Definition of Benioff zone in English:

Share this entry

Benioff zone

Pronunciation: /ˈbɛnɪɒf/


An inclined zone in which many deep earthquakes occur, situated beneath a destructive plate boundary where oceanic crust is being subducted.
Example sentences
  • The most persuasive evidence for the existence of subduction zones is the narrow Benioff zones of earthquake epicentres dipping away from deep-sea trenches.
  • The seismic velocity in the zone underneath the Benioff zone has been found to be higher than normal.
  • These zones are now known as Benioff zones and mark the position of the gradual destruction of the subducting plate.


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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Beni|off zone

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.