Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Ikuko Wada
Ikuko Wada's photoIkuko Wada
Postdoctoral Associate, Geosciences, Virginia Tech

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Research Interests

My primary interests are in the geodynamics of the Earth. My past and current research has focused primarily on subduction zone geodynamics. The research topics include

  • State of stress in the subducting and overriding plates and its relation to tectonic forces
  • Effective elastic thickness of oceanic plates and plate bending at convergent margins
  • Nature of viscous coupling between the subducting slab and the overriding mantle and its effect on mantle wedge flow
  • Thermal and petrologic structures of subduction zones and their implications for subduction zone processes (e.g., earthquakes and arc volcanism)
  • Evolution of mineral grain size in the mantle wedge and its effect on wedge dynamics
  • Distribution of fluid flux from the subducting slab and its relation to the fluid distribution in the mantle wedge
  • Migration of aqueous fluids and melts in the mantle wedge and its relation to the location of the volcanic arc.
  • Effect of phase transformations on the dynamic evolution of subducting slabs and mantle plumes  

Academic History

01/2012 – present: Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Geosciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

11/2009 – 10/2011: Postdoctoral Fellow with funding provided by US NSF MARGINS program, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)

09/2003 – 08/2009: Ph.D., Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria (UVic) jointly at Pacific Geoscience Centre (PGC), Geological Survey of Canada, BC, Canada

05/1998 – 08/2003:  B.Sc. with Honours, Earth and Ocean Sciences with Co-operative Education, UVic, BC, Canada            


Wada, I., M. D. Behn, and A. M. Shaw, Effects of localized hydration in the incoming plate, slab rehydration, and mantle wedge hydration on slab-derived fluid flux in subduction zones, submitted to Earth Planet. Sci. Lett.

Wada, I., M. D. Behn, and J. He (2011), Grain size distribution in the mantle wedge of subduction zones, J. Geophys. Res., 116, doi:10.1029/2011JB008294.

Wada, I., C. A. Rychert, and K. Wang (2011), Sharp thermal transition in the forearc mantle wedge as a consequence of nonlinear mantle wedge flow, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, doi:10.1029/2011GL047705.

Wada, I., S. Mazzotti, and K. Wang (2010), Intraslab stresses in the Cascadia subduction zone from inversion of earthquake focal mechanisms, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 100, 2002-2013.

Wada, I., and K. Wang (2009), Common depth of decoupling between the subducting slab and mantle wedge: Reconciling diversity and uniformity of subduction zones, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 10, Q10009, doi:10.1029/2009GC002570.

James, T. S., E. J. Gowan, I. Wada, and K. Wang (2009), Glacio-isostatic adjustment modeling of new relative sea-level observations from the northern Cascadia subduction zone, British Columbia, Canada, J. Geophys. Res., 114, B04405, doi:10.1029/2008JB006077.

Kao, H., K. Wang, R.-Y. Chen, I. Wada, J. He, and S. D. Malone (2008), Identifying rupture plane of the 2001 Nisqually, Washington Earthquake, Bull. Seis. Soc. Am., 98, 1546-1558.

Wada, I., K. Wang, J. He, and R. D. Hyndman (2008), Weakening of the subduction interface and its effects on surface heat flow, slab dehydration, and mantle wedge serpentinization, J. Geophys. Res., 113, B04402, doi:10.1029/2007JB005190.

Wang, K., J. C. Cassidy, I. Wada, and A. J. Smith (2004), Effects of metamorphic crustal densification on earthquake size in warm slabs, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, doi:10.1029/2003GL018644.

Wang, K., Wada, I., and Ishikawa, Y. (2004), Stresses in the subducting slab beneath southwest Japan and relation with plate geometry, tectonic forces, slab dehydration, and damaging earthquakes, J. Geophys. Res., 109, B08304, doi:10.1029/ 2003JB002888.

Other Publication

Spence, G., L. Trevor, B. Marcaillou, and I. Wada (2005), AMADEUS: Heat flow operations on the convergent margin off Colombia and Ecuador, Centre for Earth And Ocean Research Report 2005-1, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada


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