sub·​duc·​tion | \ (ˌ)səb-ˈdək-shən How to pronounce subduction (audio) \

Definition of subduction

: the action or process in plate tectonics of the edge of one crustal plate descending below the edge of another

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Other Words from subduction

subduct \ (ˌ)səb-​ˈdəkt How to pronounce subduct (audio) \ verb

Examples of subduction in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In a subduction zone, one tectonic plate is sinking beneath another. Valerie Sahakian, The Conversation, "A new way to identify a rare type of earthquake in time to issue lifesaving tsunami warnings," 6 Jan. 2020 As with carbon, subduction of the great continental and oceanic plates are thought to have brought water into the depths of the planet. National Geographic, "Earth's rocks can absorb a shocking amount of carbon: here’s how," 24 Oct. 2019 New Zealand sits on a complex set of tectonic plate boundaries, including a subduction zone where the Pacific seafloor is colliding with and sliding beneath the North Island. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "New Zealand volcano erupts, killing tourists on the island," 9 Dec. 2019 But that could light up a wealth of poorly studied offshore environments, like the Pacific Northwest’s Cascadia subduction zone, to detailed seismic monitoring. Madeleine Stone, National Geographic, "Mysterious tectonic fault zone found off California," 28 Nov. 2019 Drones reveal earthquake hazards hidden in the abyss There is no force on Earth quite like a subduction zone. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Top stories: A love-science symbiosis, vitamin-fortified foods, and earthquake-scouting drones," 15 Nov. 2019 Carbon In, Carbon Out Carbon from plants and animals goes deep into the earth through the process of subduction—when oceanic plates sink below continental plates—over hundreds of millions of years. National Geographic, "Earth's rocks can absorb a shocking amount of carbon: here’s how," 24 Oct. 2019 Mount Vesuvius is one of the volcanoes created by subduction. Fox News, "Hidden world of undersea volcanoes and lava flows discovered off Italian coast," 27 Sep. 2019 Besides a major subduction zone offshore, which can spawn megaquakes with magnitudes of 8 or greater, there are active faults inland as well as some that lie directly beneath Machu Picchu itself. Sid Perkins, Science | AAAS, "Machu Picchu was hit by strong earthquakes during construction," 22 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subduction.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of subduction

1970, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for subduction

French, from Late Latin subduction-, subductio withdrawal, from Latin subducere to withdraw, from sub- + ducere to draw — more at tow entry 1

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Time Traveler for subduction

Time Traveler

The first known use of subduction was in 1970

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Statistics for subduction

Last Updated

23 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Subduction.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on subduction

Nglish: Translation of subduction for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about subduction

Comments on subduction

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a feeling of well-being or elation

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