Experimental Results - Detail
This page shows the design for various experiments conducted during this study. When some experimental parameter deviates from a standard defined on the Experimental Design page, it is noted here. Scaling information is also includedfor each experiment.




Long Plate Run
Slab Thickness
Slab Length
Plate Thickness
Plate Length
Zone Width
.75 cm
15 cm
1.5 cm
40 cm
7 cm
Scaled Slab Thickness
Scaled Slab length
Scaled Plate Thickness
Scaled Plate Length
Scaled Zone Width
75 km
1500 km
150 km
4000 km
700 km
This run was designed to test the theory, suggested by an earlier informal model run in honey, that a long plate might result in a more natural subducting slab geometry. This is the "Long Plate" example for the discussion section on slab geometry and for the discussion section on achieving UHP conditions.
Overriding Plate Run
Slab Thickness
Slab Length
Plate Thickness
Plate Length
Zone Width
.75 cm
20 cm
1.5 cm
10 cm
7 cm
Scaled Slab Thickness
Scaled Slab length
Scaled Plate Thickness
Scaled Plate Length
Scaled Zone Width
75 km
2000 km
150 km
1000 km
700 km
Several different experimental results are displayed in this run. Though each was tested seperately, they can be efficiently presented here together. First, this run was used to test a hypothesis about the manner of initiating subduction. I speculated that beginning the downward movement of the slab by driving it straight down into the corn syrup might be leading to the apparently over-steep slab profiles of experimental runs. This run was designed to observe the effect of initiating the slab's downward motion by colliding it with a plate that would ride over it. A discussion section related to this hypothesis can be found here. Another experimental issue that I considered in this run was the extremely long time that it took for the slab to decouple from the plate. All evidence related to UHP terrane evolution in the natural world suggests that their creation is a relatively rapid process, with very little time spent in UHP conditions. In my experiments, the amount of time that it was taking for the plate tip to reach scaled UHP depths was a small fraction of the time it spent there, as the slab slowly necked and finally detatched. Informal modeling suggested that using different putties rather than differently-weighted samples of the same putty for the slab and plate might speed their seperation. This run proved that using seperate putties did little to decrease the time needed for seperation. This run also served to support conclusions about the effect of plate length on subduction geometry discussed here.
Thick Plate/Slab Run
Slab Thickness
Slab Length
Plate Thickness
Plate Length
Zone Width
1.4 cm
15 cm
3.0 cm
15 cm
7 cm
Scaled Slab Thickness
Scaled Slab length
Scaled Plate Thickness
Scaled Plate Length
Scaled Zone Width
70 km
750 km
150 km
750 km
350 km
For this run, the thickness of both slab and plate were increased. For these thicknesses, the slab and plate length and width might be increased to scale more appropriately to most natural subduction systems. However, the results of the run indicate that the subducting slab geometry is essentially unchanged in a short subduction zone. This is the run that is used for the "Short Plate" profile in the discussion section on Slab Angle.
Original Funiciello-Scaled Run
Slab Thickness
Slab Length
Plate Thickness
Plate Length
Zone Width
.75 cm
15 cm
1.5 cm
15 cm
5 cm
Scaled Slab Thickness
Scaled Slab length
Scaled Plate Thickness
Scaled Plate Length
Scaled Zone Width
75 km
1500 km
150 km
1500 km
500 km
This was the first run that used the same density ratio (7% more dense than mantle) for the slab as Funiciello et al. (2003). That density ratio was found to result in a more-or-less appropriate subduction speed for video creation, and was then used for all subsiquent runs. Moreover, using the same density ratio for analog modeling as Funiciello et al. (2003) used in their numerical runs will facilitate later comparisons between the two. The 5 cm zone thickness used for this experiment resulted in significant slab twisting during the initiation of subduction, so the zone was widened to 7 cm for later runs. The depth of the tank for this run scales to 3300 km.