydration reaction products. Near Bahía de Banderas subduction appears steeper closer to the trench than toward the SW suggesting a twisted oceanic subducting slab beneath the continental crustal block. Our results support the mantle upwelling model as an explanation for the reported 1.5 km uplift of the central part of the JB and subsidence of the fore arc region, as well as a change in mantle properties at the NW edge of the JB, which is backed by seismic data.