The Philippine Trench, in the middle of the picture.
The Philippine Trench, in the middle of the picture.

The Philippine Trench (also Philippine Deep, Mindanao Trench, and Mindanao Deep) is a submarine trench to the east of the Philippines. The trench is located in the Philippine sea of the western North Pacific Ocean and continues NNW-SSE.[1] It has a length of approximately 1,320 kilometres (820 miles) and a width of about 30 km (19 mi) from the center of the Philippine island of Luzon trending southeast to the northern Maluku island of Halmahera in Indonesia. At its deepest point, the trench reaches 10,540 meters (34,580 ft) or (5,760 fathoms).[2]

Large earthquakes near the Philippine Trench
1988
1988
1975
1975
1995
1995
1952
1952
1911
1911
1989
1989
1991
1991
1921
1921
1943
1943
2001
2001
A sample of 10 large earthquakes ≥ 7.2 Mw near the Philippine Trench within the last 100 years: in 1911,[3] 1921,[4] 1943,[5] 1952,[6] 1975,[7] 1988,[8] 1989,[9] 1991,[10] 1995,[11] 2001,[12] and 2012[13] with the last being the 2012 Samar earthquake. See also map below.
The Philippine Trench in the east which continues downward, and the Philippine Mobile Belt.
The Philippine Trench in the east which continues downward, and the Philippine Mobile Belt.

Immediately to the north of the Philippine Trench is the East Luzon Trench. They are separated, with their continuity interrupted and displaced, by Benham Plateau on the Philippine Sea Plate.[2]

Information

The Philippine trench is hypothesized to be younger than 8–9 million years old. The central part of the Philippine fault formed during the Plio-Pleistocene times [14] is considered to be an active depression of the Earth's crust.[15] The trench formed from a collision between the Palawan and Zamboanga plates. This caused a change in geological processes creating a subduction zone, that is dropping the ocean floor deeper. [14] The rate of subduction on these plates is estimated to be about 15 cm per year.[2] A convergent zone borders an estimate of 45% of the Philippine Trench today.[14]

Although there are vast areas of subduction zones, some authors have considered this region to have low seismic activity,[16] though the USGS has recorded many earthquakes with magnitude ≥ 7.2 in the region as shown by the map to the side. Most recently, in 2012 the Philippine Trench experienced an earthquake of Mw 7.6 (the 2012 Samar earthquake). It hit the trench with a hypocenter depth of 34.9 km.[16] Areas adjacent to the subduction zones have experienced large seismic activity. In 1897, northern Samar experienced a Ms 7.3 earthquake while in 1924 southern Mindanao experienced one with a Ms 8.2.[16]

Depth

The trench reaches one of the greatest depths in the ocean. Its deepest point is known as Galathea Depth and reaches 10,540 meters (34,580 ft) or (5,760 fathoms).[2]

Sedimentation

Sedimentation of the Philippine trench contains slightly metamorphosed, calc-alkalic, basic, ultrabasic rock and sand grains.[15] The southern area of the trench contains homogenous, blue, clay silt and was poor in lime. Sand grains that were also found contained fresh basaltic andesite.[15] The sediments found in the trenches are hypothesized to have been deposited by turbidity currents.[15] A turbidity current is an underwater current that moves rapidly and carries sediment.

Significant quakes

This is a list of significant quakes related to the Philippine Trench, which are 7.0+[17]

Year Location Moment magnitude Casualties
1911 offshore Mindanao, east-northeast of Barcelona 7.7 -
1921 offshore Mindanao, east of Baculin 7.4 -
1943 offshore Mindanao, east of Baculin 7.8 -
1952 offshore Mindanao, east-northeast of Cortez 7.3 -
1975 offshore Samar, east-northeast of Alugan 7.2 1
1988 offshore Catanduanes, east-southeast of Bato 7.3 -
1989 offshore Mindanao, east-northeast of Barcelona 7.6 1
1995 offshore Samar, east of Dapdap 7.2 -
2001 offshore Mindanao, south-east of Lukatan 7.5 -
2012 offshore Samar, east of Sulangan 7.6 -

Trenches in the Philippine region

Known trenches in LuzViMinda are:

References

  1. ^ Hessler, Robert R.; Ingram, Camilla L.; Yayanos, A. Aristides; Burnett, Bryan R. (1978). "Scavenging amphipods from the floor of the Philippine trench". Deep Sea Research. 25 (11): 1029–1047. doi:10.1016/0146-6291(78)90585-4.
  2. ^ a b c d Deschamps, A.; Lallemand, S. (2003). "Geodynamic setting of Izu-Bonin-Mariana boninites". In Larter, R.D.; Leat, P.T. (eds.). Intra-Oceanic Subduction Systems: Tectonic and Magmatic Processes. Geological Society, London, Special Publications. Vol. 219. pp. 163–185.
  3. ^ "M 7.7 - Philippine Islands region". United States Geological Survey. 1911.
  4. ^ "M 7.4 - Philippine Islands region". United States Geological Survey. 1921.
  5. ^ "M 7.8 - Philippine Islands region". United States Geological Survey. 1943.
  6. ^ "M 7.3 - Philippine Islands region". United States Geological Survey. 1952.
  7. ^ "M 7.2 - Samar, Philippines". United States Geological Survey. 1975.
  8. ^ "M 7.3 - Catanduanes, Philippines". United States Geological Survey. 1988.
  9. ^ "M 7.6 - Mindanao, Philippines". United States Geological Survey. 1989.
  10. ^ "M 7.0 - Mindanao, Philippines". United States Geological Survey. 1991.
  11. ^ "M 7.2 - Samar, Philippines". United States Geological Survey. 1995.
  12. ^ "M 7.5 - Mindanao, Philippines". United States Geological Survey. 2001.
  13. ^ "M 7.2 - Samar, Philippines". United States Geological Survey. 2012.
  14. ^ a b c Lallemand, Serge E.; Popoff, Michel; Cadet, Jean-Paul; Bader, Anne-Gaelle; Pubellier, Manuel; Rangin, Claude; Deffontaines, Benoît (1998-01-10). "Genetic relations between the central and southern Philippine Trench and the Sangihe Trench". Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 103 (B1): 933–950. doi:10.1029/97jb02620.
  15. ^ a b c d Larsen, B. (1968). "Sediment from the central Philippine trench". Galathea Report. 9: 7–21.
  16. ^ a b c Ye, Lingling; Lay, Thorne; Kanamori, Hiroo (2012). "Intraplate and interplate faulting interactions during the August 31, 2012, Philippine Trench earthquake (Mw 7.6) sequence". Geophysical Research Letters. 39 (24): L24310. doi:10.1029/2012gl054164.
  17. ^ "USGS Earthquake Hazards Program". earthquake.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2022-01-27.