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Benioff zone

Benioff zone
Cross-section of the Benioff zone
A dipping planar (flat) zone of earthquakes that is produced by the interaction of a downgoing oceanic crustal plate with a continental plate. The Benioff zone extends from the surface to a depth of about 700 km (450 mi). Earthquakes can be produced in a Benioff zone by slip along the subduction thrust fault or by slip on faults within the downgoing plate as a result of bending and extension as the plate is pulled into the mantle. Also known as the Wadati-Benioff zone.

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Source: U.S. Geological Survey