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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Prof Ken McCaffrey

Pacey, A, Macpherson, CG & McCaffrey, KJW (2013). Linear volcanic segments in the central Sunda Arc, Indonesia, identified using Hough Transform analysis: Implications for arc lithosphere control upon volcano distribution. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 369-370: 24-33.

Author(s) from Durham


Hough Transform analysis is used as an objective means to constrain volcano distribution in the central Sunda Arc, Indonesia. Most volcanoes in the arc define four en echelon, linear segments, each of 500–700 km length. Javan volcanoes that do not lie on these segments either (i) formed at an early stage in the history of the arc and erupted products that are petrologically and geochemically distinct from typical arc magma, or (ii) lie along other mapped structures.

The en echelon distribution of volcanoes in the central Sunda Arc is best explained as originating from two possible sources. First, interaction with the subducting Indo-Australian Plate may induce stress in the arc lithosphere generating pathways for magma to exploit. Second, downward flexure of the arc lithosphere, as a result of mantle flow or loading by the arc, would also establish arc-normal tension towards the base of the lithosphere, where magma is supplied to volcanic systems.

To the west and east of the central Sunda Arc deviations from the distribution of long, en echelon, linear segments can be understood as responses to specific stress fields in the arc lithosphere of Sumatra and eastern Nusa Tenggara, respectively. Control of volcano distribution by arc lithosphere explains why there are large variations in the depth from volcanoes to the zone of slab seismicity in the central Sunda Arc, where there is little variation in slab geometry or the rate of plate convergence.