Benioff zone

noun
Ben·​i·​off zone | \ˈbe-nē-ˌȯf-\

Definition of Benioff zone 

geology

: a seismically active underground area within a subduction zone Researchers say today's type of quake …, or Benioff zone, earthquake, is the most frequent and potentially most benign of the types of earthquake in the region.— Carol Kaesuk Yoon, New York Times, 1 Mar. 2001 A seismic zone dipping beneath a continental margin or an island arc, and having a deep-sea trench as its surface expression, is called a Benioff zone, after Hugo Benioff, the American seismologist who first described the feature.— Sheldon Judson and Marvin E. Kauffman, Physical Geology, 8th Edition, 1990

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of Benioff zone

1967, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Benioff zone

after Victor Hugo Benioff †1968 American seismologist

Note: OK The existence of such areas was suggested by Benioff in several papers, such as “Seismic Evidence for the Fault Origin of Oceanic Deeps,” Geological Society of America Bulletin, vol. 60, no. 12 (1949), pp. 1837-56, and “Seismic Evidence for Crustal Structure and Tectonic Activity,” in Arie Poldervaart, editor, Crust of the Earth—A Symposium, Geological Society of America Special Papers, vol. 62 (1955), pp. 61-74.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Benioff zone

Share Benioff zone

Dictionary Entries near Benioff zone

Benin

Benin, Bight of

Benincasa

Benioff zone

benison

Beni Suef

bénitier

Statistics for Benioff zone

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for Benioff zone

The first known use of Benioff zone was in 1967

See more words from the same year

Comments on Benioff zone

What made you want to look up Benioff zone? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

by force of circumstances

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!