Upper Mantle (upper + mantle)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Chemical and isotopic signatures of Na/HCO3/CO2 -rich geofluids, North Portugal

Abstract Geochemical and isotopic studies have been undertaken to assess the origin of CO2 -rich waters issuing in the northern part of Portugal. These solutions are hot (76°C) to cold (17°C) Na,HCO3 mineral waters. The ,2H and ,18O signatures of the mineral waters reflect the influence of altitude on meteoric recharge. The lack of an 18O-shift indicates there has been no high temperature water,rock interaction at depth, corroborating the results of several chemical geothermometers (reservoir temperature of about 120°C). The low 14C activity (up to 9.9 pmC) measured in some of the cold CO2 -rich mineral waters (total dissolved inorganic carbon) is incompatible with the presence of 3H (from 1.7 to 4.1 TU) in those waters, which indicates relatively short subsurface circulation times. The ,13C values of CO2 gas and dissolved inorganic carbon range between ,6, and ,1, versus Vienna-Peedee Belemnite, indicating that the total carbon in the recharge waters is being diluted by larger quantities of CO2 (14C-free) introduced from deep-seated (upper mantle) sources, masking the 14C-dating values. The differences in the 87Sr/86Sr ratios of the studied thermal and mineral waters seem to be caused by water,rock interaction with different granitic rocks. Chlorine isotope signatures (,0.4, < ,37Cl < +0.4, versus standard mean ocean chloride) indicate that Cl in these waters could be derived from mixing of a small amount of igneous Cl from leaching of granitic rocks. [source]

The bright spot in the West Carpathian upper mantle: a trace of the Tertiary plate collision,and a caveat for a seismologist

SUMMARY The 2-D full waveform modelling of the mantle arrivals from the CELEBRATION 2000 profiles crossing the Carpathian orogen suggests two possible tectonic models for the collision of ALCAPA (Alpine-Carpathian-Pannonian) and the European Plate in the West Carpathians in southern Poland and Slovakia. Due to an oblique (NE-SW) convergence of plates, the character of the collision may change along the zone of contact of the plates: in the western part of the area an earlier collision might have caused substantial crustal shortening and formation of a crocodile-type structure, with the delaminated lower crust of ,100 km length acting as a north-dipping reflecting discontinuity in the uppermost mantle. In the eastern part, a less advanced collision only involved the verticalization of the subducted slab remnant after a slab break-off. The lower crustal remnant of ,10 km size in the uppermost mantle acts as a pseudo-diffractor generating observable mantle arrivals. Due to the similarity of synthetic data generated by both models, the question of the non-uniqueness of seismic data interpretation, that may lead to disparate tectonic inferences, is also discussed. [source]

Improved imaging with phase-weighted common conversion point stacks of receiver functions

A. Frassetto
SUMMARY Broad-band array studies frequently stack receiver functions to improve their signal-to-noise ratio while mapping structures in the crust and upper mantle. Noise may produce spurious secondary arrivals that obscure or mimic arrivals produced by P -to- S conversions at large contrasts in seismic impedance such as the Moho. We use a Hilbert transform to calculate phase-weights, which minimize the constructive stacking of erroneous signal in receiver function data sets. We outline this approach and demonstrate its application through synthetic data combined with different types of noise, a previously published example of signal-generated noise, and a large data set from the Sierra Nevada EarthScope Project. These examples show that phase-weighting reduces the presence of signal-generated noise in receiver functions and improves stacked data sets. [source]

Subducted slabs and lateral viscosity variations: effects on the long-wavelength geoid

Nicola Tosi
SUMMARY The characteristic broad local maxima exhibited by the long-wavelength geoid over subduction zones are investigated with a numerical model of mantle flow. In a spherical axisymmetric geometry, a synthetic model of buoyancy driven subduction is used to test the effects on the geoid caused by the depth of penetration of the lithosphere into the mantle, by the viscosity stratification and by lateral viscosity variations (LVV) in the lithosphere, upper and lower mantle. The presence of anomalous slab density in the lower mantle guarantees geoid amplitudes comparable with the observations, favouring the picture of slabs that penetrate the transition zone and sink into the deep mantle. The viscosity of the lower mantle controls the long-wavelength geoid to the first order, ensuring a clear positive signal when it is at least 30-times greater than the upper-mantle viscosity. The presence of LVV in the lithosphere, in the form of weak plate margins, helps to increase the contribution of the surface topography, causing a pronounced reduction of the geoid. Localized LVV associated with the cold slab play a secondary role if they are in the upper mantle. On the other hand, highly viscous slabs in the lower mantle exert a large influence on the geoid. They cause its amplitude to increase dramatically, way beyond the values typically observed over subduction zones. Long-wavelength flow becomes less vigorous as the slab viscosity increases. Deformation in the upper mantle becomes more localized and power is transferred to short wavelengths, causing the long-wavelength surface topography to diminish and the total geoid to increase. Slabs may be then weakened in the lower mantle or retain their high viscosity while other mechanisms act to lower the geoid. It is shown that a phase change from perovskite to post-perovskite above the core,mantle boundary can cause the geoid to reduce significantly, thereby helping to reconcile models and observations. [source]

Controls of mantle plumes and lithospheric folding on modes of intraplate continental tectonics: differences and similarities

Evgueni Burov
SUMMARY Mantle plume activity and lithospheric folding by far-field stresses exerted from plate boundaries are two important end-members as mechanisms for continental intraplate deformation. The topographic expression of mantle plume impingement on continental lithosphere and lithospheric folding has some striking similarities. Observations from a number of areas in Europe's intraplate lithosphere demonstrate that these mechanisms commonly interact in space and time. We present the results of thermomechanical modelling addressing the role of factors such as the presence of a hot upper mantle, the spatial dimensions of the plume and the time constants involved in the temporal succession of plume activity and lithospheric folding by stress accumulation in intraplate continental lithosphere. The results demonstrate that both the processes, plume,lithosphere interactions and folding may interact resulting either in strong amplification, attenuation or modification of their surface expression. These inferences are compatible with a number of key observations on the nature and the temporal succession of topography evolution in the Alpine foreland, the Pannonian Basin, the Scandinavian continental margin and the Iberian Peninsula. [source]

Radial profiles of seismic attenuation in the upper mantle based on physical models

Fabio Cammarano
SUMMARY Thermally activated, viscoelastic relaxation of the Earth's materials is responsible for intrinsic attenuation of seismic waves. Seismic observations have been used to define layered radially symmetric attenuation models, independent of any constraints on temperature and composition. Here, we interpret free-oscillation and surface wave attenuation measurements in terms of physical structures, by using the available knowledge on the physical mechanisms that govern attenuation at upper-mantle (<400 km) conditions. We find that observations can be explained by relatively simple thermal and grain-size structures. The 1-D attenuation models obtained do not have any sharp gradients below 100 km, but fit the data equally well as the seismic models. The sharp gradients which characterize these models are therefore not required by the data. In spite of the large sensitivity of seismic observations to temperature, a definitive interpretation is limited by the unknown effects of pressure on anelasticity. Frequency dependence of anelasticity, as well as trade-offs with deeper attenuation structure and dependence on the elastic background model, are less important. Effects of water and dislocations can play an important role as well and further complicate the interpretation. Independent constraints on temperature and grain size expected around 100 km depth, help to constrain better the thermal and grain-size profiles at greater depth. For example, starting from a temperature of 1550 K at 100 km and assuming that the seismic attenuation is governed by the Faul & Jackson's (2005) mechanism, we found that negative thermal gradients associated with several cm grain sizes (assuming low activation volume) or an adiabatic gradient associated with ,1 cm grain size, can explain the data. A full waveform analysis, combining the effects on phase and amplitude of, respectively, elasticity and anelasticity, holds promise for further improving our knowledge on the average composition and thermal structure of the upper mantle. [source]

Inference of mantle viscosity from GRACE and relative sea level data

Archie Paulson
SUMMARY Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite observations of secular changes in gravity near Hudson Bay, and geological measurements of relative sea level (RSL) changes over the last 10 000 yr in the same region, are used in a Monte Carlo inversion to infer-mantle viscosity structure. The GRACE secular change in gravity shows a significant positive anomaly over a broad region (>3000 km) near Hudson Bay with a maximum of ,2.5 ,Gal yr,1 slightly west of Hudson Bay. The pattern of this anomaly is remarkably consistent with that predicted for postglacial rebound using the ICE-5G deglaciation history, strongly suggesting a postglacial rebound origin for the gravity change. We find that the GRACE and RSL data are insensitive to mantle viscosity below 1800 km depth, a conclusion similar to that from previous studies that used only RSL data. For a mantle with homogeneous viscosity, the GRACE and RSL data require a viscosity between 1.4 × 1021 and 2.3 × 1021 Pa s. An inversion for two mantle viscosity layers separated at a depth of 670 km, shows an ensemble of viscosity structures compatible with the data. While the lowest misfit occurs for upper- and lower-mantle viscosities of 5.3 × 1020 and 2.3 × 1021 Pa s, respectively, a weaker upper mantle may be compensated by a stronger lower mantle, such that there exist other models that also provide a reasonable fit to the data. We find that the GRACE and RSL data used in this study cannot resolve more than two layers in the upper 1800 km of the mantle. [source]

Radial resolving power of far-field differential sea-level highstands in the inference of mantle viscosity

Roblyn A. Kendall
SUMMARY For two decades leading to the late 1980s, the prevailing view from studies of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) data was that the viscosity of the Earth's mantle increased moderately, if at all, from the base of the lithosphere to the core,mantle boundary. This view was first questioned by Nakada & Lambeck, who argued that differential sea-level (DSL) highstands between pairs of sites in the Australian region preferred an increase of approximately two orders of magnitude from the mean viscosity of the upper to the lower mantle, in accord with independent inferences from observables related to mantle convection. We use non-linear Bayesian inference to provide the first formal resolving power analysis of the Australian DSL data set. We identify three radial regions, two within the upper mantle (110,270 km and 320,570 km depth) and one in the lower mantle (1225,2265 km depth), over which the average of viscosity is well constrained by the data. We conclude that: (1) the DSL data provide a resolution in the inference of upper mantle viscosity that is better than implied by forward analyses based on isoviscous regions above and below the 670 km depth discontinuity and (2) the data do not strongly constrain viscosity at either the base or top of the lower mantle. Finally, our inversions also quantify the significant bias that may be introduced in inversions of the DSL highstands that do not simultaneously estimate the thickness of the elastic lithosphere. [source]

Waveform modelling of teleseismic S, Sp, SsPmP, and shear-coupled PL waves for crust- and upper-mantle velocity structure beneath Africa

Abhijit Gangopadhyay
SUMMARY We describe a waveform modelling technique and demonstrate its application to determine the crust- and upper-mantle velocity structure beneath Africa. Our technique uses a parallelized reflectivity method to compute synthetic seismograms and fits the observed waveforms by a global optimization technique based on a Very Fast Simulated Annealing (VFSA). We match the S, Sp, SsPmP and shear-coupled PL phases in seismograms of deep (200,800 km), moderate-to-large magnitude (5.5,7.0) earthquakes recorded teleseismically at permanent broad-band seismic stations in Africa. Using our technique we produce P - and S -wave velocity models of crust and upper mantle beneath Africa. Additionally, our use of the shear-coupled PL phase, wherever observed, improves the constraints for lower crust- and upper-mantle velocity structure beneath the corresponding seismic stations. Our technique retains the advantages of receiver function methods, uses a different part of the seismogram, is sensitive to both P - and S -wave velocities directly, and obtains helpful constraints in model parameters in the vicinity of the Moho. The resulting range of crustal thicknesses beneath Africa (21,46 km) indicates that the crust is thicker in south Africa, thinner in east Africa and intermediate in north and west Africa. Crustal P - (4.7,8 km s,1) and S -wave velocities (2.5,4.7 km s,1) obtained in this study show that in some parts of the models, these are slower in east Africa and faster in north, west and south Africa. Anomalous crustal low-velocity zones are also observed in the models for seismic stations in the cratonic regions of north, west and south Africa. Overall, the results of our study are consistent with earlier models and regional tectonics of Africa. [source]

Lithospheric structure of an active backarc basin: the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand

Antony Harrison
SUMMARY Seismic data from both explosive and earthquake sources have been used to model the crustal and upper-mantle velocity structure beneath the Taupo Volcanic Zone (TVZ), an active backarc basin in central North Island, New Zealand. Volcanic sediments with P -wave velocities of 2.0,3.5 km s,1 reach a maximum thickness of 3 km beneath the central TVZ. Underlying these sediments to 16 km depth is material with velocities of 5.0,6.5 km s,1, interpreted as quartzo-feldspathic crust. East and west of the TVZ, crust with similar velocities is found to depths of 30 and 25 km, respectively. Beneath the TVZ, material with P -wave velocities of 6.9,7.3 km s,1 is found from 16 to 30 km depth and is interpreted as heavily intruded or underplated lower crust. The base of the crust at 30 km depth under the TVZ is marked by a strong seismic reflector, interpreted as the Moho. Modelling of arrivals from deep (>40 km) earthquakes near the top of the underlying subducting Pacific Plate reveals a region with low mantle velocities of 7.4,7.8 km s,1 beneath the crust of the TVZ. This region of low mantle velocities is best explained by the presence of partially hydrated upper mantle, resulting from dehydration of hydrous minerals (e.g. serpentinite) carried down by the underlying subducting plate. Within the lower crust beneath the TVZ, a region of high (0.34) Poisson's ratio is observed, indicating the presence of at least 1 per cent partial melt. This melt probably fractionates and assimilates crustal material before some of it migrates into the upper crust, where it provides a source for the voluminous rhyolitic magmas of the TVZ. [source]

Modelling electromagnetic responses of 2-D structures due to spatially non-uniform inducing fields.

Analysis of magnetotelluric source effects at coastlines
SUMMARY In previous works, we presented 2-D and 3-D magnetotelluric modelling methods based on Rayleigh,Fourier expansions. These methods are an alternative to finite-element and finite-difference techniques and are especially suitable for modelling multilayered structures, with smooth irregular boundaries. Here we generalize the 2-D method for the calculation of the electromagnetic response of 2-D structures to arbitrary, spatially non-uniform 2-D and 3-D inducing magnetic fields. These fields are characteristic of low- and high-latitude regions. We calculate the response to different 2-D and 3-D sources, of a 2-D structure representative of the conductivity distribution which could be found at a coastline, which includes deep conductive anomalies in the lower crust and upper mantle. Then, we investigate source effects, comparing these responses to that obtained for a uniform source. These effects become noticeable for periods greater than approximately 6 h and increase with the period of the source. They are highly dependent on the morphology of the source and also on the orientation of the external field relative to the strike direction of the structure. In various cases, they totally mask the uniform source response. [source]

Lithosphere structure of Europe and Northern Atlantic from regional three-dimensional gravity modelling

T. P. Yegorova
Summary Large-scale 3D gravity modelling using data averaged on a 1° grid has been performed for the whole European continent and part of the Northern Atlantic. The model consists of two regional layers of variable thickness,the sediments and the crystalline crust, bounded by reliable seismic horizons,the ,seismic' basement and the Moho surface. Inner heterogeneity of the model layers was taken into account in the form of lateral variation of average density depending on the type of geotectonic unit. Density parametrization of the layers was made using correlation functions between velocity and density. For sediments, sediment consolidation with depth was taken into account. Offshore a sea water layer was included in the model. As a result of the modelling, gravity effects of the whole model and its layers were calculated. Along with the gravity modelling an estimation of isostatic equilibrium state has been carried out for the whole model as well as for its separate units. Residual gravity anomalies, obtained by subtracting the gravity effect of the crust from the observed field, reach some hundred mGal (10,5 m s,2) in amplitude; they are mainly caused by density heterogeneities in the upper mantle. A mantle origin of the residual anomalies is substantiated by their correlation with the upper-mantle heterogeneities revealed by both seismological and geothermal studies. Regarding the character of the mantle gravity anomalies, type of isostatic compensation, crustal structure, age and supposed type of endogenic regime, a classification of main geotectonic units of the continent was made. As a result of the modelling a clear division of the continent into two large blocks,Precambrian East-European platform (EEP) and Variscan Western Europe,has been confirmed by their specific mantle gravity anomalies (0 ÷ 50 × 10,5 m s,2 and ,100 ÷,150 × 10,5 m s,2 correspondingly). This division coincides with the Tornquist,Teisseyre Zone (TTZ), marked by a gradient zone of mantle anomalies. In the central part of the EEP (over the Russian plate) an extensive positive mantle anomaly, probably indicating a core of ancient consolidation of the EEP, has been distinguished. To the west and to the east of this anomaly positive mantle anomalies occur, which coincide with a deep suture zone (TTZ) and an orogenic belt (the Urals). Positive mantle anomalies of the Alps, the Adriatic plate and the Calabrian Arc, correlating well with both high-velocity domains in the upper mantle and reduced temperatures at the subcrustal layer, are caused by thickened lithosphere below these structures. Negative mantle anomalies, revealed in the Western Mediterranean Basin and in the Pannonian Basin, are the result of thermal expansion of the asthenosphere shallowing to near-Moho depths below these basins. [source]

Strike-slip earthquakes in the oceanic lithosphere: observations of exceptionally high apparent stress

George L. Choy
Summary The radiated energies, ES, and seismic moments, M0, for 942 globally distributed earthquakes that occurred between 1987 to 1998 are examined to find the earthquakes with the highest apparent stresses (,a=,ES/M0, where , is the modulus of rigidity). The globally averaged ,a for shallow earthquakes in all tectonic environments and seismic regions is 0.3 MPa. However, the subset of 49 earthquakes with the highest apparent stresses (,a greater than about 5.0 MPa) is dominated almost exclusively by strike-slip earthquakes that occur in oceanic environments. These earthquakes are all located in the depth range 7,29 km in the upper mantle of the young oceanic lithosphere. Many of these events occur near plate-boundary triple junctions where there appear to be high rates of intraplate deformation. Indeed, the small rapidly deforming Gorda Plate accounts for 10 of the 49 high- ,a events. The depth distribution of ,a, which shows peak values somewhat greater than 25 MPa in the depth range 20,25 km, suggests that upper bounds on this parameter are a result of the strength of the oceanic lithosphere. A recently proposed envelope for apparent stress, derived by taking 6 per cent of the strength inferred from laboratory experiments for young (less than 30 Ma) deforming oceanic lithosphere, agrees well with the upper-bound envelope of apparent stresses over the depth range 5,30 km. The corresponding depth-dependent shear strength for young oceanic lithosphere attains a peak value of about 575 MPa at a depth of 21 km and then diminishes rapidly as the depth increases. In addition to their high apparent stresses, which suggest that the strength of the young oceanic lithosphere is highest in the depth range 10,30 km, our set of high- ,a earthquakes show other features that constrain the nature of the forces that cause interplate motion. First, our set of events is divided roughly equally between intraplate and transform faulting with similar depth distributions of ,a for the two types. Secondly, many of the intraplate events have focal mechanisms with the T -axes that are normal to the nearest ridge crest or subduction zone and P -axes that are normal to the proximate transform fault. These observations suggest that forces associated with the reorganization of plate boundaries play an important role in causing high- ,a earthquakes inside oceanic plates. Extant transform boundaries may be misaligned with current plate motion. To accommodate current plate motion, the pre-existing plate boundaries would have to be subjected to large horizontal transform push forces. A notable example of this is the triple junction near which the second large aftershock of the 1992 April Cape Mendocino, California, sequence occurred. Alternatively, subduction zone resistance may be enhanced by the collision of a buoyant lithosphere, a process that also markedly increases the horizontal stress. A notable example of this is the Aleutian Trench near which large events occurred in the Gulf of Alaska in late 1987 and the 1998 March Balleny Sea M= 8.2 earthquake within the Antarctic Plate. [source]

Separation of intrinsic and scattering seismic attenuation in the Southern Apennine zone, Italy

F. Bianco
Summary Scattered waves observed at the seismographs of the National Italy's seismic network have been used to investigate the intrinsic dissipation and scattering properties of the lithosphere under the Southern Apennines, Italy. First, we investigate the coda-Q properties, then we apply the MLTW analysis in the hypothesis of velocity and scattering coefficient constant with depth, and finally we interpret these results with the aid of numerical simulations in a medium with depth dependent velocity and scattering coefficient. Results obtained in the hypothesis of a uniform model show that a low scattering-Q,1 and a relatively higher intrinsic-Q,1 characterize the lithosphere of the Southern Apennines. Numerical simulations of the seismogram energy envelopes were performed hypothesizing a strongly scattering crust and trasparent upper mantle, both with reasonable intrinsic dissipation coefficients. In these symplifying assumptions the theoretical curves calculated for the homogeneous model fit to the synthetic envelopes with scattering attenuation coefficients always greater than the synthetic values. This results lead to the consideration that scattering-Q,1 obtained using MLTW analysis under the assumption of uniform medium are overestimated. The values of the scattering-Q,1 estimated for Apennines at low frequency (1,2 Hz) in the hypothesis of uniform medium are of the same order of those obtained in several areas around the world. The estimates obtained for frequencies ranging from 2 to 12 Hz are very low if compared with those obtained in the same hypothesis for other areas around the world. Coda Q,1 closely resembles intrinsic Q,1. [source]

Regional teleseismic tomography of the western Lachlan Orogen and the Newer Volcanic Province, southeast Australia

Frank M. Graeber
Summary From 1998 May to September a portable array of 40 short-period digital seismograph stations was operated in western Victoria, southeast Australia, across the western end of the mid-Paleozoic Lachlan Foldbelt and the Newer Volcanic Province. Consisting of four parallel, almost W,E-oriented receiver lines, the array covered an area of about 270 × 150 km2. The major aim of the LF98 (Lachlan Foldbelt survey 1998) project is to map lateral variations in P -wave speeds (Vp) in the crust and upper mantle using teleseismic arrival time tomography, primarily in order to investigate whether the major surface structural zones are associated with seismic velocity signatures at depth. Little a priori information from seismic profiling is available. We invert 4067 relative arrival time residuals for a minimum structure Vp model in the upper few hundred km using non-linear iteration and 3-D ray tracing. The most prominent negative anomaly (,3.8 per cent) in Vp is found at a depth of about 45 km underneath the eastern part of the Newer Volcanic Province. It correlates spatially with the highest density of Pliocene and Pleistocene eruption centres northwest of Melbourne, and is therefore interpreted as a hotspot-related high-temperature anomaly causing reduced mantle velocities. The related coherent volume of significantly lower than average velocities extends down to depths greater than 100 km in the east, and extends west underneath the Newer Volcanic Province. A strong velocity contrast, with average velocities ,2 per cent greater in the west, is found down to about 100 km across the Moyston Fault Zone, which forms the major structural boundary between the early-Paleozoic Delamerian Orogen in the west and the Lachlan Orogen in the east. This result suggests that the Moyston Fault Zone should be seen as a major lithospheric boundary. In the south this boundary is also expressed by a distinct discontinuity in Sr-isotopic ratios of xenoliths (the so-called Mortlake discontinuity) and a change in the geochemistry of plutons of similar age. However, if the east to west velocity contrast originally existed in this southern zone, it is now overprinted by the thermally reduced mantle velocities beneath the Newer Volcanic Province. [source]

Anomalous seaward dip of the lithosphere,asthenosphere boundary beneath northeastern USA detected using differential-array measurements of Rayleigh waves

William Menke
Summary Rayleigh wave phase velocities and azimuth anomalies in the period range of 30,100 s are measured for a set of four triangular arrays of broad-band seismometers in coastal northeastern USA. This is a region in which a strong upper mantle slow shear velocity anomaly (a ,New England Anomaly'), crosses the continental margin. Earthquakes from a wide range of directions are used to detect the variation of parameters with azimuth, ,, of propagation. No lateral heterogeneity in phase velocity is detected at these periods between stations at the centre and the edge of the Anomaly. However, large (10,20; per cent) azimuthal variations occur, and have a cos(1,) dependence, which is indicative of a dipping structure in the upper mantle. Corresponding azimuth variations, with a magnitude of ±5°, are also detected. This behaviour is consistent with a southeasterly (N150°E) dip of the lithosphere,asthenosphere boundary beneath New England. This dip is associated with the shoaling of the New England Anomaly beneath the Adirondack mountains, west of the array. It is opposite to the dip associated with lithospheric thickening toward the interior of the craton. [source]

A reflector at 200 km depth beneath the northwest Pacific

S. Rost
SUMMARY We present an analysis of precursors to PP produced by underside reflections from discontinuities in the upper mantle beneath the NW Pacific. The events used for this study occur in the western Pacific Rim (New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Solomon, New Guinea, Philippine Islands) and are recorded at the short-period Yellowknife Array (YKA) in northern Canada. The source,receiver combination results in PP reflection points which allow us to study the upper mantle structure in a corridor from the Hawaiian Islands to the Kuril subduction zone. To detect the weak precursors in the time window between the P arrival and the PP onset and to identify them as PP underside reflections, special array techniques are used. Our analysis indicates a reflector at a depth of ,200 km beneath the northwestern Pacific. This reflector shows strong topography of some tens of kilometres on length scales of several hundred kilometres, complicating the detection of this reflector in global or regional stacks of seismograms. Different models for the impedance jump across the reflector, the thickness and the possible fine structure of the reflector are modelled using synthetic seismograms and are compared with the data. The thickness of the reflector has to be less than 7 km and the P wave impedance contrast has to be larger than 5.0,6.5 per cent to be detected by this study. This corresponds to a P -velocity jump of ,4 per cent assuming the PREM density model. [source]

Application of a three-dimensional ray-tracing technique to global P, PP and Pdiff traveltime tomography

A. Gorbatov
Summary A 3-D ray-path tracing algorithm was successfully applied to global P -wave traveltime tomography. The inversion was conducted iteratively using the resultant P -wave velocity model as the initial model for the subsequent iteration. The LSQR method was adopted to solve a large and sparse system of equations. This iteratively linearized inversion with 3-D ray tracing increased wave-speed anomalies, located heterogeneities better and reduced smearing as compared to those derived from a conventional one-step inversion using 1-D ray tracing, although the general pattern of velocity anomalies was similar. A major difference was found in the lowermost mantle, where the departure of a ray path from the great circle path tends to be in general greatest. In particular, a pronounced high-velocity anomaly develops beneath the Indian Ocean, a feature not obvious in the result of 1-D inversion. The final P -wave velocity model was obtained by including reported PP and Pdiff traveltime data. The addition of the PP data sharpened the images and enhanced velocity anomalies in the upper mantle, especially at latitudes above 45° of the Northern Hemisphere. The addition of the Pdiff data sharpened and amplified velocity anomalies in the lowermost mantle in general. [source]

Crustal structure of central Tibet as derived from project INDEPTH wide-angle seismic data

W. Zhao
Summary In the summer of 1998, project INDEPTH recorded a 400 km long NNW,SSE wide-angle seismic profile in central Tibet, from the Lhasa terrane across the Banggong-Nujiang suture (BNS) at about 89.5°E and into the Qiangtang terrane. Analysis of the P- wave data reveals that (1) the crustal thickness is 65 ± 5 km beneath the line; (2) there is no 20 km step in the Moho in the vicinity of the BNS, as has been suggested to exist along-strike to the east based on prior fan profiling; (3) a thick high-velocity lower crustal layer is evident along the length of the profile (20,35 km thick, 6.5,7.3 km s,1); and (4) in contrast to the southern Lhasa terrane, there is no obvious evidence of a mid-crustal low-velocity layer in the P- wave data, although the data do not negate the possibility of such a layer of modest proportions. Combining the results from the INDEPTH III wide-angle profile with other seismic results allows a cross-section of Moho depths to be constructed across Tibet. This cross-section shows that crustal thickness tends to decrease from south to north, with values of 70,80 km south of the middle of the Lhasa terrane, 60,70 km in the northern part of the Lhasa terrane and the Qiangtang terrane, and less than 60 km in the Qaidam basin. The overall northward thinning of the crust evident in the combined seismic observations, coupled with the essentially uniform surface elevation of the plateau south of the Qaidam basin, is supportive of the inference that northern Tibet until the Qaidam basin is underlain by somewhat thinner crust, which is isostatically supported by relatively low-density, hot upper mantle with respect to southern Tibet. [source]

The seismic anomaly beneath Iceland extends down to the mantle transition zone and no deeper

G. R. Foulger
A 3-D teleseismic tomography image of the upper mantle beneath Iceland of unprecedented resolution reveals a subvertical low wave speed anomaly that is cylindrical in the upper 250 km but tabular below this. Such a morphological transition is expected towards the bottom of a buoyant upwelling. Our observations thus suggest that magmatism at the Iceland hotspot is fed by flow rising from the mantle transition zone. This result contributes to the ongoing debate about whether the upper and lower mantles convect separately or as one. The image also suggests that material flows outwards from Iceland along the Reykjanes Ridge in the upper 200 km, but is blocked in the upper 150 km beneath the Tjornes Fracture Zone. This provides direct observational support for the theory that fracture zones dam lateral flow along ridges. [source]

Upper mantle stratification by P and S receiver functions

Véronique Farra
Summary Seismic stratification of the upper mantle is investigated by applying two complementary techniques to the records of the Graefenberg array in southern Germany. The anisotropic P receiver function technique (Kosarev et al. 1984; Vinnik & Montagner 1996) is modified by using summary seismic events instead of individual events and different weighting functions instead of the same function for the harmonic angular analysis of the SV and T components of the Pds phases. The summary events provide better separation of the second azimuthal harmonic than the individual events. The parameters of the second harmonics of SV and T thus evaluated should be similar if they reflect the effects of azimuthal anisotropy. This can be used as a criterion to identify the anisotropy. To detect the Sdp phases and their azimuthal variations caused by azimuthal anisotropy we have developed a stacking technique, which can be termed the S receiver function technique It includes axis rotation to separate interfering P and S arrivals, determination of the principal (M) component of the S -wave motion, deconvolution of the P components of many recordings by their respective M components and stacking of the deconvolved P components with weights depending on the level of noise and the angle between the M direction and the backazimuth of the event. Both techniques yield consistent results for the Graefenberg array. As indicated by the P receiver functions, the upper layer of the mantle between the Moho and 80 km depth is anisotropic with dVs/Vs around 0.03 and the fast direction close to 20° clockwise from north. The fast direction of anisotropy below this layer is around 110°, The boundary between the upper and the lower anisotropic layers is manifested by the detectable Pds and Sdp converted phases. Shear wave splitting in SKS is strongly dominated by azimuthal anisotropy in the lower layer (asthenosphere). [source]

Dissecting large earthquakes in Japan: Role of arc magma and fluids

ISLAND ARC, Issue 1 2010
Dapeng Zhao
Abstract We synthesized information from recent high-resolution tomographic studies of large crustal earthquakes which occurred in the Japanese Islands during 1995,2008. Prominent anomalies of low-velocity and high Poisson's ratio are revealed in the crust and uppermost mantle beneath the mainshock hypocenters, which may reflect arc magma and fluids that are produced by a combination of subducting slab dehydration and corner flow in the mantle wedge. Distribution of 164 crustal earthquakes (M 5.7,8.0) that occurred in Japan during 1885,2008 also shows a correlation with the distribution of low-velocity zones in the crust and uppermost mantle. A qualitative model is proposed to explain the geophysical observations recorded so far in Japan. We consider that the nucleation of a large earthquake is not entirely a mechanical process, but is closely related to the subduction dynamics and physical and chemical properties of materials in the crust and upper mantle; in particular, the arc magma and fluids. [source]

Geneses of High Chlorine and Silver,Lead,Zinc,Mineralized Granitoids in Tsushima, Japan

7037. (5) They are high in Cl and S, which occur in fluid inclusions and as pyrrhotite>pyrite, respectively. Two genetic models are considered for the source of the unique granitoid magmas: the continental crust or the upper mantle fertilized with Si, K and 18O. The latter may be the case for the Tsushima granitoids, because of the low initial Sr ratio. The age of the granitoids (16 Ma) indicates the magmatism related to the opening of the Sea of Japan. It is suggested that both basaltic and granitic magmas were generated in the continental lithosphere under an extensional tectonic setting; the two magmas could have been partly mingled. The mingled magma was originally an oxidized type, but reduced during the emplacement by repeated inflow of S and C-bearing gases from the pelitic wall rocks. Because of the reduction, SO3 sulfur is almost nil in the rock-forming apatite, and most of sulfur remained in fluid phase of the magma as reduced species. Cl content was high in the original magma and concentrated in the fluid phase of the residual system which dissolved silver, lead and zinc metals. Such a fluid migrated into the Taishu fracture systems, as the magma crystallized, and formed the silver,lead,zinc deposits. [source]

Normal Faulting Type Earthquake Activities in the Tibetan Plateau and Its Tectonic Implication

Jiren XU
Abstract: This paper analyzes various earthquake fault types, mechanism solutions, stress field as well as other geophysical data to study the crust movement in the Tibetan plateau and its tectonic implications. The results show that a lot of normal faulting type earthquakes concentrate in the central Tibetan plateau. Many of them are nearly perfect normal fault events. The strikes of the fault planes of the normal faulting earthquakes are almost in the N-S direction based on the analyses of the equal area projection diagrams of fault plane solutions. It implies that the dislocation slip vectors of the normal faulting type events have quite great components in the E-W direction. The extension is probably an eastward extensional motion, mainly a tectonic active regime in the altitudes of the plateau. The tensional stress in the E-W or WNW-ESE direction predominates the earthquake occurrence in the normal event region of the central plateau. A number of thrust fault and strike-slip fault type earthquakes with strong compressive stress nearly in the NNE-SSW direction occurred on the edges of the plateau. The eastward extensional motion in the Tibetan plateau is attributable to the eastward movement of materials in the upper mantle based onseismo-tomographic results. The eastward extensional motion in the Tibetan plateau may be related to the eastward extrusion of hotter mantle materials beneath the east boundary of the plateau. The northward motion of the Tibetan plateau shortened in the N-S direction probably encounters strong obstructions at the western and northern margins. Extensional motions from the relaxation of the topography and/or gravitational collapse in the altitudes of the plateau occur hardly in the N-S direction. The obstruction for the plateau to move eastward is rather weak [source]

Basin- and Mountain-Building Dynamic Model of "Ramping-Detachment-Compression" in the West Kunlun-Southern Tarim Basin Margin

CUI Junwen
Abstract: Analysis of the deformation structures in the West Kunlun-Tarim basin-range junction belt indicates that sediments in the southwestern Tarim depression were mainly derived from the West Kunlun Mountains and that with time the region of sedimentation extended progressively toward the north. Three north-underthrusting (subducting), steep-dipping, high-velocity zones (bodies) are recognized at depths, which correspond to the central West Kunlun junction belt (bounded by the Küda-Kaxtax fault on the north and Bulungkol-Kangxiwar fault on the south), Quanshuigou fault belt (whose eastward extension is the Jinshajiang fault belt) and Bangong Co-Nujiang fault belt. The geodynamic process of the basin-range junction belt generally proceeded as follows: centering around the magma source region (which largely corresponds with the Karatag terrane at the surface), the deep-seated material flowed and extended from below upward and to all sides, resulting in strong deformation (mainly extension) in the overlying lithosphere and even the upper mantle, appearance of extensional stress perpendicular to the strike of the orogenic belt in the thermal uplift region or at the top of the mantle diapir and localized thickening of the sedimentary cover (thermal subsidence in the upper crust). Three stages of the basin- and mountain-forming processes in the West Kunlun-southern Tarim basin margin may be summarized: (1) the stage of Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous ramping-rapid uplift and rapid subsidence, when north-directed thrust propagation and south-directed intracontinental subduction, was the dominant mechanism for basin- and mountain-building processes; (2) the stage of Late Cretaceous-Paleogene deep-level detachment-slow uplift and homogeneous subsidence, when the dominant mechanism for the basin- and mountain-forming processes was detachment (subhorizontal north-directed deep-level ductile shear) and its resulting lateral propagation of deep material; and (3) the stage of Neogene-present compression-rapid uplift and strong subsidence, when the basin- and mountain-forming processes were simultaneously controlled by north-vergent thrust propagation and compression. The authors summarize the processes as the "ramping-detachment-compression basin- and mountain-forming dynamic model". The basin-range tectonics was initiated in the Late Jurassic, the Miocene-Pliocene were a major transition period for the basin- and mountain-forming mechanism and the terminal early Pleistocene tectonic movement in the main laid a foundation for the basin-and-mountain tectonic framework in the West Kunlun-southern Tarim basin margin. [source]

What Happened in the Trans-North China Orogen in the Period 2560-1850 Ma?

Guochun ZHAO
Abstract: The Trans-North China Orogen (TNCO) was a Paleoproterozic continent-continent collisional belt along which the Eastern and Western Blocks amalgamated to form a coherent North China Craton (NCC). Recent geological, structural, geochemical and isotopic data show that the orogen was a continental margin or Japan-type arc along the western margin of the Eastern Block, which was separated from the Western Block by an old ocean, with eastward-directed subduction of the oceanic lithosphere beneath the western margin of the Eastern Block. At 2550-2520 Ma, the deep subduction caused partial melting of the medium-lower crust, producing copious granitoid magma that was intruded into the upper levels of the crust to form granitoid plutons in the low- to medium-grade granite-greenstone terranes. At 2530-2520 Ma, subduction of the oceanic lithosphere caused partial melting of the mantle wedge, which led to underplating of mafic magma in the lower crust and widespread mafic and minor felsic volcanism in the arc, forming part of the greenstone assemblages. Extension driven by widespread mafic to felsic volcanism led to the development of back-arc and/or intra-arc basins in the orogen. At 2520-2475 Ma, the subduction caused further partial melting of the lower crust to form large amounts of tonalitic-trondhjemitic-granodioritic (TTG) magmatism. At this time following further extension of back-arc basins, episodic granitoid magmatism occurred, resulting in the emplacement of 2360 Ma, ,2250 Ma 2110,21760 Ma and ,2050 Ma granites in the orogen. Contemporary volcano-sedimentary rocks developed in the back-arc or intra-arc basins. At 2150-1920 Ma, the orogen underwent several extensional events, possibly due to subduction of an oceanic ridge, leading to emplacement of mafic dykes that were subsequently metamorphosed to amphibolites and medium- to high-pressure mafic granulites. At 1880-1820 Ma, the ocean between the Eastern and Western Blocks was completely consumed by subduction, and the closing of the ocean led to the continent-arc-continent collision, which caused large-scale thrusting and isoclinal folds and transported some of the rocks into the lower crustal levels or upper mantle to form granulites or eclogites. Peak metamorphism was followed by exhumation/uplift, resulting in widespread development of asymmetric folds and symplectic textures in the rocks. [source]

A Metallogenic Model of Gold Deposits of the Jiaodong Granite-Greenstone Belt

Abstract, An analysis of trace elements and isotopic geochemistry suggest that the ore-forming materials of gold deposits in the Jiaodong granite-greenstone belt have multiple sources, especially the mantle source. Seismic wave, magnetic and gravity fields show that the crust-mantle structure and its coupling mechanism are the fundamental dynamic causes for the exchange and accumulation of materials and energy in the metallogenic system. Considering the evolution history of the structural setting, the tectono-metallogenic dynamics model of the area can be summarized as follows: (1) occurrence of the greenstone belt during the Archean-Proterozoic,the embryonic form of Au-source system; (2) stable tectonic setting in the Paleozoic,an intermittence in gold mineralization; (3) intensive activation and reformation of the greenstone belt in the Mesozoic,tectono-mineralization and tectono-diagensis; (4) posthumous structural activity in the Cenozoic,destruction of orebodies in the later stage. In the middle and late Indosinian, the Tancheng-Lujiang fault zone cut deeply into the upper mantle so that the ore-bearing fluids migrated to higher layers through the crust-mantle interaction, resulting in alteration and mineralization. [source]