Definition of Benioff zone in English:

Benioff zone


  • An inclined zone in which many deep earthquakes occur, situated beneath a destructive plate boundary where oceanic crust is being subducted.

    • ‘The most persuasive evidence for the existence of subduction zones is the narrow Benioff zones of earthquake epicentres dipping away from deep-sea trenches.’
    • ‘Slow and highly attenuating lithosphere exists beneath this portion of the Anatolian plate and geometry of the Benioff zones.’
    • ‘The brittle crust cracked and slid in many places, especially along paths called Benioff zones.’
    • ‘These zones are now known as Benioff zones and mark the position of the gradual destruction of the subducting plate.’
    • ‘The seismic velocity in the zone underneath the Benioff zone has been found to be higher than normal.’


1960s: named after Victor H. Benioff (1899–1968), American seismologist.


Benioff zone