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A geologic process in which one edge of one crustal plate is forced below the edge of another.

[French, from Latin subductus, past participle of subdūcere, to draw away from below : sub-, sub- + dūcere, to lead; see deuk- in Indo-European roots.]

sub·duct′ v.
sub·duc′tal (-təl) adj.


1. (Physiology) the act of subducting, esp of turning the eye downwards
2. (Geological Science) geology the process of one tectonic plate sliding under another, resulting in tensions and faulting in the earth's crust, with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions


(səbˈdʌk ʃən)

the process by which collision of the earth's crustal plates results in one plate's being drawn down or overridden by another, localized along the juncture (subduc′tion zone`) of two plates.
[1965–70; < French subduction (1951); see subduct, -ion]


The sinking of one lithospheric plate’s leading edge below another lithospheric plate. This occurs below deep ocean trenches.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.subduction - a geological process in which one edge of a crustal plate is forced sideways and downward into the mantle below another plate
geologic process, geological process - (geology) a natural process whereby geological features are modified
References in periodicals archive ?
Evidence of large scale deformation patterns from GPS data in the Italian subduction boundary. Earth Planet.
2002; Thermal consecuences of a subduction boundary jump : a numerical model for generating subduction--related clockwise pressure--temperature paths : Tectonics, 21, 1, 10.1029/2000TC001276, 2002.
But there are three "gaps" or segments along the Aleutian subduction boundary where no great earthquakes have occurred since the turn of the century; these gaps have been targeted as the most likely Aleutian sites of great earthquakes in the near future by a number of seismologists.