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.
- 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.
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