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Sample records for continental mantle lithosphere

  1. Tracing lithosphere amalgamation through time: chemical geodynamics of sub-continental lithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittig, Nadine

    2014-05-01

    The theory of plate tectonics is a relatively young concept in the Earth Sciences and describes the surface expression of planetary cooling via magmatism and reconciles mantle convection and plate movement with orogenesis, earthquakes and volcanism. Detailed observation of current tectonic plate movement has purported a relatively clear picture of the planet's geodynamics. Modern oceanic basins are the predominant sites of thermal equilibration of Earth interior resulting from decompressional, convective melting of peridotites. This magmatism generates mid-ocean ridge mafic crust and depleted upper mantle and in this model, oceanic crust becomes associated with buoyant mantle to form oceanic lithosphere. Subduction zones return this material together with sediments into the deeper mantle and presumably aid the formation of continental crust via arc magmatism. The mechanisms of continental crust amalgamation with buoyant mantle are less clear, and distinctly more difficult to trace back in time because metamorphism and metasomatism render the processes associating convecting mantle with continental crust elusive. Paramount in assessing these mechanisms is understanding the timing of crust and mantle formation so that the onset of plate tectonics and potential changes in modi operandi with respect to convection, mantle composition and melting pressure and temperature may be traced from the early Hadean to the present day. Typically the formation age of continental crust is more easily determined from felsic samples that contain accessory and relatively robust phases such as zircon and monazite that render a geochronological approach feasible. The lack of equally robust minerals and pervasive and ubiquitous metasomatism afflicting obducted orogenic peridotites and mantle xenoliths obliterates primary mineralogical and geochemical information. Hence it has proven difficult to acquire mantle depletion ages from continental lithospheric mantle, perhaps with the exception

  2. The continental lithospheric mantle: characteristics and significance as a mantle reservoir.

    PubMed

    Pearson, D G; Nowell, G M

    2002-11-15

    The continental lithospheric mantle (CLM) is a small-volumed (ca. 2.5% of the total mantle), chemically distinct mantle reservoir that has been suggested to play a role in the source of continental and oceanic magmatism. It is our most easily identifiable reservoir for preserving chemical heterogeneity in the mantle. Petrological and geophysical constraints indicate that the maximum depth of the CLM is ca. 250 km. There is a clear secular variation of CLM composition, such that CLM formed in the last 2 Gyr is less depleted and therefore less dynamically stable than ancient CLM formed in the Archean. We present new trace-element data for kimberlite-hosted lithospheric peridotites and metasomites. These data, combined with other data for spinel peridotites from non-cratonic regions, show that neither hydrous nor anhydrous lithospheric mantle xenoliths make suitable sources for continental or oceanic basalts. Addition of a hydrous phase, either amphibole or phlogopite, to depleted peridotite results in positive Nb and Ti anomalies that are the opposite of those predicted for some flood-basalt sources on the basis of their trace-element abundances. Overall, the Sr and Nd isotopic composition of cratonic and non-cratonic CLM is close to bulk Earth, with cratonic CLM showing small numbers of extreme compositions. Thus, while the CLM is certainly ancient in many locations, its average composition is not significantly 'enriched' over primitive upper mantle, in terms of either radiogenic isotopes or trace elements. These characteristics, plus a change in lithospheric chemistry with depth, indicate that the elemental and isotopic composition of lithospheric mantle likely to be re-incorporated into convecting mantle via delamination/thermal erosion processes is probably not very distinct from that of the convecting mantle. These observations lead us to question the requirement for CLM participation in the source of oceanic magmas and to promote consideration of a mantle that

  3. Mantle exhumation and OCT architecture dependency on lithosphere deformation modes during continental breakup: Numerical experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeanniot, Ludovic; Kusznir, Nick; Manatschal, Gianreto; Cowie, Leanne

    2013-04-01

    The initiation of sea-floor spreading, during the continental breakup process, requires both the rupture of the continental crust and the initiation of decompression melting. This process results in mantle upwelling and at some point decompressional melting which creates new oceanic crust. Using numerical experiments, we investigate how the deformation mode of continental lithosphere thinning and stretching controls the rupture of continental crust and lithospheric mantle, the onset of decompression melting, their relative timing, and the circumstances under which mantle exhumation may occur. We assume that the topmost continental and ocean lithosphere, corresponding to the cooler brittle seismogenic layer, deforms by extensional faulting (pure-shear deformation) and magmatic intrusion, consistent with the observations of deformation processes occurring at slow spreading ocean ridges (Cannat, 1996). We assume that deformation beneath this topmost lithosphere layer (approximately 15-20 km thick) occurs in response to passive upwelling and thermal and melt buoyancy driven small-scale convection. We use a 2D finite element viscous flow model (FeMargin) to describe lithosphere and asthenosphere deformation. This flow field is used to advect lithosphere and asthenosphere temperature and material. The finite element model is kinematically driven by Vx for the topmost upper crust inducing passive upwelling beneath that layer. A vertical velocity Vz is defined for buoyancy enhanced upwelling as predicted by Braun et al. (2000). Melt generation is predicted by decompression melting using the parameterization and methodology of Katz et al. (2003). Numerical experiments have been used to investigate the dependency of continental crust and lithosphere rupture, decompression melt initiation, rifted margin ocean-continent transition architecture and subsidence history on the half-spreading rate Vx, buoyancy driven upwelling rate Vz, the relative contribution of these deformation

  4. Fossilized Dipping Fabrics in Continental Mantle Lithosphere as Possible Remnants of Stacked Oceanic Paleosubductions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babuska, V.; Plomerova, J.; Vecsey, L.; Munzarova, H.

    2015-12-01

    We have examined seismic anisotropy within the mantle lithosphere of Archean, Proterozoic and Phanerozoic provinces of Europe by means of shear-wave splitting and P-wave travel-time deviations of teleseismic waves observed at dense arrays of seismic stations (e.g., Vecsey et al., Tectonophys. 2007). Lateral variations of seismic-wave anisotropy delimit domains of the mantle lithosphere, each of them having a consistent fabric. The domains, modeled in 3D by olivine aggregates with dipping lineation a, or foliation (a,c), represent microplates or their fragments that preserved their pre-assembly fossil fabrics in the mantle lithosphere. Evaluating seismic anisotropy in 3D, as well as mapping boundaries of the domains helps to decipher processes of the lithosphere formation. Systematically dipping mantle fabrics and other seismological findings seem to support a model of continental lithosphere built from systems of paleosubductions of plates of ancient oceanic lithosphere (Babuska and Plomerova, AGU Geoph. Monograph 1989), or by stacking of the plates (Helmstaedt and Schulze, Geol. Soc. Spec. Publ. 1989). Seismic anisotropy in the oceanic mantle lithosphere, explained mainly by the olivine A- or D-type fabric (Karato et al., Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 2008), was discovered a half century ago (Hess, Nature 1964). Field observations and laboratory experiments indicate the oceanic olivine fabric might be preserved in the subducting lithosphere to a depth of at least 200-300 km. We thus interpret the dipping anisotropic fabrics in domains of the European mantle lithosphere as systems of "frozen" paleosubductions (Babuska and Plomerova, PEPI 2006), and the lithosphere base as a boundary between a fossil anisotropy in the lithospheric mantle and an underlying seismic anisotropy related to present-day flow in the asthenosphere (Plomerova and Babuska, Lithos 2010).

  5. Dipping fossil fabrics of continental mantle lithosphere as tectonic heritage of oceanic paleosubductions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babuska, Vladislav; Plomerova, Jaroslava; Vecsey, Ludek; Munzarova, Helena

    2016-04-01

    Subduction and orogenesis require a strong mantle layer (Burov, Tectonophys. 2010) and our findings confirm the leading role of the mantle lithosphere. We have examined seismic anisotropy of Archean, Proterozoic and Phanerozoic provinces of Europe by means of shear-wave splitting and P-wave travel-time deviations of teleseismic waves observed at dense arrays of seismic stations (e.g., Vecsey et al., Tectonophys. 2007). Lateral variations of seismic-velocity anisotropy delimit domains of the mantle lithosphere, each of them having its own consistent fabric. The domains, modeled in 3D by olivine aggregates with dipping lineation a, or foliation (a,c), represent microplates or their fragments that preserved their pre-assembly fossil fabrics. Evaluating seismic anisotropy in 3D, as well as mapping boundaries of the domains helps to decipher processes of the lithosphere formation. Systematically dipping mantle fabrics and other seismological findings seem to support a model of continental lithosphere built from systems of paleosubductions of plates of ancient oceanic lithosphere (Babuska and Plomerova, AGU Geoph. Monograph 1989), or from stacking of the plates (Helmstaedt and Schulze, Geol. Soc. Spec. Publ. 1989). Seismic anisotropy in the oceanic mantle lithosphere, explained mainly by the olivine A- or D-type fabric (Karato et al., Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 2008), was discovered a half century ago (Hess, Nature 1964). Field observations and laboratory experiments indicate the oceanic olivine fabric might be preserved in the subducting lithosphere to a depth of at least 200-300 km. We thus interpret the dipping anisotropic fabrics in domains of the European mantle lithosphere as systems of "frozen" paleosubductions (Babuska and Plomerova, PEPI 2006) and the lithosphere base as a boundary between the fossil anisotropy in the lithospheric mantle and an underlying seismic anisotropy related to present-day flow in the asthenosphere (Plomerova and Babuska, Lithos 2010).

  6. Continental collision with a sandwiched accreted terrane: Insights into Himalayan-Tibetan lithospheric mantle tectonics?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, Sean; Butler, Jared P.; Beaumont, Christopher

    2016-12-01

    Many collisional orogens contain exotic terranes that were accreted to either the subducting or overriding plate prior to terminal continent-continent collision. The ways in which the physical properties of these terranes influence collision remain poorly understood. We use 2D thermomechanical finite element models to examine the effects of prior 'soft' terrane accretion to a continental upper plate (retro-lithosphere) on the ensuing continent-continent collision. The experiments explore how the style of collision changes in response to variations in the density and viscosity of the accreted terrane lithospheric mantle, as well as the density of the pro-lithospheric mantle, which determines its propensity to subduct or compress the accreted terrane and retro-lithosphere. The models evolve self-consistently through several emergent phases: breakoff of subducted oceanic lithosphere; pro-continent subduction; shortening of the retro-lithosphere accreted terrane, sometimes accompanied by lithospheric delamination; and, terminal underthrusting of pro-lithospheric mantle beneath the accreted terrane crust or mantle. The modeled variations in the properties of the accreted terrane lithospheric mantle can be interpreted to reflect metasomatism during earlier oceanic subduction beneath the terrane. Strongly metasomatized (i.e., dense and weak) mantle is easily removed by delamination or entrainment by the subducting pro-lithosphere, and facilitates later flat-slab underthrusting. The models are a prototype representation of the Himalayan-Tibetan orogeny in which there is only one accreted terrane, representing the Lhasa terrane, but they nonetheless exhibit processes like those inferred for the more complex Himalayan-Tibetan system. Present-day underthrusting of the Tibetan Plateau crust by Indian mantle lithosphere requires that the Lhasa terrane lithospheric mantle has been removed. Some of the model results support previous conceptual interpretations that Tibetan

  7. Processes of lithosphere evolution: New evidence on the structure of the continental crust and uppermost mantle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Artemieva, I.M.; Mooney, W.D.; Perchuc, E.; Thybo, H.

    2002-01-01

    We discuss the structure of the continental lithosphere, its physical properties, and the mechanisms that formed and modified it since the early Archean. The structure of the upper mantle and the crust is derived primarily from global and regional seismic tomography studies of Eurasia and from global and regional data on seismic anisotropy. These data as documented in the papers of this special issue of Tectonophysics are used to illustrate the role of different tectonic processes in the lithospheric evolution since Archean to present. These include, but are not limited to, cratonization, terrane accretion and collision, continental rifting (both passive and active), subduction, and lithospheric basal erosion due to a relative motion of cratonic keels and the convective mantle. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Continental collision slowing due to viscous mantle lithosphere rather than topography.

    PubMed

    Clark, Marin Kristen

    2012-02-29

    Because the inertia of tectonic plates is negligible, plate velocities result from the balance of forces acting at plate margins and along their base. Observations of past plate motion derived from marine magnetic anomalies provide evidence of how continental deformation may contribute to plate driving forces. A decrease in convergence rate at the inception of continental collision is expected because of the greater buoyancy of continental than oceanic lithosphere, but post-collisional rates are less well understood. Slowing of convergence has generally been attributed to the development of high topography that further resists convergent motion; however, the role of deforming continental mantle lithosphere on plate motions has not previously been considered. Here I show that the rate of India's penetration into Eurasia has decreased exponentially since their collision. The exponential decrease in convergence rate suggests that contractional strain across Tibet has been constant throughout the collision at a rate of 7.03 × 10(-16) s(-1), which matches the current rate. A constant bulk strain rate of the orogen suggests that convergent motion is resisted by constant average stress (constant force) applied to a relatively uniform layer or interface at depth. This finding follows new evidence that the mantle lithosphere beneath Tibet is intact, which supports the interpretation that the long-term strain history of Tibet reflects deformation of the mantle lithosphere. Under conditions of constant stress and strength, the deforming continental lithosphere creates a type of viscous resistance that affects plate motion irrespective of how topography evolved.

  9. Is the Continental Crust Stronger or Weaker than the Mantle Lithosphere ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houseman, G. A.; Billen, M. I.

    2005-12-01

    Standard models of the stress that can be supported by the continental lithosphere (encapsulated in the so-called Christmas-tree diagram) suggest that the deep continental crust is relatively weak compared to the mantle lithosphere, primarily because of the effect of thermal activation. Such models, however, are based on laboratory measurements that must be extrapolated over roughly seven orders of magnitude, in both spatial and temporal scales, to say nothing of the effects of variable crustal composition and, in particular, varying concentration of water. Direct measures of crustal strength, however, may be obtained from geodetic measurements of strain rate and stress estimates that are calibrated against the effect of gravity on an inferred density structure. Crustal strength in this case is defined by apparent viscosity: the ratio of stress difference to strain-rate. Such measurements, though less precise than laboratory measurements, are directly applicable on the time and length scales on which lithosphere deforms. When lithospheric deformation is driven by internal buoyancy forces in tectonically active areas the implied viscosity of the mantle lithosphere is on the order of 1021 Pa s or less. In such systems, deformation of the crust follows that of the mantle lithosphere, and the resulting spatial variations in crustal thickness and surface topography provide direct constraints on the relative crustal viscosity. The general stability of continental lithosphere suggests that it is relatively strong compared to typical intra-plate deviatoric stress, but may be weakened by stress, temperature, or fluids. Analysis of tectonic systems from a number of regions also shows that there are very large regional differences in the apparent strength of the crust. In the Transverse Ranges of California, for example, steep topographic gradients imply that the crust is relatively strong compared to the mantle. In contrast the relatively uniform elevation of the Tibetan

  10. Earthquake rupture below the brittle-ductile transition in continental lithospheric mantle

    PubMed Central

    Prieto, Germán A.; Froment, Bérénice; Yu, Chunquan; Poli, Piero; Abercrombie, Rachel

    2017-01-01

    Earthquakes deep in the continental lithosphere are rare and hard to interpret in our current understanding of temperature control on brittle failure. The recent lithospheric mantle earthquake with a moment magnitude of 4.8 at a depth of ~75 km in the Wyoming Craton was exceptionally well recorded and thus enabled us to probe the cause of these unusual earthquakes. On the basis of complete earthquake energy balance estimates using broadband waveforms and temperature estimates using surface heat flow and shear wave velocities, we argue that this earthquake occurred in response to ductile deformation at temperatures above 750°C. The high stress drop, low rupture velocity, and low radiation efficiency are all consistent with a dissipative mechanism. Our results imply that earthquake nucleation in the lithospheric mantle is not exclusively limited to the brittle regime; weakening mechanisms in the ductile regime can allow earthquakes to initiate and propagate. This finding has significant implications for understanding deep earthquake rupture mechanics and rheology of the continental lithosphere. PMID:28345055

  11. Earthquake rupture below the brittle-ductile transition in continental lithospheric mantle.

    PubMed

    Prieto, Germán A; Froment, Bérénice; Yu, Chunquan; Poli, Piero; Abercrombie, Rachel

    2017-03-01

    Earthquakes deep in the continental lithosphere are rare and hard to interpret in our current understanding of temperature control on brittle failure. The recent lithospheric mantle earthquake with a moment magnitude of 4.8 at a depth of ~75 km in the Wyoming Craton was exceptionally well recorded and thus enabled us to probe the cause of these unusual earthquakes. On the basis of complete earthquake energy balance estimates using broadband waveforms and temperature estimates using surface heat flow and shear wave velocities, we argue that this earthquake occurred in response to ductile deformation at temperatures above 750°C. The high stress drop, low rupture velocity, and low radiation efficiency are all consistent with a dissipative mechanism. Our results imply that earthquake nucleation in the lithospheric mantle is not exclusively limited to the brittle regime; weakening mechanisms in the ductile regime can allow earthquakes to initiate and propagate. This finding has significant implications for understanding deep earthquake rupture mechanics and rheology of the continental lithosphere.

  12. Temperature Control of Continental Lithosphere Elastic Thickness: Effective Elastic Thickness Te vs Upper Mantle Velocity Vs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyndman, R. D.; Currie, C. A.; Mazzotti, S.; Frederiksen, A.

    2006-12-01

    The elastic thickness of continental lithosphere is closely related to its total strength and therefore to its susceptibility to tectonic deformation and earthquakes. Recently it has been questioned whether the elastic thickness and strength are dependent on crust and upper mantle temperatures and compositions in the way predicted by laboratory data. We test this dependence in western North America by a regional comparison of the effective elastic thickness (Te) from topography-gravity coherence, and upper mantle temperatures mapped by tomography shear wave velocities (Vs). We find a good correlation between Te and Vs of the form expected based on the thermal and laboratory data. The Te distribution is strongly bimodal as previously found globally, less than 20 km for the high temperature Cordillera and over 100 km for the adjacent cold stable Canadian Shield. Only intermediate thermal regimes have intermediate Te that suggests a weak layer in the lower crust over a stronger upper mantle. Strength envelopes based on laboratory data correspond to the observed Te for thermal regimes with temperatures at the Moho of 800-900C for the Cordillera and 400-500C for the Shield, in agreement with temperatures from Vs and other estimators. Our study supports the conclusion that lithosphere elastic thickness and strength are controlled primarily by temperature and that laboratory- based rheology provides a good first order estimate of the deformation behaviour of the crust and upper mantle. The Cordillera and other continental backarcs are weak enough to be deformed by plate boundary forces, whereas cratons are generally much too strong. In the Cordillera, the upper mantle is too hot for brittle failure and earthquakes occur only in the upper 10-15 km of the crust. In the cool craton, earthquakes occur rarely in the upper mantle because the total lithosphere strength is too great for significant deformation by plate tectonic forces.

  13. Support for a Uniformitarian Model of Continental Mantle Lithosphere Formation from the "Near-Cratonic" Composition of Proterozoic Southern African Mantle Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janney, P. E.

    2014-12-01

    The transition at the end of the Archean between the generation of cratonic and mobile belt continental lithosphere is regarded as a first-order change in the mode of generation of continental lithosphere. It is widely debated whether this transition represented a fundamental change in the process by which the lithospheric mantle was generated (i.e., as melting residues of deep-seated mantle upwellings to residues of relatively shallow mantle melting at subduction zones), or whether it primarily reflected a more gradual change in the conditions (i.e., temperatures, depths and degrees of melting) of lithosphere generation in a suprasubduction zone setting. The marked contrast, in many cases, between the major element compositions of peridotite xenoliths from Archean cratons and those from adjacent post-Archean mobile belts has accentuated the significance of this transition. Peridotite xenoliths from the post-Archean mobile belt terranes surrounding the Kaapvaal craton in southern Africa are clearly Proterozoic in age from Re-Os isotope constraints, but they are unusual in that they share several key similarities in composition and mineralogy with Archean Kaapvaal peridotites (e.g., low bulk-rock Al2O3, relatively low modal olivine and high modal orthopyroxene). Although they lack the low FeO and high olivine Mg# values of the most extreme Kaapvaal samples, they show a very large degree of overlap (extending to olivine Mg# values of greater than 93 for example). These similarities support a common mode of origin for cratonic and post-cratonic lithosphere in southern Africa (although varying somewhat in the degrees and depths of melt extraction) and a similar history of post-formation modification. A comparison of the conditions of melt extraction for cratonic and post-cratonic lithosphere inferred from compatible and mildly incompatible trace elements will be presented.

  14. Hyperextension of continental lithospheric mantle to oceanic-like lithosphere: the record of late gabbros in the Ronda subcontinental lithospheric mantle section (Betic Cordillera, S-Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hidas, Karoly; Garrido, Carlos; Targuisti, Kamal; Padron-Navarta, Jose Alberto; Tommasi, Andrea; Marchesi, Claudio; Konc, Zoltan; Varas-Reus, Maria Isabel; Acosta Vigil, Antonio

    2014-05-01

    Rupturing continents is a primary player in plate tectonic cycle thus longevity, stability, evolution and breakup of subcontinental lithosphere belongs for a long time to a class of basic geological problems among processes that shape the view of our Earth. An emerging body of evidences - based on mainly geophysical and structural studies - demonstrates that the western Mediterranean and its back-arc basins, such as the Alborán Domain, are hyperextended to an oceanic-like lithosphere. Formation of gabbroic melts in the late ductile history of the Ronda Peridotite (S-Spain) - the largest (ca. 300 km2) outcrop of subcontinental lithospheric mantle massifs on Earth - also attests for the extreme thinning of the continental lithosphere that started in early Miocene times. In the Ronda Peridotite, discordant gabbroic veins and their host plagioclase lherzolite, as well as gabbroic patches in dunite were collected in the youngest plagioclase tectonite domains of the Ojén and Ronda massifs, respectively. In Ojén, gabbro occurs as 1-3 centimeter wide discordant veins and dikes that crosscut the plagioclase tectonite foliation at high angle (60°). Within the veins cm-scale igneous plagioclase and clinopyroxene grains show a shape preferred orientation and grow oriented, subparallel to the trace of high temperature host peridotite foliation and oblique to the trend of the vein. In contrast to Ojén, mafic melts in the Ronda massif crystallized along subcentimeter wide anastomozing veins and they often form segregated interstitial melt accumulations in the host dunite composed of plagioclase, clinopyroxene and amphibole. Despite the differences in petrography and major element composition, the identical shape of calculated REE patterns of liquid in equilibrium with clinopyroxenes indicates that the percolating melt in Ronda and Ojén shares a common source. However, unlike gabbros from the oceanic lithosphere that shows clinopyroxene in equilibrium with LREE-depleted MORB

  15. Isotopic characterisation of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle beneath Zealandia, a rifted fragment of Gondwana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waight, Tod E.; Scott, James M.; van der Meer, Quinten H. A.

    2013-04-01

    The greater New Zealand region, known as Zealandia, represents an amalgamation of crustal fragments accreted to the paleo-Pacific Gondwana margin and which underwent significant thinning during the subsequent split from Australia and Antarctica in the mid-Cretaceous following opening of the Tasman Sea and the Southern Ocean. We present Sr, Nd and Pb isotopes and laser ablation trace element data for a comprehensive suite of clinopyroxene separates from spinel peridotite xenoliths (lherzolite to harzburgite) from the sub-continental lithospheric mantle across southern New Zealand. These xenoliths were transported to the surface in intra-plate alkaline volcanics that erupted across the region in the Eocene and Miocene (33-10 m.y.a.). Most of the volcanic suites have similar geochemical and isotopic properties that indicate melting of an OIB-like mantle source in the garnet stability zone and that contained a HIMU component. The volcanics have tapped two adjacent but chemically contrasting upper mantle domains: a fertile eastern domain and an extremely depleted western domain. Both domains underlie Mesozoic metasedimentary crust. Radiogenic isotope compositions of the clinopyroxene have 87Sr/86Sr between 0.7023 to 0.7035, 143Nd/144Nd between 0.5128 and 0.5132 (corresponding to ?Nd between +3 and +13) with a few samples extending to even more depleted compositions, 206Pb/204 Pb between ca. 19.5 to 21.5 and 208Pb/204 Pb between ca. 38.5 to 40.5. No correlations are observed between isotopic composition, age or geographical separation. These isotopic compositions indicate that the sub-continental lithospheric mantle under southern New Zealand has a regionally distinct and pervasive FOZO to HIMU - like signature. The isotopic signatures are also similar to those of the alkaline magmas that transported the xenoliths and suggest that most of the HIMU signature observed in the volcanics could be derived from a major source component in the sub-continental lithospheric mantle

  16. Enriched continental flood basalts from depleted mantle melts: modeling the lithospheric contamination of Karoo lavas from Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinonen, Jussi S.; Luttinen, Arto V.; Bohrson, Wendy A.

    2016-01-01

    Continental flood basalts (CFBs) represent large-scale melting events in the Earth's upper mantle and show considerable geochemical heterogeneity that is typically linked to substantial contribution from underlying continental lithosphere. Large-scale partial melting of the cold subcontinental lithospheric mantle and the large amounts of crustal contamination suggested by traditional binary mixing or assimilation-fractional crystallization models are difficult to reconcile with the thermal and compositional characteristics of continental lithosphere, however. The well-exposed CFBs of Vestfjella, western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, belong to the Jurassic Karoo large igneous province and provide a prime locality to quantify mass contributions of lithospheric and sublithospheric sources for two reasons: (1) recently discovered CFB dikes show isotopic characteristics akin to mid-ocean ridge basalts, and thus help to constrain asthenospheric parental melt compositions and (2) the well-exposed basaltic lavas have been divided into four different geochemical magma types that exhibit considerable trace element and radiogenic isotope heterogeneity (e.g., initial ɛ Nd from -16 to +2 at 180 Ma). We simulate the geochemical evolution of Vestfjella CFBs using (1) energy-constrained assimilation-fractional crystallization equations that account for heating and partial melting of crustal wall rock and (2) assimilation-fractional crystallization equations for lithospheric mantle contamination by using highly alkaline continental volcanic rocks (i.e., partial melts of mantle lithosphere) as contaminants. Calculations indicate that the different magma types can be produced by just minor (1-15 wt%) contamination of asthenospheric parental magmas by melts from variable lithospheric reservoirs. Our models imply that the role of continental lithosphere as a CFB source component or contaminant may have been overestimated in many cases. Thus, CFBs may represent major juvenile crustal

  17. Softening of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle by asthenosphere melts and the continental extension/oceanic spreading transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranalli, G.; Piccardo, G. B.; Corona-Chávez, P.

    2007-05-01

    The majority of ophiolitic peridotites in the Alpine-Apennine system show evidence of extensive interaction between subcontinental lithospheric mantle and fractional melts of asthenospheric origin. This interaction led to petrological, structural, and geochemical changes in the lithospheric mantle, and was accompanied by a temperature increase to near-asthenospheric values, resulting in the thermomechanical erosion of the lithosphere. We term the parts of mantle lithosphere thus affected the asthenospherized lithospheric mantle or ALM. The thermal and rheological consequences of thermomechanical erosion are explored by modelling the temperature and rheological properties of the thinned lithosphere as a function of thickness of ALM and time since asthenospherization (i.e., since the beginning of thermal relaxation). Results are given both in terms of rheological profiles (strength envelopes) and total lithospheric strength (TLS) for different lower crustal rheologies. The TLS decreases as a consequence of thermomechanical erosion. This decrease is a non-linear function of the thickness of the ALM. While practically negligible if less than 50% of lithospheric mantle is affected, it becomes significant (up to almost one order of magnitude) if thermomechanical erosion approaches the Moho. The maximum decrease in TLS is achieved within a short time span (˜1-2 Ma) after the end of the heating episode. As a working hypothesis, we propose that thermomechanical erosion of the lithospheric mantle, related to lithosphere/asthenospheric melts interaction, can be an important factor in a geologically rapid decrease in TLS. This softening could lead to whole lithospheric failure and consequently to a transition from continental extension to oceanic spreading.

  18. Processes accompanying of mantle plume emplacement into continental lithosphere: Evidence from NW Arabian plate, Western Syria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharkov, E. V.

    2015-12-01

    Lower crustal xenoliths occurred in the Middle Cretaceous lamprophyre diatremes in Jabel Ansaria (Western Syria) (Sharkov et al., 1992). They are represented mainly garnet granulites and eclogite-like rocks, which underwent by deformations and retrograde metamorphism, and younger fresh pegmatoid garnet-kaersutite-clinopyroxene (Al-Ti augite) rocks; mantle peridotites are absent in these populations. According to mineralogical geothermobarometers, forming of garnet-granulite suite rocks occurred under pressure 13.5-15.4 kbar (depths 45-54 kn) and temperature 965-1115oC. At the same time, among populations of mantle xenoliths in the Late Cenozoic platobasalts of the region, quite the contrary, lower crustal xenoliths are absent, however, predominated spinel lherzolites (fragments of upper cooled rim of a plume head), derived from the close depths (30-40 km: Sharkov, Bogatikov, 2015). From this follows that ancient continental crust was existed here even in the Middle Cretaceous, but in the Late Cenozoic was removed by extended mantle plume head; at that upper sialic crust was not involved in geomechanic processes, because Precambrian metamorphic rocks survived as a basement for Cambrian to Cenozoic sedimentary cover of Arabian platform. In other words, though cardinal rebuilding of deep-seated structure of the region occurred in the Late Cenozoic but it did not affect on the upper shell of the ancient lithosphere. Because composition of mantle xenolithis in basalts is practically similar worldwide, we suggest that deep-seated processes are analogous also. As emplacement of the mantle plume heads accompanied by powerful basaltic magmatism, very likely that range of lower (mafic) continental crust existence is very convenient for extension of plume heads and their adiabatic melting. If such level, because of whatever reasons, was not reached, melting was limited but appeared excess of volatile matters which led to forming of lamprophyre or even kimberlite.

  19. Crustal and sub-continental lithospheric mantle decoupling beneath the Malawi Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Njinju, Emmanuel Atem

    We analyzed satellite gravity and aeromagnetic data using the two-dimensional (2D) power-density spectrum technique to investigate the lithospheric and thermal structure beneath the magma-starved Malawi Rift, which forms the southern extension of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. We observed: (1) lack of consistent pattern of crustal thinning and elevated heat flow along the surface expression of the rift. Beneath the Rungwe Volcanic Province (RVP) in the north, the crustal thickness ranges between 40 and 45 km and varies between 35 and 40 km along the entire length of the rift. (2) shallow lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) elevated to ˜64 km beneath the entire length of the rift and deeper than 100 km beneath the surrounding Precambrian terranes reaching in places ˜124 km. (3) localized zones of high heat flow (70-75 mWm-2) beneath the RVP, and the central and southern parts of the rift. The central and southern thermal anomalies are due to the presence of uranium deposits in the Karoo sedimentary rocks. We interpret the crustal thickness heterogeneity to have been inherited from pre-existing lithospheric stretching, while strain during the extension of the Malawi Rift is preferentially localized in the sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM). Our interpretation is supported by 2D forward modeling of the gravity data showing uniform stretching of the SCLM by a factor of 1.5 to 1.8 beneath the entire length of the rift. Our results indicate decoupling of the crust from the SCLM during the early stages of the development of the Malawi Rift.

  20. Origin of the Early Cretaceous continental intraplate volcanism, NW Syria: melting of a metasomatised lithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, G. S.; Malpas, J.; Xenophontos, C.; Suzuki, K.; Lo, C.

    2011-12-01

    The Mesozoic evolution of the Neotethys-Eastern Mediterranean between the African-Arabian and Eurasian continents was accompanied by intermittent eruption of alkaline-transitional basalts in Arabia. The causes of the prolonged volcanism remain controversial, whether related to the arrival(s) of mantle plume [1] or prolonged far-field extension of the passive continental margin [2]. In addition, the source(s) of the volcanism is not well constrained, as previous conclusions were drawn before recent understanding of the origin of intraplate magmas - (i) melting of hydrous metasomatic veins within the lithospheric mantle [3] or (ii) melting of an incompatible-element enriched peridotite source ± eclogites in the presence of CO2 [4, 5]. The Mesozoic basalts (ankaramites and transitional basalts) from the Coastal Ranges, NW Syria analysed in this study were dated at 106.3 ± 0.2 Ma and 103.4 ± 0.3 Ma (bulk-rock 40Ar/39Ar ages), representing the last instance of Mesozoic intraplate magmatism in the Levant region. Isotopic and geochemical analysis reveals distinct compositions between the two lava series (ankaramites: ɛNd(t) = 5.1-5.6, 87Sr/87Sr(t) = 0.70293-0.70302, 187Os/188Os(t) = 0.227-0.242; transitional basalts: ɛNd(t) = 4.0-4.6, 87Sr/87Sr(t) = 0.70320-0.70424, 187Os/188Os(t) = 0.392; and lower SiO2, higher TiO2, Nb/U, Nb/Th, Nb/La and Ce/Pb in the ankaramites). Fractional crystallisation and assimilation-fractional crystallisation modelling suggests minor roles for both processes during the evolution of the lavas, despite the generally high Os isotopic ratios. The modelling also precludes derivation of one lava series from the other, suggesting that the isotopic and geochemical distinctions must be inherited from the source. It is interpreted that the chemical characteristics represent a greater component derived from metasomatic amphibole-rich veins in the source region. Both the ankaramites and transitional basalts were generated from this metasomatised

  1. Project Hotspot - The Snake River Scientific Drilling Project - Investigating the Interactions of Mantle Plumes and Continental Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shervais, J. W.

    2008-12-01

    The Yellowstone-Snake River Plain (YSRP) volcanic province is the world's best modern example of a time- transgressive hotspot track beneath continental crust. Recently, a 100 km wide thermal anomaly has been imaged by seismic tomography to depths of over 500 km beneath the Yellowstone Plateau. The Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field consists largely of rhyolite lavas and ignimbrites, with few mantle-derived basalts. In contrast, the Snake River Plain (SRP), which represents the track of the Yellowstone hotspot, consists of rhyolite caldera complexes that herald the onset of plume-related volcanism and basalts that are compositionally similar to ocean island basalts like Hawaii. The SRP preserves a record of volcanic activity that spans over 16 Ma and is still active today, with basalts as young as 200 ka in the west and 2 ka in the east. The SRP is unique because it is young and relatively undisturbed tectonically, and because it contains a complete record of volcanic activity associated with passage of the hotspot. This complete volcanic record can only be sampled by drilling. In addition, the western SRP rift basin preserves an unparalleled deep-water lacustrine archive of paleoclimate evolution in western North America during the late Neogene. The central question addressed by the Snake River Scientific Drilling Project is how do mantle hotspots interact with continental lithosphere, and how does this interaction affect the geochemical evolution of mantle-derived magmas and the continental lithosphere? Our hypothesis is that continental mantle lithosphere is constructed in part from the base up by the underplating of mantle plumes, which are compositionally distinct from cratonic lithosphere, and that plumes modify the impacted lithosphere by thermally and mechanically eroding cratonic mantle lithosphere, and by underplating depleted plume-source mantle. Addition of mafic magma to the crust represents a significant contribution to crustal growth, and densifies

  2. New constraints of subducted mantle lithosphere on plate-tectonic reconstructions of deformed continental blocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suppe, J.; Wu, J.; Kanda, R. V. S.; Lu, R.; Lin, C. D. J.

    2012-04-01

    Global seismic tomography and earthquake locations are now sufficiently good that many subducted slabs can be mapped in 3D, unfolded and restored to the surface of the Earth, thereby providing important new quantitative constraints on plate-tectonic reconstructions. The size, shape, present horizontal and vertical positions and seismic velocities of subducted slabs provide rich data constraints on plate-tectonic reconstructions of past plate networks into which the deformed continental regions such as Eurasia and SE Asia must fit. Commonly, we find that well-imaged and restored slabs of mantle lithosphere fit together along their edges in approximate "picture-puzzle" fashion, within seismic resolution. The slab edges correspond to plate transforms, slab tears, initial positions of trenches and edges of slab windows. This use of subducted slabs provides for more data-rich reconstructions of lost ocean basins such as those consumed between India and Eurasia and between Southeast Asia and Australia, and thereby constrains deformation of the adjacent continents. We describe our methodologies for mapping and unfolding slabs in Gocad, and using these restored slabs in GPlates. Examples are shown from Taiwan, the India-Asia collision, Southeast Asia, and Greater northeast Australia.

  3. Origin and Distribution of Water Contents in Continental and Oceanic Lithospheric Mantle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peslier, Anne H.

    2013-01-01

    The water content distribution of the upper mantle will be reviewed as based on the peridotite record. The amount of water in cratonic xenoliths appears controlled by metasomatism while that of the oceanic mantle retains in part the signature of melting events. In both cases, the water distribution is heterogeneous both with depth and laterally, depending on localized water re-enrichments next to melt/fluid channels. The consequence of the water distribution on the rheology of the upper mantle and the location of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary will also be discussed.

  4. Seismic Tomography of the Arctic: Continental Cratons, Ancient Orogens, Oceanic Lithosphere and Convecting Mantle Beneath (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebedev, S.; Schaeffer, A. J.

    2013-12-01

    Lateral variations in seismic velocities in the upper mantle, mapped by seismic tomography, reflect primarily the variations in the temperature of the rock at depth. Seismic tomography thus reveals lateral changes in the temperature and thickness of the lithosphere; it maps deep boundaries between tectonic blocks with different properties and with different age of the lithosphere. Our new global, shear-wave tomographic model of the upper mantle and the crust is constrained by an unprecedentedly large number of broadband waveform fits (nearly one million seismograms, with both surface and S waves included) and provides improved resolution of the lithosphere across the whole of the Arctic region, compared to other available models. The most prominent high-velocity anomalies, seen down to 150-200 km depths, indicate the cold, thick, stable mantle lithosphere beneath Precambrian cratons. The northern boundaries of the Canadian Shield's and Greenland's cratonic lithosphere closely follow the coastlines, with the Greenland and North American cratons clearly separated from each other. In Eurasia, in contrast, cratonic lithosphere extends hundreds of kilometres north of the coast of the continent, beneath the Barents and eastern Kara Seas. The boundaries of the Archean cratons mapped by tomography indicate the likely offshore extensions of major Phanerozoic sutures in northern Eurasia. The old oceanic lithosphere of the Canada Basin is much colder and thicker than the younger lithosphere beneath the adjacent Amundsen Basin, north of the Gakkel Ridge. Beneath the slow-spreading Gakkel Ridge, we detect the expected low-velocity anomaly associated with partial melting in the uppermost mantle; the anomaly is weaker, however, than beneath faster-spreading ridges globally. South of the ridge, the Nansen Basin shows higher seismic velocities in the upper mantle beneath it, compared to the Amundsen Basin. At 150-250 km depth, most of the oceanic portions of the central Arctic (the

  5. Lithospheric mantle heterogeneity across the continental-oceanic transition, northwest Ross Sea, Antarctica: new evidence from oxygen isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krans, S. R.; Panter, K. S.; Castillo, P.; Deering, C. D.; Kitajima, K.; Valley, J. W.; Hart, S. R.; Kyle, P. R.

    2013-12-01

    Oxygen isotopes and whole rock chemistry from alkali basalt and basanite in the northwest Ross Sea, Antarctica offer new insight on source heterogeneity across the transition from continental to oceanic lithosphere in a magma-poor rifted margin. In situ SIMS analysis of olivine (Fo 79-90) from the most primitive lavas (MgO ≥ 8 wt%, Mg# 53-70, Ni= 115-338 ppm, Cr= 244-540 ppm) yield an average δ18O = 5.18 × 0.60 ‰ (2σ, n=30) for alkali basalt and 5.25 × 0.44 ‰ (2σ, n=52) for basanite (× 0.28 ‰, 2σ precision on a homogeneous olivine standard). These are similar to the range for olivine from mantle peridotite and HIMU type oceanic basalts (δ18O= 5.0 to 5.4 ‰ and 4.9 to 5.2 ‰, respectively [1]), but with greater variability. Lavas in this region experienced little differentiation, have minimal evidence of crustal contamination (87Sr/86Sr < 0.7030, 143Nd/144Nd > 0.5129), and olivine show no correlation between δ18O and Fo content, further suggesting that the δ18O values are source related. Whole-rock chemistry of alkali basalt and basanite are spatially distributed. In general, alkali basalt is found in thicker continental lithosphere with lower Sr (477-672ppm) and Nb/Y (1.2-2.4) than basanite. Basanite is found in oceanic and thinned continental lithosphere with higher Sr (642-1131 ppm) and Nb/Y (2.4-3.6). Variation in degree of silica-undersaturation and Nb/Y can be explained by varying degree of partial melting. While alkali basalt and basanite can result from varying degrees of partial melting of similar source compositions, the presence of amphibole in mantle xenoliths have lead workers in this region to propose contributions from a metasomatic source [2, 3, 4] with variable 206Pb/204Pb ratios [5]. A negative correlation between Nb/Y and δ18O in both rock types suggests that varying degrees of partial melting are tapping sources with different δ18O values; lower degree melts have δ18O ≤ 5.0 ‰ and higher degree melts have δ18O > 5.3

  6. Rock Magnetic Mineral Assemblage in Mineral Separates from Xenoliths of Continental Lithospheric Mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khakhalova, E.; Feinberg, J. M.; Ionov, D. A.; Ferre, E. C.; Friedman, S. A.; Hernandez, F. M.; Neal, C. R.; Conder, J. A.

    2014-12-01

    Studies of aeromagnetic anomalies suggest that the lithospheric mantle may contribute to long wavelength features. Examination of unaltered mantle xenoliths may reveal the mineralogical sources of these aeromagnetic anomalies. Prior work has reported microscopic inclusions of magnetic minerals in mantle silicates. Here we explore the magnetism of pure olivine, clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene, and spinel separated from peridotite xenoliths from the Dariganga and Tariat localities in Mongolia that sample the lithospheric mantle. All separates were leached with HF and HCl to remove secondary minerals adhering to the surface of the grains or in cracks. Separates were then mounted in cement to create monomineralic specimens for investigation using hysteresis loops, first order reversal curves (FORC), alternating field and thermal demagnetization of a 1T IRM, and low-temperature magnetometry. All specimens showed trace concentrations of ferromagnetic inclusions with Ms values of ~10-3 Am2kg-1. Thermal demagnetization showed a range of unblocking temperatures with median destructive temperatures of 300-400°C. Two specimens showed a dramatic demagnetization at 585°C, consistent with pure magnetite (Mt). The presence of Mt was confirmed by observations of the Verwey transition at 100-120K and by backfield remanence acquisition curves that plateau at ~300 mT. The median destructive alternating field was ~20 mT and 40-80 mT for specimens from Dariganga and Tariat, respectively. FORC diagrams show single-domain-like behavior with a median Hc of ~20 mT. The demagnetization experiments suggest that Mt inclusions in the lattice of olivine, opx, cpx and spinel carry magnetic remanence. Thus, the lithospheric mantle may exhibit in-situ ferromagnetism carried by Mt below 585°C. The magnetization of separates varies between xenolith localities but is consistent amongst minerals of the same locality. Future work will address whether the Mt formed before or during xenolith ascent.

  7. Mantle Water Fugacity is the Dominant Factor in Total Strength and Stability/Mobility of Continental Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowry, A. R.; Schutt, D.; Perez-Gussinye, M.; Ma, X.; Berry, M. A.; Ravat, D.

    2014-12-01

    More than half a century after the plate tectonic revolution, the physical mechanism that distinguishes tectonically active plate boundaries from stable continental interiors remains nebulous. Rock flow strength and mass density variations both contribute to stress, so both are certain to be important, but these depend ambiguously on rock lithology, temperature, and concentrations of water. High seismic velocities observed to great depths often are interpreted as evidence that geothermal variations dominate patterns of lithospheric strength. However, mantle seismic velocities are sensitive to flow-induced anelastic attenuation as well as to temperature. A more ductile mantle will propagate waves more slowly regardless of whether low viscosity is a consequence of high temperature or of high water fugacity, complicating interpretations of seismic velocity in the absence of other constraints. Here we use EarthScope's USArray seismic data to independently constrain crustal thickness, bulk crustal lithology and Moho temperature of the lithosphere, and magnetic bottom measurements to refine the crustal geotherm. Strength models based on these quantities are then compared to integral measurements of western U.S. isostatic strength expressed as effective elastic thickness, Te. We show that mantle water is the primary factor that distinguishes stable lithosphere of North America's cratonic interior from actively deforming zones in the western U.S. Cordillera. Seismic and magnetic constraints on temperature and lithology variations can be reconciled with integral strength measurements only if water fugacity within the lithospheric column is permitted to vary from near-saturation in deforming, mobile lithosphere to nearly completely dry in the stable cratonic interior.

  8. Regional uplift associated with continental large igneous provinces: The roles of mantle plumes and the lithosphere

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Saunders, A.D.; Jones, S.M.; Morgan, L.A.; Pierce, K.L.; Widdowson, M.; Xu, Y.G.

    2007-01-01

    The timing and duration of surface uplift associated with large igneous provinces provide important constraints on mantle convection processes. Here we review geological indicators of surface uplift associated with five continent-based magmatic provinces: Emeishan Traps (260??million years ago: Ma), Siberian Traps (251??Ma), Deccan Traps (65??Ma), North Atlantic (Phase 1, 61??Ma and Phase 2, 55??Ma), and Yellowstone (16??Ma to recent). All five magmatic provinces were associated with surface uplift. Surface uplift can be measured directly from sedimentary indicators of sea-level in the North Atlantic and from geomorpholocial indicators of relative uplift and tilting in Yellowstone. In the other provinces, surface uplift is inferred from the record of erosion. In the Deccan, North Atlantic and Emeishan provinces, transient uplift that results from variations in thermal structure of the lithosphere and underlying mantle can be distinguished from permanent uplift that results from the extraction and emplacement of magma. Transient surface uplift is more useful in constraining mantle convection since models of melt generation and emplacement are not required for its interpretation. Observations of the spatial and temporal relationships between surface uplift, rifting and magmatism are also important in constraining models of LIP formation. Onset of surface uplift preceded magmatism in all five of the provinces. Biostratigraphic constraints on timing of uplift and erosion are best for the North Atlantic and Emeishan Provinces, where the time interval between significant uplift and first magmatism is less than 1??million years and 2.5??million years respectively. Rifting post-dates the earliest magmatism in the case of the North Atlantic Phase 1 and possibly in the case of Siberia. The relative age of onset of offshore rifting is not well constrained for the Deccan and the importance of rifting in controlling magmatism is disputed in the Emeishan and Yellowstone

  9. Formation and Evolution of the Continental Lithospheric Mantle: Perspectives From Radiogenic Isotopes of Silicate and Sulfide Inclusions in Macrodiamonds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirey, S. B.; Richardson, S. H.

    2007-12-01

    Silicate and sulfide inclusions that occur in diamonds comprise the oldest (>3 Ga), deepest (>140 km) samples of mantle-derived minerals available for study. Their relevance to the evolution of the continental lithosphere is clear because terrestrial macrodiamonds are confined to regions of the Earth with continental lithospheric mantle keels. The goals of analytical work on inclusions in diamond are to obtain paragenesis constraints, radiogenic ages, and initial isotopic compositions. The purpose is to place diamond formation episodes into the broader framework of the geological processes that create and modify the continental lithosphere and to relate the source of the C and N in diamond-forming fluids to understanding the Earth's C and N cycles in the Archean. Although sulfide and silicate inclusions rarely occur in the same diamond, they both can be grouped according to their geochemical similarity with the chief rock types that comprise the mantle keel: peridotite and eclogite. Silicate inclusions are classified as harzburgitic (depleted; olivine > Fo91, garnet Cr2O3 > 3 wt% and CaO from 0 to 5 wt%), lherzolitic (fertile), or eclogitic (basaltic; garnet Cr2O3 < 2 wt% and CaO from 3 to 15 wt%, clinopyroxene with higher Na2O, Al2O3, and FeO); they are amenable for trace element study by SIMS and for Sm-Nd and Rb-Sr analysis by conventional P-TIMS after grouping by mineralogical similarity. Sulfide inclusions (chiefly FeS with lesser Ni, Cu, and Co) are classified as peridotitic (Ni > 14 wt%; Os > 2 ppm) versus eclogitic (Ni < 10 wt%; Os < 200 ppb); single sulfides are amenable for S isotopic study by SIMS or TIMS, and Re-Os analysis by N-TIMS. Work on inclusions in diamonds depends on the distribution of mined, diamond-bearing kimberlites, and the generosity of mining companies because of the extreme rarity of inclusions in suites of mostly gem-quality diamonds. Most isotopic work has been on the Kaapvaal-Zimbabwe craton with lesser work on the Slave, Siberian

  10. Formation and metasomatism of continental lithospheric mantle in intra-plate and subduction-related tectonic settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ionov, Dmitri

    2010-05-01

    Our knowledge of the origin and evolution of the continental lithospheric mantle (CLM) remains fragmentary and partly controversial in spite of recent advances in petrologic, geochemical and geophysical studies of the deep Earth and experimental work. Debate continues on a number of essential topics, like relative contributions of partial melting, metasomatism and ‘re-fertilisation' as well as the timing, conditions and tectonic settings of those processes. These topics can be addressed by studies of ultramafic xenoliths in volcanic rocks which arguably provide the least altered samples of modern and ancient CLM. The subcontinental lithosphere is thought to be a mantle region from which melts have been extracted, thus making the lithosphere more refractory. Melting degrees can be estimated from Al contents while the depth of melt extraction can be assessed from Al-Fe (Mg#) relations in unmetasomatized melting residues in comparison with experimental data, e.g. [1]. High silica and opx in the residues may indicate melting in water-rich conditions. High-precision Mg# and Mn for olivine may constrain degrees and conditions of partial melting and/or metasomatism, tectonic settings, modal compositions (e.g. presence of garnet) and equilibration conditions of mantle peridotites [2]. These estimates require both adequate sampling and high-quality major element and modal data; sampling and analytical uncertainties in published work may contribute substantially to chemical heterogeneities (and different origins) inferred for CLM domains [3]. Very fertile peridotite xenolith suites are rare worldwide [3]. They were initially viewed as representing mantle domains that experienced only very small degrees of melt extraction but are attributed by some workers to ‘refertilization' of refractory mantle by percolating asthenospheric melts. Such alternative mechanisms might be valid for some rare hybrid and Fe-enriched peridotites but they fail to comprehensively explain modal

  11. Sedimentary halogens and noble gases within Western Antarctic xenoliths: Implications of extensive volatile recycling to the sub continental lithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Broadley, Michael W.; Ballentine, Chris J.; Chavrit, Déborah; Dallai, Luigi; Burgess, Ray

    2016-03-01

    Recycling of marine volatiles back into the mantle at subduction zones has a profound, yet poorly constrained impact on the geochemical evolution of the Earth's mantle. Here we present a combined noble gas and halogen study on mantle xenoliths from the Western Antarctic Rift System (WARS) to better understand the flux of subducted volatiles to the sub continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) and assess the impact this has on mantle chemistry. The xenoliths are extremely enriched in the heavy halogens (Br and I), with I concentrations up to 1 ppm and maximum measured I/Cl ratios (85.2 × 10-3) being ∼2000 times greater than mid ocean ridge basalts (MORB). The Br/Cl and I/Cl ratios of the xenoliths span a range from MORB-like ratios to values similar to marine pore fluids and serpentinites, whilst the 84Kr/36Ar and 130Xe/36Ar ratios range from modern atmosphere to oceanic sediments. This indicates that marine derived volatiles have been incorporated into the SCLM during an episode of subduction related metasomatism. Helium isotopic analysis of the xenoliths show average 3He/4He ratios of 7.5 ± 0.5 RA (where RA is the 3He/4He ratio of air = 1.39 × 10-6), similar to that of MORB. The 3He/4He ratios within the xenoliths are higher than expected for the xenoliths originating from the SCLM which has been extensively modified by the addition of subducted volatiles, indicating that the SCLM beneath the WARS must have seen a secondary alteration from the infiltration and rise of asthenospheric fluids/melts as a consequence of rifting and lithospheric thinning. Noble gases and halogens within these xenoliths have recorded past episodes of volatile interaction within the SCLM and can be used to reconstruct a tectonic history of the WARS. Marine halogen and noble gas signatures within the SCLM xenoliths provide evidence for the introduction and retention of recycled volatiles within the SCLM by subduction related metasomatism, signifying that not all volatiles that survive

  12. Geochemistry of basalts from small eruptive centers near Villarrica stratovolcano, Chile: Evidence for lithospheric mantle components in continental arc magmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hickey-Vargas, R.; Sun, M.; Holbik, S.

    2016-07-01

    and aged subduction-related pyroxenite in the mantle lithosphere complicates the identification of subducted, mantle and crustal inputs to magma erupted in continental arcs.

  13. Identifying mantle lithosphere inheritance in controlling intraplate orogenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heron, Philip J.; Pysklywec, Russell N.; Stephenson, Randell

    2016-09-01

    Crustal inheritance is often considered important in the tectonic evolution of the Wilson Cycle. However, the role of the mantle lithosphere is usually overlooked due to its difficulty to image and uncertainty in rheological makeup. Recently, increased resolution in lithosphere imaging has shown potential scarring in continental mantle lithosphere to be ubiquitous. In our study, we analyze intraplate deformation driven by mantle lithosphere heterogeneities from ancient Wilson Cycle processes and compare this to crustal inheritance deformation. We present 2-D numerical experiments of continental convergence to generate intraplate deformation, exploring the limits of continental rheology to understand the dominant lithosphere layer across a broad range of geological settings. By implementing a "jelly sandwich" rheology, common in stable continental lithosphere, we find that during compression the strength of the mantle lithosphere is integral in generating deformation from a structural anomaly. We posit that if the continental mantle is the strongest layer within the lithosphere, then such inheritance may have important implications for the Wilson Cycle. Furthermore, our models show that deformation driven by mantle lithosphere scarring can produce tectonic patterns related to intraplate orogenesis originating from crustal sources, highlighting the need for a more formal discussion of the role of the mantle lithosphere in plate tectonics.

  14. Regional 3D Numerical Modeling of the Lithosphere-Mantle System: Implications for Continental Rift-Parallel Surface Velocities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamps, S.; Bangerth, W.; Hager, B. H.

    2014-12-01

    The East African Rift System (EARS) is an active divergent plate boundary with slow, approximately E-W extension rates ranging from <1-6 mm/yr. Previous work using thin-sheet modeling indicates lithospheric buoyancy dominates the force balance driving large-scale Nubia-Somalia divergence, however GPS observations within the Western Branch of the EARS show along-rift motions that contradict this simple model. Here, we test the role of mantle flow at the rift-scale using our new, regional 3D numerical model based on the open-source code ASPECT. We define a thermal lithosphere with thicknesses that are systematically changed for generic models or based on geophysical constraints in the Western branch (e.g. melting depths, xenoliths, seismic tomography). Preliminary results suggest existing variations in lithospheric thicknesses along-rift in the Western Branch can drive upper mantle flow that is consistent with geodetic observations.

  15. Hyperextension of continental to oceanic-like lithosphere: The record of late gabbros in the shallow subcontinental lithospheric mantle of the westernmost Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hidas, Károly; Varas-Reus, Maria Isabel; Garrido, Carlos J.; Marchesi, Claudio; Acosta-Vigil, Antonio; Padrón-Navarta, José Alberto; Targuisti, Kamal; Konc, Zoltán

    2015-05-01

    lithospheric section. These data suggest that gabbro-forming melts in the Betic Peridotite record a mantle igneous event at very shallow depths and provide evidence for the hyperextension of the continental lithosphere compatible with extreme backarc basin extension induced by the slab rollback of the Cenozoic subduction system in the westernmost Mediterranean.

  16. P/n/ velocity and cooling of the continental lithosphere. [upper mantle compression waves in North America

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Black, P. R.; Braile, L. W.

    1982-01-01

    The average upper mantle compressional wave velocity and heat flow figures presently computed for continental physiographic provinces in North America exhibit an inverse relationship, and possess a statistically significant correlation coefficient. A correlation is also demonstrated between compressional wave velocity and material temperature by estimating crust-mantle boundary temperatures from heat flow values. The dependency of compressional wave velocity on temperature implies that the observed geographical distribution in upper mantle seismic velocity may be due to the temperature effect character of upper mantle compressional wave velocity variation.

  17. Characterization of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle beneath the Cameroon volcanic line inferred from alkaline basalt hosted peridotite xenoliths from Barombi Mbo and Nyos Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pintér, Zsanett; Patkó, Levente; Tene Djoukam, Joëlle Flore; Kovács, István; Tchouankoue, Jean Pierre; Falus, György; Konc, Zoltán; Tommasi, Andréa; Barou, Fabrice; Mihály, Judith; Németh, Csaba; Jeffries, Teresa

    2015-11-01

    We carried out detailed petrographic, major and trace element geochemical, microstructural and FTIR analyses on eight characteristic ultramafic xenoliths from Nyos and Barombi Mbo Lakes in the continental sector of the Cameroon Volcanic Line (CVL). The studied xenoliths are spinel lherzolites showing lithologies similar to the other xenoliths reported previously along the CVL. They have protogranular and porphyroclastic textures. One of the Barombi xenolith contains amphibole, which had not been previously reported in this locality. Amphibole is common in the Nyos xenoliths suite. Peridotite xenoliths from both localities show some chemical heterogeneity, but Barombi xenoliths generally are less depleted in basaltic elements with respect to Nyos xenoliths. Trace element compositions of Nyos spinel lherzolites show a moderately depleted initial (premetasomatic) composition and variable enrichment in REE. Evidence for both modal and cryptic metasomatism is present in Nyos xenoliths. Rare earth element patterns of clinopyroxene suggest that interaction between mafic melts and the upper mantle occurred beneath the Nyos locality. Barombi Mbo xenoliths, on the other hand, record a small degree of partial melting. The Barombi Mbo xenoliths have weak, dominantly orthorhombic olivine crystal preferred orientations, whereas Nyos ones have strong axial-[010] patterns, which may have formed in response to transpression. Nominally anhydrous mantle minerals (NAMs) of the Barombi Mbo xenoliths show generally higher bulk concentrations of 'water' (70-127 ppm) than Nyos xenoliths (32-81 ppm). The Barombi Mbo xenoliths could originate from a juvenile segment of the lithospheric mantle, which had been originally part of the asthenosphere. It became a part of the lithosphere in response to thermal relaxation following the extension, forming a weakly deformed lower lithospheric mantle region along the CVL. The Nyos xenoliths, however, represent a shallow lithospheric mantle bearing

  18. Yellowstone hotspot-continental lithosphere interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jean, Marlon M.; Hanan, Barry B.; Shervais, John W.

    2014-03-01

    The Snake River Plain represents 17 m.y. of volcanic activity that took place as the North American continent migrated over a relatively fixed magma source, or hotspot. We present new Pb, Sr, and Nd data for a suite of 25 basalts collected from Western and Central Snake River Plain (SRP). The new isotope data, combined with previously published data from the SRP, provide a traverse of the Wyoming craton margin, from the 87Sr/86Sr = 0.706 line boundary of western SRP with Phanerozoic accreted terranes, east through the central and eastern SRP, to the Yellowstone Plateau. Low-K basalts from the western SRP, overlain by high-K basalts, provide a temporal record of regional source variation from ∼16.8 to 0.2 Ma. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of the new and previously published SRP basalt Pb isotopes reveals that >97% of the total variability is accounted for by mixing between three end-members and is consistent with a sublithospheric Yellowstone hotspot mantle source with a radiogenic isotope composition similar to the mantle source of the early Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG) and two continental lithosphere end-members, heterogeneous in age and composition. We use the SRP Pb, Sr, and Nd isotope data to model the Yellowstone Hotspot-continental lithosphere interaction by three component mixing between two continental lithospheric components, Archean lithosphere (CL1) that represents older lithosphere underlying the Yellowstone Plateau in the east, and Paleoproterozoic lithosphere (CL2) representing the younger lithosphere underlying the SRP in the west near the craton margin, and a sublithospheric end-member, representing the Yellowstone hotspot (PL). The results suggest a continuous flow of PL material westward as the NA continental lithosphere migrated over the upwelling hotspot along a shoaling gradient in the sub-continental mantle lithosphere. The model shows a decrease in Total Lithosphere end-members (CL1 + CL2) and the Lithosphere Ratio (CL1/CL2

  19. Subduction-driven recycling of continental margin lithosphere.

    PubMed

    Levander, A; Bezada, M J; Niu, F; Humphreys, E D; Palomeras, I; Thurner, S M; Masy, J; Schmitz, M; Gallart, J; Carbonell, R; Miller, M S

    2014-11-13

    Whereas subduction recycling of oceanic lithosphere is one of the central themes of plate tectonics, the recycling of continental lithosphere appears to be far more complicated and less well understood. Delamination and convective downwelling are two widely recognized processes invoked to explain the removal of lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts. Here we relate oceanic plate subduction to removal of adjacent continental lithosphere in certain plate tectonic settings. We have developed teleseismic body wave images from dense broadband seismic experiments that show higher than expected volumes of anomalously fast mantle associated with the subducted Atlantic slab under northeastern South America and the Alboran slab beneath the Gibraltar arc region; the anomalies are under, and are aligned with, the continental margins at depths greater than 200 kilometres. Rayleigh wave analysis finds that the lithospheric mantle under the continental margins is significantly thinner than expected, and that thin lithosphere extends from the orogens adjacent to the subduction zones inland to the edges of nearby cratonic cores. Taking these data together, here we describe a process that can lead to the loss of continental lithosphere adjacent to a subduction zone. Subducting oceanic plates can viscously entrain and remove the bottom of the continental thermal boundary layer lithosphere from adjacent continental margins. This drives surface tectonics and pre-conditions the margins for further deformation by creating topography along the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. This can lead to development of secondary downwellings under the continental interior, probably under both South America and the Gibraltar arc, and to delamination of the entire lithospheric mantle, as around the Gibraltar arc. This process reconciles numerous, sometimes mutually exclusive, geodynamic models proposed to explain the complex oceanic-continental tectonics of these subduction zones.

  20. Perennial plate tectonics with lasting mantle lithosphere scars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heron, P.; Pysklywec, R. N.; Stephenson, R.

    2015-12-01

    Although the conventional theory of plate tectonics can explain non-rigid behaviour at plate boundaries, it cannot adequately explain the processes involved in deformation and seismicity within plate interiors. Here, we consider that the pre-existing deformation or "scarring" within the mantle lithosphere may have a very long lived presence that could incorporate deformation of the plate interior and plate boundary. Mantle lithosphere scars from continent-continent collisions could generate virtual plate boundaries that remain over long timescales, producing "perennial" plate tectonics. Local geophysical studies can map the crustal environment well, and global whole mantle tomography models are rapidly improving, yet high-resolution images of the mantle lithosphere are often not available in regions where scarring may be present. Where mantle lithosphere heterogeneities have been observed (usually interpreted simply as subduction scars), the same attention has not been afforded to them as, for example, re-activation of faults within the Earth's crust. In idealized numerical simulations, we compare how relic scarring at varying depths in the lithosphere affects patterns of deformation. High-resolution thermal-mechanical numerical experiments explore continental lithospheric deformation featuring a weakened crust and mantle lithosphere scars. Our models show that deep lithospheric scars can control the tectonic evolution of a region over shallow geological features, indicating the importance of mantle lithosphere heterogeneities. The Altyn Tagh Fault (ATF) in central China is an example of an ancient continental collision zone that undergoes periodic deformation during times of regional compression. We suggest that the ATF may be a locale where a long-lasting mantle lithosphere scar can control the subsequent crustal evolution and deformation, with ancient plate boundaries having a "perennial" plate tectonic presence.

  1. Sub-continental lithospheric mantle structure beneath the Adamawa plateau inferred from the petrology of ultramafic xenoliths from Ngaoundéré (Adamawa plateau, Cameroon, Central Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nkouandou, Oumarou F.; Bardintzeff, Jacques-Marie; Fagny, Aminatou M.

    2015-11-01

    Ultramafic xenoliths (lherzolite, harzburgite and olivine websterite) have been discovered in basanites close to Ngaoundéré in Adamawa plateau. Xenoliths exhibit protogranular texture (lherzolite and olivine websterite) or porphyroclastic texture (harzburgite). They are composed of olivine Fo89-90, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene and spinel. According to geothermometers, lherzolites have been equilibrated at 880-1060 °C; equilibrium temperatures of harzburgite are rather higher (880-1160 °C), while those of olivine websterite are bracketed between 820 and 1010 °C. The corresponding pressures are 1.8-1.9 GPa, 0.8-1.0 GPa and 1.9-2.5 GPa, respectively, which suggests that xenoliths have been sampled respectively at depths of 59-63 km, 26-33 km and 63-83 km. Texture and chemical compositional variations of xenoliths with temperature, pressure and depth on regional scale may be ascribed to the complex history undergone by the sub-continental mantle beneath the Adamawa plateau during its evolution. This may involve a limited asthenosphere uprise, concomitantly with plastic deformation and partial melting due to adiabatic decompression processes. Chemical compositional heterogeneities are also proposed in the sub-continental lithospheric mantle under the Adamawa plateau, as previously suggested for the whole Cameroon Volcanic Line.

  2. Subduction-Driven Recycling of Continental Margin Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levander, Alan; Bezada, Maximiliano; Niu, Fenglin; Palomeras, Imma; Humphreys, Eugene; Carbonell, Ramon; Gallart, Josep; Schmitz, Michael; Miller, Meghan

    2016-04-01

    Subduction recycling of oceanic lithosphere, a central theme of plate tectonics, is relatively well understood. Recycling continental lithosphere is more difficult to recognize, can take a number of different forms, and appears to require an external trigger for initiation. Delamination and localized convective downwelling are two processes invoked to explain the removal of lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts. We describe a related process that can lead to the loss of continental lithosphere adjacent to a subduction zone: Subducting oceanic plates can entrain and recycle lithospheric mantle from an adjacent continent and disrupt the continental lithosphere far inland from the subduction zone. Body wave tomograms from dense broadband seismograph arrays in northeastern South America (SA) and the western Mediterranean show larger than expected volumes of positive velocity anomalies which we identify as the subducted Atlantic slab under northeastern SA, and the Alboran slab beneath the Gibraltar arc (GA). The positive anomalies lie under and are aligned with the continental margins at sublithospheric depths. The continental margins along which the subduction zones have traversed, i.e. the northeastern SA plate boundary and east of GA, have significantly thinner lithosphere than expected. The thinner than expected lithosphere extends inland as far as the edges of nearby cratons as determined from receiver function images and surface wave tomography. These observations suggest that subducting oceanic plates viscously entrain and remove continental mantle lithosphere from beneath adjacent continental margins, modulating the surface tectonics and pre-conditioning the margins for further deformation. The latter can include delamination of the entire lithospheric mantle and include the lower crust, as around GA, inferred by results from active and passive seismic experiments. Viscous removal of continental margin lithosphere creates LAB topography leading

  3. Continental crust subducted deeply into lithospheric mantle: the driving force of Early Carboniferous magmatism in the Variscan collisional orogen (Bohemian Massif)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janoušek, Vojtěch; Schulmann, Karel; Lexa, Ondrej; Holub, František; Franěk, Jan; Vrána, Stanislav

    2014-05-01

    relamination mechanisms. The presence of refractory light material rich in radioactive elements under the denser upper plate would eventually result in gravity-driven overturns in the thickened crust. The contaminated lithospheric mantle domains yielded, soon thereafter, ultrapotassic magmas whose major- and compatible-trace element signatures point to equilibration with the mantle peridotite, while their LILE contents and radiogenic isotope signatures are reminiscent of the subducted continental crust. This research was financially supported by the GAČR Project P210-11-2358 (to VJ) and Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic program LK11202 (to KS). Becker, H. 1996. Journal of Petrology 37, 785-810. Kotková, J. et al. 2011. Geology 39, 667-670. Massonne, H.-J. 2001. European Journal of Mineralogy 13, 565-570. Naemura, K. et al. 2009. Journal of Petrolology 50, 1795-1827. Schulmann, K., et al., 2014. Geology, in print. Vrána, S. 2013. Journal of Geosciences 58, 347-378. Zheng, Y. F. 2012. Chemical Geology 328, 5-48.

  4. Convective Removal of Continental Margin Lithosphere at the Edges of Subducting Oceanic Plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levander, A.; Bezada, M. J.; Palomeras, I.; Masy, J.; Humphreys, E.; Niu, F.

    2013-12-01

    Although oceanic lithosphere is continuously recycled to the deeper mantle by subduction, the rates and manner in which different types of continental lithospheric mantle are recycled is unclear. Cratonic mantle can be chemically reworked and essentially decratonized, although the frequency of decratonization is unclear. Lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts can be lost to the deeper mantle by convective downwellings and delamination phenomena. Here we describe how subduction related processes at the edges of oceanic plates adjacent to passive continental margins removes the mantle lithosphere from beneath the margin and from the continental interior. This appears to be a widespread means of recycling non-cratonic continental mantle. Lithospheric removal requires the edge of a subducting oceanic plate to be at a relatively high angle to an adjacent passive continental margin. From Rayleigh wave and body wave tomography, and receiver function images from the BOLIVAR and PICASSO experiments, we infer large-scale removal of continental margin lithospheric mantle from beneath 1) the northern South American plate margin due to Atlantic subduction, and 2) the Iberian and North African margins due to Alboran plate subduction. In both cases lithospheric mantle appears to have been removed several hundred kilometers inland from the subduction zones. This type of ';plate-edge' tectonics either accompanies or pre-conditions continental margins for orogenic activity by thinning and weakening the lithosphere. These processes show the importance of relatively small convective structures, i.e. small subducting plates, in formation of orogenic belts.

  5. Dynamic evolution of continental and oceanic lithosphere in global mantle convection model with plate-like tectonics and one sided subduction.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulvrova, Martina; Coltice, Nicolas; Tackley, Paul

    2015-04-01

    Drifting of continents, spreading of the seafloor and subduction at convergent boundaries shape the surface of the Earth. On the timescales of several hundreds of millions of years, divergent boundaries at mid-ocean ridges are created and destroyed in within the Wilson cycle. This controls the evolution of the Earth as it determines the heat loss out. Presence of floating continents facilitates the Earth-like mobile lid style of convection as convective stresses are concentrated on the rheological boundary between oceanic and continental lithosphere. Subducting slabs allow for the surface material to be buried down into the mantle and have an important effect on surface tectonics. The main feature of the subduction zones observed on Earth is that it is single-sided forming the deep trenches. Recently, different numerical models were successful in reproducing one-sided subduction by allowing for the vertical deformation of the Earth surface (Crameri and Tackley 2014). In the meantime, advances were made in modelling continental break-up and formation (Rolf et al. 2014). In this study we perform numerical simulations of global mantle convection in spherical annulus geometry with strongly depth and temperature dependent rheology using StagYY code (Tackley 2008). In these models plate tectonics is generated self-consistently and features one-sided subduction on ocean-ocean plate boundary as well as floating continents. We focus on determining (1) the influence of one-sided subduction on the dynamics of the system (2) formation and breakup of continents. Rerefences: Crameri, F. and P. J. Tackley, Spontaneous development of arcuate single-sided subduction in global 3-D mantle convection models with a free surface, J. Geophys. Res., 119(7), 5921-5942, 2014. Rolf, T., N. Coltice and P. J. Tackley (2014), Statistical cyclicity of the supercontinent cycle, Geophys. Res. Lett. 41, 2014. Tackley, P. J., Modellng compressible mantle convection with large viscosity contrasts in

  6. Analog Modeling of Continental Lithosphere Subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willingshofer, E.; Sokoutis, D.; Luth, S.; Beekman, F.; Cloetingh, S.

    2012-12-01

    Lithospheric-scale analog modeling sheds light on the consequences of decoupling within the continental lithosphere and along plate interfaces during continental collision. The model results provide valuable information in terms of strain localization, deformation of the subducting slab and the evolution and architecture of the overlying mountain belt and its topography. A weak layer has been implemented in three-layer models to simulate decoupling along the plate interface and at different levels of the lithosphere (brittle-ductile transition, entire lower crust, crust-mantle boundary). Additionally, varying the strength of the mantle lithosphere of both the upper as well as the lower plate regulated the degree of plate coupling. Plate boundaries were orthogonal to the convergence direction. All models emphasize that strong decoupling at the plate interface is a pre-requisite for the subduction of continental lithosphere. In addition, deformation of the subducting slab was found to be sensitive to the strength contrast between the subduction zone and the mantle lithosphere of the downgoing as well as the upper plate. As such, a low strength contrast between the plate interface and the lower plate leads to deformation of the subducting slab by thickening and the development of a shallow slab. Conversely, when the strength contrast is high, deep slabs evolve which undergo relatively less deformation. Furthermore, the level of decoupling in the downgoing plate governs how much continental crust is subducted together with the mantle lithosphere. Shallow decoupling, at the brittle-ductile transition, results in subduction of the lower crust whereas small amounts of lower crust are subducted when decoupling occurs at the level of the Moho. Weak plate coupling and a weak lower crust of the lower plate steer the evolution of mountain belts such that deformation propagates outward, in the direction of the incoming plate, by successive imbrication of upper crustal thrust

  7. Water in the Lithospheric Mantle Beneath a Phanerozoic Continental Belt: FTIR Analyses of Alligator Lake Xenoliths (Yukon, Canada)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gelber, McKensie; Peslier, Ann H.; Brandon, Alan D.

    2015-01-01

    Water in the mantle influences melting, metasomatism, viscosity and electrical conductivity. The Alligator Lake mantle xenolith suite is one of three bimodal peridotite suites from the northern Canadian Cordillera brought to the surface by alkali basalts, i.e., it consists of chemically distinct lherzolites and harzburgites. The lherzolites have equilibration temperatures about 50 C lower than the harzburgites and are thought to represent the fertile upper mantle of the region. The harzburgites might have come from slightly deeper in the mantle and/or be the result of a melting event above an asthenospheric upwelling detected as a seismic anomaly at 400-500 km depth. Major and trace element data are best interpreted as the lherzolite mantle having simultaneously experienced 20-25% partial melting and a metasomatic event to create the harzburgites. Well-characterized xenoliths are being analyzed for water by FTIR. Harzburgites contain 29-52 ppm H2O in orthopyroxene (opx) and (is) approximately140 ppm H2O in clinopyroxene (cpx). The lherzolites have H2O contents of 27-150 ppm in opx and 46-361 ppm in cpx. Despite correlating with enrichments in LREE, the water contents of the harzburgite pyroxenes are low relative to those of typical peridotite xenoliths, suggesting that the metasomatic agents were water-poor, contrarily to what has been suggested before. The water content of cpx is about double that of opx indicating equilibrium. Olivine water contents are low ((is) less than 5 ppm H2O) and out of equilibrium with those of opx and cpx, which may be due to H loss during xenolith ascent. This is consistent with olivines containing more water in their cores than their rims. Olivines exclusively exhibit water bands in the 3400-3000 cm-1 range, which may be indicative of a reduced environment.

  8. Water in the lithospheric mantle beneath a Phanerozoic continental belt: FTIR analyses of Alligator Lake Xenoliths (Yukon, Canada)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gelber, M.; Peslier, A. H.; Brandon, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    Water in the mantle influences melting, metasomatism, viscosity and electrical conductivity. The Alligator Lake mantle xenolith suite is one of three bimodal peridotite suites from the northern Canadian Cordillera brought to the surface by alkali basalts, i.e., it consists of chemically distinct lherzolites and harzburgites [1-2]. The lherzolites have equilibration temperatures about 50 °C lower than the harzburgites and are thought to represent the fertile upper mantle of the region. The harzburgites might have come from slightly deeper in the mantle and/or be the result of a melting event above an asthenospheric upwelling detected as a seismic anomaly at 400-500 km depth [3]. Major and trace element data are best interpreted as the lherzolite mantle having simultaneously experienced 20-25% partial melting and a metasomatic event to create the harzburgites [3]. Well-characterized xenoliths are being analyzed for water by FTIR. Harzburgites contain 29-52 ppm H2O in orthopyroxene (opx) and ~140 ppm H2O in clinopyroxene (cpx). The lherzolites have H2O contents of 27-150 ppm in opx and 46-361 ppm in cpx. Despite correlating with enrichments in LREE, the water contents of the harzburgite pyroxenes are low relative to those of typical peridotite xenoliths [4], suggesting that the metasomatic agents were water-poor, contrarily to what has been suggested before [3]. The water content of cpx is about double that of opx indicating equilibrium. Olivine water contents are low (< 5 ppm H2O) and out of equilibrium with those of opx and cpx, which may be due to H loss during xenolith ascent. This is consistent with olivines containing more water in their cores than their rims. Olivines exclusively exhibit water bands in the 3400-3000 cm-1 range, which may be indicative of a reduced environment [5]. [1] Francis. 1987 JP 28, 569-97. [2] Eiche et al. 1987 CMP 95, 191-201. [3] Shi et al. 1997 CMP 131, 39-53. [4] Peslier et al. 2015 GGG 154, 98-117. [5] Bai et al. 1993 PCM 19, 460-71.

  9. Trace element characteristics of lithospheric and asthenospheric mantle in the Rio Grande rift region

    SciTech Connect

    Perry, F.V.

    1994-06-01

    Trace element analyses of 10 mafic volcanic rocks from the Colorado Plateau transition zone, Colorado Plateau, Rio Grande rift, and Great Plains were obtained to characterize the trace element characteristics of asthenospheric and lithospheric mantle beneath these regions. Characterization of these mantle reservoirs using the trace element contents of basalts allows one to track the response of the lithosphere to continental rifting and extension.

  10. Lithosphere dynamics and continental deformation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bird, Peter

    1995-07-01

    The unifying theme in this section is the remarkable weakness of major faults. I will consider the diverse new evidence for weakness, and the evidence for high pore pressure localized in faults as a fundamental cause. With this background one can better understand why faults remain active even after large rotations with respect to stress: I will look at large Neogene (≤23.7 million year old) rotations about horizontal axes in the Basin and Range province, and about vertical axes along the Pacific margin. Recent developments will be summarized from studies of Neogene tectonics (neotectonics) in California, Alaska, and the Mississippi embayment, in the context of a weak North American stress field that results mainly from topographic forces. To close, I will present new geophysical studies relevant to the continuing controversy over whether the basic structure of the North American mantle lithosphere was altered by an early Tertiary episode of flat subduction.

  11. Deformation in the continental lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    The Physical Properties of Earth Materials Committee, a technical committee of AGU's Tectonophysics Section, is organizing a dinner/colloquium as part of the Fall Meeting in San Francisco, Calif. This event will be held Monday, December 3rd, in the Gold Rush Room of the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway Hotel at 1500 Van Ness St. There will be a no-host bar from 6:30 to 7:30 P.M., followed by dinner from 7:30 to 8:30 P.M. Paul Tapponnier will deliver the after-dinner talk, “Large-Scale Deformation Mechanisms in the Continental Lithosphere: Where Do We Stand?” It will start at 8:30 P.M. and a business meeting will follow at 9:30 P.M.

  12. Lithospheric records of orogeny within the continental U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, Ryan; Liu, Yuanyuan; Holt, William E.

    2016-01-01

    In order to better understand the tectonic evolution of the North American continent, we utilize data from the EarthScope Transportable Array network to calculate a three-dimensional shear velocity model for the continental United States. This model was produced through the inversion of Rayleigh wave phase velocities calculated using ambient noise tomography and wave gradiometry, which allows for sensitivity to a broad depth range. Shear velocities within this model highlight the influence of orogenic and postorogenic events on the evolution of the lithosphere. Most notable is the contrast in crustal and upper mantle structure between the relatively slow western and relatively fast eastern North America. These differences are unlikely to stem solely from thermal variations within the lithosphere and highlight both the complexities in lithospheric structure across the continental U.S. and the varying impacts that orogeny can have on the crust and upper mantle.

  13. The Role of the Mantle Lithosphere in Continent Stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlson, R. W.; Ancuta, L. D.; Fouch, M. J.; Idleman, B. D.; Ionov, D. A.; James, D. E.; Meltzer, A.; Pearson, G.; Shirey, S. B.; Zeitler, P. K.

    2012-12-01

    Most Archean cratons are underlain by up to 200 km thick sections of mantle characterized by high seismic velocities. Xenoliths from cratonic mantle lithosphere show them to consist of refractory peridotites that are the residues of very high degrees of partial melt removal leaving the majority with less than 2% Al2O3. The partial melt removal leaves the lithospheric mantle compositionally buoyant, strong, and with very little internal radioactive heat generating capacity so that even after cooling it contributes to the strength, longevity, and relative geologic inactivity of the overlying crust. Re-Os studies, particularly in the Kaapvaal Craton of southern Africa, show a strong correspondence between the ages of melt depletion of the cratonic mantle and significant crust building events. The main age peak in the Kaapvaal lithospheric mantle is 2.9 Ga, coincident with assembly of the western and eastern blocks of the craton. The only significant disruption to this age pattern is seen below the 2 Ga Bushveld intrusion where the mantle lithosphere is characterized by slower seismic velocities and xenolith ages closer to 2 than 3 Ga. The surrounding Proterozoic mobile belts have even slower seismic velocities and xenolith ages generally less than 1.5 Ga. An interesting contrast to this picture of cold, old, stable cratonic lithosphere is that displayed by central Mongolia. This area, more or less in the middle of the huge Asian continental plate, is far removed from plate boundary processes yet in the Hangay Mountains shows elevations approaching 4 km along with extensive late Cenozoic basaltic volcanism. In contrast to cratonic lithosphere, mantle xenoliths from the Hangay region are dominantly fertile peridotite. Fifty-six percent of a large collection of peridotites from 4 Mongolian localities have more than 3.5% Al2O3 and only 4% have Al2O3 contents of less than 2%. Cenozoic basalts from the region have subchondritic 143Nd/144Nd and MORB-like He isotopic

  14. Fabrics of Mantle Lithosphere of Fennoscandia Inferred from Seismic Anisotropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vecsey, L.; Plomerova, J.; Munzarova, H.; Babuska, V.

    2015-12-01

    Though crust in Archean cratons often displays a relatively simple architecture in comparison with younger orogens, where Moho topography and deep crustal structure are more complex, differences in structure of the mantle lithosphere are less prominent. The mantle lithosphere of Fennoscandia is built by domains with their own fossil inclined fabrics, which are similar to those we retrieved in younger continental provinces from investigations of seismic anisotropy. Passive seismic experiments SVEKALAPKO and LAPNET provided data for structural studies of the upper mantle beneath Fennoscandia. We evaluate the large-scale anisotropy in the upper mantle from (1) splitting of SKS waves (Vecsey et al., 2008), (2) directional terms of relative P-wave travel time residuals, (3) teleseismic tomography and (4) jointly interpreted body-wave anisotropic parameters (Plomerova et al., 2011). The domains of mantle lithosphere are sharply bounded both in the Proterozoic and Archean provinces and can be modelled in 3D by peridotite aggregates with dipping lineation a or foliation (a,c). The domains represent lithosphere fragments retaining fossil olivine preferred orientation created before the micro-plates assembled. Wedge-like penetration of the Archean domain into the Proterozoic province in the south-central Finland, supported by alternating ages of mantle xenoliths, seems to continue towards the north, where a westward shift of a boundary between regions with positive and negative velocity perturbations in teleseismic P-wave tomography can indicate an inclination of the Baltic-Bothnia Megashear Zone. We search for a mechanism which could create the observed inclined fabrics within continental assemblages. Such mechanism should differ from simple cooling processes which would lead to a horizontal stratification of the lithosphere without creating domains exhibiting different fabrics.

  15. Seismic structure of the lithosphere beneath NW Namibia: Impact of the Tristan da Cunha mantle plume

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Xiaohui; Heit, Benjamin; Brune, Sascha; Steinberger, Bernhard; Geissler, Wolfram H.; Jokat, Wilfried; Weber, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Northwestern Namibia, at the landfall of the Walvis Ridge, was affected by the Tristan da Cunha mantle plume during continental rupture between Africa and South America, as evidenced by the presence of the Etendeka continental flood basalts. Here we use data from a passive-source seismological network to investigate the upper mantle structure and to elucidate the Cretaceous mantle plume-lithosphere interaction. Receiver functions reveal an interface associated with a negative velocity contrast within the lithosphere at an average depth of 80 km. We interpret this interface as the relic of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) formed during the Mesozoic by interaction of the Tristan da Cunha plume head with the pre-existing lithosphere. The velocity contrast might be explained by stagnated and "frozen" melts beneath an intensively depleted and dehydrated peridotitic mantle. The present-day LAB is poorly visible with converted waves, indicating a gradual impedance contrast. Beneath much of the study area, converted phases of the 410 and 660 km mantle transition zone discontinuities arrive 1.5 s earlier than in the landward plume-unaffected continental interior, suggesting high velocities in the upper mantle caused by a thick lithosphere. This indicates that after lithospheric thinning during continental breakup, the lithosphere has increased in thickness during the last 132 Myr. Thermal cooling of the continental lithosphere alone cannot produce the lithospheric thickness required here. We propose that the remnant plume material, which has a higher seismic velocity than the ambient mantle due to melt depletion and dehydration, significantly contributed to the thickening of the mantle lithosphere.

  16. New Insights into the Lithospheric Mantle Carbon Storage in an Intra-Continental Area: A Geochemical and 3D X-Ray Micro-Tomography Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creon, L.; Rouchon, V.; Rosenberg, E.; Delpech, G.; Youssef, S.; Guyot, F. J.; Szabo, C.

    2014-12-01

    The Pannonian Basins situated in a context of lithospheric fluxing by mantle CO2-rich fluids, as evidenced by Plio-Pleistocene alkaline basalts and Basin gas geochemical data [1]. Such type of intracontinental CO2-fluxes remain poorly constrained at the scale of the global C-cycle. We report here the first quantification of the CO2 volumes stored in the lithospheric mantle, by coupling geochemical and 3D micro-tomography studies of lherzolitic and harzburgitic mantle xenoliths. The Pannonian Basin xenolith peridotites present numerous signs of melt/fluid migration. The compositions of glasses found in the peridotites vary from sub-alkaline (Na2O + K2O = 3.8 wt. %) to alkaline (Na2O + K2O = 12.6 wt. %) and from mafic (SiO2 = 48.2 wt. %) to more felsic (SiO2 = 62.1 wt. %) compositions and differ markedly from the host basalts of the xenoliths. Microthermometric and Raman spectroscopic studies on fluid inclusions (n = 115) show pure CO2 compositions with densities range between 0.6 and 0.9 g.cm3 [290 to 735 MPa (PCO2)], corresponding to deep fluid trapping on both sides of the Moho. High-resolution synchrotron X-ray micro-tomography (Micro-CT), together with laboratory micro-CT were performed to obtain information about structure, volume and density of each phase (minerals, melts and fluids). Fluids and melts are mainly located at grain boundaries and secondary trails cut off the grain boundaries, which implies a contemporary introduction of such fluids [Figure 1]. The amount of fluid inclusions in xenoliths is heterogeneous and varied from 0.79 ± 0.15 to 4.58 ± 0.54 vol % of the peridotite. The carbon-dioxide content stored in the lithospheric mantle, due to the percolation of asthenospheric melts produced in the mantle beneath the Pannonian Basin, can be estimated by the combination of 3D reconstruction (Micro-CT) and CO2 pressures from inclusions. [1] B. Sherwood Lollar et al., 1997. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, vol. 61, no. 11, pp. 2295-2307

  17. Lithospheric buoyancy and continental intraplate stresses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zoback, M.L.; Mooney, W.D.

    2003-01-01

    Lithospheric buoyancy, the product of lithospheric density and thickness, is an important physical property that influences both the long-term stability of continents and their state of stress. We have determined lithospheric buoyancy by applying the simple isostatic model of Lachenbruch and Morgan (1990). We determine the crustal portion of lithospheric buoyancy using the USGS global database of more than 1700 crustal structure determinations (Mooney et al., 2002), which demonstrates that a simple relationship between crustal thickness and surface elevation does not exist. In fact, major regions of the crust at or near sea level (0-200 m elevation) have crustal thicknesses that vary between 25 and 55 km. Predicted elevations due to the crustal component of buoyancy in the model exceed observed elevations in nearly all cases (97% of the data), consistent with the existence of a cool lithospheric mantle lid that is denser than the asthenosphere on which it floats. The difference between the observed and predicted crustal elevation is assumed to be equal to the decrease in elevation produced by the negative buoyancy of the mantle lid. Mantle lid thickness was first estimated from the mantle buoyancy and a mean lid density computed using a basal crust temperature determined from extrapolation of surface heat flow, assuming a linear thermal gradient in the mantle lid. The resulting values of total lithosphere thickness are in good agreement with thicknesses estimated from seismic data, except beneath cratonic regions where they are only 40-60% of the typical estimates (200-350 km) derived from seismic data. This inconsistency is compatible with petrologic data and tomography and geoid analyses that have suggested that cratonic mantle lids are ??? 1% less dense than mantle lids elsewhere. By lowering the thermally determined mean mantle lid density in cratons by 1%, our model reproduces the observed 200-350+ km cratonic lithospheric thickness. We then computed

  18. Temporal evolution of continental lithospheric strength in actively deforming regions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thatcher, W.; Pollitz, F.F.

    2008-01-01

    It has been agreed for nearly a century that a strong, load-bearing outer layer of earth is required to support mountain ranges, transmit stresses to deform active regions and store elastic strain to generate earthquakes. However the dept and extent of this strong layer remain controversial. Here we use a variety of observations to infer the distribution of lithospheric strength in the active western United States from seismic to steady-state time scales. We use evidence from post-seismic transient and earthquake cycle deformation reservoir loading glacio-isostatic adjustment, and lithosphere isostatic adjustment to large surface and subsurface loads. The nearly perfectly elastic behavior of Earth's crust and mantle at the time scale of seismic wave propagation evolves to that of a strong, elastic crust and weak, ductile upper mantle lithosphere at both earthquake cycle (EC, ???10?? to 103 yr) and glacio-isostatic adjustment (GIA, ???103 to 104 yr) time scales. Topography and gravity field correlations indicate that lithosphere isostatic adjustment (LIA) on ???106-107 yr time scales occurs with most lithospheric stress supported by an upper crust overlying a much weaker ductile subtrate. These comparisons suggest that the upper mantle lithosphere is weaker than the crust at all time scales longer than seismic. In contrast, the lower crust has a chameleon-like behavior, strong at EC and GIA time scales and weak for LIA and steady-state deformation processes. The lower crust might even take on a third identity in regions of rapid crustal extension or continental collision, where anomalously high temperatures may lead to large-scale ductile flow in a lower crustal layer that is locally weaker than the upper mantle. Modeling of lithospheric processes in active regions thus cannot use a one-size-fits-all prescription of rheological layering (relation between applied stress and deformation as a function of depth) but must be tailored to the time scale and tectonic

  19. Water in the Cratonic Mantle Lithosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peslier, A. H.

    2016-01-01

    The fact that Archean and Proterozoic cratons are underlain by the thickest (>200 km) lithosphere on Earth has always puzzled scientists because the dynamic convection of the surrounding asthenosphere would be expected to delaminate and erode these mantle lithospheric "keels" over time. Although density and temperature of the cratonic lithosphere certainly play a role in its strength and longevity, the role of water has only been recently addressed with data on actual mantle samples. Water in mantle lithologies (primarily peridotites and pyroxenites) is mainly stored in nominally anhydrous minerals (olivine, pyroxene, garnet) where it is incorporated as hydrogen bonded to structural oxygen in lattice defects. The property of hydrolytic weakening of olivine [4] has generated the hypothesis that olivine, the main mineral of the upper mantle, may be dehydrated in cratonic mantle lithospheres, contributing to its strength. This presentation will review the distribution of water concentrations in four cratonic lithospheres. The distribution of water contents in olivine from peridotite xenoliths found in kimberlites is different in each craton (Figure 1). The range of water contents of olivine, pyroxene and garnet at each xenolith location appears linked to local metasomatic events, some of which occurred later then the Archean and Proterozoic when these peridotites initially formed via melting. Although the low olivine water contents (<10 ppm wt H2O) at > 6 GPa at the base of the Kaapvaal cratonic lithosphere may contribute to its strength, and prevent its delamination, the wide range of those from Siberian xenoliths is not compatible with providing a high enough viscosity contrast with the asthenophere. The water content in olivine inclusions from Siberian diamonds, on the other hand, have systematically low water contents (<20 ppm wt H2O). The xenoliths may represent a biased sample of the cratonic lithosphere with an over-­abundance of metasomatized peridotites with

  20. Dynamic topography as constraints on stress and viscosity in the mantle and lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, S.

    2015-12-01

    Mantle convection generates stress in the mantle and lithosphere. The lithosphere stress is responsible for localized deformation including seismic deformation at plate boundaries, and localized stress highs in lithosphere are also suggested to cause dynamically self-consistent generation of plate tectonics and continental lithosphere instability, as the stress exceeds a threshold or yield stress. Modeling load-induced deformation at oceanic islands (e.g., Hawaii) constrains lithospheric stress at 100-200 MPa in the plate interiors, leading to a lower limit on lithospheric yield stress (Zhong and Watts, 2013). However, convection-induced lithospheric stress is poorly understood, ranging from 500 MPa to tens of MPa as reported in mantle convection studies. The magnitude and distribution of lithospheric and mantle stress depend critically on buoyancy and viscosity, particularly the latter. Unfortunately, lithospheric and mantle viscosity is also poorly constrained. For example, the inferred lower mantle viscosity from post-glacial rebound and geoid modeling studies ranges from 1023 Pas to 1022 Pas (e.g., Mitrovica and Forte, 2004; Simons and Hager, 1996; Paulson et al., 2007). In addition to the stress, the lower mantle viscosity may also affect the time evolution of mantle structure including sinking rate of slabs and formation of the degree-2 mantle seismic structure. Therefore, it is important to develop independent constraints on mantle viscosity and convection-induced stress. In this study, I demonstrate that dynamic topography can be used to place first-order constraints on both lithospheric stress and mantle viscosity. For a given superadiabatic temperature difference across the mantle (e.g., 2500 K), a larger mantle viscosity (or a smaller Rayleigh number) leads to a larger lithospheric stress and a larger dynamic topography. To be consistent with the inferred dynamic topography, the lower mantle viscosity is constrained to be significantly smaller than 1023

  1. Gravitational instability of mantle lithosphere and core complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molnar, Peter

    2015-03-01

    For a wide range of viscosity structures, convergent and downward flow of the mantle lithosphere during the growth of gravitational instability induces not only thickening of overlying crust but also concurrent horizontal extension in the upper crust. Such extension, if it occurred in the Earth, would include normal faulting of the upper crust above a region of horizontal shortening in the lower crust and uppermost mantle. Convergent flow in the lower crust would also create shear stress on horizontal planes and localized upward flow of the lower crust. These features—extension of upper crust and exhumation of strained lower crust—characterize metamorphic core complexes exposed in regions of normal to thick continental crust. Thus, convergent flow and downwelling mantle lithosphere might contribute to the development of core complexes, at least in some settings. If horizontal shortening and crustal thickening at depth do occur simultaneously with normal faulting at the surface of the Earth today, evidence of this process does not seem obvious, but perhaps it has occurred concurrently with widespread regional crustal extension in places like the Basin and Range Province, Tibet, the Pamir, or the Aegean. If such mantle flow does participate in the development of core complexes, a weak lower crust might not be a prerequisite for their formation.

  2. Mantle plumes and continental tectonics.

    PubMed

    Hill, R I; Campbell, I H; Davies, G F; Griffiths, R W

    1992-04-10

    Mantle plumes and plate tectonics, the result of two distinct modes of convection within the Earth, operate largely independently. Although plumes are secondary in terms of heat transport, they have probably played an important role in continental geology. A new plume starts with a large spherical head that can cause uplift and flood basalt volcanism, and may be responsible for regional-scale metamorphism or crustal melting and varying amounts of crustal extension. Plume heads are followed by narrow tails that give rise to the familiar hot-spot tracks. The cumulative effect of processes associated with tail volcanism may also significantly affect continental crust.

  3. Asymmetric vs. symmetric deep lithospheric architecture of intra-plate continental orogens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calignano, Elisa; Sokoutis, Dimitrios; Willingshofer, Ernst; Gueydan, Frédéric; Cloetingh, Sierd

    2015-08-01

    The initiation and subsequent evolution of intra-plate orogens, resulting from continental plate interior deformation due to transmission of stresses over large distances from the active plate boundaries, is controlled by lateral and vertical strength contrasts in the lithosphere. We present lithospheric-scale analogue models combining 1) lateral strength variations in the continental lithosphere, and 2) different vertical rheological stratifications. The experimental continental lithosphere has a four-layer brittle-ductile rheological stratification. Lateral heterogeneity is implemented in all models by increased crustal strength in a central narrow block. The main investigated parameters are strain rate and strength of the lithospheric mantle, both playing an important role in crust-mantle coupling. The experiments show that the presence of a strong crustal domain is effective in localizing deformation along its boundaries. After deformation is localized, the evolution of the orogenic system is governed by the mechanical properties of the lithosphere such that the final geometry of the intra-plate mountain depends on the interplay between crust-mantle coupling and folding versus fracturing of the lithospheric mantle. Underthrusting is the main deformation mode in case of high convergence velocity and/or thick brittle mantle with a final asymmetric architecture of the deep lithosphere. In contrast, lithospheric folding is dominant in case of low convergence velocity and low strength brittle mantle, leading to the development of a symmetric lithospheric root. The presented analogue modelling results provide novel insights for 1) strain localization and 2) the development of the asymmetric architecture of the Pyrenees.

  4. Continental smokers couple mantle degassing and distinctive microbiology within continents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crossey, Laura J.; Karlstrom, Karl E.; Schmandt, Brandon; Crow, Ryan R.; Colman, Daniel R.; Cron, Brandi; Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina D.; Dahm, Clifford N.; Northup, Diana E.; Hilton, David R.; Ricketts, Jason W.; Lowry, Anthony R.

    2016-02-01

    The discovery of oceanic black (and white) smokers revolutionized our understanding of mid-ocean ridges and led to the recognition of new organisms and ecosystems. Continental smokers, defined here to include a broad range of carbonic springs, hot springs, and fumaroles that vent mantle-derived fluids in continental settings, exhibit many of the same processes of heat and mass transfer and ecosystem niche differentiation. Helium isotope (3He/4He) analyses indicate that widespread mantle degassing is taking place in the western U.S.A., and that variations in mantle helium values correlate best with low seismic-velocity domains in the mantle and lateral contrasts in mantle velocity rather than crustal parameters such as GPS, proximity to volcanoes, crustal velocity, or composition. Microbial community analyses indicate that these springs can host novel microorganisms. A targeted analysis of four springs in New Mexico yield the first published occurrence of chemolithoautotrophic Zetaproteobacteria in a continental setting. These observations lead to two linked hypotheses: that mantle-derived volatiles transit through conduits in extending continental lithosphere preferentially above and at the edges of mantle low velocity domains. High CO2 and other constituents ultimately derived from mantle volatiles drive water-rock interactions and heterogeneous fluid mixing that help structure diverse and distinctive microbial communities.

  5. Convective instability within the Tibetan Lithospheric Mantle (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houseman, G. A.; Molnar, P. H.; Evans, L.; England, P. C.

    2013-12-01

    Studies of seismic surface waves in Asia show that shear-wave speeds at depths of ~120-250km beneath the Tibetan Plateau are higher than is generally observed for continents, other than beneath Archaean cratons. The high-speed layer has been interpreted as continental lithosphere that was thickened during the convergence between India and Asia. This interpretation contradicts conceptual models in which gravitational instabilities remove a significant fraction of the mantle lithosphere beneath Tibet during that convergence. In contrast, the suggestion of relatively recent (post-early-Miocene) surface uplift of the Plateau, inferred from the onset of normal faulting across the plateau, synchronous increased rates of compressional deformation in the surroundings of the the plateau, and widespread volcanism in the northern part of the plateau, implies action of a mechanism that increased the gravitational potential energy of, and temperatures within, the Tibetan lithosphere in a way that would not occur if the mantle lithosphere had simply thickened continually throughout the India-Asia convergence. A resolution to this paradox is suggested by the observation that, while shear-wave speeds are indeed high at depths of 120-250 km beneath the Tibetan plateau, they are anomalously low at shallower depths, implying a temperature inversion that is hard to reconcile with uninterrupted lithospheric thickening. We suggest that the ensemble of observations may be explained by the convective overturn of a lithospheric root that is depleted in iron such that it remains buoyant with respect to normal upper mantle. The increased rate of strain within the Tibetan lithosphere once convergence began reduced its effective viscosity, and continuing convergence thickened the lithospheric root. These conditions led to convective overturn, similar to the original conceptual models, with the difference that the overturn was confined within the root, which remains buoyant with respect to the

  6. Constraining Lithosphere Deformation Modes during Continental Breakup for the Iberia-Newfoundland Conjugate Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeanniot, L.; Kusznir, N. J.; Mohn, G.; Manatschal, G.

    2014-12-01

    How the lithosphere and asthenosphere deforms during continental rifting leading to breakup and sea-floor spreading initiation is poorly understood. Observations at present-day and fossil analogue rifted margins show a complex OCT architecture which cannot be explained by a single simplistic lithosphere deformation modes. This OCT complexity includes hyper-extended continental crust and lithosphere, detachments faults, exhumed mantle, continental slivers and scattered embryonic oceanic crust. We use a coupled kinematic-dynamic model of lithosphere and asthenosphere deformation to determine the sequence of lithosphere deformation modes leading to continental breakup for Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margin profiles. We quantitatively calibrate the models using observed present-day water loaded subsidence and crustal thickness, together with subsidence history and the age of melt generation. Flow fields, representing a sequence of lithosphere deformation modes, are generated by a 2D finite element viscous flow model (FE-Margin), and used to advect lithosphere and asthenosphere temperature and material. FE-Margin is kinematically driven by divergent deformation in the upper 15-20 km of the lithosphere inducing passive upwelling below. Buoyancy enhanced upwelling (Braun et al. 2000) is also kinematically included. Melt generation by decompressional melting is predicted using the methodology of Katz et al., 2003. The extension magnitudes used in the lithosphere deformation models are taken from Sutra et al (2013). The best fit calibrated models of lithosphere deformation evolution for the Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins require (i) an initial broad region of lithosphere deformation and passive upwelling, (ii) lateral migration of deformation, (iii) an increase in extension rate with time, (iv) focussing of deformation and (v) buoyancy induced upwelling. The preferred calibrated models predict faster extension rates and earlier continental crustal rupture and

  7. Shallow subduction, ridge subduction, and the evolution of continental lithosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Helmstaedt, H.; Dixon, J.M.; Farrar, E.; Carmichael, D.M.

    1985-01-01

    Subduction of oceanic lithosphere beneath continental crust at a shallow angle has occurred throughout the Phanerozoic Eon. Ridge subduction often follows shallow subduction and causes bimodal volcanism and crustal rifting, forming back-arc basins. Recent models for Archean plate tectonics propose very fast rates of spreading (400-800 km/Ma) and convergence, and sinking rates comparable to or slower (<10 km/Ma) than those of today. As faster convergence and slower sinking correspond to subduction at shallower angles, shallow subduction and ridge subduction must have been ubiquitous during the Archean permobile regime. This is compatible with a back-arc-basin origin for Archean greenstone belts. The common coexistence of tholeiitic and calc-alkaline igneous rocks in Archean greenstone belts, also implies ridge subduction. The authors envisage a transition, between 2.4 and 1.8 Ga., from a regime dominated by shallow subduction and repeated ridge subduction to one of normal plate tectonics with steeper subduction. Spreading rates decreased; continental plates became larger and stable shelves could develop at trailing margins. Shallow subduction became the exception, restricted to episodes of abnormally fast convergence; nevertheless, the long span of post-Archean time makes it unlikely that any part of the continental crust has escaped shallow subduction and ridge subduction. These processes recycle much volatile-rich oceanic crust into the sub-continental upper mantle, thereby underplating the crust, effecting upper-mantle metasomatism and affecting intraplate magmatism.

  8. Insights into the deep continental lithosphere from xenolith studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, C. A.; Rudnick, R. L.

    2006-12-01

    Studies of xenoliths provide a depth dimension to surface geology studies, and, in favorable circumstances, also provide the fourth dimension of time. In particular, geochemical studies of xenoliths provide insights into the processes that formed and modified the deep lithosphere (e.g., melting, metamorphism, fluid infiltration, basaltic underplating) and when they occurred. While xenoliths can provide a glimpse of the types of lithologies present at depth and how they formed, they cannot be assumed to be representative of the deep lithosphere, and inferences regarding the dominant lithologies present in the lower crust or upper mantle must be tempered by geophysical constraints on bulk physical properties of these regions. Mantle. Xenoliths from the lithospheric mantle are generally composed of peridotite, with lesser amounts of pyroxenite and/or eclogite. Equilibration T for these lithologies can generally be determined on the basis of two-pyroxene thermometery; precise depths of equilibration are much harder to estimate unless the samples contain garnet. The crystallization ages of mantle xenoliths are also usually difficult to constrain, as zircon is a rare phase in most upper mantle lithologies and most xenoliths have resided above the blocking temperature of other radiogenic isotope systems (Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, Lu-Hf) for a significant fraction of their histories. The Re- Os isotope system provides arguably the best means of determining the crystallization age of mantle xenoliths, but, like most model age approaches, carries significant uncertainty. Crust. Xenoliths from the lower continental crust can be extremely heterogeneous in composition, but mafic compositions dominate in a number of regions. Equilibration T and P may determined from coexisting phases and, in some cases, thermal histories deduced from presence of frozen metamorphic reactions (e.g., coronas). The presence of zircon and other U-bearing accessory phases provides the opportunity to determine the

  9. Partial melting of an ancient sub-continental lithospheric mantle in the early Paleozoic intracontinental regime and its contribution to petrogenesis of the coeval peraluminous granites in South China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, Yufang; Wang, Lianxun; Zhao, Junhong; Liu, Lei; Ma, Changqian; Zheng, Jianping; Zhang, Zejun; Luo, Biji

    2016-11-01

    The appinite-granite association has been found in various tectonic regimes related to recent subduction, arc-continent or continent-continent collision and post-collision (orogen), and appinites generally originate from recently subduction-modified lithospheric mantle. We conducted a study on a rarely reported appinite-granite association formed in an intracontinental regime, the Zhangjiafang-Qinglongshan complex (ZQC), in which the appinites were derived from an ancient sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM). The ZQC is located in the western Wugongshan domain, and consists of basaltic to intermediate appinites and granitoids. Ten dated samples (including massive and gneissoid granitoids, hornblende gabbro, and diorite) give zircon 206Pb/238U ages ranging from 444 ± 3 Ma to 452 ± 4 Ma, indicating that these various lithologies were emplaced synchronously. The basaltic appinites show radiogenic 87Sr/86Sri (0.71016-0.71431) and negative εNd(t) (- 6.1 to - 8.9) and zircon εHf(t) (- 4.2 to - 7.5) values. Combined with regional geological background, an origin from the Neoproterozoic metasomatised SCLM can be inferred for the appinites in the Wugongshan domain. The granitoids are peraluminous and almost high-K calc-alkaline to shoshonitic. They exhibit a wide range of isotopic compositions (87Sr/86Sri = 0.70828-0.71857, εNd(t) = - 6.2 to - 10.5, zircon εHf(t) = - 9.5 to - 26.6). Some of the granitoids display the most evolved Sr-Nd isotopic signatures among all the studied lithologies, which are consistent with those of the middle to upper crust, suggesting a pure crustal origin. Other granitoids show relatively mafic composition and less evolved isotopic signature. The intermediate appinites have intermediate chemical compositions between those of the basaltic appinites and granitoids, and similar Sr-Nd isotopic compositions to those of the basaltic appinites that have relatively evolved composition and isotopic signature. The petrographical and the

  10. Growth rate of the lithospheric mantle: variations in time and space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artemieva, I. M.

    2007-05-01

    Two global databases for the continents, (a) for tectono-thermal ages and (b) for lithospheric thermal thickness (Artemieva, Tectonophysics, 2006 and available for download at the web-site), are used to calculate (i) the volume of the preserved continental lithosphere of different ages within the individual cratons, (ii) the lithospheric growth rate for different continents over the past 3.6 Ga, (iii) a global model of lithosphere growth rate since the Archean. The submerged areas with continental crust are excluded from the analysis. On the scale of a craton, significant differences in the rates of lithosphere growth are observed between the individual cratons. These data are compared with independent estimates of growth rate of juvenile crust on different continents as constrained by sedimentary record, geological and isotope data. On the global scale, the results show a general agreement between the global cumulative growth rate of the continental lithosphere and juvenile crust (Condie, 1998). The most pronounced peak in lithosphere growth occurred at 2.1-1.7 Ga, when the volume of lithospheric mantle was increasing with the rate of ca. 10-20 (km3 per year). Contrary to growth models of juvenile crust, the peaks in growth rate of the lithospheric mantle at ca. 2.7- 2.6 Ga and 1.3-1.1 Ga are weak, ca. 5-8 (km3 per year). The differences between the growth rates of the lithosphere and juvenile crust are interpreted as indicator of the preservation rate of the cratonic lithosphere since the Archean.

  11. European Lithospheric Mantle; geochemical, petrological and geophysical processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ntaflos, Th.; Puziewicz, J.; Downes, H.; Matusiak-Małek, M.

    2017-04-01

    The second European Mantle Workshop occurred at the end of August 2015, in Wroclaw, Poland, attended by leading scientists in the study the lithospheric mantle from around the world. It built upon the results of the first European Mantle Workshop (held in 2007, in Ferrara, Italy) published in the Geological Society of London Special Publication 293 (Coltorti & Gregoire, 2008).

  12. Dependency of continental crustal rupture, decompression melt initiation and OCT architecture on lithosphere deformation modes during continental breakup: Numerical experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeanniot, L.; Kusznir, N. J.; Manatschal, G.

    2012-12-01

    During the continental breakup process, the initiation of sea-floor spreading requires both the rupture of the continental crust and the initiation of decompression melting. Using numerical experiments, we investigate how the deformation mode of continental lithosphere thinning and stretching controls the rupture of continental crust and lithospheric mantle, the onset of decompression melting and their relative timing. We use a two dimensional finite element viscous flow model to describe lithosphere and asthenosphere deformation. This flow field is used to advect lithosphere and asthenosphere material and temperature. Decompression melting is predicted using the parameterization scheme of Katz et al. (2003). Consistent with the observations of deformation processes occurring at slow spreading ocean ridges (Cannat, 1996), we assume that the topmost continental and oceanic lithosphere, corresponding to the cooler brittle seismogenic layer, deforms by extensional faulting (which we approximate to pure-shear deformation) and magmatic intrusion. Beneath this topmost lithosphere layer approximately 15-20 km thick, we assume that deformation occurs in response to passive upwelling and thermal and melt buoyancy driven small-scale convection. The relative contribution of these deformation components is parameterised by the ratio Vz/Vx, where Vx is the half spreading rate applied to the topmost lithosphere deformation and Vz is the upwelling velocity associated with the small scale convection. We use a series of numerical experiments to investigate the dependency of continental crust and lithosphere rupture, decompression melt initiation, rifted margin ocean-continent transition architecture and subsidence history on the half-spreading rate Vx, buoyancy driven upwelling rate Vz, the ratio Vz/Vx and upper lithosphere pure-shear width W. Based on the numerical experiment results we explore a polyphase evolution of deformation modes leading to continental breakup, sea

  13. Tracing the thermal evolution of continental lithosphere through depth-dependent extension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smye, A.; Lavier, L. L.; Stockli, D. F.; Zack, T.

    2015-12-01

    Rifting of continental lithosphere requires a mechanism to reduce lithospheric thickness from 100-150 kilometers to close to zero kilometers at the point of rupture. At magma-poor continental margins, this has long-thought to be caused by uniform stretching and thinning of the lithosphere accompanied by passive upwelling of the asthenosphere [1]. For the last thirty years depth-dependent thinning has been proposed as an alternative to this model to explain the anomalously shallow environment of deposition along many continental margins [2, 3]. A critical prediction of this modification is that the lower crust and sub-continental lithospheric mantle undergo a phase of increased heat flow, potentially accompanied by heating, during thinning of the lithospheric mantle. Here, we test this prediction by applying recently developed U-Pb age depth profiling techniques [4] to lower crustal accessory minerals from the exhumed Alpine Tethys and Pyrenean margins. Inversion of diffusion-controlled U-Pb age profiles in rutile affords the opportunity to trace the thermal evolution of the lower crust through the rifting process. Resultant thermal histories are used to calculate thinning factors of the crust and lithospheric mantle by 2D thermo-kinematic models of extending lithosphere. Combined, we use the measured and modeled thermal histories to propose a mechanism to explain the initiation and growth of lithospheric instabilities that lead to depth-dependent thinning at magma-poor continental margins. [1] McKenzie, D. (1978) EPSL 40, 25-32; [2] Royden, L. & Keen, C. (1980) EPSL 51, 343-361; [3] Huismans, R. & Beaumont, C. (2014) EPSL, 407, 148-162; [4] Smye, A. and Stockli, D. (2014) EPSL, 408, 171-182.

  14. Rheological Stratification of the Continental Lithosphere: Constraints from Space Geodesy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thatcher, W.

    2003-12-01

    Postseismic transient deformation, isostatic rebound from removal of pluvial lake loads, and lithospheric deflection due to reservoir impoundment are each converging on consistent rheological models for the crust and upper mantle of actively deforming continental regions. These results imply a strong elastic crust 25-40 km thick overlain by a viscoelastic substrate with an effective viscosity of ~10**18 to 10**19 Pa-s. The most surprising result of these studies is that the upper mantle is weaker than the lower crust. However, the lower crust in these regions may deform by ductile flow on longer time scales, and the data provide a lower bound of ~10**20 Pa-s for its effective viscosity. This bound on lower crustal viscosity is consistent with spectral admittance studies of the gravity field and its relation to topography in the western U. S. (Lowry et al., 2000). These results indicate effective elastic lithospheric thickness is 5-15 km in the same regions where the post-loading results indicate the entire crust is strong over about 10 to 10,000 years. Recent (and not so recent) relevant results include: (1) Deformation imaged by InSAR and GPS following the 1992 Landers and 1999 Hector Mine, California earthquakes; (2) Leveling surveys following the 1959 M=7.3 Hegben Lake, Montana earthquake; (3) Isostatic rebound of Lake Bonneville, Utah; (4) Leveling surveys following filling of Lake Mead, Arizona in 1935. Postseismic transient deformation observed following several other recent large earthquakes provides potential constraints on bulk rheology of the lithosphere. However, deformation following events at major plate boundaries, including the 1993 Hokkaido-oki (M=7.8), 1999 Taiwan (M=7.6) and 1999 Izmet (M=7.5) earthquakes is dominated by the effects of buried aseismic afterslip, making it difficult to extract any signals that may be due to bulk relaxation of the lower crust and upper mantle. This suggests that large intraplate earthquakes on faults adjacent to

  15. Lithospheric mantle duplex beneath the central Mojave Desert revealed by xenoliths from Dish Hill, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luffi, Peter; Saleeby, Jason B.; Lee, Cin-Ty A.; Ducea, Mihai N.

    2009-03-01

    Low-angle subduction of oceanic lithosphere may be an important process in modifying continental lithosphere. A classic example is the underthrusting of the Farallon plate beneath North America during the Laramide orogeny. To assess the relevance of this process to the evolution and composition of continental lithosphere, the mantle stratigraphy beneath the Mojave Desert was constrained using ultramafic xenoliths hosted in Plio-Pleistocene cinder cones. Whole-rock chemistry, clinopyroxene trace element and Nd isotope data, in combination with geothermometry and surface heat flow, indicate kilometer-scale compositional layering. The shallow parts are depleted in radiogenic Nd (ɛNd = -13 to -6.4) and are interpreted to be ancient continental mantle that escaped tectonic erosion by low-angle subduction. The deeper samples are enriched in radiogenic Nd (ɛNd = +5.7 to +16.1) and reveal two superposed mantle slices of recent origin. Within each slice, compositions range from fertile lherzolites at the top to harzburgites at the bottom: the latter formed by 25-28% low-pressure melt depletion and the former formed by refertilization of harzburgites by mid-ocean-ridge-basalt-like liquids. The superposition and internal compositional zonation of the slices preclude recent fertilization by Cenozoic extension-related magmas. The above observations imply that the lower Mojavian lithosphere represents tectonically subcreted and imbricated lithosphere having an oceanic protolith. If so, the lherzolitic domains may be related to melting and refertilization beneath mid-ocean ridges. The present Mojavian lithosphere is thus a composite of a shallow section of the original North American lithosphere underlain by Farallon oceanic lithosphere accreted during low-angle subduction.

  16. Assessing thermo-mechanical properties of the lithospheric mantle in Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stolk, W.; Kaban, M. K.; Beekman, F.; Tesauro, M.; Cloetingh, S.

    2012-12-01

    Asia is a key natural laboratory for the study of active intra-continental deformation in response to the ongoing far-field collision of India and Eurasia. The resulting tectonic processes strongly depend on the thermo-mechanical structure of the lithosphere. However, the problem of the thermo-mechanical properties of the lithospheric mantle is complex and still not well resolved. While seismic studies give an indication of the heterogeneity of the mantle lithosphere it alone is insufficient to attribute these anomalies to thermal differences, since compositional difference may have a significant effect on observed wave velocities. Using solely gravity field analysis one cannot distinguish between e.g. stacked density anomalies or lateral density anomalies. Combining both datasets allows for a better insight into the mantle lithosphere, though the solution to the problem at hand remains non-unique. This study, of which the preliminary results will be presented here, attempts to gain insight into both compositional and thermal aspects of the mantle lithosphere in Asia. By combining a recent high resolution tomographic inversion with gravity field data, but without the assumption of a steady state mantle, a trade off between compositional and thermal effects can be made. Furthermore, susceptibility of the resulting model to small changes in parameter space can be obtained thus creating a 'playing field' for possible solutions to the thermo-mechanical problem. This 'playing field' can be further constrained by additional data from other sources, such as xenolith studies.

  17. Earth's earliest continental lithosphere, hydrothermal flux and crustal recycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Wit, Maarten J.; Hart, Roger A.

    1993-09-01

    The Kaapvaal craton in southern Africa and the Pilbara craton of northwestern Australia are the largest regions on Earth to have retained relatively pristine mid-Archaean rocks (3.0-4.0 Ga). The Kaapvaal craton covers about 1.2×10 6 km 2, and varies in lithospheric thickness between 170 and 350 km. At surface, the craton can be subdivided into a number of Archaean sub-domains; some of the subdomains are also well defined at depth, and local variations in tomography of the lithosphere correspond closely with subdomain boundaries at surface. The Archaean history of the Kaapvaal craton spans about 1 Gyr and can be conveniently subdivided into two periods, each of about the same length as the Phanerozoic. The first period, from circa 3.7-3.1 Ga, records the initial separation of the cratonic lithosphere from the asthenosphere, terminating with a major pulse of accretion tectonics between 3.2 and 3.1 Ga, which includes the formation of "paired metamorphic belts". This period of continental growth can be compared to plate tectonic processes occurring in modern-day oceanic basins. However, the difference is that in the mid-Archaean, these oceanic processes appear to have occurred in shallower water depths than the modern ocean basins. The second period, from circa 3.1-2.6 Ga, records intra-continental and continental-edge processes: continental growth during this period occurred predominantly through a combination of tectonic accretion of crustal fragments and subduction-related igneous processes, in much the same way as has been documented along the margins of the Pacific and Tethys oceans since the Mesozoic. The intra-oceanic processes resulted in small, but deep-rooted continental nucleii; the first separation of this early continental lithosphere could only have occurred when the mean elevation of mid-oceanicridges sank below sea-level. Substantial recycling of continental lithosphere into the mantle must have occurred during this period of Earth history. During the

  18. Lithosphere-Mantle Interactions Associated with Flat-Slab Subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerault, M.; Becker, T. W.; Husson, L.; Humphreys, E.

    2014-12-01

    Episodes of flat-slab subduction along the western margin of the Americas may have lead to the formation of intra-continental basins and seas, as well as mountain belts and continental plateaux. Here, we explore some of the consequences of a flat slab morphology, linking dynamic topography and stress patterns in continents to slab and mantle dynamics. Using a 2-D cylindrical code, we develop general models and apply them to the North and South America plates. The results are primarily controlled by the coupling along the slab-continent interface (due to geometry and viscosity), the viscosity of the mantle wedge, and the buoyancy of the subducted lithosphere. All models predict broad subsidence, large deviatoric stresses, and horizontal compression above the tip of the flat slab and the deep slab hinge. In models where the slab lays horizontally for hundreds of kilometers, overriding plate compression focuses on both ends of the flat segment, where normal-dip subduction exerts a direct downward pull. In between, a broad low-stress region gets uplifted proportionally to the amount of coupling between the slab and the continent. Anomalously buoyant seafloor enhances this effect but is not required. The downward bending of the flat slab extremities causes its upper part to undergo extension and the lower part to compress. These results have potential for explaining the existence of relatively undeformed, uplifted regions surrounded by mountain belts, such as in the western U.S. and parts of the Andes. Adequately modeling topography and stress in the unusual setting of southwestern Mexico requires a low-viscosity subduction interface and mantle wedge. Our results are only partially controlled by the buoyancy of the subducting plate, suggesting that the viscosity and the morphology of the slab are important, and that the often-used low resolution and "Stokeslet" models may be missing substantial effects.

  19. Structure of the Crust and Mantle Lithosphere underneath NW Namibia Revealed by the WALPASS Seismic Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, X.; Jokat, W.; Weber, M. H.; Geissler, W.; Heit, B.; Eken, T.; Pandey, S.; Lushetile, B.; Hoffmann, K.

    2013-12-01

    The amphibian Walvis Ridge Passive-Source Seismic Experiment (WALPASS) have been operated for a period of two years from 2010 to 2012 in the area where the Walvis Ridge intersects the continental margin of northwestern Namibia. The deployment was intended to study the lithospheric and upper mantle structure in the ocean-continent transition area beneath the passive continental margin. The main idea is to find seismic anomalies related to the postulated hotspot track from the continent to the ocean along the Walvis Ridge that links the Etendeka continental flood-basalt province to the Tristan da Cunha hotspot in the mid Atlantic ocean. This could provide clues of the role of plume-lithosphere interaction during the continental break-up. We present here seismic structures of the crustal and mantle lithosphere in this geophysically little studied region using seismic methods including P and S receiver functions and shear wave splitting. The average crustal thickness in the continental Namibia is ~35 km with a relatively low Vp/Vs ratio of 1.7. Underneath the NE extension of the Walvis Ridge the crust is the thickest (45 km) with a high Vp/Vs ratio (>1.80). The thick crust and high Vp/Vs ratio beneath the Walvis Ridge are consistent with high Vp derived by controlled source seismics, implying a magmatic underplating. A low velocity zone in the mantle is observed at depths of 60-120 km, possibly representing the base of the lithosphere. The P-to-S converted phases at the 410 and 660 km discontinuities arrive 2-3 s earlier, indicating higher upper mantle velocities (+5%). Seismic anisotropy in the mantle derived by the SKS splitting exhibits a pattern of the plume and plate interaction.

  20. Mantle and crustal contributions to continental flood volcanism

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arndt, N.T.; Czamanske, G.K.; Wooden, J.L.; Fedorenko, V.A.

    1993-01-01

    Arndt, N.T., Czamanske, G.K., Wooden, J.L. and Fedorenko, V.A., 1993. Mantle and crustal contributions to continental flood volcanism. In: M.J.R. Wortel, U. Hansen and R. Sabadini (Editors), Relationships between Mantle Processes and Geological Processes at or near the Earth's Surface. Tectonophysics, 223: 39-52. Most continental flood basalts are enriched in incompatible elements and have high initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios and low ??{lunate}Nd values. Many are depleted in Nb and Ta. The commonly-held view that these characteristics are inherited directly from a source in metasomatized lithospheric mantle is inconsistent with the following arguments: (1) thermomechanical modelling demonstrates that flood basalt magmas come mainly from an asthenospheric or plume source, with minimal direct melting of the continental lithospheric mantle. The low water contents of most flood basalts argue against proposals that hydrous lithosphere was the source. (2) Lithospheric mantle normally has low concentrations of incompatible elements, and chondrite-normalized Nb and Ta contents similar to those of other incompatible elements. Such material cannot be the unmodified source of Nb-Ta-depleted basalts such as those from the Karoo, Ferrar, or Columbia River provinces. We suggest there are two main controls on the compositions of continental flood basalts. The first is lithospheric thickness, which strongly influences the depth and degree of mantle melting of a plume or asthenospheric source, and thus has an important influence on the composition of primary magmas. All liquids formed by partial melting of peridotite at sub-lithosphere depths are highly magnesian (20-25 wt.% MgO) but have variable trace-element contents. Where the lithosphere is thick, the source melts at high pressure, garnet is present, the degree of melting is low, and trace-element concentrations are high. This type of magma evolves to produce the high-Ti type of continental flood basalt. Where the lithosphere is

  1. Preservation of ancient and fertile lithospheric mantle beneath the southwestern United States.

    PubMed

    Lee, C T; Yin, Q; Rudnick, R L; Jacobsen, S B

    2001-05-03

    Stable continental regions, free from tectonic activity, are generally found only within ancient cratons-the centres of continents which formed in the Archaean era, 4.0-2.5 Gyr ago. But in the Cordilleran mountain belt of western North America some younger (middle Proterozoic) regions have remained stable, whereas some older (late Archaean) regions have been tectonically disturbed, suggesting that age alone does not determine lithospheric strength and crustal stability. Here we report rhenium-osmium isotope and mineral compositions of peridotite xenoliths from two regions of the Cordilleran mountain belt. We found that the younger, undeformed Colorado plateau is underlain by lithospheric mantle that is 'depleted' (deficient in minerals extracted by partial melting of the rock), whereas the older (Archaean), yet deformed, southern Basin and Range province is underlain by 'fertile' lithospheric mantle (not depleted by melt extraction). We suggest that the apparent relationship between composition and lithospheric strength, inferred from different degrees of crustal deformation, occurs because depleted mantle is intrinsically less dense than fertile mantle (due to iron having been lost when melt was extracted from the rock). This allows the depleted mantle to form a thicker thermal boundary layer between the deep convecting mantle and the crust, thus reducing tectonic activity at the surface. The inference that not all Archaean crust developed a strong and thick thermal boundary layer leads to the possibility that such ancient crust may have been overlooked because of its intensive reworking or lost from the geological record owing to preferential recycling.

  2. Generation of Continental Rifts, Basins and Swells by Lithosphere Instabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milelli, L.; Fourel, L.; Jaupart, C. P.

    2012-12-01

    Domal uplifts, volcanism, basin formation and rifting have often struck the same continent in different areas at the same time. Their characteristics and orientations are difficult to reconcile with mantle convection or tectonic forces and suggest a driving mechanism that is intrinsic to the continent. The rifts seem to develop preferentially at high angles to the edge of the continent whereas swells and basins seem confined to the interior. Another intriguing geometrical feature is that the rifts often branch out in complicated patterns at their landward end. In Western Africa, for example, magmatic activity currently occurs in a number of uplifted areas including the peculiar Cameroon Volcanic Line that stretches away from the continental margin over about 1000 km. Magmatic and volcanic activity has been sustained along this line for 70 My with no age progression. The mantle upwelling that feeds the volcanoes is not affected by absolute plate motions and hence is attached to the continent. The Cameroon Volcanic Line extends to the Biu swell to the North and the Jos plateau to the West defining a striking Y-shaped pattern. This structure segues into several volcanic domes including the Air, the Hoggar, the Darfur, the Tibesti and the Haruj domes towards the Mediterranean coast. Another example is provided by North America, where the late Proterozoic-early Ordovician saw the formation of four major basins, the Michigan, Illinois, Williston and Hudson Bay, as well as of major rifts in southern Oklahoma and the Mississipi Valley within a short time interval. At the same time, a series of uplifts developed, such as the Ozark and Nashville domes. Motivated by these observations, we have sought an explanation in the continental lithosphere itself. We describe a new type of convective instability at the base of the lithosphere that leads to a remarkable spatial pattern at the scale of an entire continent. We carried out fluid mechanics laboratory experiments on buoyant

  3. Seismic anisotropy of the mantle lithosphere beneath the Swedish National Seismological Network (SNSN)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eken, T.; Plomerova, J.; Roberts, R.; Ludek, V.; Babuska, V.; Shomali, H.; Bodvarsson, R.

    2009-04-01

    Body-wave analysis - shear-wave splitting and P-travel time residuals - detect anisotropic structure of the upper mantle beneath the Swedish part of Fennoscandia. Geographic variations of both the splitting measurements and the P-residual spheres map regions of different fabrics of the mantle lithosphere. The fabric of individual mantle domains is internally consistent, usually with sudden changes at their boundaries. Distinct back-azimuth dependence of SKS splitting excludes single layer anisotropy models with horizontal symmetry axes for the whole region. Based upon joint inversion of body-wave anisotropic parameters we instead propose 3D self-consistent anisotropic models of well-defined mantle lithosphere domains with differently oriented fabrics approximated by hexagonal aggregates with plunging symmetry axes. The domain-like structure of the Precambrian mantle lithosphere, most probably retaining fossil fabric since the domains' origin, supports the idea of the existence of an early form of plate tectonics during formation of continental cratons already in the Archean. Similarly to different geochemical and geological constraints, the 3D anisotropy modelling and mapping of fabrics of the lithosphere domains contribute to tracking plate tectonics regimes back in time.

  4. Constraining lithosphere deformation modes during continental breakup for the Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate rifted margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeanniot, Ludovic; Kusznir, Nick; Mohn, Geoffroy; Manatschal, Gianreto; Cowie, Leanne

    2016-06-01

    A kinematic model of lithosphere and asthenosphere deformation has been used to investigate lithosphere stretching and thinning modes during continental rifting leading to breakup and seafloor spreading. The model has been applied to two conjugate profiles across the Iberia-Newfoundland rifted margins and quantitatively calibrated using observed present-day water loaded subsidence and crustal thickness, together with observed mantle exhumation, subsidence and melting generation histories. The kinematic model uses an evolving prescribed flow-field to deform the lithosphere and asthenosphere leading to lithospheric breakup from which continental crustal thinning, lithosphere thermal evolution, decompression melt initiation and subsidence are predicted. We explore the sensitivity of model predictions to extension rate history, deformation migration and buoyancy induced upwelling. The best fit calibrated models of lithosphere deformation evolution for the Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins require; (1) an initial broad region of lithosphere deformation with passive upwelling, (2) lateral migration of deformation, (3) an increase in extension rate with time, (4) focussing of the deformation and (5) buoyancy induced upwelling. The model prediction of exhumed mantle at the Iberia-Newfoundland margins, as observed, requires a critical threshold of melting to be exceeded before melt extraction. The preferred calibrated models predict faster extension rates and earlier continental crustal separation and mantle exhumation for the Iberia Abyssal Plain-Flemish Pass conjugate margin profile than for the Galicia Bank-Flemish Cap profile to the north. The predicted N-S differences in the deformation evolution give insights into the 3D evolution of Iberia-Newfoundland margin crustal separation.

  5. Using crustal thickness and subsidence history on the Iberia-Newfoundland margins to constrain lithosphere deformation modes during continental breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeanniot, Ludovic; Kusznir, Nick; Manatschal, Gianreto; Mohn, Geoffroy

    2014-05-01

    Observations at magma-poor rifted margins such as Iberia-Newfoundland show a complex lithosphere deformation history during continental breakup and seafloor spreading initiation leading to complex OCT architecture with hyper-extended continental crust and lithosphere, exhumed mantle and scattered embryonic oceanic crust and continental slivers. Initiation of seafloor spreading requires both the rupture of the continental crust and lithospheric mantle, and the onset of decompressional melting. Their relative timing controls when mantle exhumation may occur; the presence or absence of exhumed mantle provides useful information on the timing of these events and constraints on lithosphere deformation modes. A single lithosphere deformation mode leading to continental breakup and sea-floor spreading cannot explain observations. We have determined the sequence of lithosphere deformation events for two profiles across the present-day conjugate Iberia-Newfoundland margins, using forward modelling of continental breakup and seafloor spreading initiation calibrated against observations of crustal basement thickness and subsidence. Flow fields, representing a sequence of lithosphere deformation modes, are generated by a 2D finite element viscous flow model (FeMargin), and used to advect lithosphere and asthenosphere temperature and material. FeMargin is kinematically driven by divergent deformation in the upper 15-20 km of the lithosphere inducing passive upwelling beneath that layer; extensional faulting and magmatic intrusions deform the topmost upper lithosphere, consistent with observations of deformation processes occurring at slow spreading ocean ridges (Cannat, 1996). Buoyancy enhanced upwelling, as predicted by Braun et al. (2000) is also kinematically included in the lithosphere deformation model. Melt generation by decompressional melting is predicted using the parameterization and methodology of Katz et al. (2003). The distribution of lithosphere deformation, the

  6. Geodynamic constraints on stress and strength of the continental lithosphere during India-Asia collision.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaus, B. J. P.; Schmalholz, S. M.; Lebedev, S.; Deschamps, F.

    2009-04-01

    There has been quite some debate in recent years on what the long-term strength of the continental lithosphere is and how it is related to the occurrence of earthquakes. One of the best studied areas in this respect is the India-Asia collision zone, where -in some profiles- the Moho depth is known to within a few km's. A relocation of earthquake source locations revealed that in India earthquakes occur throughout the whole lithosphere whereas in Tibet, earthquakes are restricted to the upper 10-15 km of the crust with few exceptions slightly above or below the Moho. The lack of substantial earthquake activity in the sub-Moho mantle lithosphere seems puzzling since (1D) strength envelop models for the continental lithosphere predict large differential stresses (and brittle failure) in these locations. A way out of this paradox is to assume that the rheology of the mantle lithosphere (i.e. the effective viscosity) is significantly smaller than usually assumed, either because of the effects of hydration, or because of increased Moho temperatures. As a consequence, the strength of the lithosphere resides in the crust and not in the upper mantle as previously assumed. This conclusion gets some support from spectral-based inverse models of the effective elastic thickness (using topography and gravity as input data), which is typically smaller than the seismogenic thickness. Even though this explanation might appear appealing at first, there are at least two major problems with it: (1) Estimations of the effective elastic thickness (EET) of the lithosphere are non-unique and model-dependent. Others, using a direct (non-spectral) modelling approach, find significantly larger values of the EET in the same locations (again using gravity & topography as constraints). (2) Long term geodynamic models indicate that if the mantle lithosphere would indeed be as weak as suggested, it would be very difficult to generate plate-tectonics like behavior: Subducting slabs behave more

  7. Generation of continental rifts, basins, and swells by lithosphere instabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fourel, LoïC.; Milelli, Laura; Jaupart, Claude; Limare, Angela

    2013-06-01

    Continents may be affected simultaneously by rifting, uplift, volcanic activity, and basin formation in several different locations, suggesting a common driving mechanism that is intrinsic to continents. We describe a new type of convective instability at the base of the lithosphere that leads to a remarkable spatial pattern at the scale of an entire continent. We carried out fluid mechanics laboratory experiments on buoyant blocks of finite size that became unstable due to cooling from above. Dynamical behavior depends on three dimensionless numbers, a Rayleigh number for the unstable block, a buoyancy number that scales the intrinsic density contrast to the thermal one, and the aspect ratio of the block. Within the block, instability develops in two different ways in an outer annulus and in an interior region. In the outer annulus, upwellings and downwellings take the form of periodically spaced radial spokes. The interior region hosts the more familiar convective pattern of polygonal cells. In geological conditions, such instabilities should manifest themselves as linear rifts striking at a right angle to the continent-ocean boundary and an array of domal uplifts, volcanic swells, and basins in the continental interior. Simple scaling laws for the dimensions and spacings of the convective structures are derived. For the subcontinental lithospheric mantle, these dimensions take values in the 500-1000 km range, close to geological examples. The large intrinsic buoyancy of Archean lithospheric roots prevents this type of instability, which explains why the widespread volcanic activity that currently affects Western Africa is confined to post-Archean domains.

  8. 87Sr/86Sr in spinel peridotites from Borée, Massif Central, France: melt depletion and metasomatism in the sub-continental lithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnett, Caroline; Harvey, Jason

    2016-04-01

    Radiogenic isotopes and elemental concentrations in peridotite xenoliths may be used to model the timing and degree of partial melting in the upper mantle, but this primary melt depletion signature may be overwritten by subsequent episodes of melt or fluid infiltration. Spinel peridotites from the Maar de Borée, Massif Central, France have mainly poikilitic protogranular textures and clear petrographic evidence of a melt phase apparently unrelated to host basalt infiltration. Bulk rock major and compatible trace element concentrations are consistent with varying degrees of partial melting but incompatible trace element concentrations indicate cryptic metasomatism in some samples. Lithophile trace element mass balance cannot always be reconciled by the inclusion of the chemically characterized melt phase and suggest a contribution from a trace abundance grain boundary phase1. 87Sr/86Sr values for unleached bulk rocks and clinopyroxene mineral separates are higher than those for their leached equivalents, consistent with the removal of a radiogenic grain boundary phase. While unleached bulk rock 87Sr/86Sr is sometimes indistinguishable (within error) from its constituent unleached clinopyroxene, in two samples they show distinct patterns, as do the REE trends in these two xenoliths. BO01-01 bulk-rock is LREE-enriched (La/YbN = 3.6)2, and constituent clinopyroxene shows a similar relative enrichment trend. Bulk-rock 87Sr/86Sr is 0.70342±1 while that of clinopyroxene is lower at 0.70332±2. Clinopyroxene modal abundance is 11%. BO01-03 bulk-rock is only slightly LREE-enriched (La/YbN = 1.2) and both bulk-rock and clinopyroxene show a generally flatter profile. Bulk-rock 87Sr/86Sr is 0.70285±1 while that of clinopyroxene is in this case higher at 0.70296±2. Clinopyroxene modal abundance is also higher at 15%, consistent with a greater contribution by clinopyroxene to the bulk-rock Sr-isotope budget. The results appear to be inconsistent with a simple model of single

  9. Continental growth by successive accretion of oceanic lithosphere: Evidence from tilted seismic anisotropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babuska, V.; Plomerova, J.; Karato, S. I.

    2012-04-01

    Although many studies indicate that subduction-related accretion, subduction-driven magmatism and tectonic stacking are major crustal-growth mechanisms, how the mantle lithosphere forms remains enigmatic. Cook (AGU Geod. Series 1986) published a model of continental 'shingling' based on seismic reflection data indicating dipping structures in the deep crust of accreted terranes. Helmstaedt and Gurney (J. Geoch. Explor. 1995) and Hart et al. (Geology 1997) suggest that the Archean continental lithosphere consists of alternating layers of basalt and peridotite derived from subducted and obducted Archean oceanic lithosphere. Peridotite xenoliths from the Mojavian mantle lithosphere (Luffi et al., JGR 2009), as well as xenoliths of eclogites underlying the Sierra Nevada batholith in California (Horodynskij et al., EPSL 2007), are representative for oceanic slab fragments successively attached to the continent. Recent seismological findings also seem to support a model of continental lithosphere built from systems of paleosubductions of plates of ancient oceanic lithosphere (Babuska and Plomerova, AGU Geoph. Monograph 1989), or by stacking of the plates (Helmstaedt and Schulze, Geol. Soc. Aust. Spec. Publ. 1989). Seismic anisotropy in the oceanic mantle lithosphere, explained mainly by the olivine A- (or D-) type fabric (Karato et al., Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 2008), was discovered almost a half century ago (Hess, Nature 1964). Though it is difficult to determine seismic anisotropy within an active subducting slab (e.g., Healy et al., EPSL 2009; Eberhart-Phillips and Reyners, JGR 2009), field observations and laboratory experiments indicate the oceanic olivine fabric might be preserved there to a depth of at least 200-300 km. Dipping anisotropic fabrics in domains of the European mantle lithosphere were interpreted as systems of 'frozen' paleosubductions (Babuska and Plomerova, PEPI 2006), and the lithosphere base as a boundary between a fossil anisotropy in the

  10. Metasomatic Enrichment of Oceanic Lithospheric Mantle Documented by Petit-Spot Xenoliths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pilet, S.; Abe, N.; Rochat, L.; Hirano, N.; Machida, S.; Kaczmarek, M. A.; Muntener, O.

    2015-12-01

    Oceanic lithosphere is generally interpreted as mantle residue after MORB extraction. It has been proposed, however, that metasomatism could take place at the interface between the low-velocity zone and the cooling and thickening oceanic lithosphere or by the percolation of low-degree melts produced in periphery of Mid Ocean Ridges. This later process is observed in slow spreading ridges and ophiolites where shallow oceanic lithospheric mantle could be metasomatized/refertilized during incomplete MORB melt extraction. Nevertheless, direct evidence for metasomatic refertilization of the deep part of the oceanic lithospheric mantle is still missing. Xenoliths and xenocrysts sampled by petit-spot volcanoes interpreted as low-degree melts extracted from the base of the lithosphere in response to plate flexure, provide important new information about the nature and the processes associated with the evolution of oceanic lithospheric mantle. Here, we report, first, the presence of a garnet xenocryst in petit-spot lavas from Japan characterized by low-Cr, low-Ti content and mostly flat MREE-HREE pattern. This garnet is interpreted as formed during subsolidus cooling of pyroxenitic or gabbroic cumulates formed at ~1 GPa during the incomplete melt extraction at the periphery of the Pacific mid-ocean ridge. It is the first time that such processes are documented in fast spreading context. Second, we report petit-spot mantle xenoliths with cpx trace element "signatures" characterized by high U, Th, relative depletion in Nb, Pb, Ti and high but variable LREE/HREE ratio suggesting equilibration depth closed to the Gt/Sp transition zone. Such "signatures" are unknown from oceanic settings and show unexpected similarity to melt-metasomatized gt-peridotites sampled by kimberlites. This similarity suggests that metasomatic processes are not restricted to continental setting, but could correspond to a global mechanism at the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. As plate flexure

  11. Evidence from mantle xenoliths for lithosphere removal beneath the central Rio Grande Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byerly, Benjamin L.; Lassiter, John C.

    2012-11-01

    Seismic tomography beneath the Central Rio Grande Rift (RGR) at ˜34°N shows a low P and S wave velocity zone in the mantle that extends up the base of the Moho. This low-velocity region has been interpreted by (Gao et al., 2004) to be the result of convective removal of a portion of the once >100 km thick Proterozoic lithosphere. The amount of extension in the central RGR is thought to be low (˜25%) and thus cannot account for the amount of lithosphere thinning suggested by seismic tomography. We measured whole rock and mineral major element, trace element, and isotopic compositions of spinel-peridotite xenoliths erupted along the central axis of the rift (Elephant Butte) and the eastern margin of the Colorado Plateau (Cerro Chato) to determine their depth of origin and mantle provenance and to test the delamination hypothesis. If lithosphere removal has not occurred and the low P and S wave velocities are instead the result of hydration or melt infiltration in the lithosphere, then xenoliths erupted on the rift axis should have geochemical compositions similar to Proterozoic sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM). At Cerro Chato, on the margin of the Colorado Plateau, xenoliths were derived from ˜60 km depth and have geochemical signatures similar to Proterozoic sub-continental lithospheric mantle (e.g. refractory major element compositions, LREE-enrichment, enriched Sr and Nd isotopes, unradiogenic Os isotopes). At Elephant Butte, along the central rift axis, two distinct groups of xenoliths are present. The majority of xenoliths from Elephant Butte are LREE-depleted and have fertile major element compositions. Additionally, these xenoliths have isotopic signatures similar to the range for DMM (e.g. 87Sr/86Sr ranging from 0.7018 to 0.7023, ɛNd ranging from 7 to 21, and 187Os/188Os ranging from 0.122 to 0.130). We interpret this group of xenoliths to be derived from asthenospheric mantle. A less-abundant group of xenoliths at Elephant Butte are LREE

  12. A global coupled model of the lithosphere and mantle dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iaffaldano, G.; Bunge, H.

    2004-12-01

    Understanding the dynamics of global lithospheric motion is one of the most important problems in geodynamics today. Mantle convection is commonly accepted as the driving force for plate motion but, while the kinematics of plate movement is well known from space geodetic and paleomagnetic observations, we lack a rigorous description of the coupled mantle convection-plate motion system. Here we present first results from a coupled mantle convection-global lithosphere motion model following a similar effort by Lithgow-Bertelloni and Guynn. Our plate motion code is SHELLS, a thinsheet FEM code developed by Bird which computes global plate motion and explicitly accounts for faults. The global mantle convection code is TERRA, a high-resolution 3-D FEM code developed and parallelized by Bunge and Baumgardner. We perform simple modeling experiments in which the shear tractions applied to the bottom of the lithosphere arise directly from the mantle circulation model. Our mantle circulation model includes a history of subduction and accounts, among others, for variations in mantle viscosity and strong bottom heating from the core. We find that our results are sensitive to the amount of core heating, an inference that has received renewed attention lately, and that models with stronger core heating overall are in better agreement with observations of intraplate stresses derived from the World Stress Map.

  13. Stability of Continental Lithosphere based on Analogue Experiments with Microwave Induced Internal Heating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fourel, Loic; Limare, Angela; Surducan, Emanoil; Surducan, Vasile; Neamtu, Camelia; Vilella, Kenny; Farnetani, Cinzia; Kaminski, Edouard; Jaupart, Claude

    2015-04-01

    Continental lithosphere is usually depicted as the upper conductive layer of the Earth. Its formation is achieved through melt depletion that generates a residue that is less dense and more viscous than the underlying convecting mantle. As it is cooled from above, continental lithosphere can develop its own convective currents and may become unstable depending on its thickness and density contrast with the mantle. But chemical differentiation due to mantle magmatism also enriches continental lithosphere in heat producing elements. According to present estimates, the Earth's mantle may have lost as much as half of its radioactive elements in favour of continental crust and this stratified redistribution of heat sources has two main effects. First, mantle convection vigor decreases and becomes increasingly sensitive to heat supply from the core. Second, localized heat production at the top surface increases the continental insulating effects and competes against lithospheric instabilities. In the present study, we focus on the later and we determine which amount of internal heating is required to keep the lithosphere stable for a given rate of cooling from the top. The physics underlying instability triggering corresponds to the problem of a two differentially heated layered system cooled from above, where the top layer is less dense and more viscous than the bottom one, representative of the lithosphere-mantle system. Few studies have been devoted to the intrinsic characteristics of this layered type of convection. Here, we present a state of the art laboratory setup to generate internal heating in controlled conditions based on microwave (MW) absorption. The volumetric heat source can be localized in space and its intensity can be varied in time. Our tank prototype has horizontal dimensions of 30 cm x 30 cm and 5 cm height. A uniform and constant temperature is maintained at the upper boundary by an aluminium heat exchanger and adiabatic conditions are imposed at

  14. Project Skippy explores lithosphere and mantle beneath Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Hilst, Rob; Kennett, Brian; Christie, Doug; Grant, John

    A new project is probing the seismic structure of the lithosphere and mantle beneath Australia. The Skippy Project, named after the bush kangaroo, exploits Australia's regional seismicity and makes use of recent advances in digital recording technology to collect three-component broadband seismic data from over 60 sites across the continent (Figure 1).The main goal of the Skippy Project, which is run by Australian National University's Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES), is to delineate the three-dimensional seismic structure of the lithosphere and mantle beneath the continent.

  15. Lithospheric controls on magma composition along Earth's longest continental hotspot track.

    PubMed

    Davies, D R; Rawlinson, N; Iaffaldano, G; Campbell, I H

    2015-09-24

    Hotspots are anomalous regions of volcanism at Earth's surface that show no obvious association with tectonic plate boundaries. Classic examples include the Hawaiian-Emperor chain and the Yellowstone-Snake River Plain province. The majority are believed to form as Earth's tectonic plates move over long-lived mantle plumes: buoyant upwellings that bring hot material from Earth's deep mantle to its surface. It has long been recognized that lithospheric thickness limits the rise height of plumes and, thereby, their minimum melting pressure. It should, therefore, have a controlling influence on the geochemistry of plume-related magmas, although unambiguous evidence of this has, so far, been lacking. Here we integrate observational constraints from surface geology, geochronology, plate-motion reconstructions, geochemistry and seismology to ascertain plume melting depths beneath Earth's longest continental hotspot track, a 2,000-kilometre-long track in eastern Australia that displays a record of volcanic activity between 33 and 9 million years ago, which we call the Cosgrove track. Our analyses highlight a strong correlation between lithospheric thickness and magma composition along this track, with: (1) standard basaltic compositions in regions where lithospheric thickness is less than 110 kilometres; (2) volcanic gaps in regions where lithospheric thickness exceeds 150 kilometres; and (3) low-volume, leucitite-bearing volcanism in regions of intermediate lithospheric thickness. Trace-element concentrations from samples along this track support the notion that these compositional variations result from different degrees of partial melting, which is controlled by the thickness of overlying lithosphere. Our results place the first observational constraints on the sub-continental melting depth of mantle plumes and provide direct evidence that lithospheric thickness has a dominant influence on the volume and chemical composition of plume-derived magmas.

  16. Lithospheric controls on magma composition along Earth's longest continental hotspot track

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, D. R.; Rawlinson, N.; Iaffaldano, G.; Campbell, I. H.

    2015-09-01

    Hotspots are anomalous regions of volcanism at Earth's surface that show no obvious association with tectonic plate boundaries. Classic examples include the Hawaiian-Emperor chain and the Yellowstone-Snake River Plain province. The majority are believed to form as Earth's tectonic plates move over long-lived mantle plumes: buoyant upwellings that bring hot material from Earth's deep mantle to its surface. It has long been recognized that lithospheric thickness limits the rise height of plumes and, thereby, their minimum melting pressure. It should, therefore, have a controlling influence on the geochemistry of plume-related magmas, although unambiguous evidence of this has, so far, been lacking. Here we integrate observational constraints from surface geology, geochronology, plate-motion reconstructions, geochemistry and seismology to ascertain plume melting depths beneath Earth's longest continental hotspot track, a 2,000-kilometre-long track in eastern Australia that displays a record of volcanic activity between 33 and 9 million years ago, which we call the Cosgrove track. Our analyses highlight a strong correlation between lithospheric thickness and magma composition along this track, with: (1) standard basaltic compositions in regions where lithospheric thickness is less than 110 kilometres; (2) volcanic gaps in regions where lithospheric thickness exceeds 150 kilometres; and (3) low-volume, leucitite-bearing volcanism in regions of intermediate lithospheric thickness. Trace-element concentrations from samples along this track support the notion that these compositional variations result from different degrees of partial melting, which is controlled by the thickness of overlying lithosphere. Our results place the first observational constraints on the sub-continental melting depth of mantle plumes and provide direct evidence that lithospheric thickness has a dominant influence on the volume and chemical composition of plume-derived magmas.

  17. Double subduction of continental lithosphere, a key to form wide plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Replumaz, Anne; Funiciello, Francesca; Reitano, Riccardo; Faccenna, Claudio; Balon, Marie

    2016-04-01

    The mechanisms involved in the creation of the high and wide topography, like the Tibetan Plateau, are still controversial. In particular, the behaviour of the indian and asian lower continental lithosphere during the collision is a matter of debate, either thickening, densifying and delaminating, or keeping its rigidity and subducting. But since several decades seismicity, seismic profiles and global tomography highlight the lithospheric structure of the Tibetan Plateau, and make the hypotheses sustaining the models more precise. In particular, in the western syntaxis, it is now clear that the indian lithosphere subducts northward beneath the Hindu Kush down to the transition zone, while the asian one subducts southward beneath Pamir (e.g. Negredo et al., 2007; Kufner et al., 2015). Such double subduction of continental lithospheres with opposite vergence has also been inferred in the early collision time. Cenozoic volcanic rocks between 50 and 30 Ma in the Qiangtang block have been interpreted as related to an asian subduction beneath Qiangtang at that time (De Celles et al., 2011; Guillot and Replumaz, 2013). We present here analogue experiments silicone/honey to explore the subduction of continental lithosphere, using a piston as analogue of far field forces. We explore the parameters that control the subductions dynamics of the 2 continental lithospheres and the thickening of the plates at the surface, and compare with the Tibetan Plateau evolution. We show that a continental lithosphere is able to subduct in a collision context, even lighter than the mantle, if the plate is rigid enough. In that case the horizontal force due to the collision context, modelled by the piston push transmitted by the indenter, is the driving force, not the slab pull which is negative. It is not a subduction driving by the weight of the slab, but a subduction induced by the collision, that we could call "collisional subduction".

  18. Deformation of the Continental Lithosphere at the Margins of the North American Craton: Constraints from Seismic Anisotropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, M. D.; Benoit, M. H.; Ford, H. A.; Wirth, E. A.; Aragon, J. C.; Abrahams, L.; McNamara, J.; Jackson, K.

    2015-12-01

    Earth's continents exhibit striking properties, including relatively thick and low-density crust and a strong, thick, long-lived mantle lithosphere. Major questions related to the formation, stability, evolution, and dynamics of cratonic lithosphere remain unanswered. One promising avenue for understanding the stability of cratonic lithosphere through geologic time is to understand how their margins are deformed via tectonic processes such as orogenesis and rifting. Here we present results of several recent and ongoing studies which aim to constrain past lithospheric deformation along the eastern margin of the North American craton. Each of these studies focuses on constraining seismic anisotropy, or the directional dependence of seismic wavespeeds, in the lithospheric upper mantle. Because there is a causative link between upper mantle deformation and the resulting seismic anisotropy, studies of anisotropic structure in the upper mantle beneath continental interiors can shed light on the deformation processes associated with past tectonic events. The recent explosion in the availability of seismic data in the eastern United States, largely due to the EarthScope initiative, has enabled detailed studies of lithospheric deformation using anisotropic receiver function (RF) analysis and SKS splitting analysis. A comparison of lithospheric structure inferred from RFs for stations located to the east of the Grenville deformation front with those located within the cratonic interior argues for extensive deformation of the lithosphere during the formation and/or breakup of Rodinia. The pattern of fast SKS splitting directions measured at USArray Transportable Array (TA) stations shows clear evidence for a specific lithospheric anisotropy signature at stations beneath the Appalachian Mountains, indicating strong, coherent lithospheric deformation associated with Appalachian orogenesis. The Mid-Atlantic Geophysical Integrative Collaboration (MAGIC) experiment, a linear array

  19. 187Os/188Os in Spinel Peridotites from Borée, Massif Central, France: Seeing through the Effects of Melt Infiltration in the Sub-continental Lithospheric Mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnett, C. J.; Harvey, J.

    2015-12-01

    The Re-Os isotope system can be used to model the timing of melt extraction in peridotites, although secondary metasomatic processes can obscure primary melt depletion signatures, implying that bulk-rock Os model ages should be treated with caution.1Spinel peridotites from the volcanic Maar de Borée (French Massif Central) have equigranular to protogranular and occasionally poikilitic textures. Their bulk-rock chemistry are consistent with moderate degrees of partial melting, but elevated incompatible trace element ratios (e.g. La/YbN) are indicative of subsequent secondary processes. Petrographic observation reveals no infiltration of host basalt, but melt infiltration unrelated to the host basalt has occurred, most likely within the sub-continental lithospheric mantle prior to entrainment as xenoliths. The peridotites have a mean [Os] concentration of 2.35 ng g-1 and 187Os/188Os values from 0.12081 ± 16 to 0.12639 ± 14 (cf. PUM = 0.1296 ± 00082), with rhenium depletion model ages (TRD) ranging from 0.48 to 1.30 Ga. Silicate melt contains up to 2 orders of magnitude less Os than peridotites3 but the 187Os/188Os of melt infiltrated peridotite can be skewed by the precipitation of immiscible sulfide when an infiltrating melt reaches S-saturation4. The Borée peridotites retain an unradiogenic Os-isotope signature despite silicate melt infiltration; this may be due to primary base metal sulfides enclosed in silicate minerals and therefore protected from interaction with infiltrating melts. TRD of enclosed sulphides should therefore be able to 'see through' any secondary metasomatic events and reveal melt depletion ages significantly older than those obtained from bulk-rock analyses (cf. 4). 1. Rudnick & Walker (2009) Lithos 112S, 1083-1095. 2. Meisel et al. (2001) Geochim Cosmochim Ac 65, 1311-1323. 3. Day, J.M.D. (2013) Chem Geol 341, 50-74. 4. Harvey et al. (2010) Geochim Cosmochim Acta 74, 293-320.

  20. From plume head to continental lithosphere in the Arabian-Nubian shield

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, Mordechai; Goldstein, Steven L.

    1996-08-01

    The lithosphere of the Arabian-Nubian shield was mainly formed during an interval of about 150 million years near the end of the Proterozoic aeon. The events recorded in the rocks of the shield indicate that an oceanic plateau, formed by the head of an upwelling mantle plume, was later overprinted with continent-like characteristics by plate convergence and its associated magmatism. Similar sequences of events are seen in the geological record from Archaean to recent times, suggesting that the transformation from plume head to continental lithosphere has been an important component of continent generation throughout Earth history.

  1. Melting of the Earth's lithospheric mantle inferred from protactinium-thorium-uranium isotopic data

    PubMed

    Asmerom; Cheng; Thomas; Hirschmann; Edwards

    2000-07-20

    The processes responsible for the generation of partial melt in the Earth's lithospheric mantle and the movement of this melt to the Earth's surface remain enigmatic, owing to the perceived difficulties in generating large-degree partial melts at depth and in transporting small-degree melts through a static lithosphere. Here we present a method of placing constraints on melting in the lithospheric mantle using 231Pa-235U data obtained from continental basalts in the southwestern United States and Mexico. Combined with 230Th-238U data, the 231Pa-235U data allow us to constrain the source mineralogy and thus the depth of melting of these basalts. Our analysis indicates that it is possible to transport small melt fractions--of the order of 0.1%--through the lithosphere, as might result from the coalescence of melt by compaction owing to melting-induced deformation. The large observed 231Pa excesses require that the timescale of melt generation and transport within the lithosphere is small compared to the half-life of 231Pa (approximately 32.7 kyr). The 231Pa-230Th data also constrain the thorium and uranium distribution coefficients for clinopyroxene in the source regions of these basalts to be within 2% of one another, indicating that in this setting 230Th excesses are not expected during melting at depths shallower than 85 km.

  2. Seawater cycled throughout Earth's mantle in partially serpentinized lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kendrick, M. A.; Hémond, C.; Kamenetsky, V. S.; Danyushevsky, L.; Devey, C. W.; Rodemann, T.; Jackson, M. G.; Perfit, M. R.

    2017-02-01

    The extent to which water and halogens in Earth's mantle have primordial origins, or are dominated by seawater-derived components introduced by subduction is debated. About 90% of non-radiogenic xenon in the Earth's mantle has a subducted atmospheric origin, but the degree to which atmospheric gases and other seawater components are coupled during subduction is unclear. Here we present the concentrations of water and halogens in samples of magmatic glasses collected from mid-ocean ridges and ocean islands globally. We show that water and halogen enrichment is unexpectedly associated with trace element signatures characteristic of dehydrated oceanic crust, and that the most incompatible halogens have relatively uniform abundance ratios that are different from primitive mantle values. Taken together, these results imply that Earth's mantle is highly processed and that most of its water and halogens were introduced by the subduction of serpentinized lithospheric mantle associated with dehydrated oceanic crust.

  3. The Neotectonic crustal uplift and lithospheric softening in plate interiors caused by infiltration of mantle fluids into the lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artyushkov, Eugene

    2013-04-01

    Large-scale crustal uplifts on the continents are commonly attributed to plate collision. Within the continents convergent boundaries now exist only in some regions, e.g., between the Eurasian and Indian plates. A predominant part of continental lithosphere refers to intraplate areas. Thus, the Precambrian crust where shortening terminated half a billion years ago or earlier covers about 70% of the continental areas. However, during the Pliocene and Pleistocene most of the Precambrian crust underwent the uplifts from 100-200 m to 1-2 km. They occurred over most of the African continent, in Greenland and East Siberia, and in many other regions. Neotectonic crustal uplift widely occurred on the Phanerozoic lithosphere. In most regions, e.g., in the Central and Northeastern Asia, the uplift by 1-2 km or more took place long after strong shortening of the crust in the Mesozoic and Paleozoic. It was accompanied by extension or compression of only a few per cent. In the absence of strong crustal thickening, the Neotectonic uplift in intraplate areas required a density decrease in the lithosphere which was caused by two main processes. The first one is expansion of previously metamorphosed dense mafic rocks within the crust due to a secondary metamorphism, diaphtoresis, under the temperature T = 350-400 °C. This mechanism is evidenced by a strong heterogeneity of the uplift in space. Thus in the Archean East Siberia in many places the uplift varies by 300-500 m in regions, only 20 km wide. Rock expansion from diaphtoresis required an inflow into the crust of large volumes of fluid from the mantle. The second process is a convective replacement by the asthenosphere of a denser mantle lithosphere whose viscosity was reduced by several orders of magnitude due to infiltration of fluids from the mantle. In many areas, e.g. in Central Asia and western North America this gave rise to a rise of the top of the asthenospheric layer by ~100 km. Over most of the continental areas

  4. Inherited structure and coupled crust-mantle lithosphere evolution: Numerical models of Central Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heron, Philip J.; Pysklywec, Russell N.

    2016-05-01

    Continents have a rich tectonic history that have left lasting crustal impressions. In analyzing Central Australian intraplate orogenesis, complex continental features make it difficult to identify the controls of inherited structure. Here the tectonics of two types of inherited structures (e.g., a thermally enhanced or a rheologically strengthened region) are compared in numerical simulations of continental compression with and without "glacial buzzsaw" erosion. We find that although both inherited structures produce deformation in the upper crust that is confined to areas where material contrasts, patterns of deformation in the deep lithosphere differ significantly. Furthermore, our models infer that glacial buzzsaw erosion has little impact at depth. This tectonic isolation of the mantle lithosphere from glacial processes may further assist in the identification of a controlling inherited structure in intraplate orogenesis. Our models are interpreted in the context of Central Australian tectonics (specifically the Petermann and Alice Springs orogenies).

  5. Heterogeneity of Water Concentrations in the Mantle Lithosphere Beneath Hawaii

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bizimis, M.; Peslier, A. H.; Clague, D.

    2017-01-01

    The amount and distribution of water in the oceanic mantle lithosphere has implications on its strength and of the role of volatiles during plume/lithosphere interaction. The latter plays a role in the Earth's deep water cycle as water-rich plume lavas could re-enrich an oceanic lithosphere depleted in water at the ridge, and when this heterogeneous lithosphere gets recycled back into the deep mantle. The main host of water in mantle lithologies are nominally anhydrous minerals like olivine, pyroxene and garnet, where hydrogen (H) is incorporated in mineral defects by bonding to structural oxygen. Here, we report water concentrations by Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) on olivine, clino- and orthopyroxenes (Cpx & Opx) from spinel peridotites from the Pali vent and garnet pyroxenite xenoliths from Aliamanu vent, both part of the rejuvenated volcanism at Oahu (Hawaii). Pyroxenes from the Aliamanu pyroxenites have high water concentrations, similar to the adjacent Salt Lake Crater (SLC) pyroxenites (Cpx 400-500 ppm H2O, Opx 200 ppm H2O). This confirms that pyroxenite cumulates form water-rich lithologies within the oceanic lithosphere. In contrast, the Pali peridotites have much lower water concentrations than the SLC ones (<25 ppm vs. 50-96 ppm H2O respectively) despite being relatively fertile with >10% modal Cpx and low spinel Cr# (0.09-0.10). The contrast between the two peridotite suites is also evident in their trace elements and radiogenic isotopes. The Pali Cpx are depleted in light REE, consistent with minimal metasomatism. Those of SLC have enriched light REE patterns and Nd and Hf isotopes consistent with metasomatism by alkaline melts. These observations are consistent with heterogeneous water distribution in the oceanic lithosphere that may be related to metasomatism, as well as relatively dry peridotites cross-cut by narrow (?) water-rich melt reaction zones.

  6. Lithospheric Controls on Magma Composition along Earth's Longest Continental Hotspot-Track

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rawlinson, N.; Davies, R.; Iaffaldano, G.; Campbell, I. H.

    2015-12-01

    Hotspots are anomalous regions of volcanism at Earth's surface that show no obvious association with tectonic plate boundaries. Classic examples include the Hawaiian-Emperor chain and the Yellowstone-Snake River Plain province. The majority are believed to form as Earth's tectonic plates move over long-lived mantle plumes: buoyant upwellings that bring hot material from Earth's deep-mantle to its surface. It has long been recognised that lithospheric thickness limits the rise height of plumes and, thereby, their minimum melting pressure. It should, therefore, have a controlling influence on the geochemistry of plume-related magmas, although unambiguous evidence of this has, thus far, been lacking. Here we integrate observational constraints from surface geology, geochronology, plate-motion reconstructions, geochemistry and seismology to ascertain plume melting depths beneath Earth's longest continental hotspot-track, a ~2000 km long track in eastern Australia that displays a record of volcanic activity between ~33 and ~9 Ma, which we call the Cosgrove track. Our analyses highlight a strong correlation between lithospheric thickness and magma composition along this track, with: (i) standard basaltic compositions in regions where lithospheric thickness is less than ~110 km; (ii) volcanic gaps in regions where lithospheric thickness exceeds ~150 km; and (iii) low-volume, leucitite-bearing volcanism in regions of intermediate lithospheric thickness. Trace-element concentrations from samples along this track support the notion that these compositional variations result from different degrees of partial-melting, which is controlled by the thickness of overlying lithosphere. Our results place the first observational constraints on the subcontinental melting depth of mantle plumes and provide direct evidence that lithospheric thickness has a dominant influence on the volume and chemical composition of plume-derived magmas.

  7. Lithospheric Controls on Magma Composition along Earth's Longest Continental Hotspot-Track

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rawlinson, N.; Davies, R.; Iaffaldano, G.; Campbell, I. H.

    2014-12-01

    Hotspots are anomalous regions of volcanism at Earth's surface that show no obvious association with tectonic plate boundaries. Classic examples include the Hawaiian-Emperor chain and the Yellowstone-Snake River Plain province. The majority are believed to form as Earth's tectonic plates move over long-lived mantle plumes: buoyant upwellings that bring hot material from Earth's deep-mantle to its surface. It has long been recognised that lithospheric thickness limits the rise height of plumes and, thereby, their minimum melting pressure. It should, therefore, have a controlling influence on the geochemistry of plume-related magmas, although unambiguous evidence of this has, thus far, been lacking. Here we integrate observational constraints from surface geology, geochronology, plate-motion reconstructions, geochemistry and seismology to ascertain plume melting depths beneath Earth's longest continental hotspot-track, a ~2000 km long track in eastern Australia that displays a record of volcanic activity between ~33 and ~9 Ma, which we call the Cosgrove track. Our analyses highlight a strong correlation between lithospheric thickness and magma composition along this track, with: (i) standard basaltic compositions in regions where lithospheric thickness is less than ~110 km; (ii) volcanic gaps in regions where lithospheric thickness exceeds ~150 km; and (iii) low-volume, leucitite-bearing volcanism in regions of intermediate lithospheric thickness. Trace-element concentrations from samples along this track support the notion that these compositional variations result from different degrees of partial-melting, which is controlled by the thickness of overlying lithosphere. Our results place the first observational constraints on the subcontinental melting depth of mantle plumes and provide direct evidence that lithospheric thickness has a dominant influence on the volume and chemical composition of plume-derived magmas.

  8. The structural evolution of the deep continental lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, C. M.; Miller, Meghan S.; Moresi, Louis

    2017-01-01

    Continental lithosphere houses the oldest and thickest regions of the Earth's surface. Locked within this deep and ancient rock record lies invaluable information about the dynamics that has shaped and continue to shape the planet. Much of that history has been dominated by the forces of plate tectonics which has repeatedly assembled super continents together and torn them apart - the Wilson Cycle. While the younger regions of continental lithosphere have been subject to deformation driven by plate tectonics, it is less clear whether the ancient, stable cores formed and evolved from similar processes. New insight into continental formation and evolution has come from remarkable views of deeper lithospheric structure using enhanced seismic imaging techniques and the increase in large volumes of broadband data. Some of the most compelling observations are that the continental lithosphere has a broad range in thicknesses (< 100 to > 300 km), has complex internal structure, and that the thickest portion appears to be riddled with seismic discontinuities at depths between 80 and 130 km. These internal structural features have been interpreted as remnants of lithospheric formation during Earth's early history. If they are remnants, then we can attempt to investigate the structure present in the deep lithosphere to piece together information about early Earth dynamics much as is done closer to the surface. This would help delineate between the differing models describing the dynamics of craton formation, particularly whether they formed in the era of modern plate tectonics, a transitional mobile-lid tectonic regime, or are the last fragments of an early, stagnant-lid planet. Our review paper (re)introduces readers to the conceptual definitions of the lithosphere and the complex nature of the upper boundary layer, then moves on to discuss techniques and recent seismological observations of the continental lithosphere. We then review geodynamic models and hypotheses for the

  9. Lithospheric mantle evolution in the Afro-Arabian domain: Insights from Bir Ali mantle xenoliths (Yemen)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sgualdo, P.; Aviado, K.; Beccaluva, L.; Bianchini, G.; Blichert-Toft, J.; Bryce, J. G.; Graham, D. W.; Natali, C.; Siena, F.

    2015-05-01

    Detailed petrological and geochemical investigations of an extensive sampling of mantle xenoliths from the Neogene-Quaternary Bir Ali diatreme (southern Yemen) indicate that the underlying lithospheric mantle consists predominantly of medium- to fine-grained (often foliated) spinel-peridotites (85-90%) and spinel-pyroxenites (10-15%) showing thermobarometric estimates in the P-T range of 0.9-2.0 GPa and 900-1150 °C. Peridotites, including lherzolites, harzburgites and dunites delineate continuous chemical, modal and mineralogical variations compatible with large extractions of basic melts occurring since the late Proterozoic (~ 2 Ga, according to Lu-Hf model ages). Pyroxenites may represent intrusions of subalkaline basic melts interacting and equilibrated with the host peridotite. Subsequent metasomatism has led to modal changes, with evidence of reaction patches and clinopyroxene and spinel destabilization, as well as formation of new phases (glass, amphibole and feldspar). These changes are accompanied by enrichment of the most incompatible elements and isotopic compositions. 143Nd/144Nd ranges from 0.51419 to 0.51209 (εNd from + 30.3 to - 10.5), 176Hf/177Hf from 0.28459 to 0.28239 (εHf from + 64.4 to - 13.6), and 208Pb/204Pb from 36.85 to 41.56, thus extending from the depleted mantle (DM) towards the enriched OIB mantle (EM and HIMU) components. 3He/4He (R/RA) ratios vary from 7.2 to 7.9 with He concentrations co-varying with the most incompatible element enrichment, in parallel with metasomatic effects. These metasomatic events, particularly effective in harzburgites and dunites, are attributable to the variable interaction with alkaline basic melts related to the general extensional and rifting regime affecting the East Africa-Arabian domain during the Cenozoic. In this respect, Bir Ali mantle xenoliths resemble those occurring along the Arabian margins and the East Africa Rift system, similarly affected by alkaline metasomatism, whereas they are

  10. Subduction of continental lithosphere in the Banda Sea region: Combining evidence from full waveform tomography and isotope ratios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fichtner, Andreas; De Wit, Maarten; van Bergen, Manfred

    2010-09-01

    We provide new insight into the subduction of old continental lithosphere to depths of more than 100 km beneath the Banda arc, based on a spatial correlation of full waveform tomographic images of its lithosphere with He, Pb, Nd and Sr isotope signatures in its arc volcanics. The thickness of the subducted lithosphere of around 200 km coincides with the thickness of Precambrian lithosphere as inferred from surface wave tomography. While the deep subduction of continental material in continent-continent collisions is widely recognised, the analogue process in the arc-continent collision of the Banda region is currently unique. The integrated data suggest that the late Jurassic ocean lithosphere north of the North Australian craton was capable of entraining large volumes of continental lithosphere. The Banda arc example demonstrates that continental lithosphere in arc-continent collisions is not generally preserved, thus increasing the complexity of tectonic reconstructions. In the particular case of Timor, the tomographic images indicate that this island is not located directly above the northern margin of the North Australian craton, and that decoupled oceanic lithosphere must be located at a considerable distance north of Timor, possibly as far north as the northern margin of the volcanically extinct arc sector. The tomographic images combined with isotope data suggest that subduction of the continental lithosphere did not lead to the delamination of its complete crust. A plausible explanation involves delamination within the continental crust, separating upper from lower crustal units. This interpretation is consistent with the existence of a massive accretionary complex on Timor island, with evidence from Pb isotope analysis for lower-crust involvement in arc volcanism; and with the approximate gravitational stability of the subducted lithosphere as inferred from the tomographic images. The subduction of continental lithosphere including crustal material beneath

  11. Plume-lithosphere interactions near a passive continental margin: a thermo-mechanical modelling study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    François, Thomas; Cloetingh, Sierd; Burov, Evgueni; Matenco, Liviu

    2015-04-01

    Plume head-lithosphere (PLI) interactions have important consequences both for tectonic and mineralogical evolution of the lithosphere and are often considered to be an important factor of continental break-up. Nevertheless, the interaction between plume and post break-up tectonics (i.e. evolution of passive margins) remain unclear. The passive margins represent important geometrical, thermal and rheological barriers that interact with the plume head material during its emplacement below the lithosphere. For example on the Scandinavia's North Atlantic passive margin the large Cenozoic uplift comprised uplift of basin margins as well as accelerated subsidence of basin centres adjacent to the uplifted landmasses while the compressional reactivation coincides with the postulated Iceland-plume events associated with massive magma emplacement. The goal of this study is to understand the role of the Iceland plume in the Cenozoic evolution of the Scandinavia's North Atlantic passive margin. To investigate the interactions between the plume and passive margin we use fully coupled thermo-mechanical 2D numerical code (Flamar v12). The model area is 700 km deep and 1500 km wide comprising rheologically realistic lithosphere and the entire upper mantle Our models have free upper surface boundary, surface erosion, account for the rheological stratification (upper crust, lower crust, lithospheric mantle and asthenosphere), brittle-elastic-ductile rheology, metamorphic phase changes (density and physical properties) and for the specific crustal and thermal structure of the Scandinavia's North Atlantic passive margin. We have tested several parameters including the lateral position of the plume, the rate of extension and the thermo-rheological profile of the continental lithosphere.

  12. Flexural deformation of the continental lithosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    Prior work focused primarily on the Adriatic and northern Ionian regions. The results of these studies have been summarized previously, and so are only briefly discussed. More recent work focuses on two different topics: (1) analysis of foredeep basin geometry, sedimentary style, and thrust belt structure in light of the kinematics at the associated plate boundary and subduction zone dynamics; and (2) the evolution and plate strength of early Proterozoic lithosphere.

  13. Numerical models of mantle lithosphere weakening, erosion and delamination induced by melt extraction and emplacement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallner, Herbert; Schmeling, Harro

    2016-09-01

    Continental rifting caused by extension and heating from below affects the lithosphere or cratons in various ways. Volcanism and melt intrusions often occur along with thinning, weakening and even breaking lithosphere. Although mechanical necking models of the lithosphere are often applied, the aspects of melting and the implications due to melt transport and emplacement at shallower depths are not well understood. A two-phase flow approach employing melt extraction and shallow emplacement associated with thermal weakening is developed and compared with observations. The results of this comparison indicate the importance of partial melts and an asthenospheric magma source for increasing the rising rate of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary during extension. Thermo-mechanical physics of visco-plastic flow is approximated using the Finite Difference method with Eulerian formulation in 2D. The conservation of mass, momentum and energy equations are solved for a multi-component (crust-mantle) and two-phase (melt-matrix) system. Rheology is temperature- and stress-dependent. In consideration of depletion and enrichment melting and solidification are controlled by a simplified linear binary solid solution model. Melt is extracted and emplaced in predefined depth regions (emplacement zones) in the lithospheric mantle and crust. The Compaction Boussinesq Approximation was applied; its validity was tested against the Full Compaction formulation and found fully satisfactory for the case of sublithospheric melting models. A simple model guided by the geodynamic situation of the Rwenzori region typically results in updoming asthenosphere with melt-assisted erosion of the lithosphere's base. Even with a conservative approach for a temperature anomaly melting alone doubles the lithospheric erosion rate in comparison with a model without melting. With melt extraction and intrusion lithospheric erosion and upwelling of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary speeds up by a

  14. Constraining the Composition of the Subcontinental Lithospheric Mantle Beneath the East African Rift: FTIR Analysis of Water in Spinel Peridotite Mantle Xenoliths

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erickson, Stephanie Gwen; Nelson, Wendy R.; Peslier, Anne H.; Snow, Jonathan E.

    2014-01-01

    The East African Rift System was initiated by the impingement of the Afar mantle plume on the base of the non-cratonic continental lithosphere (assembled during the Pan-African Orogeny), producing over 300,000 kmof continental flood basalts approx.30 Ma ago. The contribution of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) to this voluminous period of volcanism is implied based on basaltic geochemical and isotopic data. However, the role of percolating melts on the SCLM composition is less clear. Metasomatism is capable of hybridizing or overprinting the geochemical signature of the SCLM. In addition, models suggest that adding fluids to lithospheric mantle affects its stability. We investigated the nature of the SCLM using Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) to measure water content in mantle xenoliths entrained in young (1 Ma) basaltic lavas from the Ethiopian volcanic province. The mantle xenoliths consist dominantly of spinel lherzolites and are composed of nominally anhydrous minerals, which can contain trace water as H in mineral defects. Eleven mantle xenoliths come from the Injibara-Gojam region and two from the Mega-Sidamo region. Water abundances of olivines in six samples are 1-5ppm H2O while the rest are below the limit of detection (<0.5 ppm H2O); orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene contain 80-238 and 111-340 ppm wt H2O, respectively. Two xenoliths have higher water contents - a websterite (470 ppm) and dunite (229 ppm), consistent with involvement of ascending melts. The low water content of the upper SCLM beneath Ethiopia is as dry as the oceanic mantle except for small domains represented by percolating melts. Consequently, rifting of the East African lithosphere may not have been facilitated by a hydrated upper mantle.

  15. Seismic constraints on the evolution of the continental lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, H. A.; Hopper, E.; Fischer, K. M.; Lekic, V.; Selway, K.; Kelemen, P. B.

    2014-12-01

    While the interface between the lithosphere and the asthenosphere is often shown in textbooks as a schematically simple boundary, its existence in reality is considerably more complex, with debate existing over the physical and chemical properties that differentiate the overriding, rigid lithosphere from the convecting mantle below. Despite these uncertainties, receiver function analysis shows us that lateral variations in seismic properties (e.g., depth and velocity gradient) exist. These differences are often well-correlated with the tectonic age of the lithosphere, indicating that the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) evolves with time. In our presentation we will outline our work to image the LAB and other lithospheric structure with Sp receiver functions beneath continental North America. In portions of the tectonically active western U.S., detailed 3D imaging reveals a well-defined negative phase at depths of ~50-100 km, consistent with surface wave estimates of LAB depth. Modeling indicates that LAB velocity gradient in these regions is too large to be a function of temperature change alone and that changing composition, water or melt content is also needed. In contrast, there is a dearth of Sp receiver function phase energy present at depths appropriate to the transition from lithosphere to asthenosphere beneath many regions of stable continental interior. Where present, the LAB phase is considerably weaker than in tectonically active regions. A weak or absent phase can be explained through thermal changes alone, although other mechanisms cannot be ruled out. In the stable continental regions we also commonly detect one or more mid-lithospheric discontinuities (MLDs). The observation of such a phase is relatively new, and may be a globally present feature in older continental lithosphere. The MLD in our work appears as both a single phase as well as multiple discrete phases. At the global and regional scale the depth of the MLD, and the LAB in

  16. Ancient melt depletion overprinted by young carbonatitic metasomatism in the New Zealand lithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, J. M.; Hodgkinson, A.; Palin, J. M.; Waight, T. E.; Van der Meer, Q. H. A.; Cooper, A. F.

    2014-01-01

    Spinel facies dunite, harzburgite, lherzolite and wehrlite mantle xenoliths from a cluster of Miocene volcanoes in southern New Zealand preserve evidence of the complex evolution of the underlying continental mantle lithosphere. Spinel Cr# records melt extraction with some values indicative of near complete removal of clinopyroxene. LREE-enriched, low Ti/Eu and low Al2O3 clinopyroxene and rare F-, LREE-rich apatite indicates subsequent interaction between peridotite and a metasomatising carbonatitic melt. The clearest metasomatic signature occurs in the formerly highly depleted samples because there was little or no pre-existing clinopyroxene to dilute the carbonatite signature. For the same reason, the isotopic character of the metasomatising agent is best observed in the formerly highly depleted peridotites (87Sr/86Sr = 0.7028-0.7031; 143Nd/144Nd = 0.5129; 206Pb/204Pb = 20.2-20.3). These isotope ratios are very close to, but slightly less radiogenic than, the HIMU end-member mantle reservoir. Nd isotope data imply carbonatite metasomatism occurred within the last several hundred million years, with ubiquitous pyroxene core-to-rim Al diffusion zoning indicating that it must pre-date cooling of the lithospheric mantle following Late Cretaceous-Eocene rifting of Zealandia from Gondwana. Metasomatism was significantly younger than ancient Re-depletion ages of ~2 Ga and shows that decoupling of peridotite isotope systems has occurred.

  17. Osmium Isotope Constraints on the Timing of Production and Destruction of Mantle Lithosphere in the Southwest United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandon, A. D.

    2013-12-01

    When convecting mantle melts, the residual peridotite becomes less dense and may be become stabilized as lithosphere. The Re-Os isotope chronometer has been successfully applied to determining the timing of melt extraction in mantle peridotite. In continental regions where multiple mantle xenolith locales are present, the Re-Os chronometer can be applied to assessing the timing of mantle melting in relation to juvenile continental crust production, stabilization, and destruction of mantle lithosphere. This is evaluated here for the off-craton mantle lithosphere in the Southwest United States by examining 5 mantle xenolith suites from locales spanning a region hundreds of kilometers north to south and east to west - Dish Hill, California; Lunar Crater Nevada; Grand Canyon and San Carlos, Arizona; and Kilbourne Hole, New Mexico. Because Re is mobile in mantle peridotites at surface conditions, direct Re-Os isochrons representing mantle melting ages are typically absent. Instead melting proxies for Re such as Al2O3 can be used to obtain ';aluminachron' ages or to assess disturbances of the mantle lithosphere following partial melting. The Dish Hill, Grand Canyon, and Kilbourne Hole suites display lithophile element evidence for post-melting, multiple modal and cryptic metasomatic events in combination with positive and well correlated Os isotope versus Al2O3 trends. For example, each of these xenolith suites has samples with light rare earth element (LREE) depleted to LREE-enriched bulk rock and clinopyroxene compositions. However, no correlation exists between LREE differences and their Os isotope, bulk rock Al compositions, or other indices of melt-rock interaction. The Os-aluminachron age obtained for Dish Hill is 2.15 Ga, for Grand Canyon is 2.31 Ga, and for Kilbourne Hole is 1.96 Ga. These ages overlap TDM ages for the overlying crustal provinces confirming a link between melting that creates mantle lithosphere and production of juvenile continental crust. A

  18. Understanding plate-motion changes over the past 100 Myr with quantitative models of the coupled lithosphere/mantle system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stotz, Ingo; Iaffaldano, Giampiero; Rhodri Davies, D.

    2015-04-01

    The volume of geophysical datasets has grown substantially over recent decades. Our knowledge of continental evolution has increased due to advances in interpreting the records of orogeny and sedimentation. Ocean-floor observations now allow one to resolve past plate motions (e.g. in the North Atlantic and Indian Ocean over the past 20 Myr) at temporal resolutions of about 1 Myr. Altogether, these ever-growing datasets allow us to reconstruct the past evolution of Earth's lithospheric plates in greater detail. This is key to unravelling the dynamics of geological processes, because plate motions and their temporal changes are powerful probe into the evolving force balance between shallow- and deep-rooted processes. However, such progress is not yet matched by the ability to quantitatively model past plate-motion changes and, therefore, to test hypotheses on the dominant controls. The main technical challenge is simulating the rheological behaviour of the lithosphere/mantle system, which varies significantly from viscous to brittle. Traditionally computer models for viscous mantle flow on the one hand, and for the motions of the brittle lithosphere on the other hand, have been developed separately. Coupling of these two independent classes of models has been accomplished only for neo-tectonic scenarios, without accounting for the impact of time-evolving mantle-flow (e.g. Iaffaldano and Bunge 2009). However, we have built a coupled model to simulate the lithosphere/mantle system (using SHELLS and TERRA, respectively) through geological time, and to exploit the growing body of geophysical data as a primary constraint on these quantitative models. TERRA is a global spherical finite-element code for mantle convection (e.g. Baumgardner 1985, Bunge et al. 1996, Davies et al. 2013), whilst SHELLS is a thin-sheet finite-element code for lithosphere dynamics (e.g. Bird 1998). Our efforts are focused, in particular, on achieving the technical ability to: (i) simulate the

  19. Conditions for lower lithosphere exhumation from continental collision: South Island, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cunje, A.; Pysklywec, R. N.

    2013-12-01

    The South Island of New Zealand provides a unique opportunity for the investigation of active deep crustal dynamics and the effects of surface processes during collision, as a fairly young and relatively well-constrained convergent plate boundary. One of the uncertainties of the orogenesis is the fate of the lower crust during the continental collision: portions of the crust are exhumed along the Alpine Fault, but the lowermost crust does not seem to follow. This work focuses on the fate of the mid- and lower-crust during the collision, investigating several of the primary controls - rheology, boundary conditions, temperature - that regulate the behaviour of the crust during an idealized continental collision event. We use forward thermo-mechanical numerical modelling of the mantle and lithosphere, with variable surface boundary conditions of erosion and deposition, to explore the deformation of the crust and mantle lithosphere via the collision; the 2D models are configured for a South Island-type system using available observational constraints. The models show several end member modes of behaviour of the lower crust from complete exhumation, to 'ponding'/ accumulation at the base of the orogen, to subduction and deep entrainment. The rheology of the lower crust is the dominant factor controlling these behaviours, although there is also modification of the dynamics depending on the rates of continental convergence, the presence of active and varying degrees of erosion, and the effects of differing ratios of deposition.

  20. Structure of the Lithosphere and Upper Mantle Across the Arabian Peninsula

    SciTech Connect

    Al-Amri, A; Rodgers, A

    2007-01-05

    -Nubian continental lithosphere. The step in the lithospheric thickness across the Shield-Platform boundary likely reveals a pre-existing difference in the lithospheric structure prior to accretion of the terranes composing the eastern Arabian Shield. Tomographic imaging of upper mantle velocities implies a single large-scale thermal anomaly underlies the Arabian Shield and is associated with Cenozoic uplift and volcanism.

  1. Tracing ancient events in the lithospheric mantle: A case study from ophiolitic chromitites of SW Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akbulut, Mehmet; González-Jiménez, José María; Griffin, William L.; Belousova, Elena; O'Reilly, Suzanne Y.; McGowan, Nicole; Pearson, Norman J.

    2016-04-01

    New major-, minor- and trace-element data on high-Cr chromites from several ophiolitic podiform chromitites from Lycian and Antalya peridotites in southwestern Turkey reveal a polygenetic origin from a range of arc-type melts within forearc and back-arc settings. These forearc and the back-arc related high-Cr chromitites are interpreted to reflect the tectonic juxtaposition of different lithospheric mantle segments during the obduction. The diversity of the γOs(t=0) values (-8.28 to +13.92) in the Antalya and Lycian chromitite PGMs and their good correlations with the sub- to supra-chondritic 187Os/188Os ratios (0.1175-0.1459) suggests a heterogeneous mantle source that incorporated up to 40% recycled crust, probably due to subduction processes of the orogenic events. The few model ages calculated define two significant peaks in TRD model ages at 1.5 and 0.25 Ga, suggesting that the chromitites are younger than 0.25 Ga and include relics of an at least Mesoproterozoic or older (>1.0 Ga) mantle protolith. Eight of the nine zircon grains separated from the chromitites, are interpreted as detrital and/or resorbed xenocrystic relics, whilst a significantly less reworked/resorbed one is considered to be of metasomatic origin. In-situ U-Pb dating of the xenocrystic zircon grains yielded a spread of ages within ca 0.6-2.1 Ga, suggesting recycling of crustal rocks younger than 0.6 Ga (Late Neoproterozoic). The notable coincidence between the lower age limit of the older zircons (ca 1.6 Ga) and the oldest Os model age peak (ca 1.5 Ga) from the PGM may suggest a Mesoproterozoic rifting stage. These findings imply a Paleoproterozoic sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) protolith for the SW Anatolian mantle which was later converted into an oceanic lithospheric mantle domain possibly following a rifting and continental break-up initiated during Mesoproterozoic (ca 1.5-1.0 Ga). The single metasomatic zircon of ca 0.09 Ga age coinciding with the initiation of the

  2. Experimental Constraints on the Rheology of the Lithospheric Mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mei, S.; Suzuki, A. M.; Kohlstedt, D. L.; Dixon, N. A.; Durham, W. B.

    2009-12-01

    To provide a better understanding of rheological properties of mantle rocks under lithospheric conditions, we carried out a series of experiments on the steady-state creep behavior of polycrystalline olivine, the most abundant mineral of the upper mantle, at high pressures (~4 to 9 GPa), relatively low temperatures (673 ≤ T ≤ 1273 K), and anhydrous conditions using a deformation-DIA. Differential stress and sample displacement were monitored in-situ using synchrotron x-ray diffraction and radiography, respectively. The low-temperature plasticity of olivine is well constrained by our data with a Peierls stress of 6.2 ± 0.3 GPa and an activation energy of 290 ± 60 kJ/mol. The flow stress in the low-temperature plasticity regime characterized in this study is less temperature sensitive than reported in earlier studies using micro-indentation and load relaxation techniques, in which samples were deformed in a transient rather than steady-state fashion. A transition from low-T plasticity to high-T creep occurs at ~1300 K for a laboratory strain rate of ~10-5 s-1. Low-T plasticity dominates deformation of olivine-rich rocks at depths in the lithospheric mantle where pressure is high enough to suppress frictional sliding while temperature is low enough not to activate dislocation climb. Extrapolation of our low-temperature flow law to a strain rate of 10-14s-1 and a temperature of 873 K, the cut-off temperature for earthquakes in the mantle, yields a strength of ~500 MPa. This value is similar to that obtained from the flow law of Evans and Goetze [1979] and a factor of five large than that calculated from the flow law of Raterron et al. [2004].

  3. Fertile Lithospheric Mantle beneath Far East Russia; evidence for Lithospheric delamination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ntaflos, T.; Koutsovitis, P.; Aschchepkov, I.; Hauzenberger, C. A.; Prikhodko, V.; Barkar, A.

    2012-12-01

    In the back-arc environment of Far East Russia, mantle xenoliths from Sikhoti-Alin( Komku area, KO) and Primorie (Sviyaginsky area, SV), Far East Russia are fertile spinel lherzolites with traces of amphibole, phlogopite and hyalophane in some of the studied samples. Though samples from both localities are fertile there is a systematic difference in their fertility. The KO samples have mg# varying from 0.891 to 0.899 and are slightly more fertile than the SV samples that have mg# ranging from 0.898 to 0.904. LA-ICP-MS analyses on clinopyroxenes confirm this trend as the (La/Yb)N in KO samples range from 1.49 to 5.4 and in SV samples from 0.15 to 1.73. The estimated equilibration temperatures for the KO suite range from 940 °C to 1035 °C and for the SV suite from 770 to 945. The differences in the estimated equilibrium temperatures between the KO and SV suites suggest that the less fertile SV suite originated in shallower depths than the more fertile KO suite. Kaersutite, and extremely Ti-rich phlogopite, up to 14 wt% TiO2, are associated with intergranular glass indicating clearly metasomatism of undersaturated alkaline melts. Pargasitic amphibole occurs as inclusion in clinopyroxene. Incompatible element abundances, besides Ba, Sr and Ti that are slightly enriched in the amphibole, are similar in both phases suggesting minor metasomatism due to percolation of small amounts of water-rich fluids. The lithospheric mantle beneath the studied area represents the residue after partial melting of up to 2 % of a primitive mantle and is comparable to that of Mongolia. Despite the fact that the studied area experienced several subducting episodes, the lithospheric mantle appears to be unaffected from the upwelling fluids/melts of the subducted slab(s). Since there is no indication for plume activity, and/or evidence for refertilization, it is likely that the lithospheric mantle has been delaminated as the result of tectonic events (lithospheric attenuation, inverse

  4. Extension of continental lithosphere - A model for two scales of basin and range deformation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuber, M. T.; Parmentier, E. M.; Fletcher, R. C.

    1986-01-01

    The development of a model for deformation in an extending continental lithosphere that is stratified in density and strength is described. The lithosphere model demonstrates that the necking instabilities at two wavelengths originate due to a strong upper crust, a mantle layer, and a weak lower crust. It is observed that the dominant wavelengths of necking are controlled by layer thickness and the strength of the layers control the amplitude of the instabilities. The model is applied to the Basin and Range Province of the western U.S. where deformations in ranges and tile domains are detected. The relation between the Bouguer gravity anomaly and the deformations is studied. The data reveal that the horizontal scale of short wavelength necking correlates with the spacings of individual basins and ranges, and the longer wavelength corresponds to the width of tilt domains. The control of the Basin and Range deformation by two scales of extensional instability is proposed.

  5. Petrogenesis of Cenozoic, alkalic volcanic lineages at Mount Morning, West Antarctica and their entrained lithospheric mantle xenoliths: Lithospheric versus asthenospheric mantle sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Adam P.; Cooper, Alan F.; Price, Richard C.

    2013-12-01

    Two volcanic lineages are identified at Mount Morning, a Cenozoic to recent, eruptive centre in the Ross Sea, West Antarctica, which is part of the McMurdo Volcanic Group. Both the older (at least 18.7-11.4 Ma), mildly alkalic, nepheline- or quartz-normative Mason Spur Lineage, and the younger (at least 6-0.02 Ma), nepheline normative, strongly alkalic Riviera Ridge Lineage evolved by fractional crystallization from nominally anhydrous (<0.5 wt% H2O) parental magmas. Both lineages are analogous to other, relatively anhydrous lineages in the McMurdo Volcanic Group and distinctly different from those in which kaersutite is present on the liquid line of descent. Sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) xenoliths entrained in Riviera Ridge Lineage rocks show trace element and isotopic Sr-Nd-Pb variation that is consistent with four-component mixing whereby depleted mantle has been refertilised by enriched, HIMU-like and Nb-enriched (carbonatite) components. Refertilization may have occurred c. 530-490 Ma ago when fluids derived from subduction associated with Gondwanaland amalgamation infiltrated the SCLM. Similar trace element and isotope variation (Sr-Nd-Pb) in Mount Morning basaltic rocks and entrained xenoliths suggests that the source for the basaltic magmas lies (at least in part) in the lithospheric mantle. It has long been recognized that Cenozoic volcanic rocks in Antarctica (Victoria Land - including Mount Morning - and Marie Byrd Land), Zealandia and eastern Australia share common chemical and isotopic source characteristics and they have been argued to collectively constitute a single diffuse alkaline magmatic province (DAMP). Source characteristic similarities suggest DAMP volcanic rocks inherit at least some of their trace element and isotopic characteristics from the lithospheric mantle. Super-chondritic Nb/Ta values measured in some SCLM xenoliths and volcanic rocks at Mount Morning, and in volcanic rocks across the DAMP, can be explained by addition

  6. Postcollisional mafic igneous rocks record crust-mantle interaction during continental deep subduction.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zi-Fu; Dai, Li-Qun; Zheng, Yong-Fei

    2013-12-04

    Findings of coesite and microdiamond in metamorphic rocks of supracrustal protolith led to the recognition of continental subduction to mantle depths. The crust-mantle interaction is expected to take place during subduction of the continental crust beneath the subcontinental lithospheric mantle wedge. This is recorded by postcollisional mafic igneous rocks in the Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt and its adjacent continental margin in the North China Block. These rocks exhibit the geochemical inheritance of whole-rock trace elements and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopes as well as zircon U-Pb ages and Hf-O isotopes from felsic melts derived from the subducted continental crust. Reaction of such melts with the overlying wedge peridotite would transfer the crustal signatures to the mantle sources for postcollisional mafic magmatism. Therefore, postcollisonal mafic igneous rocks above continental subduction zones are an analog to arc volcanics above oceanic subduction zones, providing an additional laboratory for the study of crust-mantle interaction at convergent plate margins.

  7. Postcollisional mafic igneous rocks record crust-mantle interaction during continental deep subduction

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Zi-Fu; Dai, Li-Qun; Zheng, Yong-Fei

    2013-01-01

    Findings of coesite and microdiamond in metamorphic rocks of supracrustal protolith led to the recognition of continental subduction to mantle depths. The crust-mantle interaction is expected to take place during subduction of the continental crust beneath the subcontinental lithospheric mantle wedge. This is recorded by postcollisional mafic igneous rocks in the Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt and its adjacent continental margin in the North China Block. These rocks exhibit the geochemical inheritance of whole-rock trace elements and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopes as well as zircon U-Pb ages and Hf-O isotopes from felsic melts derived from the subducted continental crust. Reaction of such melts with the overlying wedge peridotite would transfer the crustal signatures to the mantle sources for postcollisional mafic magmatism. Therefore, postcollisonal mafic igneous rocks above continental subduction zones are an analog to arc volcanics above oceanic subduction zones, providing an additional laboratory for the study of crust-mantle interaction at convergent plate margins. PMID:24301173

  8. Melting the lithosphere: Metasomes as a source for mantle-derived magmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rooney, Tyrone O.; Nelson, Wendy R.; Ayalew, Dereje; Hanan, Barry; Yirgu, Gezahegn; Kappelman, John

    2017-03-01

    Peridotite constitutes most of the Earth's upper mantle, and it is therefore unsurprising that most mantle-derived magmas exhibit evidence of past equilibrium with an olivine-dominated source. Although there is mounting evidence for the role of pyroxenite in magma generation within upwelling mantle plumes, a less documented non-peridotite source of melts are metasomatic veins (metasomes) within the lithospheric mantle. Here we present major and trace element analyses of 66 lavas erupted from a small Miocene shield volcano located within the Ethiopian flood basalt province. Erupted lavas are intercalated with lahars and pyroclastic horizons that are overlain by a later stage of activity manifested in small cinder cones and flows. The lavas form two distinctive petrographic and geochemical groups: (A) an olivine-phyric, low Ti group (1.7-2.7 wt.% TiO2; 4.0-13.6 wt.% MgO), which geochemically resembles most of the basalts in the region. These low Ti lavas are the only geochemical units identified in the later cinder cones and associated lava flows; (B) a clinopyroxene-phyric high Ti group (3.1-6.5 wt.% TiO2; 2.8-9.2 wt.% MgO), which resembles the Oligocene HT-2 flood basalts. This unit is found intercalated with low Ti lavas within the Miocene shield. In comparison to the low Ti group, the high Ti lavas exhibit a profound depletion in Ni, Cr, Al, and Si, and significant enrichment in Ca, Fe, V, and the most incompatible trace elements. A characteristic negative K anomaly in primitive-mantle normalized diagrams, and Na2O > K2O, suggests a source rich in amphibole, devoid of olivine, and perhaps containing some carbonate and magnetite. While melt generation during rift development in Ethiopia is strongly correlated with the thermo-chemical anomalies associated with the African Superplume, thermobaric destabilization and melting of mantle metasomes may also contribute to lithospheric thinning. In regions impacted by mantle plumes, such melts may be critical to weakening

  9. Neodymium Isotope Variability at the Grain Scale in the Sub-Continental Lithospheric Mantle: NdO+ Analyses of Individual Clinopyroxene Grains (<5 ng Nd aliquots) from a Kilbourne Hole Harzburgitic Xenolith.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harvey, J.; Honn, D.; Baxter, E. F.; Warren, J. M.; Hammond, S.; Walshaw, R.

    2014-12-01

    It is evident that at scales of 102 to 10-2 m there is significant isotopic heterogeneity in the mantle that is not always reflected in primitive melts. The "Os isotopic gap"[1] is one such manifestation of this phenomenon but a similar offset exists between the Nd isotope composition of abyssal peridotites and the mid-ocean ridge basalts that they are inferred to have produced[2]. This study takes advantage of recent advances in the analysis of Nd isotopes as NdO+[3,4] which permit the precise analysis of single clinopyroxene grains (<1 mg mass; <5 ng Nd) from a continental harzburgitic xenolith from Kilbourne Hole, NM. Analyses of aggregates of clinopyroxenes from 5 Kilbourne Hole xenoliths reveal a wide range of 143Nd/144Nd (0.513011 ± 28 to 0.513615 ±19)[5]. This study demonstrates significant grain-to-grain isotopic heterogeneity at a scale of 10-2 m (143Nd/144Nd = 0.513089 ± 78 to 0.513364 ± 74) which (i) is equivalent to the range of values for Pacific MORB[6] and (ii) is more primitive than local basalts with an asthenospheric signature[7]. This suggests that small-scale refractory domains exist within the mantle which are either not sampled during partial melting or whose presence is obscured by the melting of higher volumes of more fusible material. Ref:[1]Alard et al. (2005) Nature 436, 1005-1008 [2]Warren et al. (2009) JGR 114, B12203, doi:10.1029/2008JB006186 [3]Harvey and Baxter (2009) Chem. Geol. 258, 251-257 [4]Honn et al. (2013) AGU Fall abstr. V33-2722 [5]Harvey et al. (2012) J. Petrol. 53, 1709-1742 [6]Hofmann (1997) Nature 385, 219-229 [7]Thompson et al. (2005) J. Petrol. 46, 1603-1643

  10. Noble gas composition of subcontinental lithospheric mantle: An extensively degassed reservoir beneath Southern Patagonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jalowitzki, Tiago; Sumino, Hirochika; Conceição, Rommulo V.; Orihashi, Yuji; Nagao, Keisuke; Bertotto, Gustavo W.; Balbinot, Eduardo; Schilling, Manuel E.; Gervasoni, Fernanda

    2016-09-01

    Patagonia, in the Southern Andes, is one of the few locations where interactions between the oceanic and continental lithosphere can be studied due to subduction of an active spreading ridge beneath the continent. In order to characterize the noble gas composition of Patagonian subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM), we present the first noble gas data alongside new lithophile (Sr-Nd-Pb) isotopic data for mantle xenoliths from Pali-Aike Volcanic Field and Gobernador Gregores, Southern Patagonia. Based on noble gas isotopic compositions, Pali-Aike mantle xenoliths represent intrinsic SCLM with higher (U + Th + K)/(3He, 22Ne, 36Ar) ratios than the mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) source. This reservoir shows slightly radiogenic helium (3He/4He = 6.84-6.90 RA), coupled with a strongly nucleogenic neon signature (mantle source 21Ne/22Ne = 0.085-0.094). The 40Ar/36Ar ratios vary from a near-atmospheric ratio of 510 up to 17700, with mantle source 40Ar/36Ar between 31100-6800+9400 and 54000-9600+14200. In addition, the 3He/22Ne ratios for the local SCLM endmember, at 12.03 ± 0.15 to 13.66 ± 0.37, are higher than depleted MORBs, at 3He/22Ne = 8.31-9.75. Although asthenospheric mantle upwelling through the Patagonian slab window would result in a MORB-like metasomatism after collision of the South Chile Ridge with the Chile trench ca. 14 Ma, this mantle reservoir could have remained unhomogenized after rapid passage and northward migration of the Chile Triple Junction. The mantle endmember xenon isotopic ratios of Pali-Aike mantle xenoliths, which is first defined for any SCLM-derived samples, show values indistinguishable from the MORB source (129Xe/132Xe =1.0833-0.0053+0.0216 and 136Xe/132Xe =0.3761-0.0034+0.0246). The noble gas component observed in Gobernador Gregores mantle xenoliths is characterized by isotopic compositions in the MORB range in terms of helium (3He/4He = 7.17-7.37 RA), but with slightly nucleogenic neon (mantle source 21Ne/22Ne = 0.065-0.079). We

  11. Power law olivine crystal size distributions in lithospheric mantle xenoliths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armienti, P.; Tarquini, S.

    2002-12-01

    Olivine crystal size distributions (CSDs) have been measured in three suites of spinel- and garnet-bearing harzburgites and lherzolites found as xenoliths in alkaline basalts from Canary Islands, Africa; Victoria Land, Antarctica; and Pali Aike, South America. The xenoliths derive from lithospheric mantle, from depths ranging from 80 to 20 km. Their textures vary from coarse to porphyroclastic and mosaic-porphyroclastic up to cataclastic. Data have been collected by processing digital images acquired optically from standard petrographic thin sections. The acquisition method is based on a high-resolution colour scanner that allows image capturing of a whole thin section. Image processing was performed using the VISILOG 5.2 package, resolving crystals larger than about 150 μm and applying stereological corrections based on the Schwartz-Saltykov algorithm. Taking account of truncation effects due to resolution limits and thin section size, all samples show scale invariance of crystal size distributions over almost three orders of magnitude (0.2-25 mm). Power law relations show fractal dimensions varying between 2.4 and 3.8, a range of values observed for distributions of fragment sizes in a variety of other geological contexts. A fragmentation model can reproduce the fractal dimensions around 2.6, which correspond to well-equilibrated granoblastic textures. Fractal dimensions >3 are typical of porphyroclastic and cataclastic samples. Slight bends in some linear arrays suggest selective tectonic crushing of crystals with size larger than 1 mm. The scale invariance shown by lithospheric mantle xenoliths in a variety of tectonic settings forms distant geographic regions, which indicate that this is a common characteristic of the upper mantle and should be taken into account in rheological models and evaluation of metasomatic models.

  12. Delamination of the continental lithosphere and magmatogenesis: inferences from the Tyrrhenian area

    SciTech Connect

    Lavecchia, G.; Stoppa, F.

    1988-08-01

    On the basis of geologic and geophysical data, the Tyrrhenian rift zone is interpreted here as the result of an eastward-migrating process of delamination of the continental lithosphere. A fundamental consequence is the development of complex magmatogenetic processes within the crust, the lithosphere, and the asthenosphere. Starting from this point of view, the authors have reclassified the Neogene-Quaternary Italian magmas by means of multivariate analysis and defined new homogeneous magmatic series whose spatial and temporal distributions have been compared with the tectonic and geophysical setting of the Tyrrhenian Sea and its margins. In such a way a magmatogenetic model has been defined that helps them explain globally the different aspects of Per-Tyrrhenian magmatism and to insert them in the framework of a homogeneous geodynamic environment. The delamination of the Tyrrhenian lithosphere is accompanied by partial melting of the asthenosphere due to rapid unloading that enables partial melting of the more volatile fraction of the mantle rocks. In such a way alkaline and/or carbonate magmas are produced. In the meantime the footwall rocks across the extending lithosphere are subject to many kilobars of pressure drops, producing subalkaline magmas by partial melting of the lithosphere. Crustal simple shear deformations, on the other hand, enable anatexis of the lower continental crust, producing at its bottom granitic magmas. Thus, the Italian parent magmas are hypothesized to be produced by the above process, whereas the volcanic activity that takes place over the Peri-Tyrrhenian margins is supposed to be permitted by vertical deformations subsequent to the horizontal tension and caused by a sort of elastic rebound.

  13. New Seismic Observables Constrain Structure within the Continental Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cunningham, E. E.; Lekic, V.

    2014-12-01

    The origin and stability of the continental lithosphere play a fundamental role in plate tectonics and enable the survival of Archean crust over billions of years. Recent advances in seismic data and imaging have revealed a velocity drop with depth within continental cratons too shallow to be interpreted as the lithosphere asthenosphere boundary (Rychert and Shearer 2009). The significance of this "mid lithospheric discontinuity" (MLD) - or multiple MLDs as suggested recently (Lekic & Fischer, 2013) - is not fully understood, and its implications for continental formation and stability are only beginning to be explored. Discrepancies call for both improving the constraints on the nature of the MLD, and relating these observations to tectonic setting and deformation history. The extensive coverage of the EarthScope USArray presents an unprecedented opportunity to systematically map the structure of the continental lithosphere. We use receiver functions (RFs) to isolate converted phases (Ps or Sp) produced across velocity discontinuities beneath a seismometer, and thereby constrain vertical density and seismic velocity variations. We show that at some stations, the apparent velocity contrast across the MLD demonstrates a dependence on seismic wave frequency, being greater at low frequencies than at high frequencies. This suggests that the MLD - at least in certain locations - is distributed across tens of kilometers in depth. The gradient of the MLD fingerprints physical process at play; a weak gradient indicates thermal origin, while an abrupt discontinuity implicates change in composition or partial melting. Furthermore, we map the strength, depth, and ratio of amplitudes of waves converted across the MLD and the Moho throughout the US. Because these receiver function based measurements only reveal relative velocity variations with depth, we combine them with frequency-dependent measurements of apparent incidence angles of P and S waves. Doing so allows us to

  14. Widespread refertilization of cratonic and circum-cratonic lithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Yan-Jie; Zhang, Hong-Fu; Ying, Ji-Feng; Su, Ben-Xun

    2013-03-01

    Studies of mantle xenoliths have confirmed that Archean subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) is highly depleted in basaltic components (such as Al, Ca and Na) due to high-degree extraction of mafic and ultramafic melts and thus is refractory and buoyant, which made it chronically stable as tectonically independent units. However, increasing studies show that ancient SCLM can be refertilized by episodic rejuvenation events like infiltration of upwelling fertile material. The North China Craton is one of the most typical cases for relatively complete destruction of its Archean keel since the eruption of Paleozoic kimberlites, as is evidenced by a dramatic change in the compositions of mantle xenoliths sampled by Paleozoic to Cenozoic magmas, reflecting significant lithospheric thinning and the change in the character of the SCLM. The compositional change has been interpreted as the result of refertilization of Archean SCLM via multiple-stage peridotite-melt reactions, suggested by linear correlations between MgO and indices of fertility, covariations of Al2O3 with CaO, La/Yb, 87Sr/86Sr, 143Nd/144Nd, 187Os/188Os and Re-depletion ages (TRD), high Re abundances, scatter in Re-Os isotopic plot, variable in situ TRD ages of sulfides, and correlation between TRD ages and olivine Fo of peridotite xenoliths in Paleozoic kimberlites and Cenozoic basalts on the craton. By integrating major and trace element, Sr, Nd and Os isotopic compositions of peridotite xenoliths and orogenic massif peridotites from the continents of Europe, Asia, America, Africa and Australia, together with previous studies of petrology and geochemistry of global peridotites, we suggest that (1) refertilization of cratonic and circum-cratonic lithospheric mantle is widespread; (2) Archean SCLM worldwide has experienced a multi-stage history of melt depletion and refertilization since segregation from the convecting mantle; (3) cratonic SCLM may be more susceptible to compositional change caused by

  15. Mantle Heterogeneity and Off Axis Volcanism on Young Pacific Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harmon, N.; Forsyth, D. W.; Weeraratne, D. S.; Webb, S. C.; Yang, Y.

    2011-12-01

    Plate tectonics and mantle plumes explain most volcanism on earth, but there are numerous actively forming linear volcanic chains in the middle of tectonic plates that are not explained by these theories. Using the multidisciplinary geophysical dataset of the MELT and GLIMPSE experiments, we show that associated with 3 volcanic chains west of the East Pacific Rise there are low seismic velocities and densities in the asthenosphere that extend to the East Pacific Rise spreading center. Analogous to the Hawaiian swell, the low-density anomalies produce swells beneath the volcanoes on young seafloor. The associated gravity anomalies are part of a set of gravity lineaments that have been previously interpreted as being due to thermo-elastic cracking of the lithosphere or small-scale convection. The correlation between the surface volcanism and subsurface density and velocity anomalies and their extension to the spreading center suggest that pre-existing, buoyant or fertile asthenospheric mantle heterogeneities are stretched in the direction of plate motion by shear between the plate and the underlying mantle. These heterogeneities seed small-scale convection, producing upwelling and pressure release melting, forming volcanic chains that extend nearly to the ridge axis.

  16. Mantle heterogeneity and off axis volcanism on young Pacific lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harmon, Nicholas; Forsyth, Donald W.; Weeraratne, Dayanthie S.; Yang, Yingjie; Webb, Spahr C.

    2011-11-01

    Plate tectonics and mantle plumes explain most volcanism on earth, but there are numerous actively forming linear volcanic chains in the middle of tectonic plates that are not explained by these theories. Using the multidisciplinary geophysical dataset of the MELT and GLIMPSE experiments, we show that associated with 3 volcanic chains west of the East Pacific Rise there are low seismic velocities and densities in the asthenosphere that extend to the East Pacific Rise spreading center. Analogous to the Hawaiian swell, the low-density anomalies produce swells beneath the volcanoes on young seafloor. The associated gravity anomalies are part of a set of gravity lineaments that have been previously interpreted as being due to thermo-elastic cracking of the lithosphere or small-scale convection. The correlation between the surface volcanism and subsurface density and velocity anomalies and their extension to the spreading center suggest that pre-existing, buoyant or fertile asthenospheric mantle heterogeneities are stretched in the direction of plate motion by shear between the plate and the underlying mantle. These heterogeneities seed small-scale convection, producing upwelling and pressure release melting, forming volcanic chains that extend nearly to the ridge axis.

  17. Back-arc rifting initiated with a hot and wet continental lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamasaki, Tadashi; Stephenson, Randell

    2011-02-01

    How back-arc rifting is initiated is studied by inferring the tectonic force and strain rate regimes from published subsidence data for nine back-arc basins in the European Tethyan belt and in the western Pacific. The results show that rifting only begins after some particular magnitude of tectonic force is reached. This implies that subduction has already progressed to a point such that the total negative buoyancy of the slab becomes so large that the relevant tectonic force exceeds its bending strength. Once back-arc rifting has been initiated, the force required to maintain it gradually decays. This indicates that the processes governing back-arc extension are fast enough that lithosphere weakening due to an increase in geothermal gradient exceeds strengthening due to the thermal relaxation and crustal thinning. This is achieved, given currently accepted estimates for the maximum force (≤ 7 TN/m), if the thickness of the thermal lithosphere is significantly less than 125 km and if the lithosphere has a wet rheology, meaning that a weak continental lithosphere is required for the initiation of back-arc rifting. The presence of significant strength in the uppermost mantle is not precluded, but it is not required.

  18. Topography caused by mantle density variations: observation-based estimates and models derived from tomography and lithosphere thickness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinberger, Bernhard

    2016-04-01

    Large-scale topography may be due to several causes, including (1) variations in crustal thickness and density structure, (2) oceanic lithosphere age differences, (3) subcrustal density variations in the continental lithosphere and (4) convective flow in the mantle beneath the lithosphere. The last contribution in particular may change with time and be responsible for continental inundations; distinguishing between these contributions is therefore important for linking Earth's history to its observed geological record. As a step towards this goal, this paper aims at such distinction for the present-day topography: the approach taken is deriving a `model' topography due to contributions (3) and (4), along with a model geoid, using a geodynamic mantle flow model. Both lithosphere thickness and density anomalies beneath the lithosphere are inferred from seismic tomography. Density anomalies within the continental lithosphere are uncertain, because they are probably due to variations in composition and temperature, making a simple scaling from seismic to density anomalies inappropriate. Therefore, we test a number of different assumptions regarding these. As a reality check, model topography is compared, in terms of both correlation and amplitude ratio, to `residual' topography, which follows from observed topography after subtracting contributions (1) and (2). The model geoid is compared to observations as well. Comparatively good agreement is found if there is either an excess density of ≈0.2 per cent in the lithosphere above ≈150 km depth, with anomalies below as inferred from tomography, or if the excess density is ≈0.4 per cent in the entire lithosphere. Further, a good fit is found for viscosity ≈1020 Pa s in the asthenosphere, increasing to ≈1023 Pa s in the lower mantle above D'. Results are quite dependent on which tomography models they are based on; for some recent ones, topography correlation is ≈0.6, many smaller scale features are matched

  19. The Equivalent Elastic Thickness (Te), seismicity and the long-term rheology of continental lithosphere.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burov, E.; Watts, A. B.

    2006-12-01

    Depending on the conditions and time scale, the lithosphere exhibits elastic, brittle-plastic or viscous-ductile properties. As suggested by rock mechanics experiments, a large part of the long-term lithospheric strength is supported in the ductile regime. Unfortunately, these data cannot be reliably interpolated to geological time and spatial scales (strain rates ~10e-17 10e-13 1/s) without additional parameterization. An adequate parameterization has to be based on "real time" observations of large-scale deformation. For the oceanic lithosphere, the Goetze and Evan's brittle-elastic-ductile yield strength envelopes derived from data of experimental rock mechanics were successfully validated by a number of geodynamic scale observations such as the observations of plate flexure and the associated Te estimates. For continents, the uncertainties of flexural models and of other data sources are stronger due to the complex structure and history of continental plates. For example, in one continental rheology model, dubbed "jelly sandwich", the strength mainly resides in the crust and mantle, while in another, dubbed "crème-brûlée", the mantle is weak and the strength is limited to the upper crust. These models have arisen because of conflicting results from earthquake, elastic thickness (Te) and rheology data. We address these problems here by reviewing rock mechanics data and by examining the plausibility of each rheological model from general physical considerations. We next review the elastic thickness (Te) estimates and their relationship to the seismogenic layer thickness (Ts). We then explore, by numerical thermo-mechanical modeling, the implications of a weak and strong mantle for tectonic structural styles. We show that, irrespective of the actual crustal strength, the "crémé-brûlée" model is unable to explain either the persistence of mountain ranges for long periods of time or the integrity of the downgoing slab in collisional systems. We conclude that

  20. Using crustal thickness, subsidence and P-T-t history on the Iberia-Newfoundland & Alpine Tethys margins to constrain lithosphere deformation modes during continental breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeanniot, L.; Kusznir, N. J.; Manatschal, G.; Mohn, G.; Beltrando, M.

    2013-12-01

    Observations at magma-poor rifted margins such as Iberia-Newfoundland show a complex lithosphere deformation history and OCT architecture, resulting in hyper-extended continental crust and lithosphere, exhumed mantle and scattered embryonic oceanic crust before continental breakup and seafloor spreading. Initiation of seafloor spreading requires both the rupture of the continental crust and lithospheric mantle, and the onset of decompressional melting. Their relative timing controls when mantle exhumation may occur; the presence or absence of exhumed mantle provides useful information on the timing of these events and constraints on lithosphere deformation modes. A single kinematic lithosphere deformation mode leading to continental breakup and sea-floor spreading cannot explain observations. We have determined the sequence of lithosphere deformation events, using forward modelling of crustal thickness, subsidence and P-T-t history calibrated against observations on the present-day Iberia-Newfoundland and the fossil analogue Alpine Tethys margins. Lithosphere deformation modes, represented by flow fields, are generated by a 2D finite element viscous flow model (FeMargin), and used to advect lithosphere and asthenosphere temperature and material. FeMargin is kinematically driven by divergent deformation in the topmost upper lithosphere inducing passive upwelling beneath that layer; the upper lithosphere is assumed to deform by extensional faulting and magmatic intrusions, consistent with observations of deformation processes occurring at slow spreading ocean ridges (Cannat, 1996). Buoyancy enhanced upwelling is also included in the kinematic model as predicted by Braun et al (2000). We predict melt generation by decompressional melting using the parameterization and methodology of Katz et al., 2003. We use a series of numerical experiments, tested and calibrated against crustal thicknesses and subsidence observations, to determine the distribution of lithosphere

  1. Spectral analysis of the gravity and elevation along the western Africa-Eurasia plate tectonic limit: Continental versus oceanic lithospheric folding signals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muñoz-Martín, A.; De Vicente, G.; Fernández-Lozano, J.; Cloetingh, S.; Willingshofer, E.; Sokoutis, D.; Beekman, F.

    2010-12-01

    Large-scale folding is a key mechanism of lithospheric deformation and has been described in many parts of the Earth, both for the continental and oceanic lithospheres. Some aspects of this process such as the presence of coupling/decoupling between the crustal deformation and the mantle lithosphere, or between different lithospheres, make it necessary to accurately control the periodic characteristics of the elevation and of the gravity signal. 1D spectral analysis of gravity and topography profiles is sensitive to a series of factors: the location, length and orientation of the profiles, as well as the number of samples taken. We carry out a systematic analysis of the periodicities in the topography and gravity, both 1D and 2D, along the western border of the Africa-Eurasia plate tectonic boundary. We analyze the sensitivity of the 1D and 2D spectral analysis in order to compare the results along a plate boundary where oceanic and continental lithospheres are in contact with different tectonic, kinematic and rheological aspects. Our 1D spectral results indicate that the greater the profile length, the longer the wavelength peaks that are found. Nevertheless there are some periodic signals that appear in almost all the analyzed profiles: 100-250 km for the N-S profiles across oceanic plate boundary and 150-250 km where the plate boundary is developed over continental lithospheres. The 2D spectral analysis avoids the problems found in relation to the particular location of the profile but the resulting wavelengths are slightly higher than those obtained from the 1D spectral analysis. The wavelengths estimated for both oceanic and continental lithospheres at the Africa-Eurasia boundary (> 250 km) show low values of mean mantle strength (< 10 13 Pa m). The presence of lithospheric folds means that the continental and oceanic lithospheres are mechanically coupled. This had previously been suggested for Iberia but not for the limit between S Iberia and the Terceira

  2. Mantle xenoliths from Central Vietnam: evidence for at least Meso-Proterozoic formation of the lithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proßegger, Peter; Ntaflos, Theodoros; Ackerman, Lukáš; Hauzenberger, Christoph; Tran, Tuan Anh

    2016-04-01

    Intraplate Cenozoic basalts that are widely dispersed along the continental margin of East Asia belong to the Western Pacific "diffuse" igneous province. They consist mainly of alkali basalts, basanites,rarely nephelinites, which are mantle xenolith-bearing, potassic rocks and quartz tholeiites. The volcanism in this area has been attributed to the continental extension caused by the collision of India with Asia and by the subduction of the Pacific Ocean below Asia. We studied a suite of 24 mantle xenoliths from La Bang Lake, Dak Doa district and Bien Ho, Pleiku city in the Gia Province, Central Vietnam. They are predominantly spinel lherzolites (19) but spinel harburgites (3) and two garnet pyroxenites are present as well. The sizes of the xenoliths range from 5 to 40 cm in diameter with medium to coarse-grained protogranular textures. Whole rock major and trace element analyses display a wide range of compositions. The MgO concentration varies from 36.0 to 45.8 wt% whereas Al2O3 and CaO range from 0.63 to 4.36 wt% and from 0.52 to 4.21 wt% (with one sample having CaO of 6.63 wt%) respectively. Both CaO and Al2O3 positively correlate with MgO most likely indicating that the sampled rocks were derived from a common mantle source experienced variable degrees of partial melting. Mineral analyses show that the rock forming minerals are chemically homogeneous. The Fo contents of olivine vary between 89.2 and 91.2 and the Mg# of orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene range from 89 to 92 and 89 to 94 respectively. The range of Cr# for spinel is 0.06-0.26. Model calculations in both whole rock and clinopyroxenes show that lithospheric mantle underneath Central Vietnam experienced melt extractions that vary between 2-7, 12-15 and 20-30%. The majority of the primitive mantle-normalized whole rock and clinopyroxene REE patterns are parallel to each other indicating that clinopyroxene is the main repository of the trace elements. Clinopyroxenes are divided into two groups: group A

  3. Experimental Constraints on the Strength of the Lithospheric Mantle

    SciTech Connect

    Mei, S.; Suzuki, A; Kohlstedt, D; Dixon, N; Durham, W

    2010-01-01

    To provide a better understanding of rheological properties of mantle rocks under lithospheric conditions, we carried out a series of experiments on the creep behavior of polycrystalline olivine at high pressures ({approx}4-9 GPa), relatively low temperatures (673 {le} T {le} 1273 K), and anhydrous conditions, using a deformation-DIA. Differential stress and sample displacement were monitored in situ using synchrotron X-ray diffraction and radiography, respectively. Experimental results were fit to the low-temperature plasticity flow law. On the basis of this analysis, the low-temperature plasticity of olivine deformed under anhydrous conditions is well constrained by our data with a Peierls stress of {sigma}{sub P} = 5.9 {+-} 0.2 GPa, a zero-stress activation energy of E{sub k}(0) = 320 {+-} 50 kJ mol{sup -1}, and A{sub P} = 1.4 x 10{sup -7} s{sup -1} MPa{sup -2}. Compared with published results for high-temperature creep of olivine, a transition from low-temperature plasticity to high-temperature creep occurs at {approx}1300 K for a strain rate of {approx}10{sup -5} s{sup -1}. For a geological strain rate of 10{sup -14} s{sup -1}, extrapolation of our low-temperature flow law to 873 K, the cutoff temperature for earthquakes in the mantle, yields a strength of {approx}600 MPa. The low-temperature, high-stress flow law for olivine in this study provides a solid basis for modeling tectonic processes occurring within Earth's lithosphere.

  4. Pseudotachylites and Earthquakes: New Evidence for the "Jelly Sandwich" Rheology of Continental Lithosphere (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, W.; Yang, Z.

    2009-12-01

    The occurrence of pseudotachylite, an often-used proxy for brittle, seismogenic deformation, in mafic granulite facies has been cited as key evidence for the lower continental crust being stronger than the underlying uppermost mantle (“crème brûlée” model). Such reasoning seems unsound in that spectacular examples of pseudotachylite, exceeding 100 meters in length, occur in outcrops of the upper mantle. So if pseudotachylites indicate high mechanical strength, then the mantle lithosphere must be strong, supporting the “jelly sandwich” model of rheology. Moreover, pseudotachylites do occur in rocks of amphibolite facies where hydrous minerals are abundant, ruling out the notion that pseudotachylite implies dry conditions in the crust. Recent results from laboratory experiments also indicate that in general, mafic granulite is weaker than peridotite (Wang et al. [2008] and H. Green, personal communication). Perhaps the only stone left unturned is the pathological case where absolute-dry, mafic granulite were to juxtapose with hydrous peridotite - a hypothetical situation not observed in nature and yet to be linked with any specific, known geological processes. Meanwhile, cases of well-established, large- to moderate-sized earthquakes in the sub-continental mantle lithosphere (SCML) have been steadily accumulating, including events that generated clear underside reflections off the Moho above the hypocenters. Furthermore, a continent-wide analysis of precisely determined focal depths along and near the East African rift system (EARS) shows that different segments of the EARS exhibit three distinct patterns in focal depths, with a clear bimodal distribution beneath well-known but amagmatic rift valleys. The peaks of seismic moment release occur in the upper to mid-crust and near and below the Moho - a pattern established in several regions more than 25 years ago that implies a similar vertical distribution in limiting stress of the continental lithosphere

  5. The consequences of hotspots on continental lithosphere : a thermal case study on the Arabian Plate.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vicente De Gouveia, S.; Besse, J.; Greff-Lefftz, M.; Frizon de Lamotte, D.; Leparmentier, F.; Lescanne, M.

    2015-12-01

    Hotspots are thermal instabilities coming from various depths in the mantle. Their activity is often revealed by surface and sub-surface phenomena such as volcanic trapps or oceanic plateaus, and volcanic island tracks on the seafloor. The two first are often linked to the eruption of a hotspot head, while the third is due to the volcanic material fed by the subsequent tail. Consequences of a hotspot tail on the oceanic lithosphere are well known, while its effect on the continental lithosphere is most often masked by the thickness of the lithosphere. The aim of our study is to try and link hotspot tracks with geological events in the continental lithosphere. Hotspot tracks are first built using a modified version of the hybrid reference frame of Seton et al. (2012), and their effect on the continental lithosphere is then evaluated using geological markers issued from petroleum wells, in particular the sedimentary record, backstripping, heat flux anomaly and temperature data. A case study is performed on the Arabian Plate, potentially crossed by two hotspots (Afar and Comores). Several W-E heat flux profiles display a large thermal anomaly close to the Red Sea, while a smaller N-S elongated heat flow anomaly more to the E suggests that a hotspot track could impact the thermal history of the Arabian plate.

  6. Lithospheric Mantle heterogeneities beneath northern Santa Cruz province, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mundl, Andrea; Ntaflos, Theodoros; Bjerg, Ernesto

    2013-04-01

    interstitial clinopyroxene appears to be of metasomatic origin. The clinopyroxene from cumulate dunites has depleted LREE abundances and low HREE indicating that they have been formed from residual melts. In contrast, clinopyroxene from mantle dunites has enriched LREE (10 x PM) and LILE suggesting that the metasomatic agent was fluid-rich silicate melt. Calculated equilibrium conditions cover a wide range, from 800 to 1100 °C. Considering the crustal thickness in the area being around 35 km, a pressure between 12 and 17 kbar can be assumed as reasonable, indicating that xenoliths were extracted from shallow depths, in the order of 40 to 60 km. Model calculations have shown that the Lithospheric Mantle beneath Don Camilo is fertile and that spinel peridotites experienced low degrees of partial melting (2-8% batch melting in the spinel peridotite field). The metasomatic agent was a fluid rich silicate melt presumably similar to that which affected the xenoliths from Cerro Clark locality, north of Don Camilo. The clinopyroxenes with the highest Sr and lowest Nd isotopic signatures suggest that the metasomatism was an old event apparently not associated to the interaction of the Lithospheric Mantle in southern Patagonia with downgoing Nazca and Antarctic plates.

  7. Dating layered websterite formation in the lithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Roux, V.; Nielsen, S. G.; Sun, C.; Yao, L.

    2016-11-01

    Pyroxenites are often documented among exhumed mantle rocks, and can be found in most tectonic environments, from supra-subduction to sub-continental and sub-oceanic mantle. In particular, websterites, i.e. orthopyroxene-clinopyroxene bearing pyroxenites, are found in parallel layers in most orogenic and ophiolitic peridotites. Their formation is often ascribed to melt infiltration and melt-rock reaction processes accompanied by variable amount of deformation. One outstanding question is whether the ubiquitous occurrence of layered websterites in exhumed rocks is generally linked to the exhumation process or truly represents large-scale melt infiltration processes at depth prior to exhumation. These two hypotheses can be distinguished by comparing the exhumation and formation ages of the websterites. However, determination of the layered websterite formation age is challenging. Here we present a novel approach to constrain the formation age of websterite layers using samples from the Lherz massif (France), where layered websterites and lherzolites have formed through melt-rock reaction. By combining high-resolution REE variations, isotope model ages, and diffusive re-equilibration timescales using REE closure temperatures across the websterite layers, we constrain a minimum age and a maximum age for the formation of layered websterites. We show that layered websterites in Lherz formed 1,500-1,800 Ma ago, and are thus clearly disconnected from the process of exhumation at 104 Ma. Multiple generations of layered websterites commonly found in ultramafic massifs, along with the evidence for ancient melt-rock reaction in Lherz, indicate that melt-rock reactions can happen episodically or continuously in the mantle and that layered websterites found in exhumed mantle rocks record ubiquitous melt infiltration processes in the mantle.

  8. Lithosphere Structure and Mantle Characterization of the Alpine-Himalayan Belt: Atlas, Zagros and Tibet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez-Munt, I.; Tunini, L.; Fernandez, M.; Verges, J.; Garcia-Castellanos, D.

    2015-12-01

    By combining geophysical and petrological information, we investigate the crust and upper mantle of three orogens of the Alpine-Himalayan Belt (Atlas, Zagros and Tibet), characterizing the lithosphere from the thermal, compositional and seismological viewpoint. The modeling is based on an integrated geophysical-petrological methodology combining elevation, gravity, geoid, surface heat flow, seismic and geochemical data.The results show prominent lithospheric mantle thickening beneath the Moroccan margin followed by thinning beneath the Atlas Mountains. Different convergence accommodation between the crust and lithospheric mantle suggests a decoupled crustal-mantle mechanical response. In the northern Zagros the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary rises sharply below the Sanandaj Sirjan Zone in a narrow region, whereas in the central Zagros the thinning is smoother and affects a wider region. The transition from the Arabian to the Eurasian lithospheric domain is located beneath the Zagros range, and it is marked by a change in the mantle velocity anomaly and in the lithospheric mantle composition. In the western Himalaya-Tibetan orogen, the lithosphere thickening is gradual reaching the maximum below the northern edge of the Plateau. The Indian lithospheric mantle underlies the whole Tibetan Plateau up to the boundary with the Tarim Basin. In the eastern sector, the thickening generates sharp steps beneath the Himalaya Range, and it thins abruptly beneath the Qiangtang and the Songpan Ganzi terrains. The Indian underthrusting is restricted to the southern Plateau. Different Eurasian domains have been also identified beneath the Tarim Basin, the Altaids region and NE Plateau by means of different lithospheric mantle compositions. The lithospheric models crossing Zagros and Tibetan Plateau show that the present-day lithosphere mantle structure of the Arabia-Eurasia and India-Eurasia collision zones are laterally-varying along the strike of both orogens, not just in

  9. Crustal and upper mantle structure of stable continental regions in North America and northern Europe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Masse, R.P.

    1987-01-01

    From an analysis of many seismic profiles across the stable continental regions of North America and northern Europe, the crustal and upper mantle velocity structure is determined. Analysis procedures include ray theory calculations and synthetic seismograms computed using reflectivity techniques. The P wave velocity structure beneath the Canadian Shield is virtually identical to that beneath the Baltic Shield to a depth of at least 800 km. Two major layers with a total thickness of about 42 km characterize the crust of these shield regions. Features of the upper mantle of these region include velocity discontinuities at depths of about 74 km, 330 km, 430 km and 700 km. A 13 km thick P wave low velocity channel beginning at a depth of about 94 km is also present. A number of problems associated with record section interpretation are identified and a generalized approach to seismic profile analysis using many record sections is described. The S wave velocity structure beneath the Canadian Shield is derived from constrained surface wave data. The thickness of the lithosphere beneath the Canadian and Baltic Shields is determined to be 95-100 km. The continental plate thickness may be the same as the lithospheric thickness, although available data do not exclude the possibility of the continental plate being thicker than the lithosphere. ?? 1987 Birkha??user Verlag.

  10. Isotopic characteristics of mantle sources for Quaternary continental alkaline magmas in the northern Canadian Cordillera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carignan, Jean; Ludden, John; Francis, Don

    1994-12-01

    Three mantle compositions are identified as potential source end members for Quaternary to recent alkaline volcanic rocks from Fort Selkirk, Llangorse-Hirschfeld, Alligator Lake and Mt. Edziza in the northern Canadian Cordillera. These are: (1) an amphibole-rich source, characterized by unradiogenic Sr, Nd and Pb, from which the olivine nephelinite lavas formed, (2) the continental lithospheric mantle which is characterised by high Pb-207/Pb-204 and appears to be involved in the formation of the alkali olivine basalts of Fort Selkirk, and (3) a mantle with radiogenic Pb and unradiogenic Sr (HIMU-type) represented by lavas from Mt. Edziza. The Mt. Edziza volcano is the largest of the volcanic centres in the region, and is considered to reflect melting of sublithospheric mantle of HIMU composition below central British Columbia. Incipient melting of amphibole-veined subcontinental mantle lithosphere resulted from plume upwelling and/or transtensional pressure release and produced the small nephelinite to olivine basalt centres of the northern Cordilleran Province. The source of the nephelinite magmas is slightly more radiogenic than present-day Pacific Mid-Ocean ridge basalts (MORB), and is best represented by the most depleted component of the Aleutian magmas. This suggests enrichment of the subcontinental lithosphere in the northern Cordillera by melts of this isotopic composition during Cretaceous subduction. The Alligator Lake complex is anomalous and charaterized by the most radiogenic lavas. Despite the presence of crustal xenoliths there is no clear geochemical signature for crustal contamination and, in contrast to the other volcanic centers which were erupted through the Intermontain Belt, the lavas of this center may have been derived from a highly radiogenic lithospheric mantle beneath the Coast Plutonic complex.

  11. Strain rate and strength of the continental lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazzotti, S.; Gueydan, F.

    2013-12-01

    Under the Wilson Cycle and Plate Tectonics paradigms, continents are divided between stable continental regions (SCR), which tend to remain un-deformed, and plate boundary zones (PBZ) that repeatedly accommodate deformation associated with opening and closing of tectonic plates. This long-term (> 1 Ma) perspective is reflected in short-term (< 100 a) deformation markers such as seismicity and GPS measurements, which highlight the first-order contrast in strain rates between SCR and PBZ. However, poor data resolution at low strain rates provides only rough upper limits on actual long- and short-term strain and seismicity rates in SCR regions, including in intraplate weak zones (paleo-PBZ) where debate is ongoing regarding short- and long-term deformation rates (e.g., New Madrid seismic zone). We propose to constrain first-order continental strain (and seismicity) rates using lithosphere rheological models, including new strain-weakening rheologies, driven by tectonic forces. We estimate average strain rates that satisfy near-failure equilibrium between net driving forces and lithosphere strength for cases that typify PBZ, cratons, and intraplate weak zones. Our model yields a range of strain rates that vary by up to six orders of magnitude between PBZ and cratons. In intraplate weak zones, structural and tectonic heritage results in significant weakening and yields strain rates compatible with GPS, seismicity, and geological markers. These results provide first-order constraints on long-term lithosphere strength and deformation rates. In particular, we explore upper and lower bounds of possible strain rates in intraplate weak zones of North America, using a range of geotherm, rheology, and local stress conditions. These can be used to derived limits on seismicity rates in these regions.

  12. Temporal distribution of mantle-derived potassic rocks and carbonatites linked to stabilization of mantle lithosphere and redox states during subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foley, S. F.

    2014-12-01

    Mantle-derived potassic igneous rocks and carbonatites first appear in the geological record in the late Archean, coinciding with major crust-forming events on most continents. The compositions of potassic rocks require sources including discrete ultramafic rocks with phlogopite and pyroxenes, whereas carbonatites and ultramafic lamprophyres (carbonate-rich potassic rocks) require oxidizing conditions in which carbonate is stable. The presence of these source rocks from this time is probably related to the stabilization of mantle lithosphere. If mantle lithosphere had not been stable for considerable periods of time, then melting would be restricted to peridotite, which is not a viable option for strongly potassic rocks. The phlogopite-rich source-rock assemblages that are necessary precursors for potassic melts could be introduced into the lithosphere by either subduction processes or by multiple stages of low-degree melting. Many modern examples involve subducted sedimentary material, which concentrates potassium by the stabilization of micas in subduction metamorphism. Subduction involves a great variety of redox states, but the bulk effect is the return of oxidized material from the surface into the mantle. However, we cannot apply uniformitarianism unthinkingly, because subduction processes at and before 2.7 Ga may have had different redox states. Before the Great Oxidation Event the distribution and abundances of geological formations such as banded iron formations, red beds, and uraninites indicate that geological reservoirs became gradually oxidized, preventing an earlier increase in atmospheric oxygen. This means that the function of the subduction process to oxidize the upper mantle by the return of oxidized rocks from the surface was much weaker in the early Earth. Early continental mantle lithosphere was, therefore, likely to accumulate carbon in reduced form, which would be more easily remobilized in melts through low-temperature redox melting much

  13. Osmium isotopic evidence for ancient subcontinental lithospheric mantle beneath the kerguelen islands, southern indian ocean

    PubMed

    Hassler; Shimizu

    1998-04-17

    Upper mantle xenoliths found in ocean island basalts are an important window through which the oceanic mantle lithosphere may be viewed directly. Osmium isotopic data on peridotite xenoliths from the Kerguelen Islands, an archipelago that is located on the northern Kerguelen Plateau in the southern Indian Ocean, demonstrate that pieces of mantle of diverse provenance are present beneath the Islands. In particular, peridotites with unradiogenic osmium and ancient rhenium-depletion ages (to 1.36 x 10(9) years old) may be pieces of the Gondwanaland subcontinental lithosphere that were incorporated into the Indian Ocean lithosphere as a result of the rifting process.

  14. Water Content in the SW USA Mantle Lithosphere: FTIR Analysis of Dish Hill and Kilbourne Hole Pyroxenites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gibler, Robert; Peslier, Anne H.; Schaffer, Lillian Aurora; Brandon, Alan D.

    2014-01-01

    Kilbourne Hole (NM, USA) and Dish Hill (CA, USA) mantle xenoliths sample continental mantle in two different tectonic settings. Kilbourne Hole (KH) is located in the Rio Grande rift. Dish Hill (DH) is located in the southern Mojave province, an area potentially affected by subduction of the Farallon plate beneath North America. FTIR analyses were obtained on well characterized pyroxenite, dunite and wehrlite xenoliths, thought to represent crystallized melts at mantle depths. PUM normalized REE patterns of the KH bulk-rocks are slightly LREE enriched and consistent with those of liquids generated by < 5% melting of a spinel peridotite source. Clinopyroxenes contain from 272 to 313 ppm weight H2O similar to the lower limit of KH peridotite clinopyroxenes (250-530 ppm H2O). This is unexpected as crystallized melts like pyroxenites should concentrate water more than residual mantle-like peridotites, given that H is incompatible. PUM normalized bulk REE of the DH pyroxenites are characterized by flat to LREE depleted REE profiles consistent with > 6% melting of a spinel peridotite source. Pyroxenite pyroxenes have no detectable water but one DH wehrlite, which bulk-rock is LREE enriched, has 4 ppm H2O in orthopyroxene and <1ppm in clinopyroxene. The DH pyroxenites may thus come from a dry mantle source, potentially unaffected by the subduction of the Farallon plate. These water-poor melts either originated from shallow oceanic lithosphere overlaying the Farallon slab or from continental mantle formed > 2 Ga. The Farallon subduction appears to have enriched in water the southwestern United States lithospheric mantle further east than DH, beneath the Colorado plateau.

  15. Water content in the SW USA mantle lithosphere: FTIR analysis of Dish Hill and Kilbourne Hole pyroxenites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibler, R.; Peslier, A. H.; Schaffer, L. A.; Brandon, A. D.

    2014-12-01

    Kilbourne Hole (NM, USA) and Dish Hill (CA, USA) mantle xenoliths sample continental mantle in two different tectonic settings. Kilbourne Hole (KH) is located in the Rio Grande rift. Dish Hill (DH) is located in the southern Mojave province, an area potentially affected by subduction of the Farallon plate beneath North America [1]. FTIR analyses were obtained on well characterized pyroxenite, dunite and wehrlite xenoliths, thought to represent crystallized melts at mantle depths. PUM normalized REE patterns of the KH bulk-rocks are slightly LREE enriched and consistent with those of liquids generated by < 5% melting of a spinel peridotite source [2]. Clinopyroxenes contain from 272 to 313 ppm weight H2O similar to the lower limit of KH peridotite clinopyroxenes (250-530 ppm H2O, [3]). This is unexpected as crystallized melts like pyroxenites should concentrate water more than residual mantle-like peridotites, given that H is incompatible. PUM normalized bulk REE of the DH pyroxenites are characterized by flat to LREE depleted REE profiles consistent with > 6% melting of a spinel peridotite source. Pyroxenite pyroxenes have no detectable water but one DH wehrlite, which bulk-rock is LREE enriched, has 4 ppm H2O in orthopyroxene and <1ppm in clinopyroxene. The DH pyroxenites may thus come from a dry mantle source, potentially unaffected by the subduction of the Farallon plate. These water-poor melts either originated from shallow oceanic lithosphere overlaying the Farallon slab [4] or from continental mantle formed > 2 Ga [5]. The Farallon subduction appears to have enriched in water the southwestern United States lithospheric mantle further east than DH, beneath the Colorado plateau [6]. [1] Atwater, 1970 Tectonophysics 31, 145-165. [2] Shaw, 2000 CM 38, 1041-1064. [3] Schaffer et al, 2013 AGU Fall Meeting. [4] Luffi et al, 2009 JGR 114, 1-36. [5] Armytage et al, 2013 GCA 137, 113-133. [6] Li et al, 2008 JGR 113, 1-22.

  16. Melt transport through continental lithosphere by dike injection from a partially molten asthenosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Havlin, C.; Parmentier, E.; Hirth, G.

    2011-12-01

    The high rates of tholeitic magmatism manifested in continental flood basalts and great dike swarms during the early stages of continental rifting require the migration of melt through thick, cold lithosphere by diking. The tendency for rifts to form near mantle plumes suggests that deep melting due to the elevated temperature and volatile content of plumes is the source of melt, but the coupling between grain scale migration in the asthenosphere and growth of dikes in the lithosphere is not well defined. This study assesses the mechanical conditions for which dikes can grow to a height similar to the thickness of continental lithosphere from a partially molten source at the base of the lithosphere. A 1D model couples a network of uniformly spaced, vertical dikes to a partially molten asthenosphere in the absence of thermal effects. The dikes are treated in a simplified manner by assuming constant viscous and buoyant pressure gradients and negligible critical stress intensity factor after propagation begins. The excess fluid pressure at the crack base drives melt into the crack if the pressure is lower than that in the asthenosphere, causing the crack to grow. The partially molten asthenosphere is modeled as a two-phase medium with a matrix compaction viscosity that varies inversely with melt fraction,φ, and a permeability proportional to φ3. As melt fraction decreases near the dike entrance, the permeability decreases and crack growth slows. Thus if melt is extracted on a time scale shorter than the buoyant upwelling of melt, crack growth is self-limiting. With uniform initial melt fraction and no melt buoyancy in the asthenosphere, cracks reach greater than ~100 km if the reference compaction length is greater than ~10 km. Dikes must be spaced at least every compaction length and must have an initial height of ~100 m to grow significantly. For initial melt fractions of 0.01 to 0.05 and mantle grain sizes of 1 to 10 mm, the ratio of fluid shear viscosity to

  17. Erosion of the continental lithosphere at the cusps of the Calabrian arc: Evidence from S receiver functions analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Meghan S.; Piana Agostinetti, Nicola

    2011-12-01

    Mediterranean tectonics has been characterized by an irregular, complex temporal evolution with episodic rollback and retreat of the subducted plate followed by period of slow trench-migration. To provide insight into the geodynamics of the Calabrian arc, we image the characteristics and lithospheric structure of the convergent, Apulian and Hyblean forelands at the cusps of the arc. Specifically we investigate the crustal and lithospheric thicknesses using teleseismic S-to-p converted phases, applied to the Adria-Africa plate margin for the first time. We find that the Moho in the Apulian foreland is nearly flat at ˜30 km depth, consistent with previous P receiver functions results, and that the Hyblean crustal thickness is more complex, which can be understood in terms of the nature of the individual pieces of carbonate platform and pelagic sediments that make up the Hyblean platform. The lithospheric thicknesses range between 70-120 km beneath Apulia and 70-90 km beneath Sicily. The lithosphere of the forelands at each end of the Calabrian arc are continental in nature, buoyant compared to the subducting oceanic lithosphere and have previously been interpreted as mostly undeformed carbonate platforms. Our receiver function images also show evidence of lithospheric erosion and thinning close to Mt. Etna and Mt. Vulture, two volcanoes which have been associated with asthenospheric upwelling and mantle flow around of the sides the slab. We suggest that as the continental lithosphere resists being subducted it is being thermo-mechanically modified by toroidal flow around the edges of the subducting oceanic lithosphere of the Calabrian arc.

  18. Influence of heterogeneities within the lithosphere on the deformation pattern of continental rift systems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philippon, Melody; Thieulot, Cedric; van Wijk, Jolante; Sokoutis, Dimitrios; Willingshofer, Ernst; Cloetingh, Sierd

    2013-04-01

    Understanding how heterogeneities within the lithosphere influence the deformation pattern in continental rifts still remains a challenge and is of real importance to constrain continental break-up. We have selected the Main Ethiopian Rift in East Africa and the Rio Grande Rift in the south-western U.S. These two rifts are perfect natural laboratories to investigate the effect of inherited as they share similar structural characteristics but develop above different kinds of lithosphere-scale heterogeneities. From a structural point of view both rifts show similar length (1000km), width (50 to 70 km) and asymmetry. The Main Ethiopian rift is the NE-SW trending plate boundary between the Nubian and Somalian plates that has been developing for the past 11 Ma above a palaeo-Proterozoic lithospheric-scale weak zone re-heated by the Afar hotspot, whereas the Rio Grande Rift is the eastern "boundary" of the Basin & Range system which has been developing for the past 30 Ma in the frame of a westward-retreating Farallon subduction zone. However, the Rio Grande Rift shows evidence of low angle normal faulting whereas the Main Ethiopian Rift shows steeply dipping (with a mean close to 70°) normal faults. The Main Ethiopian Rift shows larger volume of erupted lavas than the Rio Grande Rift. Combined with a structural analyses of both rifts, we present here a series of 2D cross sections numerical models that allow better understanding of the influence of initial heterogeneities such as 1) the rheological state of the crust; 2) the presence of a crustal-scale to lithospheric-scale discrete weak or strong zone, 3) the effects of the presence of magma. We illustrate that rheological boundaries are not reactivated if the rheological contrast it too high, which is the case of the Rio Grande Rift that developed to the east of the North American Craton within thinned lithosphere. We also illustrate that the width of the weak zone do no have any influence on the exhumation of the

  19. Silicate melt metasomatism in the lithospheric mantle beneath SW Poland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puziewicz, Jacek; Matusiak-Małek, Magdalena; Ntaflos, Theodoros; Grégoire, Michel; Kukuła, Anna

    2014-05-01

    The xenoliths of peridotites representing the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) beneath SW Poland and adjacent parts of Germany occur in the Cenozoic alkaline volcanic rocks. Our study is based on detailed characterization of xenoliths occurring in 7 locations (Steinberg in Upper Lusatia, Księginki, Pilchowice, Krzeniów, Wilcza Góra, Winna Góra and Lutynia in Lower Silesia). One of the two major lithologies occurring in the xenoliths, which we call the "B" lithology, comprises peridotites (typically harzburgites) with olivine containing from 90.5 to 84.0 mole % of forsterite. The harzburgites contain no clinopyroxene or are poor in that mineral (eg. in Krzeniów the group "B" harzburgites contain < 1 vol. % of the mineral). They exhibit significant variation in orthopyroxene contents, which varies from 25 to 10 vol. %. Some of the xenoliths are more impoverished in orthopyroxene and have dunitic compositions. The ortho- and clinopyroxene exhibit mg# similar to that of olivine, and typically are low aluminous (Al < 0.10 atom pfu in ortho-, and < 0.20 atom pfu in clinopyroxene). The exception are xenoliths from Księginki, which contain pyroxenes characterised by negative correlation between mg# and Al. The REE patterns of both ortho- and clinopyroxene in the group "B" peridotites suggest equilibration with silicate melt. The rocks of "B" lithology were formed due to alkaline silicate melt percolation in the depleted peridotitic protolith. The basaltic melts formed at high pressure are usually undersaturated in both ortho- and clinopyroxene at lower pressures (Kelemen et al. 1992). Because of cooling and dissolution of ortho- and clinopyroxene the melts change their composition and become saturated in one or both of those phases. Experimental results (e.g. Tursack & Liang 2012 and references therein) show that the same refers to alkaline basaltic silicate melts and that its reactive percolation in the peridotitic host leads to decrease of Mg

  20. Lithospheric detachment of India and Tibet inferred from thickening of the mantle transition zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duan, Yaohui; Tian, Xiaobo; Liu, Zhen; Zhu, Gaohua; Nie, Shitan

    2016-07-01

    To spatially and temporally interpret eruptive volcanic activity and plateau uplift, the dynamic model of the Himalayan-Tibetan orogen requires several scenarios in which the deep part of the lithosphere is removed. The removed cold, dense material sank deeply and may rest in the mantle transition zone, which is considered as the graveyard for descending mantle lithosphere. Beneath the Himalayas and southern Tibet, stacking teleseismic P-wave receiver functions reveal thickening of the mantle transition zone (MTZ), which is caused by decreasing temperatures. We interpret the MTZ thickening beneath southern Tibet as being a result of a remnant of detached thickened Tibet mantle lithosphere, whereas the other thickening is most likely caused by a lithospheric slab that detached from the Indian plate and is sinking into the MTZ beneath the Himalayas.

  1. Shear wave velocity, seismic attenuation, and thermal structure of the continental upper mantle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Artemieva, I.M.; Billien, M.; Leveque, J.-J.; Mooney, W.D.

    2004-01-01

    Seismic velocity and attenuation anomalies in the mantle are commonly interpreted in terms of temperature variations on the basis of laboratory studies of elastic and anelastic properties of rocks. In order to evaluate the relative contributions of thermal and non-thermal effects on anomalies of attenuation of seismic shear waves, QS-1, and seismic velocity, VS, we compare global maps of the thermal structure of the continental upper mantle with global QS-1 and Vs maps as determined from Rayleigh waves at periods between 40 and 150 S. We limit the comparison to three continental mantle depths (50, 100 and 150 km), where model resolution is relatively high. The available data set does not indicate that, at a global scale, seismic anomalies in the upper mantle are controlled solely by temperature variations. Continental maps have correlation coefficients of <0.56 between VS and T and of <0.47 between QS and T at any depth. Such low correlation coefficients can partially be attributed to modelling arrefacts; however, they also suggest that not all of the VS and QS anomalies in the continental upper mantle can be explained by T variations. Global maps show that, by the sign of the anomaly, VS and QS usually inversely correlate with lithospheric temperatures: most cratonic regions show high VS and QS and low T, while most active regions have seismic and thermal anomalies of the opposite sign. The strongest inverse correlation is found at a depth of 100 km, where the attenuation model is best resolved. Significantly, at this depth, the contours of near-zero QS anomalies approximately correspond to the 1000 ??C isotherm, in agreement with laboratory measurements that show a pronounced increase in seismic attenuation in upper mantle rocks at 1000-1100 ??C. East-west profiles of VS, QS and T where continental data coverage is best (50??N latitude for North America and 60??N latitude for Eurasia) further demonstrate that temperature plays a dominant, but non-unique, role in

  2. Crustal seismicity and the earthquake catalog maximum moment magnitudes (Mcmax) in stable continental regions (SCRs): correlation with the seismic velocity of the lithosphere

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mooney, Walter D.; Ritsema, Jeroen; Hwang, Yong Keun

    2012-01-01

    A joint analysis of global seismicity and seismic tomography indicates that the seismic potential of continental intraplate regions is correlated with the seismic properties of the lithosphere. Archean and Early Proterozoic cratons with cold, stable continental lithospheric roots have fewer crustal earthquakes and a lower maximum earthquake catalog moment magnitude (Mcmax). The geographic distribution of thick lithospheric roots is inferred from the global seismic model S40RTS that displays shear-velocity perturbations (δVS) relative to the Preliminary Reference Earth Model (PREM). We compare δVS at a depth of 175 km with the locations and moment magnitudes (Mw) of intraplate earthquakes in the crust (Schulte and Mooney, 2005). Many intraplate earthquakes concentrate around the pronounced lateral gradients in lithospheric thickness that surround the cratons and few earthquakes occur within cratonic interiors. Globally, 27% of stable continental lithosphere is underlain by δVS≥3.0%, yet only 6.5% of crustal earthquakes with Mw>4.5 occur above these regions with thick lithosphere. No earthquakes in our catalog with Mw>6 have occurred above mantle lithosphere with δVS>3.5%, although such lithosphere comprises 19% of stable continental regions. Thus, for cratonic interiors with seismically determined thick lithosphere (1) there is a significant decrease in the number of crustal earthquakes, and (2) the maximum moment magnitude found in the earthquake catalog is Mcmax=6.0. We attribute these observations to higher lithospheric strength beneath cratonic interiors due to lower temperatures and dehydration in both the lower crust and the highly depleted lithospheric root.

  3. Mantle xenoliths from Marosticano area (Northern Italy): a comparison with Veneto Volcanic Province lithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brombin, Valentina; Bonadiman, Costanza; Coltorti, Massimo

    2016-04-01

    redox conditions (Δlog fO2: +1.2 to -0.7, Ballhaus, 1991) to Lessinean and Val d'Adige xenoliths which may indicate a local oxidation of the mantle below this portion of VVP. References • Beccaluva L., Bianchini G., Bonadiman C., Coltorti M., Milani L., Salvini L., Siena F., Tassinari R. (2007). Intraplate lithospheric and sublithospheric components in the Adriatic domain: Nephelinite to tholeiite magma generation in the Paleogene Veneto Volcanic Province, Southern Alps. Geological Society of America, 131-152. • Beccaluva L., Bonadiman C., Coltorti M., Salvini L., Siena F. (2001). Depletion events, nature of metasomatizing agent and timing of enrichment processes in lithospheric mantle xenoliths from the Veneto Volcanic Province. Journal of Petrology, 42, 173-187. • Gasperini D., Bosch D., Braga R., Bondi M., Macera P., Morten L. (2006). Ultramafic xenoliths from the Veneto Volcanic Province (Italy): Petrological and geochemical evidence for multiple metasomatism of the SE Alps mantle lithospere. Geochemical Journal, 40, 377-404. • Siena F., Coltorti M. (1989). Lithospheric mantle evolution: evidences from ultramafic xenoliths in the Lessinean volcanics (Northern Itlay). Chemical Geology, 77, 347-364.

  4. Westernmost Mediterranean Mantle Tomography: Slab Rollback and Delaminated Atlas Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bezada, M. J.; Humphreys, E.

    2012-12-01

    We present a new velocity model for the upper mantle in the westernmost Mediterranean including the Iberian Peninsula and northern Morocco. Our imaging improves over previous efforts by taking advantage of the data generated by the PICASSO, IberArray, TopoMed and connected seismograph deployments and by using a new methodology that includes finite-frequency effects and iterative ray tracing, utilizes local earthquakes in addition to teleseismic events and includes constraints from surface wave analyses. We image a subducted slab as a high velocity anomaly located under the Alboran Sea and southern Spain that extends to the bottom of the transition zone. The anomaly has an arcuate shape at most depths and reaches the surface beneath Gibraltar but not under southern Spain. The N-S oriented Gibraltar and E-W oriented southern Spain segments of the slab appear to be separated by a vertical tear or "slab gap". Under the Atlas Mountains in northern Morocco we image low velocities to depths of over 200 km and a high-velocity body at depths of 300-450 km beneath the Middle Atlas, which we tentatively interpret as delaminated lithosphere.

  5. Petrological-Geochemical Constraints on Formation and Modification of Cratonic Lithospheric Mantle and Implications for its Thermophysical Properties (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aulbach, S.; Huismans, R. S.; Rondenay, S.

    2013-12-01

    Petrological-Geochemical Constraints on Formation and Modification of Cratonic Lithospheric Mantle and Implications for its Thermophysical Properties Oceanic basalts sample compositionally heterogeneous convecting mantle sources that are not primitive, but contain some amount of recycled crustal material [1]. This also applies to the distant geological past, as picritic and komatiitic melts show evidence for the presence of such heterogeneities [2]. Since the loss of these melts leads to the generation of a complementary lithospheric mantle residue and since 50% of the present continental crust formed by the Late Archaean [3], half of today's continents may be underlain by highly depleted cratonic lithospheric mantle that potentially formed from non-primitive mantle sources. While intensive effort has focused on identifying and constraining the relative contributions of recycled components in melts, their effects on the melting relations and thermophysical properties of mantle residues remain obscure. The FeO-MgO relationships of refractory cratonic garnet peridotite xenoliths filtered for the effects of metasomatism and opx enrichment are consistent with the onset of partial melt extraction at >5 GPa, while their Al2O3-Cr2O3/Al2O3 systematics indicate an average melting pressure ≥3 GPa for most cratonic mantle sections [4]. Thus, they followed deep partial melting paths at excess mantle potential temperatures (plumes), which generates more buoyant residues with higher shear wave velocities [5]. Superposed on the effects of melt depletion may be the effects of entrainment of oceanic crust in these plumes. This can lead to variable, pervasive enrichment of peridotite by aluminous opx (corresponding to SiO2 addition) depending plume buoyancy (excess temperature) and ability to entrain dense eclogite material, and entails a secular trend toward less SiO2-enriched mantle residues [4]. Such opx addition will also lead to an increase in Al2O3 and dilution of FeO, which

  6. Continuous deformation versus faulting through the continental lithosphere of new zealand

    PubMed

    Molnar; Anderson; Audoine; Eberhart-Phillips; Gledhill; Klosko; McEvilly; Okaya; Savage; Stern; Wu

    1999-10-15

    Seismic anisotropy and P-wave delays in New Zealand imply widespread deformation in the underlying mantle, not slip on a narrow fault zone, which is characteristic of plate boundaries in oceanic regions. Large magnitudes of shear-wave splitting and orientations of fast polarization parallel to the Alpine fault show that pervasive simple shear of the mantle lithosphere has accommodated the cumulative strike-slip plate motion. Variations in P-wave residuals across the Southern Alps rule out underthrusting of one slab of mantle lithosphere beneath another but permit continuous deformation of lithosphere shortened by about 100 kilometers since 6 to 7 million years ago.

  7. Hydration of the lithospheric mantle by the descending plate in a continent-continent collisional setting and its geodynamic consequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Massonne, Hans-Joachim

    2016-05-01

    At the beginning of continent-continent collision the descending plate dehydrates. The influence of this dehydration on the adjacent lithospheric mantle was studied. For this reason, pressure (P), temperature (T) and T-H2O pseudosections were calculated for an average mantle composition using the computer software PERPLE_X. These pseudosections were contoured by isopleths, for instance, for volumes of amphibole, chlorite, and serpentine. In addition, P-T pseudosections were considered for four psammopelitic rocks, common in the upper portion of the continental crust, in order to quantify the release of H2O in these rocks during prograde metamorphism. At pressures around 1 GPa, a maximum of slightly more than 10 vol.% chlorite, almost 20 vol.% amphibole, and some talc but no serpentine forms when only 1.8 wt.% H2O is added to the dry ultrabasite at temperatures of 600 °C. For example, hydrous phases amount to about 35 vol.% serpentine and 10 vol.% each of chlorite and amphibole at 1 GPa, 550 °C, and 5 wt.% H2O. The modelled psammopelitic rocks can release 0.8-2.5 wt.% H2O between 450 and 650 °C at 0.8-1.4 GPa. On the basis of the above calculations, different collisional scenarios are discussed highlighting the role of hydrated lithospheric mantle. In this context a minimum hydration potential of the front region of the descending continental plate is considered, which amounts to 4.6 × 1016 kg releasable H2O for a 1000 km wide collisional zone, due to a thick sedimentary pile at the continental margin. Further suggestions are that (1) the lower crustal plate in a continent-continent collisional setting penetrates the lithospheric mantle, which is hydrated during the advancement of this plate, (2) the maximum depths of the subduction of upper continental crust is below 70 km and (3) hydrated mantle above the descending crustal plate is thrust onto this continental crust.

  8. Lithospheric roots beneath western Laurentia: The geochemical signal in mantle garnets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Canil, D.; Schulze, D.J.; Hall, D.; Hearn, B.C.; Milliken, S.M.

    2003-01-01

    This study presents major and trace element data for 243 mantle garnet xenocrysts from six kimberlites in parts of western North America. The geochemical data for the garnet xenocrysts are used to infer the composition, thickness, and tectonothermal affinity of the mantle lithosphere beneath western Laurentia at the time of kimberlite eruption. The garnets record temperatures between 800 and 1450??C using Ni-in-garnet thermometry and represent mainly lherzolitic mantle lithosphere sampled over an interval from about 110-260 km depth. Garnets with sinuous rare-earth element patterns, high Sr, and high Sc/V occur mainly at shallow depths and occur almost exclusively in kimberlites interpreted to have sampled Archean mantle lithosphere beneath the Wyoming Province in Laurentia, and are notably absent in garnets from kimberlites erupting through the Proterozoic Yavapai Mazatzal and Trans-Hudson provinces. The similarities in depths of equilibration, but differing geochemical patterns in garnets from the Cross kimberlite (southeastern British Columbia) compared to kimberlites in the Wyoming Province argue for post-Archean replacement and (or) modification of mantle beneath the Archean Hearne Province. Convective removal of mantle lithosphere beneath the Archean Hearne Province in a "tEctonic vise" during the Proterozoic terminal collisions that formed Laurentia either did not occur, or was followed by replacement of thick mantle lithosphere that was sampled by kimberlite in the Triassic, and is still observed there seismically today.

  9. Constrained potential field modeling of the crustal architecture of the Musgrave Province in central Australia: Evidence for lithospheric strengthening due to crust-mantle boundary uplift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aitken, Alan R. A.; Betts, Peter G.; Weinberg, Roberto F.; Gray, Daniel

    2009-12-01

    We image the crustal architecture of the Musgrave Province with petrophysically constrained forward models of new potential field data. These models image divergent shallow-dipping crustal scale thrusts that, at depth, link with an axial zone defined by steeper, lithospheric scale transpressional shear zones. They also show that to permit a near-surface density distribution that is consistent with petrophysical and geological observations, approximately 15-20 km of crust-mantle boundary uplift is necessary beneath the axial zone. The long-term preservation of this crust-mantle boundary offset implies a change from relatively weak lithosphere to relatively strong lithosphere during the intraplate Petermann Orogeny. To explain this, we propose a model in which uplift of the axial zone of the orogen leads to local lithospheric strengthening as a result of the uplift of mantle rocks into the lower crust, coupled with long-term lithospheric cooling due to the erosion of a radioactive upper crust. Brace-Goetze lithospheric strength models suggest that these processes may have increased the integrated strength of the lithosphere by a factor of 1.4-2.8. Because of this strengthening, this system is self-limiting, and activity will cease when lithospheric strength is sufficient to resist external forces and support isostatic imbalances. A simple force-balance model demonstrates that the force required to uplift the axial zone is tectonically reasonable and that the system can subsequently withstand significant tensional forces. This example shows that crust-mantle boundary uplift coupled with reduced crustal heat production can profoundly affect the long-term strength of the continental lithosphere and may be a critical process in the tectonic stabilization of intraplate regions.

  10. Craton stability and continental lithosphere dynamics during plume-plate interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, H.; Van Hunen, J.; Pearson, D.

    2013-12-01

    Survival of thick cratonic roots in a vigorously convecting mantle system for billions of years has long been studied by the geodynamical community. A high cratonic root strength is generally considered to be the most important factor. We first perform and discuss new numerical models to investigate craton stability in both Newtonian and non-Newtonian rheology in the stagnant lid regime. The results show that only a modest compositional rheological factor of Δη=10 with non-Newtonian rheology is required for the survival of cratonic roots in a stagnant lid regime. A larger rheological factor (100 or more) is needed to maintain similar craton longevity in a Newtonian rheology environment. Furthermore, chemical buoyancy plays an important role on craton stability and its evolution, but could only work with suitable compositional rheology. During their long lifespan, cratons experienced a suite of dynamic, tectonothermal events, such as nearby subduction and mantle plume activity. Cratonic nuclei are embedded in shorter-lived, more vulnerable continental areas of different thickness, composition and rheology, which would influence the lithosphere dynamic when tectonothermal events happen nearby. South Africa provides a very good example to investigate such dynamic processes as it hosts several cratons and there are many episodic thermal events since the Mesozoic as indicated by a spectrum of magmatic activity. We numerically investigate such an integrated system using the topographic evolution of cratons and surrounding lithosphere as a diagnostic observable. The post-70Ma thinning of pericratonic lithosphere by ~50km around Kaapvaal craton (Mather et al., 2011) is also investigated through our numerical models. The results show that the pericratonic lithosphere cools and grows faster than cratons do, but is also more likely to be effected by episodic thermal events. This leads to surface topography change that is significantly larger around the craton than within

  11. Implications for anomalous mantle pressure and dynamic topography from lithospheric stress patterns in the North Atlantic Realm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiffer, Christian; Nielsen, Søren Bom

    2016-08-01

    With convergent plate boundaries at some distance, the sources of the lithospheric stress field of the North Atlantic Realm are mainly mantle tractions at the base of the lithosphere, lithospheric density structure and topography. Given this, we estimate horizontal deviatoric stresses using a well-established thin sheet model in a global finite element representation. We adjust the lithospheric thickness and the sub-lithospheric pressure iteratively, comparing modelled in plane stress with the observations of the World Stress Map. We find that an anomalous mantle pressure associated with the Iceland and Azores melt anomalies, as well as topography are able to explain the general pattern of the principle horizontal stress directions. The Iceland melt anomaly overprints the classic ridge push perpendicular to the Mid Atlantic ridge and affects the conjugate passive margins in East Greenland more than in western Scandinavia. The dynamic support of topography shows a distinct maximum of c. 1000 m in Iceland and amounts <150 m along the coast of south-western Norway and 250-350 m along the coast of East Greenland. Considering that large areas of the North Atlantic Realm have been estimated to be sub-aerial during the time of break-up, two components of dynamic topography seem to have affected the area: a short-lived, which affected a wider area along the rift system and quickly dissipated after break-up, and a more durable in the close vicinity of Iceland. This is consistent with the appearance of a buoyancy anomaly at the base of the North Atlantic lithosphere at or slightly before continental breakup, relatively fast dissipation of the fringes of this, and continued melt generation below Iceland.

  12. Constraints from Xenoliths on Cenozoic Deformation and Rheology of the Western North American Mantle Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behr, W. M.; Smith, D.; Bernard, R. E.

    2015-12-01

    We investigate xenoliths from several volcanic centers in the western US Cordillera, including the Navajo Volcanic Field in the Four Corners region of the Colorado Plateau, the San Carlos Volcanic Field in Arizona, and the Cima and Dish Hill volcanic fields in the western Mojave. We use these xenolith suites to determine to what extent and by what mechanisms the western North American lithospheric mantle has deformed during Cenozoic tectonic events, including Laramide flat-slab subduction, Basin-and-Range extension, and Quaternary strike-slip faulting associated with the San Andreas Fault System. We find the following. 1) Laramide flat-slab subduction substantially and heterogeneously deformed the North American lithospheric mantle. Despite some serpentinization, deformation along the plate interface was accommodated primarily by olivine dislocation creep, and was cold enough that the mantle lithosphere was strong and could transmit basal shear tractions into the upper plate crust, generating high topography. 2) During B&R extension, the mantle lithosphere was thinned and heated, and Laramide-age shear zone foliations were obliterated by grain growth, even in mixed phase lithologies. Despite annealing, LPO in olivine is preserved in several samples. This fossil LPO may control present-day mantle lid seismic anisotropy in the Basin and Range and may also provide an important source of viscous anisotropy. 3) The mantle lithosphere is actively deforming in localized zones beneath faults of the San Andreas system, but high sub-Moho temperatures render it very weak such that most of the strength of the lithosphere resides in the crust. Because deformation is localized, mantle lid anisotropy in the Mojave region is likely controlled by a fossil LPO, despite present-day deformation in the lithospheric mantle.

  13. Metamorphism of peritotites in the mantle wedge above the subduction zone: Hydration of the lithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savelieva, G. N.; Raznitsin, Yu. N.; Merkulova, M. V.

    2016-05-01

    Two areas with different types of hydration (serpentinization), which occurred in two settings distinct in temperatures, pressures, and stresses, are spatially individualized in the ophiolitic ultramafic massifs of the Polar Urals. The high-temperature hydration of ultramafic rocks occurred in the lithosphere of the mantle wedge directly above the subducted slab. The initial conditions of hydration are limited to 1.2-2 GPa and 650-700°C; a stable assemblage of olivine + antigorite + magnetite → amphibole → talc → chlorite was formed at 0.9-1.2 GPa and 550-600°C. The low-temperature mesh lizardite-chrysotile serpentinization occurred in the crustal, near-surface conditions. Both types of hydration were accompanied by release of hydrogen, which participates in abiogenic CH4 synthesis in the presence of CO2 dissolved in water.

  14. Effective elastic thickness of the Venusian lithosphere with lateral viscosity variations in the mantle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moresi, Louis

    1993-01-01

    Both the Earth and Venus have a convecting mantle at the top of which is a relatively strong, mechanical boundary layer. The surface topography and gravity signals which result from the convection within the viscous mantle are modified by the elastic properties of this lithospheric boundary layer. In particular the ability of the lithosphere to support loads and transmit stresses from below is a function of the wavelength of the load--the lithosphere is strong to loading at shorter wavelengths. As a consequence it is usual to expect that long wavelength topography cannot be supported by the mechanical strength of the lithosphere and must be compensated--isostatically or dynamically--within the uppermost mantle or the crust. The flexural rigidity of the lithosphere can therefore be determined by estimating the greatest wavelength at which uncompensated surface topography can be supported, usually by measuring the admittance as a function of wavelength. In fact this procedure for determining the elastic thickness relies upon being able to distinguish topography with underlying support from that supported by the brittle lithosphere on the basis of their each having a characteristic value of the admittance. However, in the presence of lateral viscosity variations in the mantle, it is possible for topography to be generated which is NOT compensated by density anomalies in the underlying mantle at the same wavelength. Although this effect is not likely to be important for the Earth, on Venus, where the high surface temperatures would be expected to give a weaker lithosphere, lateral viscosity variations in the mantle can give a misleadingly large apparent elastic thickness for the lithosphere.

  15. Seismic tomography of the Colorado Rocky Mountains upper mantle from CREST: Lithosphere-asthenosphere interactions and mantle support of topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacCarthy, J. K.; Aster, R. C.; Dueker, K.; Hansen, S.; Schmandt, B.; Karlstrom, K.

    2014-09-01

    The CREST experiment (Colorado Rocky Mountains Experiment and Seismic Transects) integrated the EarthScope USArray Transportable Array with portable and permanent stations to provide detailed seismic imaging of crust and mantle properties beneath the highest topography region of the Rocky Mountains. Inverting approximately 14,600 P- and 3600 S-wave arrival times recorded at 160 stations for upper mantle Vp and Vs structure, we find that large Vp perturbations relative to AK135 of 7% and Vs variations of 8% take place over very short (approaching tens of kilometers) lateral distances. Highest heterogeneity is observed in the upper 300 km of the mantle, but well resolved low velocity features extend to the top of the transition zone in portions of these images. The previously noted low velocity upper mantle Aspen Anomaly is resolved into multiple features. The lowest Vp and Vs velocities in the region are found beneath the San Juan Mountains, which is clearly distinguished from other low velocity features of the northern Rio Grande Rift, Taos/Latir region, Aspen region, and below the Never Summer Mountains. We suggest that the San Juan anomaly, and a similar feature below the Taos/Latir region of northern New Mexico, are related to delamination and remnant heat (and melt) beneath these sites of extraordinarily voluminous middle-Cenozoic volcanism. We interpret a northeast-southwest grain in velocity structure that parallels the Colorado Mineral belt to depths near 150 km as being reflective of control by uppermost mantle Proterozoic accretionary lithospheric architecture. Further to the north and west, the Wyoming province and northern Colorado Plateau show high velocity features indicative of thick (∼150 km) preserved Archean and Proterozoic lithosphere, respectively. Overall, we interpret the highly heterogeneous uppermost mantle velocity structure beneath the southern Rocky Mountains as reflecting interfingered chemical Proterozoic lithosphere that has been, is

  16. Tracing Lithospheric Structure Using Flexural Rigidity in South America: Implications for Intra-Continental Deformation and Subduction Geometry.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez-Gussinye, M.; Lowry, A. R.; Watts, A. B.; Phipps Morgan, J.

    2006-12-01

    The effective elastic thickness of the lithosphere, Te, is a proxy for its flexural rigidity, which primarily depends on thermal gradient and composition. As such Te maps reflect lithospheric structure. We present here a new Te map of South America generated using a compilation of satellite and terrestrial gravity data and a multitapered Bouguer coherence technique. Our Te map reflects the terrane structure of the continent, and correlates well with other published proxies for lithospheric structure: areas with high Te have, in general, high mantle shear wave velocity and low heat flow. Te is high (> 70 km) within the old, stable cratonic nuclei (> ~ 1.5 Ga old); lower Te occurs in areas repeatedly reactivated as major sutures, rift zones and at sites of hotspot magmatism. These areas concentrate most of the intracontinental seismicity and have high heat flow and low seismic velocity, implying that intra-continental deformation repeatedly focuses within thin, hot and hence weak lithosphere and that cratonic interiors are strong enough to inhibit tectonism. Along the Andean chain, Te illuminates interactions between the subducting slab and the pre-existing terrane structure. In the forearc, conductive cooling of the upper plate by the subducting slab primarily controls the rigidity, so that Te is largest (~ 40 km) where the oceanic plate is oldest and coldest (~ 20° S). In the central Andes, Te is relatively low (~ 20 km) along the volcanic chain and the Altiplano and Puna plateaus. We interpret these low Te values to reflect a shallow (70-100 km), hot and possible water-saturated asthenosphere that may extend to the western limit of the Eastern cordillera. Finally, regions of flat slab, located to the North and South of the plateaus, are characterized by high Te. Based on published tomographic results which indicate that the upper plate in the Chile flat slab segment is cratonic, we suggest that the lithospheric structure of the upper plate may influence the

  17. Model of the Arctic evolution since the Cretaceous to present, based on upper mantle convection linked with Pacific lithosphere subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobkovsky, Leopold

    2015-04-01

    The present paper comprises a model of Arctic basin evolution since early-mid Cretaceous to present. The model is based on the mechanism of upper mantle substance circulation beneath the Arctic lithosphere linked with Pacific lithosphere subduction. Seismic tomography data obtained for the Pacific-Eurasia-Arctic joint area indicate that Pacific lithosphere slab sinking to the mantle in subduction zone transforms into the horizontal layer upon reaching the upper mantle foot, this layer extending for two or more thousands km beneath the Eurasian continent. This pattern of seismic tomography indicates the presence of a horizontal convective cell where a flow of substance moving along the upper mantle foot from a subduction zone into the continent is compensated by a return flow moving along the lithosphere foot towards the subduction zone. The return mantle flow makes continental lithosphere extension, giving rise to processes of rifting, magmatism and spreading. The convective cell being continuously supplied with new substance which is transported through the subduction zone it is sure to expand horizontally. The above cell expansion occurs first, due to ocean ward movement of subduction zone (roll back) and secondly, due to the cell front propagation into the continent. The given model allows to understand main features for the Arctic evolution since early-mid Cretaceous to present. Numerous seismic profiling data obtained for shelf and deep water sedimentary basins in the Arctic Ocean as well as on land geological investigation reveal that since Aptian up to present the Arctic region has been characterized by sublatitudinal lithosphere extension. This extension is explained by the effect the return mantle flow related to the subduction of the Northern part of the Pacific plate acts on the Arctic lithosphere foot. The model shows the phenomenon of Arctic plume to be caused by the convective cell uprising flow. In fact lower horizontal flow of convective cell moving

  18. Strength Profiles of the Continental Lithosphere: Fabric Dependence, Strain Dependence, and Implications for Stability and Localization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montesi, L.; Gueydan, F.

    2014-12-01

    A fundamental characteristic of plate tectonics is the contrast between strong plate interiors and weak plate boundaries. The weakness has both a structural aspect, as deformation zones can be reactivated during different tectonic episodes, and a dynamic aspect, as there is no major compositional difference between the lithosphere at active and inactive regions. These characteristics point to a structural origin of the weakness of plate boundaries, as deformation affect structures but structures do not heal rapidly. This presentation summarizes recent advances made in estimating the rheology of polymineralic aggregates under conditions appropriate for various levels of the lithosphere. We construct a new generation of strength profiles that take into consideration the differences in microstructure that are observed in continental shear zones: reduced grain size, metamorphism, and weak phase interconnection/layering. For each lithosphere stratigraphy, two strength profiles can be constructed, one for the undeformed material, the other for a high-strain material. The low-strain profile assumes a reference strain rate, constant with depth, an untextured mixture of plagioclase and biotite in the upper and middle crust (biotite being unstable in the lower crust, and an olivine-pyroxene untextured mixture in the mantle. As deformation proceeds, the fabric evolves until the phases become interconnected, and olivine grain size is reduced in the upper mantle. A high-strain strength profile can be derived for constant strain rate for reference. However, strain rate is likely higher in the high-strain state, but the degree of this enhancement is poorly constrained. We can follow two hypotheses. In the first, stress at each depth is the same as in the initial state. The strength profile is unmodified, but we can solve at each depth for a new strain rate. Alternatively, we can impose that the stress integrated over a lithospheric column is the same and solve for a depth

  19. Continental deformation and the mid-lithospheric discontinuity along the Grenville Front

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abrahams, L.; Long, M. D.; Ford, H. A.; Wirth, E. A.

    2015-12-01

    The existence of a mid-lithospheric discontinuity (MLD) within the stable continental mantle lithosphere of North America has been well established, but its interpretation remains difficult. Recent work with Ps receiver functions has found evidence for anisotropic structure at MLD depths within the western portion of the Granite-Rhyolite Province, suggesting that the MLD is the result of deformation associated with the formation of the continent. The last significant deformation to occur within the province was approximately 1.3-0.9 Ga and impacted the lithosphere east of the Grenville Front. In this study we analyzed six stations east of the front using Ps receiver functions in order to characterize anisotropy associated with the MLD in the region. Transverse and radial component Ps receiver functions were calculated for six stations (ACSO, BINY, ERPA, MCWV, SSPA, TZTN) using a multi-taper correlation technique and binned as a function of back azimuth and of epicentral distance. All six stations analyzed displayed significant positive phase energy on the radial component at ~6 seconds, which was interpreted as the Moho. At four of the six stations (ACSO, MCWV, SSPA, TZTN) the Moho showed moderate to significant complexity. At stations MCWV, SSPA, TZTN, all located along the Appalachian margin, there was significant transverse component energy at crustal depths with both two- and four-lobed anisotropy patterns observed. While ACSO, BINY, and ERPA displayed evidence of isotropic and/ or anisotropic crustal structure, a coherent pattern in back azimuth could not be established. The radial component receiver functions also exhibited negative phase energy, interpreted as the MLD, between 7.5 and 12.5 seconds (or ~80 to 120 km), at five of the six stations, with the exception of BINY, where no negative phase was observed. The transverse component receiver functions at stations ACSO, ERPA, SSPA and TZTN, also displayed a two-lobed pattern in back azimuth at MLD depths

  20. The Cenozoic lithospheric mantle beneath the interior of South China Block: Constraints from mantle xenoliths in Guangxi Province

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xi-Yao; Zheng, Jian-Ping; Sun, Min; Pan, Shao-Kui; Wang, Wei; Xia, Qun-Ke

    2014-12-01

    In contrast to the coastal regions of the South China Block (SCB), little is known about the subcontinental lithospheric mantle beneath the interior of the SCB. Mantle xenoliths entrained in Cenozoic basalts in the eastern and central Guangxi Province, the interior of the SCB, includes spinel harzburgites, clinopyroxene-poor lherzolites, lherzolites and olivine websterites. The mineral chemistry of the harzburgites and clinopyroxene-poor lherzolites is moderately refractory [Mg# value of olivine (Mg#Ol) = 90.2-91.3], whereas other lherzolite is more fertile (Mg#Ol = 89.3). Zoned olivines (Mg#Ol = 83.7-88.8) in the harzburgites and zoned olivine xenocrysts (Mg#Ol = 75.2-82) in the basalts reflect disequilibrium between olivines and the basaltic host melts during magma ascent. An olivine websterite (Mg#Ol = 87.5) is similar to the lherzolite in mineral chemistry. The REE patterns of clinopyroxenes in these xenoliths vary from LREE-depleted, to flat, to LREE-enriched patterns, and commonly exhibit positive Sr anomalies and negative Nb, Zr and Ti anomalies. The peridotitic xenoliths mostly experienced moderate to high degree of melt extraction (F = 10-20%) and were modified by silicate metasomatism. We thus suggest that the harzburgites and clinopyroxene-poor lherzolites with high Mg#Ol values represent ancient (Proterozoic) lithospheric mantle, preserved beneath the Guangxi Province. In contrast, the minor, fertile (low-Mg#Ol) lherzolites represent lithospheric mantle accreted during the Phanerozoic, and a small amount of pyroxenite was produced via interaction between peridotite and silicate-rich melts. The mantle-accretion process that occurred beneath the SCB during the Mesozoic to Cenozoic time extended into Guangxi Province. The lithospheric mantle beneath the interior of the SCB is heterogeneous, featuring various types of peridotite and co-existing pyroxenite. This heterogeneity also indicates that the lithospheric mantle beneath the regions affected by

  1. Water Distribution in the Continental and Oceanic Upper Mantle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peslier, Anne H.

    2015-01-01

    Nominally anhydrous minerals such as olivine, pyroxene and garnet can accommodate tens to hundreds of ppm H2O in the form of hydrogen bonded to structural oxygen in lattice defects. Although in seemingly small amounts, this water can significantly alter chemical and physical properties of the minerals and rocks. Water in particular can modify their rheological properties and its distribution in the mantle derives from melting and metasomatic processes and lithology repartition (pyroxenite vs peridotite). These effects will be examined here using Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) water analyses on minerals from mantle xenoliths from cratons, plume-influenced cratons and oceanic settings. In particular, our results on xenoliths from three different cratons will be compared. Each craton has a different water distribution and only the mantle root of Kaapvaal has evidence for dry olivine at its base. This challenges the link between olivine water content and survival of Archean cratonic mantle, and questions whether xenoliths are representative of the whole cratonic mantle. We will also present our latest data on Hawaii and Tanzanian craton xenoliths which both suggest the intriguing result that mantle lithosphere is not enriched in water when it interacts with melts from deep mantle upwellings (plumes).

  2. Extremely depleted lithospheric mantle and diamonds beneath the southern Zimbabwe Craton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Chris B.; Pearson, D. Graham; Bulanova, Galina P.; Beard, Andrew D.; Carlson, Richard W.; Wittig, Nadine; Sims, Keith; Chimuka, Lovemore; Muchemwa, Ellah

    2009-11-01

    Inclusion-bearing diamonds, mantle xenoliths, and kimberlite concentrates from the Cambrian-aged Murowa and Sese kimberlites have been studied to characterise the nature of the lithospheric mantle beneath the southern Zimbabwe Craton. The diamonds are mostly octahedral, moderately rich in nitrogen with moderate to high aggregation, and contain mainly dunite-harzburgite mineral inclusions. Similarly, dunite xenoliths predominate over harzburgite and lherzolite and carry olivines with Mg/Mg + Fe (Mg#) values of 0.92-0.95, spanning the average signatures for Kaapvaal Craton peridotites. Eclogitic xenoliths are extremely rare, in contrast to the Kaapvaal mantle lithosphere. The Zimbabwe mantle assemblage has been only slightly affected by later silicic metasomatism and re-fertilisation with re-introduction of pyroxenes in contrast to the Kaapvaal and many cratonic lithospheric blocks elsewhere where strong metasomatism and re-fertilisation is widespread. Pyroxene, garnet and spinel thermobarometry suggests an ambient 40 mW m - 2 geotherm, with the lithosphere extending down to 210 km at the time of kimberlite eruption. Whole rock peridotite Re-Os isotope analyses yield T RD model ages of 2.7 to 2.9 Ga, providing minimum estimates of the time of melt depletion, are slightly younger in age than the basement greenstone formation. These model ages coincide with the mean T RD age of > 200 analyses of Kaapvaal Craton peridotites, whereas the average Re-Os model age for the Zimbabwe peridotites is 3.2 Ga. The Os data and low Yb n/Lu n ratios suggest a model whereby thick lithospheric mantle was stabilised during the early stages of crustal development by shallow peridotite melting required for formation of residues with sufficiently high Cr/Al to stabilise chromite which then transforms to low Ca, high Cr garnet. Sulphide inclusions in diamond produce minimum T RD model ages of 3.4 Ga indicating that parts of the lithosphere were present at the earliest stages of crust

  3. Evidence for recycled Archaean oceanic mantle lithosphere in the Azores plume.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Bruce F; Turner, Simon; Parkinson, Ian; Rogers, Nick; Hawkesworth, Chris

    2002-11-21

    The compositional differences between mid-ocean-ridge and ocean-island basalts place important constraints on the form of mantle convection. Also, it is thought that the scale and nature of heterogeneities within plumes and the degree to which heterogeneous material endures within the mantle might be reflected in spatial variations of basalt composition observed at the Earth's surface. Here we report osmium isotope data on lavas from a transect across the Azores archipelago which vary in a symmetrical pattern across what is thought to be a mantle plume. Many of the lavas from the centre of the plume have lower 187Os/188Os ratios than most ocean-island basalts and some extend to subchondritic 187Os/188Os ratios-lower than any yet reported from ocean-island basalts. These low ratios require derivation from a depleted, harzburgitic mantle, consistent with the low-iron signature of the Azores plume. Rhenium-depletion model ages extend to 2.5 Gyr, and we infer that the osmium isotope signature is unlikely to be derived from Iberian subcontinental lithospheric mantle. Instead, we interpret the osmium isotope signature as having a deep origin and infer that it may be recycled, Archaean oceanic mantle lithosphere that has delaminated from its overlying oceanic crust. If correct, our data provide evidence for deep mantle subduction and storage of oceanic mantle lithosphere during the Archaean era.

  4. Thickening, refertilization, and the deep lithosphere filter in continental arcs: Constraints from major and trace elements and oxygen isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chin, Emily J.; Lee, Cin-Ty A.; Barnes, Jaime D.

    2014-07-01

    Arc magmatism is a complex process involving generation of primary melts in the mantle wedge and chemical refinement of these melts into differentiated products akin to continental crust. Interaction of magmas (cooling, crystallization and assimilation) with the overlying crust, particularly if it is thick, is one way by which primary basalts are refined into more evolved compositions. Here, we explore the role of the mantle lithosphere as a trap and/or reactive filter of magmas. We use mantle xenoliths from the Sierra Nevada continental arc in California as a probe into sub-Moho processes. Based on clinopyroxene modal abundance and major, minor and moderately incompatible trace element concentrations, the peridotites define a refertilization trend that increases with depth, grading from clinopyroxene-poor (<5%), undeformed spinel peridotites equilibrated at <3 GPa (<90 km) to clinopyroxene-rich (10-20%), porphyroclastic garnet peridotites equilibrated between 3 and 3.5 GPa (90-105 km), the latter presumably approaching the top of the subducting slab. The petrology and geochemistry of the xenoliths suggest that the fertile peridotites were originally depleted spinel peridotites, which were subsequently refertilized. Incompatible trace element geochemistry reveals a pervasive cryptic metasomatic overprint in all peridotites, suggesting involvement of small amounts of subduction-derived fluids from the long-lived Farallon plate beneath western North America. However, bulk reconstructed δOSMOW18 values of the peridotites, including the most refertilized, fall between 5.4 and 5.9‰, within the natural variability of unmetasomatized mantle (∼5.5±0.2‰). Together with Sm, Yb, and Ca compositional data, the oxygen isotope data suggest that the role of slab or sediment melts in refertilizing the peridotites was negligible (<5% in terms of added melt mass). Instead, binary mixing models suggest that many of the Sierran garnet peridotites, particularly those with high

  5. Oxidation state of the lithospheric mantle beneath Diavik diamond mine, central Slave craton, NWT, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creighton, Steven; Stachel, Thomas; Eichenberg, Dave; Luth, Robert W.

    2010-05-01

    Oxygen fugacity ( fO2) conditions were determined for 29 peridotite xenoliths from the A154-North and A154-South kimberlites of the Diavik diamond mine using the newly developed flank method modified specifically for measuring Fe3+ in mantle-derived pyropic garnets. The results indicate that the garnet-bearing lithospheric mantle beneath the central Slave craton is vertically layered with respect to oxidation state. The shallow (<140 km), “ultra-depleted” layer is the most oxidized section of garnet-bearing subcratonic mantle thus far measured, up to one log unit more oxidizing relative to the FMQ buffer [Δlog fO2 (FMQ) + 1]. The lower, more fertile layer has fO2 conditions that extend down to Δlog fO2 (FMQ) - 3.8, consistent with xenolith suites from other localities worldwide. Based on trace element concentrations in garnets, two distinct metasomatic events affected the mantle lithosphere at Diavik. An oxidized fluid imparted sinusoidal chondrite-normalized REE patterns on garnets throughout the entire depth range sampled. In contrast, a reducing melt metasomatic event affected only the lower portion of the lithospheric mantle. The fO2 state of the Diavik mantle sample suggests that diamond formation occurred by reduction of carbonate by fluids arising from beneath the lithosphere.

  6. Introducing tectonically and thermo-mechanically realistic lithosphere in the models of plume head -lithosphere interactions (PLI) including intra-continental plate boundaries.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillou-Frottier, L.; Burov, E.; Cloetingh, S.

    2007-12-01

    Plume-Lithosphere Interactions (PLI) in continets have complex topographic and magmatic signatures and are often identified near boundaries between younger plates (e.g., orogenic) and older stable plates (e.g., cratons), which represent important geometrical, thermal and rheological barriers that interact with the emplacement of the plume head (e.g., Archean West Africa, East Africa, Pannonian - Carpathian system). The observable PLI signatures are conditioned by plume dynamics but also by complex rheology and structure of continental lithosphere. We address this problem by considering a new free-surface thermo-mechanical numerical model of PLI with two stratified elasto-viscous-plastic (EVP) continental plates of contrasting age, thickness and structure. The results show that: (1) surface deformation is poly-harmonic and contains smaller wavelengths (50-500 km) than that associated with the plume head (>1000 km). (2) below intra-plate boundaries, plume head flattening is asymmetric, it is blocked from one side by the cold vertical boundary of the older plate, which leads to mechanical decoupling of crust from mantle lithosphere, and to localized faulting at the cratonic margin; (2) the return flow from the plume head results in sub-vertical down-thrusting (delamination) of the lithosphere at the margin, producing sharp vertical cold boundary down to the 400 km depth; (3) plume head flattening and migration towards the younger plate results in concurrent surface extension above the centre of the plume and in compression (pushing), down-thrusting and magmatic events at the cratonic margin (down-thrusting is also produced at the opposite border of the younger plate); these processes may result in continental growth at the "craton side"; (4) topographic signatures of PLI show basin-scale uplifts and subsidences preferentially located at cratonic margins. Negative Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities in the lithosphere above the plume head provide a mechanism for crustal

  7. Osmium isotopic evidence for mesozoic removal of lithospheric mantle beneath the sierra nevada, california

    PubMed

    Lee; Yin; Rudnick; Chesley; Jacobsen

    2000-09-15

    Thermobarometric and Os isotopic data for peridotite xenoliths from late Miocene and younger lavas in the Sierra Nevada reveal that the lithospheric mantle is vertically stratified: the shallowest portions (<45 to 60 kilometers) are cold (670 degrees to 740 degrees C) and show evidence for heating and yield Proterozoic Os model ages, whereas the deeper portions (45 to 100 kilometers) yield Phanerozoic Os model ages and show evidence for extensive cooling from temperatures >1100 degrees C to 750 degrees C. Because a variety of isotopic evidence suggests that the Sierran batholith formed on preexisting Proterozoic lithosphere, most of the original lithospheric mantle appears to have been removed before the late Miocene, leaving only a sliver of ancient mantle beneath the crust.

  8. Superplumes from the core-mantle boundary to the lithosphere: implications for heat flux.

    PubMed

    Romanowicz, Barbara; Gung, Yuancheng

    2002-04-19

    Three-dimensional modeling of upper-mantle anelastic structure reveals that thermal upwellings associated with the two superplumes, imaged by seismic elastic tomography at the base of the mantle, persist through the upper-mantle transition zone and are deflected horizontally beneath the lithosphere. This explains the unique transverse shear wave isotropy in the central Pacific. We infer that the two superplumes may play a major and stable role in supplying heat and horizontal flow to the low-viscosity asthenospheric channel, lubricating plate motions and feeding hot spots. We suggest that more heat may be carried through the core-mantle boundary than is accounted for by hot spot fluxes alone.

  9. Re-Os systematics of the lithospheric mantle beneath the Western Ross Sea area, Antarctica: depletion ages and dynamic response during rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doherty, C.; Class, C.; Goldstein, S. L.; Shirey, S. B.; Martin, A. P.; Cooper, A. F.; Berg, J. H.; Gamble, J. A.

    2013-12-01

    The West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) is situated between the East Antarctic craton and Marie Byrd Land. Seismic studies on the structure of the lithosphere beneath the WARS reveal thinned lithosphere [1] with crustal thickness ranging from 16 to 22 km in the Ross Sea basin [2,3] that is underlain by a low velocity zone at 80-200 km [4]. However, seismic studies alone provide little information on the age of the lithospheric mantle or its fate during rifting and the formation of the WARS. Geochemical studies on lithosphere surrounding Archean cratons have demonstrated the persistence of off-craton Proterozoic lithosphere and potentially Archean lithosphere (e.g. southeast Australia and southern Africa) [5,6], and suggest that it is possible to constrain the age and structure of the lithosphere in the WARS. Os isotope ratios can be used to date the melt depletion events in the asthenosphere that are considered to be equivalent to the stabilization age of the lithospheric mantle [7]. Here we present the first Re-Os isotope measurements on mantle xenoliths from 5.0 to <1.0 Ma-old volcanic rocks collected in a transection from the rift shoulder and into the rift basin in the Western Ross Sea area of the WARS, and suggest that these data can be used to examine the dynamic response of the lithosphere to rifting. For example, ancient Re-depletion ages across this margin could indicate thinning of the lithospheric mantle during continental extension and dynamic extension of the lithospheric mantle beneath the rift basin. In contrast, younger ages might suggest a more complex history or possibly the replacement by asthenosphere as a result of lithospheric delamination during rifting. Our 187Os/188Os isotope ratios show a large range throughout the rifted margin (0.1051 at Foster Crater to 0.1265 on Ross Island), yet define individual melt depletion trends at 7 locations across the rift. Alumachron model ages derived from 187Os/188Os vs. Al2O3 wt% depletion trends reveal

  10. Linking mantle upwelling with the lithosphere descent [corrected] and the Japan Sea evolution: a hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Ismail-Zadeh, Alik; Honda, Satoru; Tsepelev, Igor

    2013-01-01

    Recent seismic tomography studies image a low velocity zone (interpreted as a high temperature anomaly) in the mantle beneath the subducting Pacific plate near the Japanese islands at the depth of about 400 km. This thermal feature is rather peculiar in terms of the conventional view of mantle convection and subduction zones. Here we present a dynamic restoration of the thermal state of the mantle beneath this region assimilating geophysical, geodetic, and geological data up to 40 million years. We hypothesise that the hot mantle upwelling beneath the Pacific plate partly penetrated through the subducting plate into the mantle wedge and generated two smaller hot upwellings, which contributed to the rapid subsidence in the basins of the Japan Sea and to back-arc spreading. Another part of the hot mantle migrated upward beneath the Pacific lithosphere, and the presently observed hot anomaly is a remnant part of this mantle upwelling.

  11. Linking mantle upwelling with the lithosphere decent and the Japan Sea evolution: a hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Ismail-Zadeh, Alik; Honda, Satoru; Tsepelev, Igor

    2013-01-01

    Recent seismic tomography studies image a low velocity zone (interpreted as a high temperature anomaly) in the mantle beneath the subducting Pacific plate near the Japanese islands at the depth of about 400 km. This thermal feature is rather peculiar in terms of the conventional view of mantle convection and subduction zones. Here we present a dynamic restoration of the thermal state of the mantle beneath this region assimilating geophysical, geodetic, and geological data up to 40 million years. We hypothesise that the hot mantle upwelling beneath the Pacific plate partly penetrated through the subducting plate into the mantle wedge and generated two smaller hot upwellings, which contributed to the rapid subsidence in the basins of the Japan Sea and to back-arc spreading. Another part of the hot mantle migrated upward beneath the Pacific lithosphere, and the presently observed hot anomaly is a remnant part of this mantle upwelling. PMID:23355951

  12. Shallow-mantle Recycling and Anomalous, Voluminous Volcanism along the Northern and Northwestern African Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bryce, J. G.; Blichert-Toft, J.; Graham, D. W.; Miller, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    Mantle-derived volcanism on Earth's surface is generally associated with magma generation as a consequence of volatile addition to suprasubduction zone mantle or in response to decompression melting at diverging plates or in thermochemical anomalies thought to originate deep in the convecting mantle. Many of the hotspots surrounding the northern and northwestern African margin are thought to originate from decompression melting due to upwellings from deep thermochemical anomalies. Similar compositions of lavas erupted in Sicily in the Hyblean Plateau and Mount Etna, Europe's largest most active volcano, have been attributed to contributions from subduction zone enrichments. Considering high-MgO lavas from the northern to northwestern African-Mediterranean margins in the context of recent petrologic models we find the strong majority of the lavas in this region are predominantly alkaline and bear geochemical signatures consistent with derivation from fusible lithologies (volatilized peridotite and/or pyroxenite) [1]. Such results are consistent with implications from recent experimental results that suggest that the mobilization of hydrous, carbonate-rich melts commonly occurs during subduction zone processing [2]. Accordingly, we argue many products generally considered "hot spot" volcanism in this region largely result from partial melting of easily fusible pyroxene-rich and carbonated mantle domains that are relics of shallow-level recycling of volatile-rich melts and/or lithosphere shed during plate boundary processes along the African margin. Long-lived volcanism near continental margins subsequently develops as a consequence of convective anomalies associated with unique tectonic arrangements (oversteepened slabs or slab windows) [3] or, alternatively, as manifestations of convective tectonic anomalies beneath thin lithosphere juxtaposed next to thicker, more stable continental margins [4]. [1] Herzberg and Asimow, 2008; [2] Poli, 2015; [3] Schellart, 2010; [4

  13. Recycling and transport of continental material through the mantle wedge above subduction zones: A Caribbean example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rojas-Agramonte, Yamirka; Garcia-Casco, Antonio; Kemp, Anthony; Kröner, Alfred; Proenza, Joaquín A.; Lázaro, Concepción; Liu, Dunyi

    2016-02-01

    Estimates of global growth rates of continental crust critically depend upon knowledge of the rate at which crustal material is delivered back into the mantle at subduction zones and is then returned to the crust as a component of mantle-derived magma. Quantification of crustal recycling by subduction-related magmatism relies on indirect chemical and isotopic tracers and is hindered by the large range of potential melt sources (e.g., subducted oceanic crust and overlying chemical and clastic sediment, sub-arc lithospheric mantle, arc crust), whose composition may not be accurately known. There is also uncertainty about how crustal material is transferred from subducted lithosphere and mixed into the mantle source of arc magmas. We use the resilient mineral zircon to track crustal recycling in mantle-derived rocks of the Caribbean (Greater Antilles) intra-oceanic arc of Cuba, whose inception was triggered after the break-up of Pangea. Despite juvenile Sr and Nd isotope compositions, the supra-subduction zone ophiolitic and volcanic arc rocks of this Cretaceous (∼135-70 Ma) arc contain old zircons (∼200-2525 Ma) attesting to diverse crustal inputs. The Hf-O isotope systematics of these zircons suggest derivation from exposed crustal terranes in northern Central America (e.g. Mexico) and South America. Modeling of the sedimentary component in the most mafic lavas suggests a contribution of no more than 2% for the case of source contamination or less than 4% for sediment assimilation by the magma. We discuss several possibilities for the presence of inherited zircons and conclude that they were transported as detrital grains into the mantle beneath the Caribbean Plate via subduction of oceanic crust. The detrital zircons were subsequently entrained by mafic melts that were rapidly emplaced into the Caribbean volcanic arc crust and supra-subduction mantle. These findings suggest transport of continental detritus, through the mantle wedge above subduction zones, in

  14. Lithosphere and Asthenosphere Properties beneath Oceans and Continents and their Relationship with Domains of Partial Melt Stability in the Mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dasgupta, R.

    2014-12-01

    The depth of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) and the change in properties across the lithosphere, asthenosphere, and LAB in various tectonic settings are captured in a variety of geophysical data, including seismic velocities and electrical conductivity. A sharp drop in shear wave velocity and increase in electrical conductivity can potentially be caused by the appearance of partial melt at or below the LAB but the chemical and dynamic stability of partial melt across lithosphere and at LAB remain debated. Here I apply the recent models of mantle melting in the presence of water and carbon [1, 2] to evaluate the domains of stability of partial melt both beneath continents and oceans. The model allows prediction of the possible presence, the fraction, and composition of partial melt as a function of depth, bulk C and H2O content, and fO2 [3] in various geologic/tectonic settings. The results show that while a hydrous, carbonated melt is stable only beneath LAB and in the asthenospheric mantle beneath oceans, continental mantle can contain a carbonate-rich melt within the lithosphere. For geotherms corresponding to surface heat flux (SHF) of 40-50 mW m-2, which also match P-T estimates beneath cratons based on thermo-barometry of peridotite xenoliths [4], the solidus of fertile peridotite with trace amount of CO2 and H2O is crossed at depths as shallow as 80-120 km [5]. If elevated geotherms of the Proterozoic and Phanerozoic terrains are applied, carbonatitic melt becomes stable somewhat shallower. These depths are similar to those argued for a mid-lithospheric discontinuity (MLD) where a negative velocity gradient has been detected much shallower than the proposed depth of LAB in many places. With a drop in oxygen fugacity with depth, a freezing of carbonatitic melt may be expected at intermediate depths (~150-200 km). At 200-250 km a hydrous, carbonated silicate melt may reappear owing to the interplay of fO2 and freezing point depression effect of CO

  15. Abnormal lithium isotope composition from the ancient lithospheric mantle beneath the North China Craton

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yan-Jie; Zhang, Hong-Fu; Deloule, Etienne; Su, Ben-Xun; Ying, Ji-Feng; Santosh, M.; Xiao, Yan

    2014-01-01

    Lithium elemental and isotopic compositions of olivines in peridotite xenoliths from Hebi in the North China Craton provide direct evidence for the highly variable δ7Li in Archean lithospheric mantle. The δ7Li in the cores of olivines from the Hebi high-Mg# peridotites (Fo > 91) show extreme variation from −27 to +21, in marked deviation from the δ7Li range of fresh MORB (+1.6 to +5.6) although the Li abundances of the olivines are within the range of normal mantle (1–2 ppm). The Li abundances and δ7Li characteristics of the Hebi olivines could not have been produced by recent diffusive-driven isotopic fractionation of Li and therefore the δ7Li in the cores of these olivines record the isotopic signature of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle. Our data demonstrate that abnormal δ7Li may be preserved in the ancient lithospheric mantle as observed in our study from the central North China Craton, which suggest that the subcontinental lithospheric mantle has experienced modification of fluid/melt derived from recycled oceanic crust. PMID:24589693

  16. Abnormal lithium isotope composition from the ancient lithospheric mantle beneath the North China Craton.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yan-Jie; Zhang, Hong-Fu; Deloule, Etienne; Su, Ben-Xun; Ying, Ji-Feng; Santosh, M; Xiao, Yan

    2014-03-04

    Lithium elemental and isotopic compositions of olivines in peridotite xenoliths from Hebi in the North China Craton provide direct evidence for the highly variable δ(7)Li in Archean lithospheric mantle. The δ(7)Li in the cores of olivines from the Hebi high-Mg# peridotites (Fo > 91) show extreme variation from -27 to +21, in marked deviation from the δ(7)Li range of fresh MORB (+1.6 to +5.6) although the Li abundances of the olivines are within the range of normal mantle (1-2 ppm). The Li abundances and δ(7)Li characteristics of the Hebi olivines could not have been produced by recent diffusive-driven isotopic fractionation of Li and therefore the δ(7)Li in the cores of these olivines record the isotopic signature of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle. Our data demonstrate that abnormal δ(7)Li may be preserved in the ancient lithospheric mantle as observed in our study from the central North China Craton, which suggest that the subcontinental lithospheric mantle has experienced modification of fluid/melt derived from recycled oceanic crust.

  17. Peculiarities of mantle lithosphere beneath the large kimberlite pipes in different regions for Siberian craton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashchepkov, Igor; Logvinova, Alla; Ntaflos, Theodoros; Vladykin, Nikolai; Spetsius, Zdislav; Kostrovitsky, Sergey; Stegnitsky, Yuri; Prokopyev, Sergey

    2016-04-01

    Comparison of the structure of the mantle columns and mineralogy of the large kimberlite pipes in Yakutia from the different regions, kimberlite fields and mantle terranes in Yakutia allowed several assumptions. 1. The large kimberlite pipes possibly trace the ancient magma feeders occurred in the time of the continent growth. Commonly kimberlites and large pipes are tracing the deep faults and lineaments tracing the ancient sutures, rift zones, trans -lithospheric faults and other permeable structures, which may be parallel to the ancient continental margins. Large pipes locate at the periodic distance like volcanoes in arc settings tracing the "volcanic fronts". 2. Large pipes commonly contain the higher amounts of the sub-calcic garnets representing the dunitic associations (Stachel et al., 2008). In ophiolites dunites veins are representing the channels for the melt transfer (Kelemen et al., 2002). It is likely that ancient large magmatic arc system could have also deep seated roots represented by the (sub calcic) garnet - bearing dunitic systems. 3. Many large pipes including Udachnaya (Pokhilenko et al., 1999) and Mir (Roden et al., 2006) contain in mantle roots high amount of various pyroxenites. The most ancient pyroxenites are supplementary to the dunitic associations. But mostly they represent the materials from the re-melted eclogites and partial and hybrid melts (plume and subduction -related). They are concentrating in the traps in the lithosphere base, in the middle part of mantle section and in the basaltic trap 2.0-3.0 GPa. Pyroxenites in the lithosphere base in some cases are vary abundant but mostly they are protokimberlitic cumulates from of the latest stages of plume activity. Products of the melts crystallization from the earlier stages represent easy melting material at the lithosphere base could be the traps for the later plume melts. 5. Large pipes as a rule reveal contrast layering which is favorite for the capturing of the material from

  18. Long-wave tangential stresses in the lithosphere and mantle of Venus

    SciTech Connect

    Zharkov, V.N.; Marchenkov, K.I.; Lyubimov, V.M.

    1987-01-01

    The loading coefficients are calculated for real models of Venus taking into account the asthenosphere for anomalous density waves positioned at different characteristic levels. An associated analysis of the topography and the non-equilibrium part of the gravitational field allows one to determine long-wave primary tangential stresses in the lithosphere and mantle for zonal harmonics with n = 2-8. The stresses in the lithosphere of Venus are approximately equal to 30 bar, while those in the lower mantle can be up to 45 bar, but they are only on the order of a few bars in the weakened upper mantle. The low level of tangential stresses in the core and mantle of Venus is an important indication that the interior of the planet is intensely heated. A conclusion is drawn on aseismic nature of Venus.

  19. Metasomatized ancient lithospheric mantle beneath the young Zealandia microcontinent and its role in HIMU-like intraplate magmatism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, J. M.; Waight, T. E.; van der Meer, Q. H. A.; Palin, J. M.; Cooper, A. F.; Münker, C.

    2014-09-01

    has been long debate on the asthenospheric versus lithospheric source for numerous intraplate basalts with ocean island basalt (OIB) and high time-integrated U/Pb (HIMU)-like source signatures that have erupted through the Zealandia continental crust. Analysis of 157 spinel facies peridotitic mantle xenoliths from 25 localities across Zealandia permits the first comprehensive regional description of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) and insights into whether it could be a source to the intraplate basalts. Contrary to previous assumptions, the Oligocene-Miocene Zealandia SCLM is highly heterogeneous. It is composed of a refractory craton-like domain (West Otago) adjacent to several moderately fertile domains (East Otago, North Otago, Auckland Islands). Each domain has an early history decoupled from the overlying Carboniferous and younger continental crust, and each domain has undergone varying degrees of depletion followed by enrichment. Clinopyroxene grains reveal trace element characteristics (low Ti/Eu, high Th/U) consistent with enrichment through reaction with carbonatite. This metasomatic overprint has a composition that closely matches HIMU in Sr, Pb ± Nd isotopes. However, clinopyroxene Hf isotopes are in part highly radiogenic and decoupled from the other isotope systems, and also mostly more radiogenic than the intraplate basalts. If the studied spinel facies xenoliths are representative of the thin Zealandia SCLM, the melting of garnet facies lithosphere could only be the intraplate basalt source if it had a less radiogenic Hf-Nd isotope composition than the investigated spinel facies, or was mixed with asthenosphere-derived melts containing less radiogenic Hf.

  20. Initiation and propagation of shear zones in a heterogeneous continental lithosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Tommasi, A.; Vauchez, A.

    1995-11-10

    Numerical methods were used to investigate the deformation of a continental plate in northeastern Brazil. Of particular interest are the perturbations induced by a stiff compressional deformation of a highly heterogeneous continental lithosphere on the development of a shear zone formed at the termination of a stiff block.

  1. Results from SAMTEX: The Southern African lithospheric mantle - electrical structures and geometries and comparison with seismological information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    G.. Jones, A.; Muller, M. P.; Miensopust, M. P.; Khosa, D.; Share, P.-E.

    2009-04-01

    The Southern African Magnetotelluric Experiment (SAMTEX) is imaging the electrical structures and geometries of the continental lithosphere below Botswana, Namibia and South Africa to depths of 200+ km. Primary geometrical information can readily be obtained from lithospheric-scale MT experiments about the three-dimensional variation in conductivity, and this information can be related to formation and deformation processes. In particular, one important piece of geometrical information easily and relatively precisely (to within 10%) obtained from MT data is the depth to the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB), due to the sensitivity of conductivity to small fractions (<1%) of partial melt and/or increased water content. Over four phases of acquisition SAMTEX measurements have been made at a total of more than 700 MT sites in an area of greater than a million square kilometers, making it by far the largest-ever MT project undertaken. In particular, during Phase IV very challenging MT measurements were made in the highly-remote Central Kalahari Game Reserve, completing the coverage of Botswana. One of the most significant results from SAMTEX is the mapping of the LAB beneath the Archean cratons and bounding mobile belts of Southern Africa, particularly beneath Namibia and Botswana for which no prior lithospheric information exists. As would be expected, the electrically-defined LAB is generally shallow (150 km) beneath the mobile belts, deep (250 km) in the centres of the cratons, and transitional at the edges of cratons. Kimberlites are useful in also inferring lithospheric thickness, and diamondiferous kimberlites are located primarily where the electrical lithosphere is transitional in thickness, or where there is a change in its electrical anisotropy properties, both of which are craton edge effects. The electrical properties of the continental mantle derived from SAMTEX data can be compared with seismic ones derived from data from the South African Seismic

  2. Surface topography changes in North Africa derived from combined lithosphere and mantle modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buiter, S. J. H.; Steinberger, B.

    2009-04-01

    Northern Africa hosts several large intracratonic basins which record sedimentary processes since their formation in the (Pre)Cambrian. The absence of larger-scale normal faults indicates that they are not typical rift basins. Until now, no conclusive formation mechanism has been identified, though various processes (such as magmatism, phase changes, hydrothermal circulation and glacial loading) have been proposed. Here we focus on the contribution of deep-seated mantle processes to changes in surface topography. Traditionally, mantle flow models have relied on simplified translation of vertical stresses to changes in surface topography by using local isostasy or an elastic lithosphere. We evaluate the role of the brittle-elastic-viscous lithosphere rheology in controlling surface topography. We use models of mantle flow driven by density anomalies that are converted from seismic tomography, with prescribed surface plate motions and mantle viscosity structure inferred from mineral physics and surface observations. Density anomalies are advected backward in time. This approach provides reasonably accurate results back to 70 Myr ago and our models therefore span the entire Cenozoic. The mantle flow and pressure fields in the reference frame of the moving African plate are applied to lithosphere finite element models with an elastic-linear viscous-plastic rheology. Our first results focus on the Taoudenni, Kufrah and Chad basins. The Chad basin experienced Cretaceous extension and this allows us to evaluate the effects of rifting in combination with mantle processes.

  3. Lithospheric thickness and mantle/lithosphere density contrast beneath Beta Rigio, Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, William B.; Schubert, Gerald

    1995-01-01

    The spatial variation of the geoid/topography ratio over the large Venusian volcanic highland Beta Regio is suggestive of thermal compensation, i.e., support of the highland's topography by lithospheric thinning. Both the thickness of the lithosphere and the density contrast at its base can be inferred from a quadratic regression of suitably filtered (600 km less than wavelength less than 4000 km) geoid vs. topography data. The regression yields a mean lithospheric thickness of 270 km and a density contrast of magnitude 2.5% to 3.0%. Simple isostatic balance of the long-wavelength topography at Beta Regio requires thinning of the lithosphere by 50-60% beneath the rise.

  4. Seismic evidence for the layered mantle lithosphere: a comparsion between Zagros and South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sodoudi, Forough; Kind, Rainer

    2014-05-01

    Recent S receiver function studies present evidence for the existence of the layered mantle lithosphere beneath ancient cratons. However, the nature of these layers is still unclear. They can be attributed to the presence of accumulated melts, remnants of subduction interfaces, changes in anisotropic properties or fluids. Further characterization of these layers is needed to provide more insights into the assembly and evolution of cratons. Here we compare the mantle lithosphere of the ancient Kalahari craton with the relatively young mantle lithosphere of Zagros, which is assumed as the location of the future craton. We applied the S receiver function method to map the internal layering of the lithosphere and to image its lower limit. For this aim, we used teleseismic events recorded at 97 seismic stations within the Kalahari craton and those recorded at 61 permanent seismic stations in Iran. Our results reveal a thick and stratified mantle lithosphere beneath the Kalahari craton containing three significant negative velocity contrasts at 85, 150-200, and 260-280 km depth. Moreover, they imply that frozen-in anisotropy as well as notable compositional variations can lead to sharp Mid-Lithospheric Discontinuities (MLD) that can be clearly observed in the SRF data. We show that a 50 km thick anisotropic layer just below the Moho boundary with 3% S wave anisotropy may be responsible for producing a MLD at 85 km depth. The horizontal anisotropy in the upper lithosphere may be attributed to processes during the formation of the Kalahari Craton. Furthermore, significant correlation between the depths of an apparent boundary separating the depleted and metasomatised lithosphere, as inferred from chemical tomography, and those of our second layer led us to characterize it as a compositional boundary, most likely due to the modification of the cratonic mantle lithosphere by magma infiltration. The largest velocity contrast (3.6-4.7%) is observed at a boundary located at

  5. Olivine water contents in the continental lithosphere and the longevity of cratons.

    PubMed

    Peslier, Anne H; Woodland, Alan B; Bell, David R; Lazarov, Marina

    2010-09-02

    Cratons, the ancient cores of continents, contain the oldest crust and mantle on the Earth (>2 Gyr old). They extend laterally for hundreds of kilometres, and are underlain to depths of 180-250 km by mantle roots that are chemically and physically distinct from the surrounding mantle. Forming the thickest lithosphere on our planet, they act as rigid keels isolated from the flowing asthenosphere; however, it has remained an open question how these large portions of the mantle can stay isolated for so long from mantle convection. Key physical properties thought to contribute to this longevity include chemical buoyancy due to high degrees of melt-depletion and the stiffness imparted by the low temperatures of a conductive thermal gradient. Geodynamic calculations, however, suggest that these characteristics are not sufficient to prevent the lithospheric mantle from being entrained during mantle convection over billions of years. Differences in water content are a potential source of additional viscosity contrast between cratonic roots and ambient mantle owing to the well-established hydrolytic weakening effect in olivine, the most abundant mineral of the upper mantle. However, the water contents of cratonic mantle roots have to date been poorly constrained. Here we show that olivine in peridotite xenoliths from the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary region of the Kaapvaal craton mantle root are water-poor and provide sufficient viscosity contrast with underlying asthenosphere to satisfy the stability criteria required by geodynamic calculations. Our results provide a solution to a puzzling mystery of plate tectonics, namely why the oldest continents, in contrast to short-lived oceanic plates, have resisted recycling into the interior of our tectonically dynamic planet.

  6. Rock mechanics observations pertinent to the rheology of the continental lithosphere and the localization of strain along shear zones

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirby, S.H.

    1985-01-01

    Emphasized in this paper are the deformation processes and rheologies of rocks at high temperatures and high effective pressures, conditions that are presumably appropriate to the lower crust and upper mantle in continental collision zones. Much recent progress has been made in understanding the flexure of the oceanic lithosphere using rock-mechanics-based yield criteria for the inelastic deformations at the top and base. At mid-plate depths, stresses are likely to be supported elastically because bending strains and elastic stresses are low. The collisional tectonic regime, however, is far more complex because very large permanent strains are sustained at mid-plate depths and this requires us to include the broad transition between brittle and ductile flow. Moreover, important changes in the ductile flow mechanisms occur at the intermediate temperatures found at mid-plate depths. Two specific contributions of laboratory rock rheology research are considered in this paper. First, the high-temperature steady-state flow mechanisms and rheology of mafic and ultramafic rocks are reviewed with special emphasis on olivine and crystalline rocks. Rock strength decreases very markedly with increases in temperature and it is the onset of flow by high temperature ductile mechanisms that defines the base of the lithosphere. The thickness of the continental lithosphere can therefore be defined by the depth to a particular isotherm Tc above which (at geologic strain rates) the high-temperature ductile strength falls below some arbitrary strength isobar (e.g., 100 MPa). For olivine Tc is about 700??-800??C but for other crustal silicates, Tc may be as low as 400??-600??C, suggesting that substantial decoupling may take place within thick continental crust and that strength may increase with depth at the Moho, as suggested by a number of workers on independent grounds. Put another way, the Moho is a rheological discontinuity. A second class of laboratory observations pertains to

  7. Lithosphere thickness and mantle viscosity inverted from GPS-derived deformation rates in Fennoscandia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, S.; Lambeck, K.; Lidberg, M.

    2012-07-01

    Crustal deformation in Fennoscandia is associated with the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) process that is caused by ongoing stress release of the mantle after removal of the Late Pleistocene ice sheet by ˜10 cal ka BP. With an earth model of defined structure and rheology and an ice-sheet model of known melting history, the GIA process can be simulated by geophysical models, and the surface deformation rates can be calculated and used to compare with global positioning system (GPS) observations. Therefore, the crustal deformation rates observed by GPS in Fennoscandia provide constraints on the geophysical models. On the basis of two ice sheet models (ANU-ICE and ICE-5G) reconstructed independently by the Australian National University (ANU) and University of Toronto, we use the GPS-derived deformation rates to invert for lithosphere thickness and mantle viscosity in Fennoscandia. The results show that only a three-layer earth model can be resolved from current GPS data, providing robust estimates of effective lithosphere thickness, upper and lower mantle viscosity. The earth models estimated from inversion of GPS data with two different ice sheet models define a narrow range of parameter space: the lithosphere thickness between 93 and 110 km, upper mantle viscosity between 3.4 and 5.0 × 1020 Pa s, and lower mantle viscosity between 7 × 1021 and 13 × 1021 Pa s. The estimates are consistent with those inverted from relative sea-level indicators.

  8. Deformation of "stable" continental interiors by mantle convection: Implications for intraplate stress in the New Madrid Seismic Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forte, A. M.; Moucha, R.; Simmons, N. A.; Grand, S. P.; Mitrovica, J. X.

    2011-12-01

    The enigmatic origin of large-magnitude earthquakes far from active plate boundaries, especially those occurring in so-called "stable" continental interiors, is a source of continuing controversy that has eluded a satisfactory explanation using past geophysical models of intraplate deformation and faulting. One outstanding case of such major intraplate earthquakes is the 1811-1812 series of events in the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ). We contend that the origin of some of these enigmatic intraplate events is due to regional variations in the pattern of tectonic stress generated by mantle convective flow acting on the overlying lithosphere and crust. Mantle convection affects the entire surface of the planet, irrespective of the current configuration of surface plate boundaries. In addition, it must be appreciated that plate tectonics is not a 2-D process, because the convective flow that drives the observed horizontal motions of the tectonic plates also drives vertical displacements of the crust across distances as great as 2 to 3 km. This dynamic topography is directly correlated with convection-driven stress field variations in the crust and lithosphere and these stresses can be locally focussed if the mantle rheology below the lithosphere is characterised by sufficiently low viscosities. We have developed global models of convection-driven mantle flow [Forte et al. 2009,2010] that are based on recent high-resolution 3-D tomography models derived from joint inversions of seismic, geodynamic and mineral physics data [Simmons et al. 2007,2008,2010]. These tomography-based mantle convection models also include a full suite of surface geodynamic (postglacial rebound and convection) constraints on the depth-dependent average viscosity of the mantle [Mitrovica & Forte 2004]. Our latest tomography-based and geodynamically-constrained convection calculations reveal that mantle flow under the central US are driven by density anomalies within the lower mantle associated

  9. Upper mantle viscosity and dynamic subsidence of curved continental margins.

    PubMed

    Sacek, Victor; Ussami, Naomi

    2013-01-01

    Continental rifting does not always follow a straight line. Nevertheless, little attention has been given to the influence of rifting curvature in the evolution of extended margins. Here, using a three-dimensional model to simulate mantle dynamics, we demonstrate that the curvature of rifting along a margin also controls post-rift basin subsidence. Our results indicate that a concave-oceanward margin subsides faster than a convex margin does during the post-rift phase. This dynamic subsidence of curved margins is a result of lateral thermal conduction and mantle convection. Furthermore, the differential subsidence is strongly dependent on the viscosity structure. As a natural example, we analyse the post-rift stratigraphic evolution of the Santos Basin, southeastern Brazil. The differential dynamic subsidence of this margin is only possible if the viscosity of the upper mantle is >2-3 × 10(19) Pa s.

  10. Lithosphere thinning induced by slab penetration into a hydrous mantle transition zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zhensheng; Kusky, Timothy M.; Capitanio, Fabio A.

    2016-11-01

    Water plays an important role in deformation and partial melting of Earth's mantle. The mantle transition zone (MTZ) is a deep reservoir of bound water from subducting slabs. When this reservoir is perturbed by subducting slabs, water is released, impacting the rheology and dynamics of the mantle. We model the role of released water from the MTZ in lithospheric destruction, deformation and deep-source magmatism. Comparing the model results from the North China Craton, we infer that the first peak period of magmatism during craton destruction and lithospheric removal (135-115 Ma) resulted from the subducting Izanagi plate perturbing the strongly hydrous MTZ, whereas the second peak period of magmatism (80 Ma-Cenozoic) is related to extension and asthenospheric partial melting caused by Pacific slab rollback.

  11. Lithospheric deformation induced by loading of the Hawaiian Islands and its implications for mantle rheology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, Shijie; Watts, A. B.

    2013-11-01

    long-term rheological properties of the lithosphere are fundamental for understanding both surface tectonics and mantle dynamics on Earth. In this study, we have developed 3-D finite element models for computing the load-induced surface deformation and stress for lithosphere and mantle with realistic nonlinear viscoelastic rheology including the frictional sliding, low-temperature plasticity, and high-temperature creep. We have determined the lithospheric deformation and stress due to volcano loading in the Hawaiian Islands region for the last few million years. By comparing model predictions with seismic observations of the depth to the top of oceanic crust and depth dependence of seismicity in the Hawaiian Islands region, we have sought to constrain lithospheric rheology. Our calculations show that the load-induced surface deformation is controlled by low-temperature plasticity and frictional sliding but is insensitive to high-temperature creep. Lithospheric strength predicted from laboratory-derived low-temperature plasticity needs to be reduced significantly, and a frictional coefficient μf ranging from 0.1 to 0.7 is required in order to account for the observations. However, μf = 0.1 weakens the shallow part of the lithosphere so much that it causes the minima in strain rate and stress to occur at too large depths to be consistent with the observed depth distribution of seismicity. Our results therefore suggest a value for μf between 0.25 and 0.7. Finally, the maximum stress that accumulates in the deformed lithosphere beneath the Hawaiian Islands is about 100-200 MPa for models that match the observations, and this stress may be viewed as the largest lithospheric stress on Earth.

  12. Lithospheric Velocity Structure of the Upper Rhine Graben; A new Model for the Development of Europe's Largest Continental Rift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granet, M.; Lopes Cardozo, G.; Herquel, G.

    2003-12-01

    The lithospheric structure of the Rhine Graben, part of the European Cenozoic Rift system (ECRIS), is studied with the help of a regional 3D teleseismic travel time tomography. Joint interpretation of the tomography, the SKS anisotropy, and a local earthquake tomographic study leads to a new model for the rifting and development of the Graben. Two seismic campaigns provided 2696 P and PKP travel time residuals of teleseismic events. The two data sets are combined and inverted together. This inversion yields detailed images of the P velocity structure of the lower crust and the lithospheric mantle down to a depth of 125 kilometers. An absence of strong low velocity anomalies in the region confirms that there is no shallow mantle diapir, this demonstrates the passive development of the rift. The observed velocity structures have an orientation 10° -20° oblique to the graben axis and are interpreted as inherited Variscan structures. These structures are thought to have played a dominant role during the Oligocene rifting of the Rhine Graben. Similar structures are known to have influenced the development of the Limagne graben (Massif Central), also part of the ECRIS. An absence of structures that are orientated parallel to the graben axis shows that the Upper Rhine Graben did not form following a traditional McKenzie or Wernicke model. A new model is presented in which strike slip movements on the Variscan structures in the lithospheric mantle are responsible for the extension in the crust. This conceptual model is supported by SKS anisotropy and helps to explain some of the features in the development of the continental rift in the overall compressive setting of the Alpine foreland.

  13. Mantle convection with continental drift and heat source around the mantle transition zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ichikawa, H.; Kameyama, M.; Kawai, K.

    2012-12-01

    Geological studies have suggested that significant amount of granitic crustal materials have been lost from the surface by the delamination (~1.1 km^3/yr) [1], continental collision (~0.4-0.7 km^3/yr) [1, 2], and subduction at ocean-margin (~2.5-3 km^3/yr) [1, 2]. At ocean-margin subduction zones, most of the granitic materials subducted from the surface are expected to be conveyed through subduction channels by viscous drag to 270km depth [Ichikawa el al., in revision]. If so, then the subducted crustal materials might be expected to be trapped in the mid-mantle owing to the density difference from peridotitic materials induced by the phase transition from coesite to stishovite at 270km depth. In other words, strong heat source materials are most likely to be accumulated around the mantle transition zone, at least, near the plate subduction zones. In this study, we conducted two-dimensional numerical experiments of mantle convection with continental drift and a heat source placed around the mantle transition zone, in order to study the effect of the subducted granitic materials drifting around the mantle transition zone. The simulations deal with a time-dependent convection of fluid under the extended Boussinesq approximation in a model of a two-dimensional rectangular box of 2900km height and 11600km width, where a continent and heat source is imposed. We found that the addition of the heat source considerably reduces the time scale of continental drift. In the absence of the heat source, the resulting time scale is too long compared with that of the so-called supercontinent cycle, where the breakup is induced from a plume generated by an insulating effect of the continent. The heat source also causes massive mechanical mixing especially on the upper mantle. The result suggests that the heat source drifting around mantle transition zone can be a possible candidate inducing the supercontinent cycle in an appropriate time scale. [1] Clift, P. D., P. Vannucchi, and

  14. The Diamondiferous Lithospheric Mantle Underlying the Eastern Superior Craton: Evidence From Mantle Xenoliths From the Renard Kimberlites, Quebec

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, L.; Stachel, T.; Armstrong, J. P.; Simonetti, A.

    2009-05-01

    plot into the on-craton garnet peridotite field of Ramsay (1992), and follow the garnet peridotite trend of Grütter (2008). Using the single pyroxene geothermobarometer of Nimis and Taylor (2000), the clinopyroxene grains fall along a 38mW/m2 model geotherm. However, the majority fall on the low pressure side of the diamond graphite transition. Initial analysis on the garnet grains show that the majority plots in the on craton lherzolite field (G9A) of Grütter et al. (2006). A smaller eclogite population is also present, along with a minor harzburgitic (G10) population. Using the manganese in garnet thermometer of Creighton (2008) the majority of grains fall in the diamond window (T>950°C). This indicates a currently unexplained disconnect between clinopyroxene and garnet geothermobarometry. The newly developed technique of in situ Pb-Pb dating of clinopyroxene xenocrysts (Schmidberger et al. 2007) was applied to the microxenoliths. Initial results indicate an age of ˜2.7 Ga for the subcratonic lithospheric mantle beneath Renard. This date is significant, coinciding with the beginning of the break up of Vaalbara and a major phase of continental crust generation. Also at 2.7 Ga, Kenorland (including the Superior Province) was formed by accretion of granitoid-greenstone terranes at convergent margins (Barley et al., 2005).

  15. The viscosity of Earth's lower mantle inferred from sinking speed of subducted lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Čížková, Hana; van den Berg, Arie P.; Spakman, Wim; Matyska, Ctirad

    2012-06-01

    The viscosity of the mantle is indispensable for predicting Earth's mechanical behavior at scales ranging from deep mantle material flow to local stress accumulation in earthquakes zones. But, mantle viscosity is not well determined. For the lower mantle, particularly, only few constraints result from elaborate high-pressure experiments (Karato, 2008) and a variety of viscosity depth profiles result from joint inversion of the geoid and postglacial rebound data (Forte and Mitrovica, 1996; Kaufmann and Lambeck, 2000; Mitrovica and Forte, 2004). Here, we use inferred lower-mantle sinking speed of lithosphere subduction remnants as a unique internal constraint on modeling the viscosity profile. This entails a series of elaborate dynamic subduction calculations spanning a range of viscosity profiles from which we select profiles that predict the inferred sinking speed of 12 ± 3 mm/yr (van der Meer et al., 2010). Our modeling shows that sinking speed is very sensitive to lower mantle viscosity. Good predictions of sinking speed are obtained for nearly constant lower mantle viscosity of about 3-4 × 1022 Pa s. Viscosity profiles incorporating a viscosity maximum in the deep lower mantle, as proposed in numerous studies, only lead to a good prediction in combination with a weak postperovskite layer at the bottom of the lower mantle, and only for a depth average viscosity of 5 × 1022 Pa s.

  16. Adjoint tomography of crust and upper-mantle structure beneath Continental China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, M.; Niu, F.; Liu, Q.; Tromp, J.

    2013-12-01

    Four years of regional earthquake recordings from 1,869 seismic stations are used for high-resolution and high-fidelity seismic imaging of the crust and upper-mantle structure beneath Continental China. This unprecedented high-density dataset is comprised of seismograms recorded by the China Earthquake Administration Array (CEArray), NorthEast China Extended SeiSmic Array (NECESSArray), INDEPTH-IV Array, F-net and other global and regional seismic networks, and involves 1,326,384 frequency-dependent phase measurements. Adjoint tomography is applied to this unprecedented dataset, aiming to resolve detailed 3D maps of compressional and shear wavespeeds, and radial anisotropy. Contrary to traditional ray-theory based tomography, adjoint tomography takes into account full 3D wave propagation effects and off-ray-path sensitivity. In our implementation, it utilizes a spectral-element method for precise wave propagation simulations. The tomographic method starts with a 3D initial model that combines smooth radially anisotropic mantle model S362ANI and 3D crustal model Crust2.0. Traveltime and amplitude misfits are minimized iteratively based on a conjugate gradient method, harnessing 3D finite-frequency kernels computed for each updated 3D model. After 17 iterations, our inversion reveals strong correlations of 3D wavespeed heterogeneities in the crust and upper mantle with surface tectonic units, such as the Himalaya Block, the Tibetan Plateau, the Tarim Basin, the Ordos Block, and the South China Block. Narrow slab features emerge from the smooth initial model above the transition zone beneath the Japan, Ryukyu, Philippine, Izu-Bonin, Mariana and Andaman arcs. 3D wavespeed variations appear comparable to or much sharper than in high-frequency P-and S-wave models from previous studies. Moreover our results include new information, such as 3D variations of radial anisotropy and the Vp/Vs ratio, which are expected to shed new light to the composition, thermal state, flow

  17. Thermal rejuvenation of continental lithosphere in the Michigan Basin Area

    SciTech Connect

    Ahern, J.L.; Dikeou, P.J.

    1985-01-01

    Using depths to formation tops from almost 500 wells, the authors have determined changes in shape of the Michigan Basin during the Phanerozoic. Flexural rigidity of the lithosphere was then estimated for several time intervals by assuming that changes in shape were caused by deflection of an elastic plate subjected to a disk load. It is found that the flexural rigidity generally increased over time, from less than 10/sup 29/ dyne-cm early in the basin's history, to more than 10/sup 30/ dyne-cm late in the basin's development. They attribute this increase in rigidity to cooling and thickening of the elastic portion of the lithosphere as the basin was subsiding. Low flexural rigidity early in the basin's history indicates that the lithosphere was probably rejuvenated prior to basin subsidence. The rejuvenation process is investigated using a finite-difference thermal model in which a 142-km plate is temporarily heated from below. Taking the depth to the 450/sup 0/C isotherm to be the effective elastic thickness of the lithosphere, rigidity predicted by the thermal model is consistent with the observed increase in rigidity over time. They conclude that the lithosphere in this area was rejuvenated approximately 500 million years ago. As the lithosphere cooled, it thickened; it also contracted and subsided. Observed rapid subsidence between about 500 and 450 million years ago cannot be explained by thermal contraction; in fact, it occurs when the thermal model predicts heating and uplift. This subsidence episode may have been the result of densification processes accompanying rejuvenation.

  18. Lithosphere versus asthenosphere mantle sources at the Big Pine Volcanic Field, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gazel, Esteban; Plank, Terry; Forsyth, Donald W.; Bendersky, Claire; Lee, Cin-Ty A.; Hauri, Erik H.

    2012-06-01

    Here we report the first measurements of the H2O content of magmas and mantle xenoliths from the Big Pine Volcanic Field (BPVF), California, in order to constrain the melting process in the mantle, and the role of asthenospheric and lithospheric sources in this westernmost region of the Basin and Range Province, western USA. Melt inclusions trapped in primitive olivines (Fo82-90) record surprisingly high H2O contents (1.5 to 3.0 wt.%), while lithospheric mantle xenoliths record low H2O concentrations (whole rock <75 ppm). Estimates of the oxidation state of BPVF magmas, based on V partitioning in olivine, are also high (FMQ +1.0 to +1.5). Pressures and temperatures of equilibration of the BPVF melts indicate a shift over time, from higher melting temperatures (˜1320°C) and pressures (˜2 GPa) for magmas that are >500 ka, to cooler (˜1220°C) and shallower melting (˜1 GPa) conditions in younger magmas. The estimated depth of melting correlates strongly with some trace element ratios in the magmas (e.g., Ce/Pb, Ba/La), with deeper melts having values closer to upper mantle asthenosphere values, and shallower melts having values more typical of subduction zone magmas. This geochemical stratification is consistent with seismic observations of a shallow lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (˜55 km depth). Combined trace element and cryoscopic melting models yield self-consistent estimates for the degree of melting (˜5%) and source H2O concentration (˜1000 ppm). We suggest two possible geodynamic models to explain small-scale convection necessary for magma generation. The first is related to the Isabella seismic anomaly, either a remnant of the Farallon Plate or foundered lithosphere. The second scenario is related to slow extension of the lithosphere.

  19. Imaging the continental lithosphere: Perspectives from global and regional anisotropic seismic tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebedev, Sergei; Schaeffer, Andrew

    2016-04-01

    Azimuthal seismic anisotropy, the dependence of seismic wave speeds on propagation azimuth, is largely due to fabrics within the Earth's crust and mantle, produced by deformation. It thus provides constraints on the distribution and evolution of deformation within the upper mantle. Lateral variations in isotropic-average seismic velocities reflect variations in the temperature of the rocks at depth. Seismic tomography thus also provides a proxy for lateral changes in the temperature and thickness of the lithosphere. It can map the deep boundaries between tectonic blocks with different properties and age of the lithosphere. Our new global, anisotropic, 3D tomographic models of the upper mantle and the crust are constrained by an unprecedentedly large global dataset of broadband waveform fits (over one million seismograms) and provide improved resolution of the lithosphere at the global scale, compared to other available models. The most prominent high-velocity anomalies, seen down to around 200 km depths, indicate the cold, thick, stable mantle lithosphere beneath Precambrian cratons. The tomography resolves the deep boundaries of the cratons even where they are not exposed and difficult to map at the surface. Our large waveform dataset, with complementary large global networks and high-density regional array data, also produces improved resolution of azimuthal anisotropy patterns, so that regional-scale variations related to lithospheric deformation and mantle flow can be resolved, in particular in densely sampled regions. The depth of the boundary between the cold, rigid lithosphere (preserving ancient, frozen anisotropic fabric) and the rheologically weak asthenosphere (characterized by fabric developed recently) can be inferred from the depth layering of seismic anisotropy and its comparison to the past and present plate motions. Beneath oceans, the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) is defined clearly by the layering of anisotropy, with a dependence on

  20. Water in Hawaiian peridotite minerals: A case for a dry metasomatized oceanic mantle lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peslier, Anne H.; Bizimis, Michael

    2015-04-01

    The distribution of water concentrations in the oceanic upper mantle has drastic influence on its melting, rheology, and electrical and thermal conductivities and yet is primarily known indirectly from analyses of OIB and MORB. Here, actual mantle samples, eight peridotite xenoliths from Salt Lake Crater (SLC) and one from Pali in Oahu in Hawaii were analyzed by FTIR. Water contents of orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, and the highest measured in olivine are 116-222, 246-442, and 10-26 ppm weight H2O, respectively. Although pyroxene water contents correlate with indices of partial melting, they are too high to be explained by simple melting modeling. Mantle-melt interaction modeling reproduces best the SLC data. These peridotites represent depleted oceanic mantle older than the Pacific lithosphere that has been refertilized by nephelinite melts containing <5 weight % H2O. Metasomatism in the Hawaiian peridotites resulted in an apparent decoupling of water and LREE that can be reconciled via assimilation and fractional crystallization. Calculated bulk-rock water contents for SLC (50-96 ppm H2O) are on the low side of that of the MORB source (50-200 ppm H2O). Preceding metasomatism, the SLC peridotites must have been even drier, with a water content similar to that of the Pali peridotite (45 ppm H2O), a relatively unmetasomatized fragment of the Pacific lithosphere. Moreover, our data show that the oceanic mantle lithosphere above plumes is not necessarily enriched in water. Calculated viscosities using olivine water contents allow to estimate the depth of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary beneath Hawaii at ˜90 km.

  1. Arctic and Antarctic Crustal Thickness and Continental Lithosphere Thinning from Gravity Inversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusznir, Nick J.; Alvey, Andy; Vaughan, Alan P. M.; Ferraccioli, Fausto; Jordan, Tom A. R. M.; Roberts, Alan M.

    2013-04-01

    Mapping crustal thickness, continental lithosphere thinning and oceanic lithosphere distribution represents a substantial challenge for the Polar Regions. The Arctic region formed as a series of small distinct ocean basins leading to a complex distribution of oceanic crust, thinned continental crust and rifted continental margins. Antarctica, both peripherally and internally, experienced poly-phase rifting and continental breakup. We determine Moho depth, crustal basement thickness, continental lithosphere thinning and ocean-continent transition location for the Polar Regions using a gravity inversion method which incorporates a lithosphere thermal gravity anomaly correction. The method is carried out in the 3D spectral domain and predicts Moho depth and incorporates a lithosphere thermal gravity anomaly correction. Ice thickness is included in the gravity inversion, as is the contribution from sediments which assumes a compaction controlled sediment density increase with depth. A correction to the predicted continental lithospheric thinning derived from gravity inversion is made for volcanic material addition produced by decompression melting during continental rifting and seafloor spreading. For the Arctic, gravity data used is from the NGA (U) Arctic Gravity Project, bathymetry is from IBCAO and sediment thickness is from a new regional compilation. For Antarctica and the Southern Oceans, data used are elevation and bathymetry, free-air gravity anomaly, ice and sediment thickness from Smith and Sandwell (2008), Sandwell and Smith (2008) and Laske and Masters (1997) respectively, supplemented by Bedmap2 data south of 60 degrees south. Using gravity anomaly inversion, we have produced the first comprehensive maps of crustal thickness and oceanic lithosphere distribution for the Arctic, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Our gravity inversion predicts thin crust and high continental lithosphere thinning factors in the Makarov, Podvodnikov, Nautilus and Canada

  2. Lithospheric deformation and mantle/crust coupling related to slab roll-back and tearing processes: the role of magma-related rheological weakening highlighted by 3D numerical modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menant, Armel; Jolivet, Laurent; Guillou-Frottier, Laurent; Sternai, Pietro; Gerya, Taras

    2016-04-01

    Active convergent margins are the locus of various large-scale lithospheric processes including subduction, back-arc opening, lithospheric delamination, slab tearing and break-off. Coexistence of such processes results in a complex lithospheric deformation pattern through the rheological stratification of the overriding lithosphere. In this context, another major feature is the development of an intense arc- and back-arc-related magmatism whose effects on lithospheric deformation by rheological weakening are largely unknown. Quantifying this magma-related weakening effect and integrating the three-dimensional (3D) natural complexity of subduction system is however challenging because of the large number of physico-chemical processes involved (e.g. heat advection, dehydration of subducted material, partial melting of the mantle wedge). We present here a set of 3D high-resolution petrological and thermo-mechanical numerical experiments to assess the role of low-viscosity magmatic phases on lithospheric deformation associated with coeval oceanic and continental subduction, followed by slab retreat and tearing processes. Results in terms of crustal kinematics, patterns of lithospheric deformation and distribution and composition of magmatic phases are then compared to a natural example displaying a similar geodynamical evolution: the eastern Mediterranean subduction zone. Our modeling results suggest that the asthenospheric flow controls the ascending trajectories of mantle-derived magmatic sources developed in the mantle wedge in response to dehydration of oceanic slab. Once stored at the base of the overriding continental crust, low-viscosity mantle- and crustal-derived magmatic phases allow to decrease the lithospheric strength. This weakening then enhances the propagation of localized extensional and strike-slip deformation in response to slab roll-back and extrusion tectonics respectively. In addition, we show that storage of large amounts of low-viscosity magmas

  3. Late Cretaceous - recent lithosphere scale evolution of Turkey: linking the crustal surface evolution to the structure of the mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartol, J.; Govers, R. M. A.; Wortel, M. J. R.

    2015-12-01

    Central Anatolia (Central Turkey) possesses all the characteristics of a plateau. It experienced a period of rapid and substantial uplift (late Miocene, ˜8 Ma) while significant crustal shortening did not occur. Similar to other plateaus, the presence of volcanic ash and tuff within the sediments suggest that uplift was preceded by widespread volcanism (˜14-9Ma). The lithospheric context of these events is, however, unknown. For the Eastern Anatolian plateau, similar events have been attributed to southward retread followed by slab break-off of the northern Neotethys slab. Recent tomographic results indicate that this northern Neotethys slab extended beneath both the Eastern and Central Anatolian plateau prior to late Miocene delamination and possibly even beneath western Anatolia prior to the Eocene (?). We propose a new lithospheric scenario for the regional evolution for the Aegean-Anatolia-Near East region that combines a recent compilation of surface geology data with the structure of the upper mantle imaged with tomography. In our new scenario for the evolution of the Aegean-Anatolia-Near East region, a single continuous subduction zone south of the Pontides (Izmir - Ankara - Erzincan crustal suture zone) accommodated the Africa - Eurasia convergence until the end of the late Cretaceous. In the Late Cretaceous - Eocene the northern Neotethys Ocean closed followed by Anatolide - Taurides (south) and Pontides (north) continental collision along the Izmir - Ankara - Erzincan crustal suture zone. While the trench jumped to the south of Anatolide - Taurides terrane, subduction continued beneath the Izmir-Ankara-Erzincan suture where the northern Neotethys slab continued to sink into the deeper mantle. In the early Miocene (˜20-15Ma), the northern Neotethys slab started to retreat southward towards the trench, resulting in delamination of the lithospheric mantle. The last part of (early Miocene - recent) our scenario is testable. We use a coupled thermal

  4. Layered anisotropy within the crust and lithospheric mantle beneath the Sea of Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Legendre, C. P.; Zhao, L.; Deschamps, F.; Chen, Q.-F.

    2016-10-01

    Continental rifting during the Oligocene to mid-Miocene caused the opening of the Sea of Japan and the separation between the Japanese Islands and the Eurasian Plate. The tectonic evolution in the Sea of Japan is important for understanding the evolution of back-arc regions in active convergent margins. Here, we use data from the seismic stations surrounding the Sea of Japan to map the Rayleigh-wave azimuthal anisotropy in the crust and lithospheric mantle beneath the Sea of Japan. We explore the variations of Rayleigh-wave phase-velocity beneath the Sea of Japan in a broad period range (30-80 s). Rayleigh-wave dispersion curves are measured by the two-station technique for a total of 231 interstation paths using vertical-component broad-band waveforms at 22 seismic stations around the Sea of Japan from 1411 global earthquakes. The resulting maps of Rayleigh-wave phase velocity and azimuthal anisotropy allow the examination of azimuthal anisotropy at specific periods. They exhibit several regions with different isotropic and anisotropic patterns: the Japan Basin displays fast velocities at shorter periods (30 and 40 s) with NNE-SSW anisotropy, whereas at 60 s and longer, the velocities become slow even if the anisotropy remains NE-SW; the East China Sea shows fast velocities at all periods (30-80 s) with constant NW-SE anisotropy. Trench-normal anisotropy beneath the Japanese Islands is found at short periods (30-40 s) and become trench-parallel at periods of 60 s and longer. Overall, our model resolves two layers of anisotropy, the shallowest and deepest layers being potentially related to frozen deformation due to recent geodynamic events, and asthenospheric flow, respectively.

  5. Deep seismic reflection evidence for ancient subduction and collision zones within the continental lithosphere of northwestern Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balling, N.

    2000-12-01

    Deep seismic profiling experiments in the region of NW Europe (including BABEL in the Gulf of Bothnia and the Baltic Sea, Mobil Search in the Skagerrak and MONA LISA in the North Sea) have demonstrated the existence of seismic reflectors in the mantle lithosphere beneath the Baltic Shield, the Tornquist Zone and the North Sea basins. Different sets of reflectors are observed, notably dipping and sub-horizontal. Dipping, distinct reflectivity, which may be followed from Moho/Moho offsets into the deeper parts of the continental lithosphere, is of special interest because of its tectonic and geodynamic significance. Such reflectivity, observed in several places, dipping 15-35° and covering a depth range of 30-90 km, constrained by surface geological information and radiometric age data, is interpreted to represent fossil, ancient subduction and collison zones. Subduction slabs with remnant oceanic basaltic crust transformed into eclogite is assumed, in particular, to generate deep seismic reflectivity. Deep seismic evidence is presented for subduction, crustal accretion and collision processes with inferred ages from 1.9 to 1.1 Ga from the main structural provinces within the Baltic Shield including Svecofennian, Transscandinavian Igneous Belt, Gothian and Sveconorwegian. Along the southwestern border of Baltica (in the southeastern North Sea) south-dipping crustal and sub-crustal reflectivity is observed down to a depth of about 90 km, close to the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. These structures are interpreted to reveal a lithosphere-scale Caledonian (ca. 440 Ma) suture zone resulting from the closure of the Tornquist Sea/Thor Ocean and the amalgamation of Baltica and Eastern Avalonia. These results demonstrate that deep structures within the continental lithosphere, originating from early crust-forming plate tectonic processes, may survive for a very long time and form seismic marker reflectivity of great value in geotectonic interpretation and

  6. Flexure of lithosphere beneath the Alberta Foreland Basin: Evidence of an eastward stiffening continental lithosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, P. )

    1991-03-01

    The flexure of the Mississippian Unconformity (MU) is used to constrain the stiffness of the lithosphere beneath the Alberta Foreland Basin (AFB). This flexure supports the sedimentological evidence for the absence of a forebulge in the AFB and implies that the peak of the forebulge lies further east of the Alberta Saskatchewan border. It is demonstrated that an eastwards stiffening lithosphere is required in order to fit the flexure of the MU. When flexural stiffness is expressed in terms of effective thickness, it varies from about 38km west of the Rocky Mountains to more than 200km underneath the North American craton. This variation of stiffness indicates that there is a strong lateral temperature and chemical variation underneath. Eastwards stiffening also implies an eastwards thickening of the elastic lithosphere. Such a model is in good agreement with recent petrological and geophysical evidences in the west and underneath the craton.

  7. A common Pan-African Lithospheric Mantle (PALM) source for HIMU-like Pb-isotope signatures in circum-Mediterranean magmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, H. P.; Wang, Z.; Brandon, M. T.

    2013-12-01

    Isotopic compositions of widely distributed basaltic rocks of Europe and North Africa are clustered around a point that is displaced from modern MORB in 208Pb/204Pb vs. 206Pb/204Pb, pointing to the 'HIMU' component proposed by Zindler and Hart (1986). This observation was originally highlighted in an abstract by Cebria and Wilson (1995), who suggested that a reservoir of unknown origin exists in the convecting upper mantle of the Mediterranean and coin it the 'European asthenospheric reservoir' or EAR in order to distinguish it from the apparent influence of an additional 'lithospheric' component having a Sr-Nd isotope composition similar to continental crust that is observed in some, but not all, Cenozoic igneous rocks. While this study and most authors agree that the 'lithospheric' component in the model of Cebria and Wilson (1995) is crustal material associated with Cenozoic subduction, explanations for the origin of the HIMU-like EAR reservoir, however, are diverse, ranging from deep plumes to recently subducted slabs. These explanations are problematic. For example, neither plumes nor recent subduction are spatially broad enough to explain all of the EAR occurrences. Alternatively, we argue that both components (lithospheric and EAR) observed by Cebria and Wilson are lithospheric in origin. We propose that the origin of the HIMU-like Pb component is metasomatized sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM). Comparison with synthetic evolution models of a veined mantle show the HIMU-like composition of European Cenozoic igneous rocks can be generated after ~500 Ma (Pilet et al., 2011). Major and trace element compositions of the European alkalic-basalts are similar to experimental melts of amphibole-pyroxenite veins in peridotite (a common feature of the SCLM) (Médard et al., 2006). A likely candidate for a veined 500 Ma SCLM in this region is the 'Pan-African' age terrane that is currently widely distributed from England to the Sahara as well as on the

  8. Tomographic image of the crust and upper mantle beneath the western Tien Shan from the MANAS broadband deployment: Possible evidence for lithospheric delamination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhiwei, Li; Roecker, Steve; Zhihai, Li; Bin, Wei; Haitao, Wang; Schelochkov, Gennady; Bragin, Vitaly

    2009-11-01

    We combine teleseismic P arrival times from the recent MANAS deployment of broadband sensors with P and S arrival times from local events recorded by the GENGHIS deployment and analog observations from the Kyrgyz Institute of Seismology to generate a high resolution (~ 20 km) image of elastic wavespeeds in the crust and upper mantle beneath the western Tien Shan. The total data set consists of 29,006 P and 21,491 S arrivals from 2176 local events recorded at 144 stations along with 5202 P arrivals from 263 teleseismic events recorded at 40 stations. The most significant feature in our image of the mantle beneath the Tien Shan is a pair of large, elongated high wavespeed regions dipping in opposite directions from the near surface to depths of at least 400 km. These regions appear to be continuous and extend upwards to bounding range fronts where the Tarim Basin is being overthrust by the Kokshal range on the south side, and the Kazach shield underthrusts the Kyrgyz range on the north side. While it is tempting to interpret these high wavespeed anomalies as evidence for contemporary subduction of continental lithosphere, such a scenario is difficult to reconcile with both the timing of the orogen and the size of the wavespeed anomaly. We suggest instead that they represent downwelling side-limbs of a lithospheric delamination beneath the central part of the Tien Shan, possibly by siphoning of the bordering continental lithosphere as the central part descends.

  9. The viscosity of Earth's lower mantle inferred from sinking speed of subducted lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cizkova, H.; van den Berg, A. P.; Spakman, W.; Matyska, C.

    2012-04-01

    The viscosity of the mantle is indispensable for predicting Earth's mechanical behavior at scales ranging from deep mantle material flow to local stress accumulation in earthquakes zones. Mantle viscosity is, however, not well determined. For the lower mantle, particularly, only few constraints result from elaborate high-pressure experiments (Karato, 2008) and a variety of viscosity depth profiles result from joint inversion of the dynamic geoid and postglacial rebound data (Forte and Mitrovica, 1996; Kaufmann and Lambeck, 2000; Mitrovica and Forte, 2004). Here we use lower-mantle sinking speed of lithosphere subduction remnants as a unique internal constraint on modeling the viscosity profile. We perform a series of dynamic subduction calculations in the models with complex composite rheology spanning a range of viscosity profiles in the lower mantle. We focus on the models with detached remnants resulting from the slab break-off, that sink to the lower mante. Using these models we select profiles that predict the inferred sinking speed of 12 ± 3 mm/yr (van der Meer et al., 2010). Our modeling shows that sinking speed is very sensitive to lower mantle viscosity. The best-fitting viscosity profiles are associated with subduction models that show accumulation or thickening of the slab, but minor temporal stagnation associated with the phase change at 660 km and a mild increase of viscosity in the top of the lower mantle by a factor of about three. The sinking speed constrains almost uniform viscosity models of the lower mantle to a viscosity value of 1 - 2 - 1022 Pas. Higher amplitudes of the lower mantle viscosity (and an associated step-wise increase at the 660 km phase boundary) are responsible for the detached slab being stagnant for several 10s of millions of years at the top of the lower mantle. This yields a corresponding delay in age-depth curves and leads to average deviating from the inferences of van der Meer et al. (2010). A weaker lower mantle, on the

  10. Geochemical evolution of lithospheric mantle underlying Intrasudetic Fault (SW Poland).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ćwiek, Mateusz; Matusiak-Małek, Magdalena; Puziewicz, Jacek; Ntaflos, Theodoros

    2015-04-01

    alkaline silicate melt. Xenolith where clinopyroxene shows constant enrichment in LREE may represent a part of mantle affected by pure carbonatitic metasomatism. Xenoliths with the lowest Fo content in olivine are probably cumulates of mafic silicate melt. Intergranular aggregates originated during reaction between primary phases and infiltrating, possibly mafic melt. The "glassy patch" might be a product of complete breakdown of amphibole in upper mantle conditions (Shaw, 2009, Lithos). However, presence of rhönite in host basanite suggests that some amphibole might have been broken also in lower pressures. Chemical composition of peridotites from Pilchowice resembles that recorded by group A mantle xenoliths from Krzeniów (Matusiak-Małek et al., 2014, JoP). In Pilchowice we have described the first xenolith affected by purely carbonatitic metasomatism. We also suggest that hydrous phases might have been present in upper mantle beneath this Pilchowice, which is believed to be nominally anhydrous (Puziewicz et al., 2015, IJES, DOI 10.1007/s00531-014-1134-2). This study was a part of MSc thesis of the first author and was possible thanks to the project NCN 2011/03/B/ST10/06248 of Polish National Centre for Science.

  11. On the composition of ocean island basalts (OIB): The effects of lithospheric thickness variation and mantle metasomatism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humphreys, Emma R.; Niu, Yaoling

    2009-09-01

    We have examined island-averaged geochemical data for 115 volcanic islands with known eruption ages and ages of the underlain lithosphere from the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. These age data allow calculation of the lithosphere thickness at the time of volcanism. After correcting the basalts (including alkalic types) (< 53% SiO2) for fractionation effect to Mg# = 0.72, we found that the island-averaged Si72 and Al72 decrease whereas Fe72, Mg72, Ti72 and P72 increase with increasing lithosphere thickness. The island-averaged [La/Sm]CN and [Sm/Yb]CN ratios also increase with increasing lithosphere thickness. These statistically significant trends are most consistent with the interpretation that the mean extent of melting decreases whereas the mean pressure of melting increases with increasing lithosphere thickness. This is physically consistent with the active role the lithosphere plays in limiting the final depth of intra-oceanic mantle melting. That is, beneath a thin lithosphere, a parcel of mantle rises to a shallow level, and thus melts more by decompression with the aggregated melt having the property of high extent and low pressure of melting. By contrast, a parcel of mantle beneath a thick lithosphere has restricted amount of upwelling, and thus melts less by decompression with the aggregated melt having the property of low extent and high pressure of melting. This demonstrates that oceanic lithosphere thickness variation exerts the first-order control on the geochemistry of ocean island basalts (OIB). Variation in initial depth of melting as a result of fertile mantle compositional variation and mantle potential temperature variation can influence OIB compositions, but these two variables must have secondary effects because they do not overshadow the effect of lithosphere thickness variation that is prominent on a global scale. The mantle potential temperature variation beneath ocean islands cannot be constrained with the existing data. Fertile

  12. Garnet-pyroxene-amphibole xenoliths from Chin Valley, Arizona, and implications for continental lithosphere below the Moho

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Douglas; Arculus, Richard J.; Manchester, Janet E.; Tyner, G. Nell

    1994-01-01

    Garnet-pyroxene-amphibole xenoliths illustrate how P and T histories can be recorded in rocks from the crust-mantle transition and document the diversity of continental lithosphere below the Mohorovicic discontinuity. The xenoliths are from the Sullivan Buttes Latite in Chino Valley, Arizona, in the Transition Zone of the Colorado Plateau. The most definitive depth assignments depend upon garnet-pyroxene thermobarometry coupled with analysis of Ca and Al gradients in orthopyroxene. Websterites that record temperatures of 600-700C contain orthopyroxene zoned in Al but not Ca, and these rocks were carried up from depths of at least 43 km. Websterites that record temperatures of 800-900C contain more homogeneous orthopyroxene, and they were erupted from 70 to 80 km. Most eclogite and amphibole-rich xenoliths record temperatures in the range bracketed by websterites and so were probably erupted from similar depths. Element abundances and Sr, Nd, and Pb isotope ratios establish that protoliths of most xenoliths formed by crystal-melt fractionation from basaltic magmas. Diverse Sr and Nd isotopic compositions range from Nd-epsilon approximately equals +8 and Sr-87/Sr-86 approximately equals 0.7045 for two websterites to Nd-epsilon approximately equals -9 and Sr-87/Sr-86 approximately equals 0.7064 for both parts of a composite eclogite. Most xenoliths probably have Proterozoic protoliths, although many record more recent thermal and metasomatic events, and a few probably formed from Cenozoic magmas. Observations are consistent with a reconstruction of the lithosphere in which eclogite and amphibole-rich rock were volumetrically important to depths of at least 70-80 km at 25 Ma. Anhydrous peridotite may not dominate just below the Mohorovicic discountinuity beneath Chino Valley or beneath some other localities on the Colorado Plateau and elsewhere. No evidence was observed in the Chino Valley suite for replacement of continental lithosphere during Phanerozic tectonism or

  13. Relative strength of lithospheric mantle compared to granulite lower crust in orogenic roots: insight from field laboratory.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusbach, V.; Ulrich, S.; Schulmann, K.

    2009-04-01

    The continental lithosphere is composed by strong lithospheric mantle and weak lower crust for average and hot geotherms. However, some experiments and seismic studies show that the strength contrast between mantle and crust can vary in order of several magnitudes. The internal zone of the European Variscan orogen (Bohemian Massif, Czech Republic) contains large complexes of Ky - K-feldspar granulites with incorporated spinel and garnet peridotites that can respond to question of mantle-lower crust strength contrast from the field perspective. The studied spinel-garnet harzburgite body (the Mohelno peridotite) represents probably a fragment of strongly depleted oceanic lithosphere showing peak conditions of 22,4-27,6 kbar and 1120-1275°C. The peridotite forms large folded sheet with steep hinge and vertical axial plane. It exhibits presence of spinel along the outer arc and the internal part of the fold and garnet along inner arc, both related to coarse-grained orthopyroxene - olivine microstructure. This coarse microstructure is dynamically recrystallized forming fine-grained matrix (~10 - 20 microns) and the EBSD measurements show presence of axial [100] LPO olivine pattern dominantly along the outer arc of the fold and in spinel harzburgite, while the inner arc of the fold and partly also garnet harzburgite reveals presence of axial [010] LPO pattern. Steep foliation and sub-horizontal to moderately plunging lineation determined from olivine EBSD data defines the shape of the megafold. Host rocks exhibit transposed mylonitic fabric S1-2 revealing peak conditions of 18 kbar, 800°C and heterogeneous D3 retrogression at about 10 - 7 kbar, 650°C. The foliation S2-3 is fully concordant with limbs of peridotite megafold, but close to the outer arc it is affected by asymmetrical folds with axial planar leucosomes coherent with the shape of the megafold hinge zone. In contrast, the S2 in the internal part of the megafold is affected by sinistral and dextral melt

  14. Crystal chemistry of amphiboles: implications for oxygen fugacity and water activity in lithospheric mantle beneath Victoria Land, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonadiman, C.; Nazzareni, S.; Coltorti, M.; Comodi, P.; Giuli, G.; Faccini, B.

    2014-03-01

    Amphibole is the hydrous metasomatic phase in spinel-bearing mantle xenoliths from Baker Rocks, Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica. It occurs in veins or in disseminated form in spinel lherzolites. Both types derive from reaction between metasomatic melts and the pristine paragenesis of the continental lithospheric mantle beneath Northern Victoria Land. To determine the effective role of water circulation during the metasomatic process and amphibole formation, six amphibole samples were fully characterized. Accurate determination of the site population and the state of dehydrogenation in each of these amphiboles was carried out using single-crystal X-ray diffraction, electron microprobe and secondary ion mass spectroscopy on the same single crystal. The Fe3+/ΣFe ratio was determined by X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy on amphibole powder. The degree of dehydrogenation determined by SIMS is 0.870-0.994 O3(O2-) a.p.f.u., primary and ascribed to the Ti-oxy component of the amphibole, as indicated by atom site populations; post-crystallization H loss is negligible. Estimates of aH2O (0.014-0.054) were determined from the dehydration equilibrium among end-member components assuming that amphiboles are in equilibrium with the anhydrous peridotitic phases. A difference up to 58 % in determination of aH2O can be introduced if the chemical formula of the amphiboles is calculated based on 23 O a.p.f.u. without knowing the effective amount of dehydrogenation. The oxygen fugacity of the Baker Rocks amphibole-bearing mantle xenoliths calculated based upon the dissociation constant of water (by oxy-amphibole equilibrium) is between -2.52 and -1.32 log units below the fayalite-magnetite-quartz (FMQ) buffer. These results are systematically lower and in a narrow range of values relative to those obtained from anhydrous olivine-orthopyroxene-spinel equilibria ( fO2 between -1.98 and -0.30 log units). A comparative evaluation of the two methods suggests that when amphibole

  15. A study of models and controls for basin formation during continental collision: (1) Australian lithosphere along Banda orogen (Indonesia) and (2) Alboran Sea basin (western Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tandon, Kush

    Mechanisms for the formation of a foreland basin at the beginning of continental collision (Pliocene-Recent Australian continental foreland along the Banda orogen) and a post-orogenic, continental, Miocene extensional basin (Alboran Sea) are studied. Such a study investigates the controls on the basin formation during the start of the Wilson cycle and later during the break up of a thickened continent in a collisional environment. Effective Elastic Thickness (EET) of the Australian continental lithosphere from Roti to the Kai Plateau ({˜}121sp°{-}137sp°E longitude) are estimated using an elastic-half beam model to match the sea floor bathymetry and the Bouguer gravity anomalies. Range of constant EET values from 27-75 km across the shelf of Australian lithosphere shows a variation of 64% with the highest value in the vicinity of central Timor where the collision is most advanced. Downdip on the Australian continental lithosphere from shelf to beneath the Banda orogen, the reduction in EET is from ˜90 km-˜30 km (66%). Variations in EET can be explained by inelastic yielding (brittle and plastic failure, crust-mantle decoupling in the lower crust and brittle-ductile decoupling in the upper-middle crust) in the Australian lithosphere. Change in EET occurred at the start of continental subduction due to change in curvature, both in map and cross-sectional view. Oroclinal bending of the continental Australian lithosphere increased the inelastic failure in the eastern end. Different mechanisms of basin formation at a site of post-orogenic collapse are studied by constraining the timing of rifting in the western, eastern, and northern parts of the Alboran Sea basin on seismic reflectors via synthetic seismograms using ODP Leg 161 and Andalucia A-1 data. Regions of adjacent coeval compression and extension are found in the Alboran Sea basin. Normal faulting continues in parts of the eastern Alboran Sea basin later than in the western Alboran Sea basin. The development

  16. Using subsidence and P-T-t history on the Alpine Tethys margin to constrain lithosphere deformation modes during continental breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeanniot, Ludovic; Kusznir, Nick; Manatschal, Gianreto; Mohn, Geoffroy; Beltrando, Marco

    2014-05-01

    Mantle exhumation and hyper-extended crust, as observed on the Iberia-Newfoundland conjugate margins, are key components of both present-day and fossil analogue magma-poor rifted margins. Conceptual models of the Alpine Tethys paleogeography evolution show a complex subsidence history, determined by the nature and composition of sedimentary, crustal and mantle rocks in the Alpine domains (Mohn et al., 2010). The relative timing of crustal rupture and decompressional melt initiation and inherited mantle composition control whether mantle exhumation may occur; the presence or absence of exhumed mantle therefore provides useful information on the timing of these events and constraints on lithosphere deformation modes and composition. A single mode of lithosphere deformation leading to continental breakup and sea-floor spreading cannot explain observations. We have determined the sequence of lithosphere deformation modes for the fossil Alpine Tethys margin using a numerical model of the temporal and spatial evolution of lithosphere deformation; the model has been calibrated against observations of subsidence and P-T-t history for the Alpine Tethys margin. A 2D finite element viscous flow model (FeMargin) is used to generate flow fields for a sequence of lithosphere deformation modes, which are used to advect lithosphere and asthenosphere temperature and material. FeMargin is kinematically driven by divergent deformation in the topmost 15-20 km of the lithosphere inducing passive upwelling beneath that layer; the upper lithosphere is assumed to deform by extensional faulting and magmatic intrusions, consistent with observations of deformation processes occurring at slow spreading ocean ridges (Cannat, 1996). We also include buoyancy enhanced upwelling in the kinematic model as proposed by Braun et al. (2000). We generate melt by decompressional melting using the parameterization and methodology of Katz et al. (2003). In the modelling of the Alpine Tethys margin

  17. Seismic imaging of the lithosphere beneath Hudson Bay: Episodic growth of the Laurentian mantle keel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darbyshire, Fiona A.; Eaton, David W.; Bastow, Ian D.

    2013-07-01

    The Hudson Bay basin in northern Canada conceals one of the major collisional zones of the Canadian Shield, the Trans-Hudson Orogen (THO), which marks the Paleoproterozoic collision between the Archean Superior and Western Churchill cratons at ˜1.9-1.8Ga. Improved knowledge of upper mantle structure beneath the region is essential to establish the nature of the THO, specifically whether Himalayan-style plate tectonics operated in Paleoproterozoic times. Detailed seismological constraints on lithospheric architecture are also required to advance our understanding of the mechanism and timing of keel formation. We use surface wave tomography to illuminate new details of the lithospheric architecture of the Hudson Bay region, resolving both seismic wavespeed and azimuthal anisotropy. Phase velocity maps are calculated from fundamental-mode Rayleigh wave dispersion curves, then used to construct a 3D model exploring upper mantle structure to depths of ˜300km. Fast shear wavespeeds suggest a lithospheric thickness varying from ˜180km to almost 280 km beneath the Hudson Bay region. The new study confirms previous inferences that there is no correlation between crustal ages and lithospheric thickness. Patterns of shear wavespeed and azimuthal anisotropy indicate a layered lithosphere. In the uppermost mantle, both the highest velocities and the anisotropic fast directions wrap around the Bay. This structure is likely related to the formation processes of the Paleozoic intracratonic basin. At greater depth (˜70-150km) we resolve two high-wavespeed cores separated by a relatively narrow near-vertical lower-velocity curtain. This internal architecture is suggested to result from the terminal phase of a modern-style plate-tectonic collision between the Archean Superior and Churchill cratons during the Trans-Hudson orogeny, entrapping juvenile Proterozoic material. The lower lithosphere (≥160km depth) has a relatively homogeneous wavespeed structure across the region

  18. Rift induced delamination of mantle lithosphere and crustal uplift: a new mechanism for explaining Rwenzori Mountains' extreme elevation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallner, Herbert; Schmeling, Harro

    2010-10-01

    With heights of 4-5 km, the topography of Rwenzori Mountains, a large horst of old crustal rocks located inside a young passive rift system, poses the question “Why are the Rwenzori Mountains so high?”. The Cenozoic Western Rift branch of the East African Rift System is situated within the Late Proterozoic mobile belts between the Archean Tanzania Craton and Congo Craton. The special geological setting of the massif at a rift node encircled by the ends of the northern Western Rift segments of Lake Albert and Lake Edward suggests that the mechanism responsible for the high elevation of the Rwenzoris is related to the rifting process. Our hypothesis is based on the propagation of the rift tips, surrounding the stiff old lithosphere at Rwenzori region, thereby triggering the delamination of the cold and dense mantle lithosphere (ML) root by reducing viscosity and strength of the undermost lower crust. As a result, this unloading induces fast isostatic pop-up of the less dense crustal Rwenzori block. We term this RID—“ rift induced delamination of Mantle Lithosphere”. The physical consistency of the RID hypothesis is tested numerically. Viscous flow of 2D models is approximated by a Finite Difference Method with markers in an Eulerian formulation. The equations of conservation of mass, momentum and energy are solved for a multi-component system. Based on laboratory data of appropriate rock samples, a temperature-, pressure- and stress-dependent rheology is assumed. Assuming a simple starting model with a locally heated ML, the ML block between the weakened zones becomes unstable and sinks into the asthenosphere, while the overlying continental crust rises up. Thus, RID seems to be a viable mechanism to explain geodynamically the extreme uplift. Important conditions are a thermal anomaly within the ML, a ductile lower crust with visco-plastic rheology allowing significant strength reduction and lateral density variations. The special situation of a two

  19. Joint modeling of lithosphere and mantle dynamics: Evaluation of constraints from global tomography models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xinguo; Holt, William E.; Ghosh, Attreyee

    2015-12-01

    With the advances in technology, seismological theory, and data acquisition, a number of high-resolution seismic tomography models have been published. However, discrepancies between tomography models often arise from different theoretical treatments of seismic wave propagation, different inversion strategies, and different data sets. Using a fixed velocity-to-density scaling and a fixed radial viscosity profile, we compute global mantle flow models associated with the different tomography models and test the impact of these for explaining surface geophysical observations (geoid, dynamic topography, stress, and strain rates). We use the joint modeling of lithosphere and mantle dynamics approach of Ghosh and Holt (2012) to compute the full lithosphere stresses, except that we use HC for the mantle circulation model, which accounts for the primary flow-coupling features associated with density-driven mantle flow. Our results show that the seismic tomography models of S40RTS and SAW642AN provide a better match with surface observables on a global scale than other models tested. Both of these tomography models have important similarities, including upwellings located in Pacific, Eastern Africa, Iceland, and mid-ocean ridges in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean and downwelling flows mainly located beneath the Andes, the Middle East, and central and Southeast Asia.

  20. Mantle Dynamics and Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Interaction in the South Atlantic from Space Gravity Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maia, M.; Cadio, C.; Alodia, G.; Metivier, L.

    2015-12-01

    Geoid anomalies are essential tools for the understanding of mantle density distribution and of the patterns of convection. Previous wavelet analyses of the geoid revealed the existence of density anomalies in the deep mantle linked to the long-term volcanic activity of the Central Pacific (Cadio et al., 2011). The South Atlantic displays geodynamic characteristics similar to those of French Polynesia: long lasting volcanic activity, dating back to the opening of the Atlantic; wide area covered by volcanic edifices and seamount chains; irregularity of age patterns and a broad regional depth anomaly. Preliminary wavelet analyses of the geoid anomalies in this area revealed strong correlation with deep velocity anomalies from different tomographic models. However, here, the lithospheric signal linked to the ocean basin and continents must be estimated because it contributes to long wavelengths in geoid spectrum. We tested different lithospheric models in order to estimate this contribution. At intermediate and long wavelengths, the residual geoid confirms the existence of density anomalies in the mantle correlated with the surface expression of the volcanism. Cadio, C., I. Panet, A. Davaille, M. Diament, L. Métivier and O. de Viron, 2011. Pacific geoid anomalies revisited in light of thermochemical oscillating domes in the lower mantle, Earth Planetary Science Letters, 306, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2011.03.040.

  1. Groundwater flow as a cooling agent of the continental lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kooi, Henk

    2016-03-01

    Groundwater that flows through the outer shell of the Earth as part of the hydrologic cycle influences the distribution of heat and, thereby, the temperature field in the Earth’s crust. Downward groundwater flow in recharge areas lowers crustal temperatures, whereas upward flow in discharge areas tends to raise temperatures relative to a purely conductive geothermal regime. Here I present numerical simulations of generalized topography-driven groundwater flow. The simulations suggest that groundwater-driven convective cooling exceeds groundwater-driven warming of the Earth’s crust, and hence that groundwater flow systems cause net temperature reductions of groundwater basins. Moreover, the simulations demonstrate that this cooling extends into the underlying crust and lithosphere. I find that horizontal components of groundwater flow play a central role in this net subsurface cooling by conveying relatively cold water to zones of upward groundwater flow. The model calculations suggest that the crust and lithosphere beneath groundwater basins can cool by several tens of degrees Celsius where groundwater flows over large distances in basins that consist of crustal rock. In contrast, groundwater-induced cooling is small in unconsolidated sedimentary settings, such as deltas.

  2. Far-offset Airgun Imaging of the Mantle: Lithospheric velocity structure of the North Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lizarralde, D.; Gaherty, J.; Collins, J. A.; Hirth, G.

    2001-12-01

    The extraction of oceanic crust at mid-ocean ridges leaves behind residual mantle depleted of basaltic constituents and volatiles, with an embedded structural fabric associated with melting and mantle flow beneath a spreading center. This basic layered structure should remain in the lithosphere as it cools and translates from the ridge, providing a record of mid-ocean ridge processes over time. Images of the seismic velocity structure within the uppermost oceanic mantle will thus provide a powerful compliment to geologic and geophysical studies of oceanic crust from which much of our understanding of mid-ocean-ridge processes has come. In June 2001, we conducted a lithosphere-scale active-source seismic refraction experiment along an 800-km-long transect in the western Atlantic to investigate the seismic structure of oceanic mantle lithosphere. The transect extends along a plate-kinematic flow line ranging in age from 87 to 145 Ma (a portion of the IPOD-USGS transect). The experiment involved 16 ocean-bottom seismometers (OBSs) deployed along the transect in 3-km-seperated pairs spaced 80-120 km apart and 3 OBSs plus a seismometer on Bermuda located 75, 150, and 350 km off of the transect. These instruments recorded shots from R/V Maurice Ewing's 9,750-cu.-in. airgun array. Shooting occurred in two modes. At 32 locations at the ends of the transect, each spaced 6 km apart, 18-30 shots were fired while steaming in a circle of radius ~800 m. The shot interval was 9 minutes. Over the inner 500-km of the transect, between 4 and 7 passes were made while shooting on distance every 1 km. The extraordinary shot-time intervals were required to ensure all water-borne shot energy had crossed the array befor the next shot was fired. By stacking the co-located and "circle" shots, and by merging data from the paired instruments, profiles can be created with a trace spacing of 1-3 km, which is unprecedented for an experiment of this scale. We will present fully processed record

  3. Controls on volatile content and distribution in the continental upper mantle of Southern Gondwana (Patagonia & W. Antarctica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rooks, Eve; Gibson, Sally; Petrone, Chiara; Leat, Phillip

    2015-04-01

    Water content is known to affect many physical and chemical properties of the upper mantle, including melting temperature and viscosity. Water is hosted by hydrous phases, such as amphibole and phlogopite, and also by more dominant, nominally-anhydrous mantle minerals (e.g. olivine and pyroxene). The latter have the potential to incorporate hundreds of ppm of water in point defects, and may explain geophysical observations such as seismic and conductivity anomalies in the upper mantle [1]. However, the significance of the reported concentrations of H2O in nominally anhydrous minerals in mantle xenoliths is still a subject of debate primarily due to the effects of post-entrainment loss [1,2]. Unlike H2O and Li, F is less susceptible to post entrainment loss and can potentially be used to constrain the source of volatiles. We present high-precision SIMS analyses of H2O, Li and F in mantle xenoliths hosted by recently-erupted (5-10 Ka) alkali basalts from south Patagonia and the Antarctic Peninsula. These two regions formed part of the southern margin of the Gondwana supercontinent, prior to break-up, and were located above long-lived subduction zones for at least 200 M.yr., making them highly-appropriate to investigating long term evolution of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle in this setting. The xenoliths are well characterised peridotites, sourced from the off-craton spinel- and spinel-garnet facies lithospheric mantle (40-80 km). Samples are relatively dry: H2O contents of olivine span 0-49 ppm, orthopyroxene 150-235 ppm and clinopyroxene 100-395 ppm. West Antarctic samples are more hydrated than Patagonian samples, on average. These H2O concentrations fall within the global measured range for off-craton mantle minerals [4]. We attribute low H2O concentrations in olivine to diffusive loss, either by exchange with the host magma, shallow level degassing or during cooling [2]. F shows less variability than H2O and is most highly concentrated in clinopyroxenes

  4. The temperature of the western United States lithosphere and areas of likely mantle compositional variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schutt, D.; Lowry, A. R.; Buehler, J. S.; Blackwell, D. D.

    2013-12-01

    Estimates of lithospheric temperature are challenging, but essential given that the evolution, deformation, and dynamics of the U.S. lithosphere are fundamentally connected to temperature. To map out lithospheric geotherms, Pn velocities are mapped to temperature. These Pn-derived temperatures are coupled with newly revised estimates of heatflow and shallow subsurface temperatures to 'pin' lithospheric geotherms at the near-surface and just below the Moho. Making only very limited assumptions about the rather poorly known distribution of crustal heat producing elements, tight constraints can be placed on lithospheric geotherms in much of the western U.S. Where Pn velocities and surface heatflow mismatch, information can be gleaned about transient or horizontally-advective thermal processes, or compositionally modulated Pn velocity variations.. Lower crustal temperatures in the western U.S. are high (> 850C) in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the Rio Grande Rift, the southern margin of the Colorado Plateau, the eastern portion of the Nevada Basin and Range, the Oregon High Lava Plains, and the Yellowstone hotspot track. These locales are strongly correlated with <10Ma magmatism. In these places, temperatures are likely above the wet solidus and near the dry solidus for typical crustal compositions. This implies the lower crust has little strength, promoting crustal flow in response to gravitational potential energy variations, and decoupling the upper crust from the mantle lithosphere and asthenosphere. In deforming zones, elastic thicknesses predicted using a dry diorite/olivine rheology and estimated temperatures are higher than observed. Either lithology or hydration must be weakening the lithosphere relative to a dry diorite/olivine composition crust and mantle. To test the robustness of this observation, we predict the temperature at the Moho that would give the observed elastic thickness for various rheologies, and find in most cases this temperature is far

  5. Petrofabric and seismic properties of lithospheric mantle xenoliths from the Calatrava volcanic field (Central Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puelles, P.; Ábalos, B.; Gil Ibarguchi, J. I.; Sarrionandia, F.; Carracedo, M.; Fernández-Armas, S.

    2016-06-01

    The microstructural and petrofabric study of peridotite xenoliths from the El Aprisco (Neogene Calatrava Volcanic Field) has provided new information on deformation mechanisms, ambient conditions and seismic properties of the central Iberian subcontinental mantle. Olivine, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, amphibole and spinel constitute the mineral assemblage in equilibrium. Their microstructure indicates that they accommodated crystal-plastic deformation under high water fugacity conditions. Crystallographic preferred orientation patterns of key minerals were determined with the EBSD technique. The xenoliths exhibit B, C and A olivine fabrics. B-type fabrics, involving the (010)[001] slip system, may develop in domains where deformation occurs under comparatively lower temperature, higher water-content and faster strain rates. They are interpreted here as the result of deformation in a suprasubduction mantle setting triggered by changing conditions imposed by a cooler subducting slab that incorporated fluids into the system. Xenoliths with olivine C-type fabrics involve activation of the dominant (100)[001] slip system, denote intracrystalline slip at higher temperatures and water-contents. They are here interpreted to sample lithospheric mantle domains where the impact of those new conditions was not so strong. Finally, the A-type fabrics, characteristic of the (010)[100] slip system, are frequent in the mantle under moderate to high temperature. These fabrics are considered here as characteristic of the mantle prior to subduction. The olivine fabrics constrain heterogeneous seismic properties. Propagation orientation of P waves (8.27-8.51 km/s) coincides with olivine [100] axis concentrations, whereas the fastest S1 waves (5.13-5.22 km/s) propagate parallel to [010] axis minima. The maximum shear wave birefringence (VS1-VS2 = 0.17-0.37 km/s) is close to the direction of the macroscopic lineation. Heterogeneity of calculated seismic properties would concur with

  6. Tibetan and Indian lithospheres in the upper mantle beneath Tibet: Evidence from broadband surface-wave dispersion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agius, Matthew R.; Lebedev, Sergei

    2013-10-01

    Broadband seismic experiments over the last two decades have produced dense data coverage across Tibet. Yet, the mechanism of the India-Asia lithospheric convergence beneath it remains a puzzle, with even its basic features debated and with very different end-member models advocated today. We measured highly accurate Rayleigh- and Love-wave phase-velocity curves in broad period ranges (up to 5-200 s) for a few tens of pairs and groups of stations across Tibet, combining, in each case, hundreds to thousands of interstation measurements made with cross-correlation and waveform-inversion methods. Robust shear-velocity profiles were then determined by extensive series of nonlinear inversions of the data, designed to constrain the depth-dependent ranges of isotropic-average shear speeds and radial anisotropy. Temperature anomalies in the upper mantle were estimated from shear velocities using accurate petrophysical relationships. Our results reveal strong heterogeneity in the upper mantle beneath Tibet. Very large high-velocity anomalies in the upper mantle are consistent with the presence of underthrust (beneath southwestern Tibet) and subducted (beneath central and eastern Tibet) Indian lithosphere. The corresponding thermal anomalies match those estimated for subducted Indian lithosphere. In contrast to the Indian lithosphere, Tibetan lithosphere and asthenosphere display low-to-normal shear speeds; Tibetan lithosphere is thus warm and thin. Radial anisotropy in the upper mantle is weak in central and strong in northeastern Tibet, possibly reflecting asthenospheric flow above the subducting Indian lithospheric slab.

  7. Deep Europe today: Geophysical synthesis of the upper mantle structure and lithospheric processes over 3.5 Ga

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Artemieva, I.M.; Thybo, H.; Kaban, M.K.; ,

    2006-01-01

    We present a summary of geophysical models of the subcrustal lithosphere of Europe. This includes the results from seismic (reflection and refraction profiles, P- and S-wave tomography, mantle anisotropy), gravity, thermal, electromagnetic, elastic and petrological studies of the lithospheric mantle. We discuss major tectonic processes as reflected in the lithospheric structure of Europe, from Precambrian terrane accretion and subduction to Phanerozoic rifting, volcanism, subduction and continent-continent collision. The differences in the lithospheric structure of Precambrian and Phanerozoic Europe, as illustrated by a comparative analysis of different geophysical data, are shown to have both a compositional and a thermal origin. We propose an integrated model of physical properties of the European subcrustal lithosphere, with emphasis on the depth intervals around 150 and 250 km. At these depths, seismic velocity models, constrained by body-and surface-wave continent-scale tomography, are compared with mantle temperatures and mantle gravity anomalies. This comparison provides a framework for discussion of the physical or chemical origin of the major lithospheric anomalies and their relation to large-scale tectonic processes, which have formed the present lithosphere of Europe. ?? The Geological Society of London 2006.

  8. Understanding the interplays between Earth's shallow- and deep- rooted processes through global, quantitative model of the coupled brittle-lithosphere/viscous mantle system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stotz, Ingo; Iaffaldano, Giampiero; Rhodri Davies, D.

    2016-04-01

    The volume of geophysical datasets has grown substantially, over recent decades. Our knowledge of continental evolution has increased due to advances in interpreting the records of orogeny and sedimentation. Ocean-floor observations now allow one to resolve past plate motions (e.g. in the North Atlantic and Indian Ocean over the past 20 Myr) at temporal resolutions of about 1 Myr. Altogether, these ever-growing datasets permit reconstructing the past evolution of Earth's lithospheric plates in greater detail. This is key to unravelling the dynamics of geological processes, because plate motions and their temporal changes are a powerful probe into the evolving force balance between shallow- and deep-rooted processes. However, such a progress is not yet matched by the ability to quantitatively model past plate-motion changes and, therefore, to test hypotheses on the dominant controls. The main technical challenge is simulating the rheological behaviour of the lithosphere/mantle system, which varies significantly from viscous to brittle. Traditionally computer models for viscous mantle flow and on the one hand, and for the motions of the brittle lithosphere on the other hand, have been developed separately. Coupling of these two independent classes of models has been accomplished only for neo-tectonic scenarios and with some limitations as to accounting for the impact of time-evolving mantle-flow and lithospheric slabs. Here we present results in this direction that permit simulating the coupled plates/mantle system through geological time. We build on previous work aimed at coupling two sophisticated codes for mantle flow and lithosphere dynamics: TERRA and SHELLS. TERRA is a global spherical finite-element code for mantle convection. It has been developed by Baumgardner (1985) and Bunge et al. (1996), and further advanced by Yang (1997; 2000) and Davies et al. (2013), among others. SHELLS is a thin-sheet finite-element code for lithosphere dynamics, developed by

  9. Cobalt and precious metals in sulphides of peridotite xenoliths and inferences concerning their distribution according to geodynamic environment: A case study from the Scottish lithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, Hannah S. R.; McDonald, Iain; Faithfull, John W.; Upton, Brian G. J.; Loocke, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Abundances of precious metals and cobalt in the lithospheric mantle are typically obtained by bulk geochemical analyses of mantle xenoliths. These elements are strongly chalcophile and the mineralogy, texture and trace element composition of sulphide phases in such samples must be considered. In this study we assess the mineralogy, textures and trace element compositions of sulphides in spinel lherzolites from four Scottish lithospheric terranes, which provide an ideal testing ground to examine the variability of sulphides and their precious metal endowments according to terrane age and geodynamic environment. Specifically we test differences in sulphide composition from Archaean-Palaeoproterozoic cratonic sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) in northern terranes vs. Palaeozoic lithospheric mantle in southern terranes, as divided by the Great Glen Fault (GGF). Cobalt is consistently elevated in sulphides from Palaeozoic terranes (south of the GGF) with Co concentrations > 2.9 wt.% and Co/Ni ratios > 0.048 (chondrite). In contrast, sulphides from Archaean cratonic terranes (north of the GGF) have low abundances of Co (< 3600 ppm) and low Co/Ni ratios (< 0.030). The causes for Co enrichment remain unclear, but we highlight that globally significant Co mineralisation is associated with ophiolites (e.g., Bou Azzer, Morocco and Outokumpu, Finland) or in oceanic peridotite-floored settings at slow-spreading ridges. Thus we suggest an oceanic affinity for the Co enrichment in the southern terranes of Scotland, likely directly related to the subduction of Co-enriched oceanic crust during the Caledonian Orogeny. Further, we identify a distinction between Pt/Pd ratio across the GGF, such that sulphides in the cratonic SCLM have Pt/Pd ≥ chondrite whilst Palaeozoic sulphides have Pt/Pd < chondrite. We observe that Pt-rich sulphides with discrete Pt-minerals (e.g., PtS) are associated with carbonate and phosphates in two xenolith suites north of the GGF. This three

  10. Imaging the Subduction of Continental Lithosphere in the Banda Sea Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fichtner, A.; De Wit, M.; van Bergen, M.

    2014-12-01

    We present a 3D tomographic model of Australasia obtained by full seismic waveform inversion. Our model features a sharp lateral velocity contrast extending to >200 km depth, coincident with the abrupt transition from low to high Helium ratios in arc volcanics near 123°E (see figure). The joint analysis of the tomographic model and isotope data (for He, Pb, Nd, Sr) suggests that the North Australian craton subducted beneath the Banda Sea to around 100 km depth. The continuous increase of computing power combined with advances in numerical seismology allow us to develop full waveform inversion techniques that translate complete seismograms into 3D Earth models. The natural incorporation of any type of body and surface waves in full waveform inversion improves tomographic resolution in terms of both resolution length and amplitude recovery. We applied full waveform inversion to Australasia, including the Sunda and Banda arcs. The correlation of the tomographic model with isotope signatures of arc volcanics supports the shallow-angle subduction of North Australian lithosphere. The integrated data suggest that the late Jurassic ocean lithosphere north of the North Australian craton was capable of entraining large volumes of continental lithosphere. A plausible explanation involves delamination within the continental crust, separating upper from lower crustal units. This interpretation is consistent with the existence of a massive accretionary complex on Timor island, with evidence from Pb isotope analysis for lower-crust involvement in arc volcanism; and with the approximate gravitational stability of the subducted lithosphere as inferred from the tomographic images. The Banda arc example demonstrates that continental lithosphere in arc-continent collisions may not generally be preserved, thus increasing the complexity of tectonic reconstructions and models of recycling continental crust.

  11. Metasomatism in the lithospheric mantle beneath southern Patagonia, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolosova-Satlberger, Olesya; Ntaflos, Theodoros; Bjerg, Ernesto

    2014-05-01

    Mantle xenoliths from Gobernador Gregores, southern Patagonia are spinel- lherzolites, harzburgites and wherlites. A large number of the studied xenoliths have experienced cryptic and modal metasomatism. The xenoliths are mainly coarse-grained with prevalent protogranular texture but equigranular tabular and mosaic textures are present as well. Xenoliths that have undergone modal metasomatism bear hydrous phases such as amphibole, phlogopite ± apatite and melt pockets. The latter are of particular interest because of their unusually large size (up to 1 cm in diameter) and freshness. They consist of second generation olivine, clinopyroxene and spinel ± relict amphibole ± sulfides that are surrounded by a yellowish vesicular glass matrix. The melt pockets are found in amphibole- and/or phlogopite-bearing wehrlites and harzburgites as well as anhydrous lherzolites. Subhedral primary olivines enclosed by melt pockets show in the BSE images a dark grey margin up to 80 microns thick attributed to the reaction of the primatry olivine with melt. Fine grained spinel inclusions are always associated with the dark grey margin, indicating that they belong to the secong generation assemblage. There are considerable differences between first and second generation minerals found in melt pockets. While primary olivine has Fo-contents that range from 88.0 to 93.3, second generation olivines in melt pockets vary from Fo89.3 to Fo94.4. Both primary and second generation cpx are diopsides with the latter systematically enriched in TiO2. The glasses that occur in melt pockets or propagate intergranular have compositions varying from trachyandesite to phonolite. The variable composition of the glass could be attributed to host basalt infiltration and decompressional melting of amphiboles. Some of the studied xenoliths show melt propagation of two compositional different glasses crosscutting primary generation minerals and finally mixing with each other. Microprobe analyses suggest

  12. The Sandvik peridotite, Gurskøy, Norway: Three billion years of mantle evolution in the Baltica lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapen, Thomas J.; Medaris, L. Gordon, Jr.; Beard, Brian L.; Johnson, Clark M.

    2009-05-01

    Lu-Hf isotope analyses of the Sandvik ultramafic body, Norway. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 150, 131-145.]. The isochron ages likely record lithospheric modification associated with the 1.25-1.00 Ga Sveconorwegian orogeny and represent the youngest age of the Stage 1 mineral assemblage equilibration. A 606 ± 39 Ma Sm-Nd isochron age of the Stage 2 kelyphite assemblage is consistent with partial re-equilibration of the porphyroclastic assemblage during continental rifting associated with opening of the Iapetus Ocean between Baltica and Laurentia at ~ 600 Ma, or extension between Baltica and Siberia that may have been associated with opening of the Ægir Sea. The age of kelyphite, therefore, places the Sandvik peridotite in the uppermost mantle prior to Silurian shortening between the Baltic and Laurentian continents.

  13. Dynamics of metasomatic transformation of lithospheric mantle rocks under Siberian Craton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharapov, Victor; Perepechko, Yury; Tomilenko, Anatoly; Chudnenko, Konstantin; Sorokin, Konstantin

    2014-05-01

    Numerical problem for one- and two-velocity hydrodynamics of heat and mass transfer in permeable zones over 'asthenospheric lenses' (with estimates for dynamics of non-isothermal metasomatosis of mantle rocks, using the approximation of flow reactor scheme) was formulated and solved based on the study of inclusion contents in minerals of metamorphic rocks of the lithosphere mantle and earth crust, estimates of thermodynamic conditions of inclusions appearance, and the results of experimental modeling of influence of hot reduced gases on rocks and minerals of xenoliths in mantle rocks under the cratons of Siberian Platform (SP): 1) the supply of fluid flows of any composition from upper mantle magma sources results in formation of zonal metasomatic columns in ultrabasic lithosphere mantle in permeable zones of deep faults; 2) when major element or petrogenetic components are supplied from magma source, depleted ultrabasic rocks of the lithosphere mantle are transformed into substrates which can be regarded as deep analogs of crust rodingites; 3) other fluid compositions cause deep calcinations and noticeable salination of metasomated substrate, or garnetization (eclogitization) of primary ultrabasic matrix develops; 4) above these zones the zone of basification appears; it is changed by the area of pyroxenitization, amphibolization, and biotitization; 5) modeling of thermo and mass exchange for two-velocity hydrodynamic problem showed that hydraulic approximation increases velocities of heat front during convective heating and decreases pressure in fluid along the flow. It was shown that grospydites, regarded earlier as eclogites, in permeable areas of lithosphere mantle, are typical zones draining upper mantle magma sources of metasomatic columns. As a result of the convective melting the polybaric magmatic sources may appear. Thus the formation of the (kimberlites?) melilitites or carbonatites is possible at the base of the lithospheric plates. It is shown that

  14. Modelling of Continental Lithosphere Breakup and Rifted Margin Formation in Response to an Upwelling Divergent Flow Field Incorporating a Temperature Dependent Rheology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tymms, V. J.; Kusznir, N. J.

    2005-05-01

    We numerically model continental lithosphere deformation leading to breakup and sea floor spreading initiation in response to an imposed upwelling and divergent flow field applied to continental lithosphere and asthenosphere. The model is used to predict rifted continental margin lithosphere thinning and temperature structure. Model predictions are compared with observed rifted margin structure for four diverse case studies. Prior to application of the upwelling divergent flow field the continental lithosphere is undeformed with a uniform temperature gradient. The upwelling divergent flow field is defined kinematically using boundary conditions consisting of the upwelling velocity Vz at the divergence axis and the half divergence rate Vx . The resultant velocity field throughout the continuum is computed using finite element (FE) code incorporating a Newtonian temperature dependent rheology. The flow field is used to advect the continental lithosphere material and lithospheric and asthenospheric temperatures. Viscosity structure is hence modified and the velocities change correspondingly in a feedback loop. We find the kinematic boundary conditions Vz and Vx to be of first order importance. A high Vz/Vx (greater than10), corresponding to buoyancy assisted flow, leads to minimal mantle exhumation and a well defined continent ocean transition consistent with observations at volcanic margins. For Vz/Vx near unity, corresponding to plate boundary driven divergence, mantle exhumation over widths of up to 100 km is predicted which is consistent with observations at non-volcanic margins. The FE method allows the upwelling velocity Vz to be propagated upwards from the top of the asthenosphere to the Earth's surface without the requirement of imposing Vx. When continental breakup is achieved the half divergence velocity Vx can be applied at the lithosphere surface and the upwelling velocity Vz left free. We find this time and space dependent set of boundary conditions is

  15. Non-depleted sub-continental mantle beneath the Superior Province of the Canadian Shield: Nd-Sr isotopic and trace element evidence from Midcontinent Rift basalts

    SciTech Connect

    Paces, J.B. ); Bell, K. )

    1989-08-01

    Midcontinent Rift flood basalts represent a sample of the relatively shallow, sub-continental upper mantle beneath the Canadian Shield at 1.1 Ga. A thick sequence of olivine tholeiite lavas, including minor intermediate to rhyolitic lavas, from the Portage Lake Volcanics (PLV) in northern Michigan have initial Nd and Sr isotopic compositions which cluster near Bulk Earth values. The effects of assimilation of old LREE-enriched continental crust into mantle-derived fractionating liquids are isotopically discernible in evolved lavas as well as in olivine tholeiites from the lowest portion of the volcanic pile. However, the effects of crustal contamination decrease with stratigraphic height and are absent in more primitive lavas in the upper half of the section. The source for PLV tholeiites is substantially less depleted than previously reported mantle values from the Superior Province. An origin for the PLV source is compatible with either of several mantle evolution models. The PLV source may have been associated with upwelling of a LIL element-enriched, asthenospheric plume which emplaced non-depleted material from deeper sources into the shallow sub-continental mantle beneath the Midcontinent Rift during continental break-up. Alternatively, the PLV source may have originated by enrichment of refractory sub-continental lithospheric mantle which was previously depleted in incompatible trace elements during Archean-aged melt extraction and continental crust formation. Concurrent generation of carbonatite magmas in other areas beneath the Superior Province indicates the widespread presence of sub-continental mantle with substantially higher {epsilon}{sub Nd}(T) and lower {epsilon}{sub Sr}(T) than the PLV source.

  16. Evolution of Mojavian mantle lithosphere influenced by Farallon plate subduction: Evidence from Hf and Nd isotopes in peridotite xenoliths from Dish Hill, CA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armytage, Rosalind M. G.; Brandon, Alan D.; Andreasen, Rasmus; Lapen, Thomas J.

    2015-06-01

    A major issue in the assembly of continents is the role of subduction in building and reworking the continental mantle lithosphere. Spinel lherzolite xenoliths from Dish Hill, CA represent Mojavian sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) that existed along an off-craton continental edge during late Cretaceous Farallon plate subduction. The Dish Hill locale is well situated for recording any Farallon plate influence, be it as oceanic lithosphere accretion or for its role in providing metasomatic agents to the Mojavian SCLM. The 176Hf/177Hf and 143Nd/144Nd isotopic compositions of clinopyroxenes from these xenoliths are radiogenic with εHf from +12.9 to +134.4 and εNd from +2.2 to +26.1, indicative of ancient Proterozoic melt depletion. Four out of the sixteen samples lie on a 2.1 Ga reference line for melt extraction from primitive mantle for both 176Hf/177Hf and 143Nd/144Nd, confirming their position on the 2.1 Ga 187Os/188Os aluminachron from previous work on these peridotites (Armytage et al., 2014). A second Re-depletion age obtained from an 187Os/188Os aluminachron of 1.3 Ga is also observed in the 176Lu-176Hf and 147Sm-143Nd systematics. The 176Hf/177Hf-143Nd/144Nd data from Dish Hill do not provide strong evidence for the existence of a duplex of oceanic lithosphere and SCLM, or for these peridotites being sourced from modern asthenospheric mantle upwelling after lithospheric removal. However, subchondritic 176Lu/177Hf and 147Sm/144Nd ratios and trace element compositions in some of the peridotites point to the influence of metasomatic processes. In seven of the peridotites 176Hf/177Hf ratios are not complemented by similarly radiogenic 143Nd/144Nd ratios. Such decoupling, relative to the mantle array, indicates that the 176Hf/177Hf record in these peridotites is more robust to resetting by these local metasomatic processes than 143Nd/144Nd. The 87Sr/86Sr ratios measured in these samples fall into two distinct groups based on (Ce/Yb)PM, with the less

  17. Flexural behavior of the continental lithosphere in Italy - Constraints imposed by gravity and deflection data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Royden, Leigh

    1988-01-01

    This paper presents a simple model that describes the geometry of subducted continental lithosphere as the result of flexural loading of a thin elastic sheet. The method involves a procedure for systematically matching the plate flexure and gravity data to the best-fitting two-dimensional flexural geometry obtained by a thin elastic sheet of specified elastic strength. It is shown that the model can explain both the deflection of the lithosphere and the gravity anomalies observed along four profiles across the Apennine convergent system in Italy. The results of calculations suggest that in subduction systems, like the Apennines, that are characterized by backarc extension, forces acting on subducted lithosphere at depth can be expressed at the surface in the geometry of the foredeep basin that forms adjacent to the subduction zone.

  18. Can We Probe the Conductivity of the Lithosphere and Upper Mantle Using Satellite Tidal Magnetic Signals?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schnepf, N. R.; Kuvshinov, A.; Sabaka, T.

    2015-01-01

    A few studies convincingly demonstrated that the magnetic fields induced by the lunar semidiurnal (M2) ocean flow can be identified in satellite observations. This result encourages using M2 satellite magnetic data to constrain subsurface electrical conductivity in oceanic regions. Traditional satellite-based induction studies using signals of magnetospheric origin are mostly sensitive to conducting structures because of the inductive coupling between primary and induced sources. In contrast, galvanic coupling from the oceanic tidal signal allows for studying less conductive, shallower structures. We perform global 3-D electromagnetic numerical simulations to investigate the sensitivity of M2 signals to conductivity distributions at different depths. The results of our sensitivity analysis suggest it will be promising to use M2 oceanic signals detected at satellite altitude for probing lithospheric and upper mantle conductivity. Our simulations also suggest that M2 seafloor electric and magnetic field data may provide complementary details to better constrain lithospheric conductivity.

  19. Lithospheric Architecture and Mantle-Supported Topography of the Colorado Plateau Constrained by Receiver Function Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, D.; Aster, R. C.; Grand, S. P.; Ni, J. F.; Baldridge, W. S.

    2009-12-01

    After maintaining elevations near sea level for hundreds of millions years, the Colorado Plateau (CP) of the southwestern United States has a present average elevation of 2 km. However, the sources of buoyant support for this high elevation have long been unclear. We apply receiver function joint velocity analysis and imaging to data from the LA RISTRA experiment to construct a new seismic image of crust and upper mantle structure that constitutes the first complete seismic transect of its kind across the CP. We find that the central CP crust has variable thickness of 42-50 km that thins to 30-35 km at plateau margins. For the central CP, crustal Vp/Vs ratios average 1.71 to the northwest and 1.80 to the southeast of the Yavapai/Southern Yavapai province boundary. Higher Vp/Vs ratios to the southeast of the boundary indicates that the Southern Yavapai crust may on average be slightly more mafic which is consistent with the lower concentrations of incompatible elements found for this region. Isostatic calculations constrained by these observations show that only approximately 20% of central CP elevation can be explained by thickened crust alone, with the bowl-shaped, high-elevation edges of the CP requiring nearly total mantle compensation. We calculate an uplift budget which shows that the CP buoyancy arises from the combined effects of crustal thickening, Laramide/post-Laramide alteration of the lithospheric root, and dynamic support from mantle upwelling. Prior to the Laramide, thick crust and low-density uppermost mantle were balanced by a thick, dense Proterozoic lithospheric root that kept the CP near sea level. Laramide/post-Laramide tectonics altered this root most likely by a combination of metasomatism, post-Laramide thermal conduction and expansion, and perhaps minor tectonic erosion. This, combined with dynamic topography due to mantle upwelling produced by the foundering of the Farallon slab, resulted in buoyant CP uplift to the present high elevations

  20. Helium isotopes in lithospheric mantle: Evidence from Tertiary basalts of the western USA

    SciTech Connect

    Dodson, A.; DePaolo, D.J.; Kennedy, B.M. |

    1998-12-01

    The isotopic compositions of He, Sr, and Nd were measured in Tertiary-age basalts from the Basin and Range province of the western USA to evaluate models for the He isotopic character of subcontinental mantle lithosphere (SCML) and assess the role of recycled SCML in models of mantle evolution. Previous isotopic and trace element measurements suggested that most of these basalts were formed by melting of SCML. {sup 3}He/{sup 4}He ratios, measured by in-vacuo crushing of olivine phenocrysts, vary from 2.9 to 7.8 times the atmospheric value (2.9 to 7.8 Ra) consistently below the MORB value of 8.7 {+-} 0.5 Ra. The lowest R/Ra values, associated with low {epsilon}{sub Nd}, high {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr, and high La/Nb, are attributable to lithosphere mantle, and indicate that SCML is not dominated by MORB-type He, nor by high R/Ra, plume-type He. Consideration of geographic variability indicates there are two, and possibly three, distinct regions of SCML with differing He isotopic characteristics. SCML beneath the eastern Sierra Nevada is inferred to have {sup 3}He/{sup 4}He of {approximately}5.5 Ra and a He/Nd ratio slightly less than MORB-type mantle; SCML beneath the central Basin and Range has {sup 3}He/{sup 4}He of {approximately}4 Ra and a higher He/Nd ratio than MORB-type mantle. The SCML under southwestern Utah shows less systematic correlation of He isotopes with other geochemical parameters, but also has a lower bound R/Ra value of about 4 Ra. The inferred SCML helium ratios are consistent with retention of radiogenic {sup 4}He over 800 Ma for the eastern Sierra Nevada and 1700 Ma for the other two regions. The results are not consistent with models of He infiltration from the underlying asthenosphere and suggest the lithosphere of the Basin and Range region was not delaminated during the early Tertiary. The He, Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic compositions inferred for the SCML of the southwestern USA are a reasonably good match to the characteristics of the EMII

  1. Thermo-mechanical modeling of continental rift evolution over mantle upwelling in presence of far-field stresses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koptev, Alexander; Burov, Evgueni; Calais, Eric; Leroy, Sylvie; Gerya, Taras

    2016-04-01

    We conducted fully-coupled high resolution rheologically consistent 3D thermo-mechanical numerical models to investigate the processes of mantle-lithosphere interaction (MLI) in presence of preexisting far-field tectonic stresses. MLI-induced topography exhibits strongly asymmetric small-scale 3D features, such as rifts, flexural flank uplifts and complex faults structures. This suggests a dominant role of continental rheological structure and intra-plate stresses in controlling continental rifting and break-up processes above mantle upwelling while reconciling the passive (far-field tectonic stresses) versus active (plume-activated) rift concepts as our experiments show both processes in action. We tested different experiments by varying two principal controlling parameters: 1) horizontal extension velocity and 2) Moho temperature used as simplified indicator of the thermal and rheological lithosphere layering. An increase in the applied extension expectedly gives less localized deformation at lithospheric scale: the growth of external velocity from 1.5 mm/years to 6 mm/years leads to enlargement of the rift zones from 75-175 km to 150-425 km width. On the contrary, increasing of the lithospheric geotherm has an opposite effect leading to narrowing of the rift zone: the change of the Moho isotherm from 600°C to 800°C causes diminution of the rift width from 175-425 km to 75-150 km. Some of these finding are contra-intuitive in terms of usual assumptions. The models refer to strongly non-linear impact of far-field extension rates on timing of break-up processes. Experiments with relatively fast far-field extension (6 mm/years) show intensive normal fault localization in crust and uppermost mantle above the plume head at 15-20 Myrs after the onset of the experiment. When plume head material reaches the bottom of the continental crust (at 25 Myrs), the latter is rapidly ruptured (<1 Myrs) and several steady oceanic floor spreading centers develop. Slower (3 mm

  2. The redox conditions of anhydrous and hydrous xenoliths of suprasubduction and intraplate lithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonadiman, C.; Coltorti, M.

    2012-12-01

    The oxidation state of the upper mantle, its relationship with C-H-O fluids speciation and tectonic settings has been debated for decades and the various modelling have considered the prevalent role of the hydrous minerals over nominally anhydrous minerals (and the opposite) as well as the dissolution of silicate minerals (as providers of Fe3+ to the system) as directly related to water activity and oxygen fugacity. Each of these modelling has different implications for mantle rheology, seismic structure, and the evolution of the lithosphere (i.e.: Karato and Jung, 1998, Hirshmann, 2006). Upper mantle is the only part of the Earth's mantle where the oxygen fugacity can be directly measured, its values/variation being dependent on various processes such as partial melting and metasomatism often operating in time and space without solution of continuity. Recent general reviews of oxygen thermobarometry measurements (Forst & McCammon, 2008; Foley, 2011) indicate that the oxygen fugacity at the top of the upper mantle falls within ±2 log units of the fayalite-magnetite-quartz (FMQ) oxygen buffer. There is also a general consensus in considering H2O as the strongest oxidizing agent in mantle metasomatic fluids, its activity leading to the formation of amphibole and raising the mantle redox state. This contribution presents fO2 and water activity results from three spinel-bearing mantle xenolith localities and distinct geodynamic settings: Ichinomegata (Japan) amphibole-bearing peridotites entrained in calc-alkaline basalts and Cerro Fraile (South Patagonia, Argentina), mostly anhydrous lherzolites and pirossenites brought up to the surface by alkaline basalts representing fragments of sub-arc mantle and Baker Rocks, Victoria Land (Antarctica), amphibole-bearing lherzolites representing portion of intraplate subcontinental lithospheric mantle. The three mantle sectors records fO2 values in the range of -1.9 to +0.8 log units of the FQM buffer. and low to very low aH2O

  3. Rapid Cenozoic ingrowth of isotopic signatures simulating "HIMU" in ancient lithospheric mantle: Distinguishing source from process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCoy-West, Alex J.; Bennett, Vickie C.; Amelin, Yuri

    2016-08-01

    Chemical and isotopic heterogeneities in the lithospheric mantle are increasingly being recognised on all scales of examination, although the mechanisms responsible for generating this variability are still poorly understood. To investigate the relative behaviour of different isotopic systems in off-cratonic mantle, and specifically the origin of the regional southwest Pacific "HIMU" (high time integrated 238U/204Pb) Pb isotopic signature, we present the first U-Th-Pb, Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd and Re-Os isotopic dataset for spinel peridotite xenoliths sampling the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) beneath Zealandia. Strongly metasomatised xenoliths converge to a restricted range of Sr and Nd isotopic compositions (87Sr/86Sr = 0.7028-0.7033; εNd ≈ +3-+6) reflecting pervasive overprinting of their original melt depletion signatures by carbonatite-rich melts. In contrast, rare, weakly metasomatised samples possess radiogenic Nd isotopic compositions (εNd > +15) and unradiogenic Sr isotopic compositions (87Sr/86Sr < 0.7022). This is consistent with melt extraction at ca. 2.0 Ga and in accord with widespread Paleoproterozoic Re-Os model ages from both weakly metasomatised and the more numerous, strongly metasomatised xenoliths. The coupling of chalcophile (Os), and lithophile (Sr and Nd) melt depletion ages from peridotite xenoliths on a regional scale under Zealandia argues for preservation of a significant mantle keel (⩾2 million km3) associated with a large-scale Paleoproterozoic melting event. Lead isotopic compositions are highly variable with 206Pb/204Pb = 17.3-21.3 (n = 34) and two further samples with more extreme compositions of 22.4 and 25.4, but are not correlated with other isotopic data or U/Pb and Th/Pb ratios in either strongly or weakly metasomatised xenoliths; this signature is thus a recent addition to the lithospheric mantle. Lead model ages suggest that this metasomatism occurred in the last 200 m.y., with errorchrons from individual localities

  4. The contribution of the Precambrian continental lithosphere to global H2 production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lollar, Barbara Sherwood; Onstott, T. C.; Lacrampe-Couloume, G.; Ballentine, C. J.

    2014-12-01

    Microbial ecosystems can be sustained by hydrogen gas (H2)-producing water-rock interactions in the Earth's subsurface and at deep ocean vents. Current estimates of global H2 production from the marine lithosphere by water-rock reactions (hydration) are in the range of 1011 moles per year. Recent explorations of saline fracture waters in the Precambrian continental subsurface have identified environments as rich in H2 as hydrothermal vents and seafloor-spreading centres and have suggested a link between dissolved H2 and the radiolytic dissociation of water. However, extrapolation of a regional H2 flux based on the deep gold mines of the Witwatersrand basin in South Africa yields a contribution of the Precambrian lithosphere to global H2 production that was thought to be negligible (0.009 × 1011 moles per year). Here we present a global compilation of published and new H2 concentration data obtained from Precambrian rocks and find that the H2 production potential of the Precambrian continental lithosphere has been underestimated. We suggest that this can be explained by a lack of consideration of additional H2-producing reactions, such as serpentinization, and the absence of appropriate scaling of H2 measurements from these environments to account for the fact that Precambrian crust represents over 70 per cent of global continental crust surface area. If H2 production via both radiolysis and hydration reactions is taken into account, our estimate of H2 production rates from the Precambrian continental lithosphere of 0.36-2.27 × 1011 moles per year is comparable to estimates from marine systems.

  5. The contribution of the Precambrian continental lithosphere to global H2 production.

    PubMed

    Lollar, Barbara Sherwood; Onstott, T C; Lacrampe-Couloume, G; Ballentine, C J

    2014-12-18

    Microbial ecosystems can be sustained by hydrogen gas (H2)-producing water-rock interactions in the Earth's subsurface and at deep ocean vents. Current estimates of global H2 production from the marine lithosphere by water-rock reactions (hydration) are in the range of 10(11) moles per year. Recent explorations of saline fracture waters in the Precambrian continental subsurface have identified environments as rich in H2 as hydrothermal vents and seafloor-spreading centres and have suggested a link between dissolved H2 and the radiolytic dissociation of water. However, extrapolation of a regional H2 flux based on the deep gold mines of the Witwatersrand basin in South Africa yields a contribution of the Precambrian lithosphere to global H2 production that was thought to be negligible (0.009 × 10(11) moles per year). Here we present a global compilation of published and new H2 concentration data obtained from Precambrian rocks and find that the H2 production potential of the Precambrian continental lithosphere has been underestimated. We suggest that this can be explained by a lack of consideration of additional H2-producing reactions, such as serpentinization, and the absence of appropriate scaling of H2 measurements from these environments to account for the fact that Precambrian crust represents over 70 per cent of global continental crust surface area. If H2 production via both radiolysis and hydration reactions is taken into account, our estimate of H2 production rates from the Precambrian continental lithosphere of 0.36-2.27 × 10(11) moles per year is comparable to estimates from marine systems.

  6. Mantle-crust differentiation of chalcophile elements in the oceanic lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciążela, J.; Dick, H. J.; Koepke, J.; Kuhn, T.; Muszynski, A.; Kubiak, M.

    2014-12-01

    the mantle lithosphere due to late-stage melt impregnation.

  7. Formation of ridges in a stable lithosphere in mantle convection models with a viscoplastic rheology.

    PubMed

    Rozel, A; Golabek, G J; Näf, R; Tackley, P J

    2015-06-28

    Numerical simulations of mantle convection with a viscoplastic rheology usually display mobile, episodic or stagnant lid regimes. In this study, we report a new convective regime in which a ridge can form without destabilizing the surrounding lithosphere or forming subduction zones. Using simulations in 2-D spherical annulus geometry, we show that a depth-dependent yield stress is sufficient to reach this ridge only regime. This regime occurs when the friction coefficient is close to the critical value between mobile lid and stagnant lid regimes. Maps of convective regime as a function of the parameters friction coefficients and depth dependence of viscosity are provided for both basal heating and mixed heating situations. The ridge only regime appears for both pure basal heating and mixed heating mode. For basal heating, this regime can occur for all vertical viscosity contrasts, while for mixed heating, a highly viscous deep mantle is required.

  8. Ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism: tracing continental crust into the mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chopin, Christian

    2003-07-01

    velocities (1-2 cm/yr), especially during early stages of exhumation, and bear no relation to normal erosion rates. Important observations are that: (i) as a result of strain partitioning and fluid channelling, significant volumes of subducted crust may remain unreacted (i.e. metastable) even at conditions as high as 700°C and 3 GPa - with implications as to geophysical modeling; (ii) subducted continental crust shows no isotopic or geochemical evidence of interaction with mantle material. An unknown proportion of subducted continental crust must have escaped exhumation and effectively recycled into the mantle, with geochemical implications still to be explored, bearing in mind the above inefficiency of mixing. The repeated occurrence of UHP metamorphism, hence of continental subduction, through time and space since at least the late Proterozoic shows that it must be considered a common process, inherent to continental collision. Evidence of older, Precambrian UHP metamorphism is to be sought in high-pressure granulite-facies terranes.

  9. Isotopic and trace-element constraints on mantle and crustal contributions to Siberian continental flood basalts, Noril'sk area, Siberia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wooden, J.L.; Czamanske, G.K.; Fedorenko, V.A.; Arndt, N.T.; Chauvel, C.; Bouse, R.M.; King, B.-S.W.; Knight, R.J.; Siems, D.F.

    1993-01-01

    We present a tightly controlled and comprehensive set of analytical data for the 250-Ma Siberian flood-basalt province. Consideration of major- and trace-element compositions, along with strontium, lead and neodymium isotopic compositions, strongly supports earlier Russian subdivision of this magmatism into three magmatic cycles, giving rise to three assemblages of eleven basalt suites in the ascending order Ivakinsky-Gudchikhinsky, Khakanchansky-Nadezhdinsky and Morongovsky-Samoedsky. Geochemical and isotopic discontinuities of varying magnitude characterize most of the boundaries between the eleven recognized basalt suites in the Noril'sk area. Although we conclude that the dominant volume of erupted magma originated from an asthenospheric mantle plume, none of the lavas is interpreted to directly represent asthenospheric melts, which would have been far more magnesian. On the basis of thermal considerations, we consider it unlikely that vast volumes of basaltic melt were produced directly from the continental lithospheric mantle beneath the Siberian craton. Moreover, there is little evidence from mantle xenoliths that the geochemical signatures of such melts would correspond to those of the Siberian flood basalts. Studies of melt migration lead us to conclude that transport of asthenospheric melt through the lithospheric mantle would be rapid, by fracture propagation. Lavas from the Gudchikhinsky suite have negligible Ta-Nb anomalies and positive ??{lunate}Nd values and their parental magmas presumably interacted little with the continental lithospheric mantle or crust. All other lavas have negative Ta-Nb anomalies and lower ??{lunate}Nd values that we attribute to interaction with continental crust. The model that we have developed requires discrete contributions from the plume and complex processing of all erupted magmas in the continental crust. The earliest magmas represent small percentages of melt formed in equilibrium with garnet. Over time, the

  10. Low crustal velocities and mantle lithospheric variations in southern Tibet from regional Pnl waveforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodgers, Arthur J.; Schwartz, Susan Y.

    We report low average crustal P-wave velocities (5.9-6.1 km/s, Poisson's ratio 0.23-0.27, thickness 68-76 km) in southern Tibet from modelling regional Pnl waveforms recorded by the 1991-1992 Tibetan Plateau Experiment. We also find that the mantle lithosphere beneath the Indus-Tsangpo Suture and the Lhasa Terrane is shield-like (Pn velocity 8.20-8.25 km/s, lid thickness 80-140 km, positive velocity gradient 0.0015-0.0025 s-1). Analysis of relative Pn travel time residuals requires a decrease in the mantle velocities beneath the northern Lhasa Terrane, the Banggong-Nujiang Suture and the southern Qiangtang Terrane. Tectonic and petrologic considerations suggest that low bulk crustal velocities could result from a thick (50-60 km) felsic upper crust with vertically limited and laterally pervasive partial melt. These results are consistent with underthrusting of Indian Shield lithosphere beneath the Tibetan Plateau to at least the central Lhasa Terrane.

  11. The Structure of the Mantle Lithosphere in Central Europe from S-Receiver Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kind, Rainer; Handy, Mark; Yuan, Xiaohui; Meier, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Data from about 650 permanent and temporary seismic broadband stations accessed from the open EIDA Archive yielded about 49.000 S-receiver functions. Selection criteria were a signal-to-noise ratio of at least two of the S signal on the SV component, low noise on the P component before the S arrival time and a relatively good approximation of the delta im- pulse on the SV component after deconvolution. All traces were checked visually. The time domain traces were migrated to depth domain by back projection along the ray path. Smooth images of major discontinuities in the upper mantle were obtained by applying an eight-seconds low-pass filter. Observations of the Moho and the discontinuity at 410 km depth serve as a check of the quality of the analysis. We observe two widespread negative (i.e., downward reduction in velocity) discontinuities. The shallower one in about the 50 km to 150 km depth interval occurs everywhere in the study area and is interpreted as the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) in Phanerozoic Europe. According to similar observations in the north American craton, it is interpreted as mid-lithospheric discontinuity (MLD) in the east European craton (EEC). The second negative discontinuity seen beneath the EEC, the Trans-European Suture Zone, the Bohemian Massive, and parts of the Pannonian Basin lies at a depth interval of about 150 km to 300 km. It is interpreted as cratonic LAB reaching well the S and E of the Torn- quist-Teisseyre Zone, which is considered the boundary of the EEC at the shallower levels. The deeper cratonic LAB has anomalous topography: Below the Pannonian Basin it shal- lows to c. 150 km but deepens to c. 300 km below the Bohemian Massif. There is a jump in the cratonic LAB along the northern edge of the Bohemian Massif, where the LAB sud- denly changes depth from 200 km in the north to 300 km in the south. We tentatively inter- pret these observations as a result of overthrusting the EEC mantle lithosphere during the

  12. Bathymetry of the Pacific plate and its implications for thermal evolution of lithosphere and mantle dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, Shijie; Ritzwoller, Michael; Shapiro, Nikolai; Landuyt, William; Huang, Jinshui; Wessel, Paul

    2007-06-01

    A long-standing question in geodynamics is the cause of deviations of ocean depth or seafloor topography from the prediction of a cooling half-space model (HSC). Are the deviations caused entirely by mantle plumes or lithospheric reheating associated with sublithospheric small-scale convection or some other mechanisms? In this study we analyzed the age and geographical dependences of ocean depth for the Pacific plate, and we removed the effects of sediments, seamounts, and large igneous provinces (LIPs), using recently available data sets of high-resolution bathymetry, sediments, seamounts, and LIPs. We found that the removal of seamounts and LIPs results in nearly uniform standard deviations in ocean depth of ˜300 m for all ages. The ocean depth for the Pacific plate with seamounts, LIPs, the Hawaiian swell, and South Pacific super-swell excluded can be fit well with a HSC model till ˜80-85 Ma and a plate model for older seafloor, particularly, with the HSC-Plate depth-age relation recently developed by Hillier and Watts (2005) with an entirely different approach for the North Pacific Ocean. A similar ocean depth-age relation is also observed for the northern region of our study area with no major known mantle plumes. Residual topography with respect to Hillier and Watts' HSC-Plate model shows two distinct topographic highs: the Hawaiian swell and South Pacific super-swell. However, in this residual topography map, the Darwin Rise does not display anomalously high topography except the area with seamounts and LIPs. We also found that the topography estimated from the seismic model of the Pacific lithosphere of Ritzwoller et al. (2004) generally agrees with the observed topography, including the reduced topography at relatively old seafloor. Our analyses show that while mantle plumes may be important in producing the Hawaiian swell and South Pacific super-swell, they cannot be the only cause for the topographic deviations. Other mechanisms, particularly

  13. Role of magmatism in continental lithosphere extension: an introduction to tectnophysics special issue

    SciTech Connect

    Van Wijk, Jolante W

    2008-01-01

    The dynamics and evolution of rifts and continental rifted margins have been the subject of intense study and debate for many years and still remain the focus of active investigation. The 2006 AGU Fall Meeting session 'Extensional Processes Leading to the Formation of Basins and Rifted Margins, From Volcanic to Magma-Limited' included several contributions that illustrated recent advances in our understanding of rifting processes, from the early stages of extension to breakup and incipient seafloor spreading. Following this session, we aimed to assemble a multi-disciplinary collection of papers focussing on the architecture, formation and evolution of continental rift zones and rifted margins. This Tectonophysics Special Issue 'Role of magmatism in continental lithosphere extension' comprises 14 papers that present some of the recent insights on rift and rifted margins dynamics, emphasising the role of magmatism in extensional processes. The purpose of this contribution is to introduce these papers.

  14. Lithosphere structure and upper mantle characteristics below the Bay of Bengal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rao, G. Srinivasa; Radhakrishna, M.; Sreejith, K. M.; Krishna, K. S.; Bull, J. M.

    2016-07-01

    The oceanic lithosphere in the Bay of Bengal (BOB) formed 80-120 Ma following the breakup of eastern Gondwanaland. Since its formation, it has been affected by the emplacement of two long N-S trending linear aseismic ridges (85°E and Ninetyeast) and by the loading of ca. 20-km of sediments of the Bengal Fan. Here, we present the results of a combined spatial and spectral domain analysis of residual geoid, bathymetry and gravity data constrained by seismic reflection and refraction data. Self-consistent geoid and gravity modelling defined by temperature-dependent mantle densities along a N-S transect in the BOB region revealed that the depth to the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) deepens steeply from 77 km in the south to 127 km in north, with the greater thickness being anomalously thick compared to the lithosphere of similar-age beneath the Pacific Ocean. The Geoid-Topography Ratio (GTR) analysis of the 85°E and Ninetyeast ridges indicate that they are compensated at shallow depths. Effective elastic thickness (Te) estimates obtained through admittance/ coherence analysis as well as the flexural modelling along these ridges led to the conclusions: (i) 85°E Ridge was emplaced in off-ridge environment (Te = 10-15 km); (ii) the higher Te values of ˜25 km over the Afanasy Nikitin Seamount (ANS) reflect the secondary emplacement of the seamount peaks in off-ridge environment, (iii) that the emplacement of the Ninetyeast Ridge north of 2°N occurred in an off-ridge environment as indicated by higher Te values (25-30 km). Furthermore, the admittance analysis of geoid and bathymetry revealed that the admittance signatures at wavelengths >800 km are compensated by processes related to upper mantle convection.

  15. Thick, Cold and Dry Roots: the Key to Longevity of Continental Arc Lithosphere?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chin, E. J.; Soustelle, V.; Hirth, G.; Saal, A. E.; Kruckenberg, S. C.; Eiler, J. M.

    2015-12-01

    In contrast to the continuity of mid-ocean ridge magmatism, arc volcanism is episodic, characterized by flareups lasting 10 - 50 My which, for reasons that remain unclear, end abruptly in <10 My. Key to understanding the origins of episodic arc behavior lie in constraining the roles of subducting vs. overriding lithosphere. Here, we show that upper mantle xenoliths from the Sierra Nevada arc, CA, USA represent mantle wedge residues that were thickened and rapidly cooled at ~3 GPa and 750 C, presumably at the slab-mantle interface. Pervasive melt infiltration from wedge-derived basalts transformed the depleted residues into refertilized lherzolite. Olivine crystal-preferred orientations (CPO) are weak and show predominantly axial-(010) and one lherzolite with B-type CPO. Measured water contents by SIMS in olivine and pyroxene are low, 5 - 9 ppm and 30 - 500 ppm, respectively. Assuming olivine lost water during eruption, recalculated olivine water in equilibrium with pyroxene does not exceed 35 ppm, resulting in reconstructed bulk rock water content similar to the MORB source. Extrapolation of experimental olivine water solubility to the xenoliths' final PT conditions ranges from 30 to 270 ppm, indicating that the peridotites are water-undersaturated. Such low water contents are not sufficient to produce axial-(010) and B-type CPO. Instead, we propose that the observed CPO was inherited from the prior melt infiltration event, which deformed the peridotites via grain-size sensitive, diffusion creep (e.g., grain boundary sliding). Therefore, water played little role in deformation of arc mantle. Low water contents in thick, cold arc roots result in very high viscosities which preclude significant deformation at final PT. In the Sierran case, rapid cooling also helped to freeze in geochemical and microstructural evidence of earlier melt-assisted deformation, and allowed the preservation of arc mantle lithosphere for ~80 My after it was formed. Only when the Farallon

  16. 40K-(40)Ar constraints on recycling continental crust into the mantle

    PubMed

    Coltice; Albarede; Gillet

    2000-05-05

    Extraction of potassium into magmas and outgassing of argon during melting constrain the relative amounts of potassium in the crust with respect to those of argon in the atmosphere. No more than 30% of the modern mass of the continents was subducted back into the mantle during Earth's history. It is estimated that 50 to 70% of the subducted sediments are reincorporated into the deep continental crust. A consequence of the limited exchange between the continental crust and the upper mantle is that the chemistry of the upper mantle is driven by exchange of material with the deep mantle.

  17. Simulating the Thermochemical Magmatic and Tectonic Evolution of Venus's Mantle and Lithosphere: Intrusive vs. Extrusive Magmatism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tackley, Paul; Armann, Marina

    2013-04-01

    Here we extend the models of [1]. Numerical convection models of the thermochemical evolution of Venus are compared to present-day topography and geoid, recent resurfacing history and surface deformation. The models include melting, magmatism, decaying heat-producing elements, core cooling, realistic temperature-dependent viscosity and either stagnant lid or episodic lithospheric overturn. In [1] it was found that in stagnant lid convection the dominant mode of heat loss is magmatic heat pipe, which requires massive magmatism and produces very thick crust, inconsistent with observations. Partitioning of heat-producing elements into the crust helps but does not help enough. Episodic lid overturn interspersed by periods of quiescence effectively loses Venus's heat while giving lower rates of volcanism and a thinner crust. Calculations predict 5-8 overturn events over Venus's history, each lasting ~150 Myr, initiating in one place and then spreading globally. During quiescent periods convection keeps the lithosphere thin. Magmatism keeps the mantle temperature constant over Venus's history. Crustal recycling occurs by entrainment in stagnant lid convection, and by lid overturn in episodic mode. Venus-like amplitudes of topography and geoid can be produced in either stagnant or episodic modes, with a viscosity profile that is Earth-like but shifted to higher values. The basalt density inversion below the olivine-perovskite transition causes compositional stratification around 730 km; breakdown of this layering increases episodicity but far less than episodic lid overturn. The classical stagnant lid mode with interior temperature rheological temperature scale lower than TCMB is not reached because mantle temperature is controlled by magmatism while the core cools slowly from a superheated start. Core heat flow decreases with time, possibly shutting off the dynamo, particularly in episodic cases. Here we extend [1] by considering intrusive magmatism as an alternative to

  18. Variable Water Concentrations in the Asthenospheric and Lithospheric Mantle Underneath the Eastern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soles, B.; Brennan, G. W.; Johnson, E. A.; Mazza, S. E.; Gazel, E.

    2014-12-01

    An Eocene (47-48 Ma) volcanic swarm in NW Virginia represents the youngest episode of volcanism in the Eastern US, possibly initiated by delamination of lithospheric mantle (Mazza 2014). The Eocene swarm is located along the MAGIC seismic array (Crampton 2013). The phenocrysts and mantle xenocrysts within these volcanic rocks are the most direct constraints on the water content of the mantle in this region and will aid interpretation of geophysical data. In this study, we measured structural hydroxyl concentrations, [OH], in clinopyroxene (cpx) and olivine (ol) xenocrysts and cpx phenocrysts from three basaltic intrusions: Mole Hill, a volcanic neck, Trimble Knob, a diatreme, and Rt.631, a dike. Polarized FTIR spectra were obtained at JMU and the Smithsonian Institution. Mineral compositions were obtained on the electron microprobe at the USGS, Reston. The cpx xenocrysts show hydration profiles, whereas cpx phenocrysts have flat or dehydration profiles. Cpx xenocryst cores contain [OH]=25-300 ppm H2O and ol xenocrysts have [OH]<2 ppm. Cpx xenocryst rims contain [OH]=160-1300 ppm, and cpx phenocrysts have [OH]=100-570 ppm, and a cpx from Trimble Knob conservatively contains 1500-3500 ppm. Magmatic water contents calculated using O'Leary (2010) range from 0.3-4.9 wt% for xenocryst rims and phenocrysts, and >6 wt% at Trimble Knob. P and T were calculated using equilibrium exchange reactions from Putirka (2008). Xenocryst rims from Mole Hill have P=13.7±1.7 kbar and T=1287±24°C, and cpx phenocrysts from the Rt.631 dike record similar conditions of P=16.1±2.8 kbar and T=1339±37°C. A cpx phenocryst from Trimble Knob has P=23.8±4.0 kbar and T=1143±124°C. We interpret our data to indicate a dry lithospheric mantle as represented by the cpx and ol xenocrysts, underplated by a wet layer at the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary produced by fractional crystallization of magma generated deeper in the asthenosphere, as represented by the cpx phenocrysts.

  19. Joint geophysical and petrological models for the lithosphere structure of the Antarctic Peninsula continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yegorova, Tamara; Bakhmutov, Vladimir; Janik, Tomasz; Grad, Marek

    2011-01-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is a composite magmatic arc terrane formed at the Pacific margin of Gondwana. Through the late Mesozoic and Cenozoic subduction has stopped progressively from southwest to northeast as a result of a series of ridge trench collisions. Subduction may be active today in the northern part of the AP adjacent to the South Shetland Islands. The subduction system is confined by the Shackleton and Hero fracture zones. The magmatic arc of the AP continental margin is marked by high-amplitude gravity and magnetic anomaly belts reaching highest amplitudes in the region of the South Shetland Islands and trench. The sources for these anomalies are highly magnetic and dense batholiths of mafic bulk composition, which were intruded in the Cretaceous, due to partial melting of upper-mantle and lower-crustal rocks. 2-D gravity and magnetic models provide new insights into crustal and upper-mantle structure of the active and passive margin segments of the northern AP. Our models incorporate seismic refraction constraints and physical property data. This enables us to better constrain both Moho geometry and petrological interpretations in the crust and upper mantle. Model along the DSS-12 profile crosses the AP margin near the Anvers Island and shows typical features of a passive continental margin. The second model along the DSS-17 profile extends from the Drake Passage through the South Shetland Trench/Islands system and Bransfield Strait to the AP and indicates an active continental margin linked to slow subduction and on-going continental rifting in the backarc region. Continental rifting beneath the Bransfield Strait is associated with an upward of hot upper mantle rocks and with extensive magmatic underplating.

  20. Oxidation state of the lithospheric mantle beneath the Massif Central,France

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uenver-Thiele, L.; Woodland, A. B.; Downes, H.; Altherr, R.

    2012-04-01

    The Tertiary and Quaternary volcanism of the French Massif Central sampled the underlying subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) in the form of xenoliths over a wide geographic area of ~20.000km2. Such an extensive distribution of xenoliths provides an unique opportunity to investigate regional variations in mantle structure and composition. On the basis of textural and geochemical differences, Lenoir et al. (2000) and later Downes et al. (2003) identified two distinct domains in the SCLM lying north and south of latitude 45° 30' N, respectively. The northern domain is relatively refractory, but has experienced pervasive enrichment of LREE. The southern domain is generally more fertile, exhibiting depletion in LREE. A metasomatic overprint has developed to variable extents in many xenolith suites. The different histories of these two juxtaposed blocks of SCLM should also be reflected in their oxidation state, with local variations also to be expected due to metasomatic interactions. For example, if carbonate-melt metasomatism played a role in the LREE enrichment of the northern domain (Lenoir et al. 2000; Downes et al. 2003), then such mantle should be relatively oxidised. Since surprisingly little redox data are currently available, we are undertaking a study to determine the oxidation state of the SCLM beneath the Massif Central over the largest geographical area possible. All xenoliths investigated are spinel peridotites, mostly with protogranular textures (although some samples are porphyroclastic or equigranular). Most samples are nominally anhydrous although minor amphibole is present in some xenolith suites. Major element compositions of the individual minerals were determined by microprobe. Two-pyroxene temperatures (BKN) range from 750° to ~1200° C. Ferric iron contents of spinel were determined by Mössbauer spectroscopy and gave a range of Fe3+/ Fetot from 0.191 to 0.418, with a conservative uncertainty of ±0.02. These data were used to calculate

  1. The effective elastic thickness of the continental lithosphere: Comparison between rheological and inverse approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tesauro, Magdala; Audet, Pascal; Kaban, Mikhail K.; Bürgmann, Roland; Cloetingh, Sierd

    2012-09-01

    Following the release of global continental effective elastic thickness (Te) maps obtained using different approaches, we now have the opportunity to provide better constraints on Te. We improve previous estimates of Te derived from thermo-rheological models of lithospheric strength (or Ter) using new equations that consider variations of the Young's Modulus in the lithosphere. These new values are quantitatively compared with those obtained from an inverse approach (or Tei) based on a comparison of the spectral coherence between topography and gravity anomalies with the flexural response of an equivalent elastic plate to loading. The two models show in general a good agreement, having equal means (at the 95% significance level) in about half of the continental areas. In other regions Tei exceeds Ter in about 65% of the data points, showing that Tei provides an upper bound on Te. The two data sets have a similar range, but demonstrate different distributions. Ter has a bimodal distribution, with the two peaks representative of the cratons and of the areas outside of them. In contrast, Tei has more uniform distribution without predominant peaks. Our models show higher similarities in the Meso-Cenozoic orogens than in the Archaean and Proterozoic shields and platforms, due to the methods employed. For the regions with the most robust determinations of Ter and Tei, the relationship between them is close to linear. The results of this work can be used for further studies on the mechanical properties of the lithosphere.

  2. Metastable mantle phase transformations and deep earthquakes in subducting oceanic lithosphere

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirby, S.H.; Stein, S.; Okal, E.A.; Rubie, David C.

    1996-01-01

    Earth's deepest earthquakes occur as a population in subducting or previously subducted lithosphere at depths ranging from about 325 to 690 km. This depth interval closely brackets the mantle transition zone, characterized by rapid seismic velocity increases resulting from the transformation of upper mantle minerals to higher-pressure phases. Deep earthquakes thus provide the primary direct evidence for subduction of the lithosphere to these depths and allow us to investigate the deep thermal, thermodynamic, and mechanical ferment inside slabs. Numerical simulations of reaction rates show that the olivine ??? spinel transformation should be kinetically hindered in old, cold slabs descending into the transition zone. Thus wedge-shaped zones of metastable peridotite probably persist to depths of more than 600 km. Laboratory deformation experiments on some metastable minerals display a shear instability called transformational faulting. This instability involves sudden failure by localized superplasticity in thin shear zones where the metastable host mineral transforms to a denser, finer-grained phase. Hence in cold slabs, such faulting is expected for the polymorphic reactions in which olivine transforms to the spinel structure and clinoenstatite transforms to ilmenite. It is thus natural to hypothesize that deep earthquakes result from transformational faulting in metastable peridotite wedges within cold slabs. This consideration of the mineralogical states of slabs augments the traditional largely thermal view of slab processes and explains some previously enigmatic slab features. It explains why deep seismicity occurs only in the approximate depth range of the mantle transition zone, where minerals in downgoing slabs should transform to spinel and ilmenite structures. The onset of deep shocks at about 325 km is consistent with the onset of metastability near the equilibrium phase boundary in the slab. Even if a slab penetrates into the lower mantle, earthquakes

  3. Did diamond-bearing orangeites originate from MARID-veined peridotites in the lithospheric mantle?

    PubMed

    Giuliani, Andrea; Phillips, David; Woodhead, Jon D; Kamenetsky, Vadim S; Fiorentini, Marco L; Maas, Roland; Soltys, Ashton; Armstrong, Richard A

    2015-04-17

    Kimberlites and orangeites (previously named Group-II kimberlites) are small-volume igneous rocks occurring in diatremes, sills and dykes. They are the main hosts for diamonds and are of scientific importance because they contain fragments of entrained mantle and crustal rocks, thus providing key information about the subcontinental lithosphere. Orangeites are ultrapotassic, H2O and CO2-rich rocks hosting minerals such as phlogopite, olivine, calcite and apatite. The major, trace element and isotopic compositions of orangeites resemble those of intensely metasomatized mantle of the type represented by MARID (mica-amphibole-rutile-ilmenite-diopside) xenoliths. Here we report new data for two MARID xenoliths from the Bultfontein kimberlite (Kimberley, South Africa) and we show that MARID-veined mantle has mineralogical (carbonate-apatite) and geochemical (Sr-Nd-Hf-O isotopes) characteristics compatible with orangeite melt generation from a MARID-rich source. This interpretation is supported by U-Pb zircon ages in MARID xenoliths from the Kimberley kimberlites, which confirm MARID rock formation before orangeite magmatism in the area.

  4. Seismic detection of folded, subducted lithosphere at the core-mantle boundary.

    PubMed

    Hutko, Alexander R; Lay, Thorne; Garnero, Edward J; Revenaugh, Justin

    2006-05-18

    Seismic tomography has been used to infer that some descending slabs of oceanic lithosphere plunge deep into the Earth's lower mantle. The fate of these slabs has remained unresolved, but it has been postulated that their ultimate destination is the lowermost few hundred kilometres of the mantle, known as the D'' region. Relatively cold slab material may account for high seismic velocities imaged in D'' beneath areas of long-lived plate subduction, and for reflections from a seismic velocity discontinuity just above the anomalously high wave speed regions. The D'' discontinuity itself is probably the result of a phase change in relatively low-temperature magnesium silicate perovskite. Here, we present images of the D'' region beneath the Cocos plate using Kirchhoff migration of horizontally polarized shear waves, and find a 100-km vertical step occurring over less than 100 km laterally in an otherwise flat D'' shear velocity discontinuity. Folding and piling of a cold slab that has reached the core-mantle boundary, as observed in numerical and experimental models, can account for the step by a 100-km elevation of the post-perovskite phase boundary due to a 700 degrees C lateral temperature reduction in the folded slab. We detect localized low velocities at the edge of the slab material, which may result from upwellings caused by the slab laterally displacing a thin hot thermal boundary layer.

  5. Pervasive, tholeiitic refertilisation and heterogeneous metasomatism in Northern Victoria Land lithospheric mantle (Antarctica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelorosso, Beatrice; Bonadiman, Costanza; Coltorti, Massimo; Faccini, Barbara; Melchiorre, Massimiliano; Ntaflos, Theodoros; Gregoire, Michel

    2016-04-01

    The petrology of peridotite xenoliths in the Cenozoic volcanics from Greene Point (Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica) provides new constraints on the characterisation of the lithospheric mantle beneath the West Antarctic Rift. Based on mineral major and trace element models, this mantle domain is proposed to represent a residuum after 10% and 20% partial melting. Moreover, melting models and isotopic results for Sr and Nd systematics highlight the substantial contribution of tholeiitic melts percolating through peridotites. Close correlation with trace element contents in clinopyroxene phenocrysts from Ferrar and Karoo tholeiites allows us to ascribe this refertilisation event to the Jurassic. This asthenospheric melt was also able to transfer a garnet signature to the Northern Victoria Land mantle segment. The rare presence of glass and secondary phases indicate that Greene Point xenoliths were heterogeneously affected by alkaline metasomatism, probably related to the West Antarctic Rift System opening; this has also been widely observed in other Northern Victoria Land localities (i.e., Baker Rocks). Temperature and fO2 were calculated (950 °C; Δlog fO2 (QFM), - 1.70 to - 0.39) at a fixed pressure of 15 kbar, confirming the tendency of the anhydrous Greene Point xenolith population to have higher equilibration temperatures and comparable redox conditions, compared to the nearby amphibole-bearing peridotites from Baker Rocks.

  6. Strong lateral strength contrasts in the mantle lithosphere of continents: A case study from the hot SW Canadian Cordillera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardebol, N. J.; Beekman, F.; Cloetingh, S. A. P. L.

    2013-08-01

    This study aims at quantifying the 3-D variability in lithosphere strength of the south-eastern Canadian Cordillera and adjacent craton to the east. Strength is calculated in a forward manner, starting from rheological laws of brittle and ductile deformation. The work flow calculates a temperature model based on a multi-layer compositional model and subsequently estimates the strength distribution from both the compositional and temperature models. The temperature modeling involves numerical inversion and cubic spline algorithms which enable to impose boundary conditions that account better for strong lateral variations in lithosphere thickness and lateral heat flow. This addresses the lithosphere structure between the Canadian Cordillera and craton. The Canadian Cordillera is marked by a hot and thin lithosphere of ~ 60 km thickness that stands in contrast to a cold and thick craton of ~ 170 km thickness to the east, which consequently results in pronounced changes in bulk lithosphere strength. The high surface heat flow of the Cordillera interior and its contrast with the Foreland Basin can be reproduced by temperature models that combine elevated mantle heat flow due to the thin lithosphere and higher crustal heat production from magmatic intrusions. A series of rheological models, which examines the role of different temperature input models, composition and strain rate, shows that the first-order strength pattern is persistent. For the hot Canadian Cordillera, strength resides for > 80% in the upper crust and with integrated lithosphere strength of 2.0-3.5ṡ106 MPaṡm. For the cold craton, the upper mantle provides > 75% of the integrated strength with values of 4.0-8.0ṡ106 MPaṡm for the crust and 20-65ṡ106 MPaṡm for the lithosphere. Effective elastic thickness is estimated between 5 and 15 km for the Cordillera and 40-80 km for the craton. This illustrates the Cordillera to craton transition as a prominent rheological feature for upper mantle flow

  7. Metasomatic processes within the fertile lithospheric Mantle beneath Don Camilo, Santa Cruz, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ntaflos, Th.; Mundl, A.; Bjerg, E. A.; Tschegg, C.; Kosler, J.

    2009-04-01

    formed from residual melts. In contrast, clinopyroxene from mantle dunites enriched LREE (10 x PM) and LILE suggesting that the metasomatic agent was fluid-rich silicate melt. Calculated equilibrium P-T conditions cover a wide range from 800 to 1100 °C. Considering the crustal thickness in the area being around 35 km, a pressure between 12 and 17 kbar could be assumed as reasonable, indicating that these xenoliths were extracted from shallow depths of 40 to 60 km. Model calculations have shown that the lithospheric Mantle beneath Don Camilo, in Santa Cruz province is fertile and that spinel peridotites experienced low degrees of partial melting (2-8% batch melting in the spinel peridotite field). The metasomatic agent was a fluid-rich silicate melt of alkalibasaltic composition, presumably similar to this, which affected the Cerro Clark xenoliths north of Don Camilo locality. Don Camilo mantle xenoliths, like Tres Lagos, Cerro Redondo and Gobernador Gregores, does not show evidence for interaction of the lithospheric Mantle in southern Patagonia with subduction related components.

  8. Mantle thermal pulses below the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and temporal variations in the formation of oceanic lithosphere.

    PubMed

    Bonatti, Enrico; Ligi, Marco; Brunelli, Daniele; Cipriani, Anna; Fabretti, Paola; Ferrante, Valentina; Gasperini, Luca; Ottolini, Luisa

    2003-05-29

    A 20-Myr record of creation of oceanic lithosphere is exposed along a segment of the central Mid-Atlantic Ridge on an uplifted sliver of lithosphere. The degree of melting of the mantle that is upwelling below the ridge, estimated from the chemistry of the exposed mantle rocks, as well as crustal thickness inferred from gravity measurements, show oscillations of approximately 3-4 Myr superimposed on a longer-term steady increase with time. The time lag between oscillations of mantle melting and crustal thickness indicates that the mantle is upwelling at an average rate of approximately 25 mm x yr(-1), but this appears to vary through time. Slow-spreading lithosphere seems to form through dynamic pulses of mantle upwelling and melting, leading not only to along-axis segmentation but also to across-axis structural variability. Also, the central Mid-Atlantic Ridge appears to have become steadily hotter over the past 20 Myr, possibly owing to north-south mantle flow.

  9. Observation of the Lithosphere and upper mantle structure from Greenland to the Mid Atlantic ridge using PP-precursors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alvarado, D. R.; Gurrola, H.

    2012-12-01

    Observations based on PP and SS bounce point precursors have long been used to image the 410 and 660 km discontinuities. Because of noise (largely caused by scattering near the seismic stations) these data are generally low pass filtered and only offer resolution of the major transition zone discontinuities. Array processing, made possible by the EarthScope transportable array, have enabled us to improve the frequency content to 2Hz (depending on the richness of data in the area to be imaged). This study will focus on using PP-precursors to image lithospheric and upper-mantle discontinuities beneath the northern mid-Atlantic ridge (MAR) and the southern continental shelf of Greenland. Seismic images produced from the PP-precursor data were processed at frequencies ranging from 0.25 Hz to 2 Hz using different beam radii (BR) of 60, 150, and 250 km. The images using 0.25 Hz with a BR of 250 km were the least noisy but smeared features over a large region. The 2 Hz images with 60 km radii showed more localized features but must be used together with the low resolution images to separate noise from signal. The lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) beneath the Southern continental shelf of Greenland was imaged at a depth of ~70 km. The LAB appears to shallow to a depth of ~50 km near the MAR. A low velocity body (a warm body, possibly partial melt) from the ridge was also imaged near the ridge at ~70 km depth beneath the LAB. The length of the low velocity body extended ~300 km west of the ridge before disappearing. Another low velocity body was observed at depths varying between 180 and 200 km, which may indicate the presence of a shallow 220 km discontinuity. Global tomography show low velocities from the surface to transition zone depths beneath the northern Atlantic (near Iceland). The resolution of our data at the 410 km depth is questionable, but this discontinuity appears to be 410 km beneath Greenland and deepens to ~430 km toward the MAR.

  10. Major crustal lineaments and their influence on the geological history of the continental lithosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Reading, H.G.; Watterson, J.; White, S.H.

    1987-01-01

    Thirty-eight contributors provide a synthesis and evaluation of our current understanding of the seismic signatures of major lineaments, their structure and reactivation, their subsequent control of geological processes, and their influence on the location of mineral and hydrocarbon deposits. Topics covered include architecture of the continental lithosphere, earthquakes and lineament infrastructure, crustal shear zones and thrust belts: their geometry and continuity in central Africa, fluid transport in lineaments, and the evolution of the Malvern Lineament. Originally published in Philosphical Transactions of the Royal Society.

  11. Implications of Melt Intrusion Levels in Heated Lithosphere Under Continental Extension Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallner, H.; Schmeling, H.

    2012-12-01

    Beneath continents under extension melts are generated in the asthenosphere and emplaced at shallow depth into a given intrusion level. These melts are very effective in weakening the lithosphere. The vertical position of this emplacement zone and its effect on the resulting rift evolution is subject of our numerical exploration. Our motivation roots in the geodynamically extreme situation of the Rwenzori Mountains. The old, stiff and cold crustal horst is located inside the western branch of the East African Rift System and it is conspicuous due to elevations above 5 km relative to its locale size of 50 x 120 km. We proposed RID (rift induced delamination) as an explaining process applying one-phase physics Wallner & Schmeling 2010, 2011). A two-phase approach employing a sophisticated concept of MIW (melt induced weakening, Schmeling & Wallner 2012) provides a more realistic and self-consistent process, according to observations, indicating partial melts and an asthenospheric magma source. Instead of a strong ad hoc initial temperature anomaly, moderate temperatures and anomalies can be used. Thermo-mechanical physics of visco-plastic flow is approximated by Finite Difference Method in an Eulerian formulation in 2D. The equations of conservation of mass, momentum and energy are solved for a multi component (crust-mantle) and two phase (melt-matrix) system. Rheology is temperature-, pressure-, and stress-dependent. In consideration of depletion and enrichment melting and solidification are controlled by a simplified linear binary solid solution model. Extension is modeled by a lateral outflow boundary condition of 1 mm/a (half drift rate). The temperature background level with respect to the melting curve, especially in the asthenosphere, is important; an increase of about 100 K intensifies convection and lets the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary rise up. Additional temperature anomalies in the asthenosphere focuses uprising melt batches; their amplitudes

  12. Density and P-wave velocity structure beneath the Paraná Magmatic Province: Refertilization of an ancient lithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaves, Carlos; Ussami, Naomi; Ritsema, Jeroen

    2016-08-01

    We estimate density and P-wave velocity perturbations in the mantle beneath the southeastern South America plate from geoid anomalies and P-wave traveltime residuals to constrain the structure of the lithosphere underneath the Paraná Magmatic Province (PMP) and conterminous geological provinces. Our analysis shows a consistent correlation between density and velocity anomalies. The P-wave speed and density are 1% and 15 kg/m3 lower, respectively, in the upper mantle under the Late Cretaceous to Cenozoic alkaline provinces, except beneath the Goiás Alkaline Province (GAP), where density (+20 kg/m3) and velocity (+0.5%) are relatively high. Underneath the PMP, the density is higher by about 50 kg/m3 in the north and 25 kg/m3 in the south, to a depth of 250 - 300 km. These values correlate with high-velocity perturbations of +0.5% and +0.3%, respectively. Profiles of density perturbation versus depth in the upper mantle are different for the PMP and the adjacent Archean São Francisco (SFC) and Amazonian (AC) cratons. The Paleoproterozoic PMP basement has a high-density root. The density is relatively low in the SFC and AC lithospheres. A reduction of density is a typical characteristic of chemically depleted Archean cratons. A more fertile Proterozoic and Phanerozoic subcontinental lithospheric mantle has a higher density, as deduced from density estimates of mantle xenoliths of different ages and composition. In conjunction with Re-Os isotopic studies of the PMP basalts, chemical and isotopic analyses of peridodite xenoliths from the GAP in the northern PMP, and electromagnetic induction experiments of the PMP lithosphere, our density and P-wave speed models suggest that the densification of the PMP lithosphere and flood basalt generation are related to mantle refertilization. Metasomatic refertilization resulted from the introduction of asthenospheric components from the mantle wedge above Proterozoic subduction zones, which surrounded the Paraná lithosphere

  13. Two Lithologies in Lithospheric Mantle Beneath Nothern Margin of the Bohemian Massif (e Germany and SW Poland).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matusiak-Małek, Magdalena; Puziewicz, Jacek; Ntaflos, Theodoros; Kukuła, Anna; Ćwiek, Mateusz

    2014-05-01

    The subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) occurring beneath Bohemian Massif in Central Europe has been sampled in Cenozoic times by numerous lavas. Recent studies (Puziewicz et al. 2011 and references therein) show that mantle in this region is mostly anhydrous, harzburgitic, and was subjected to various kinds of metasomatic events. Two major mantle lithologies characterized by different major element composition of peridotite- forming minerals occur in the SCLM Lower Silesia and Lusatia (op. cit. and unpublished results, 9 sites). Lithology "A" (minimal temperatures from 900 to 1000ºC or no equilibrium between cpx and opx) contains olivine Fo90.5 -92.0. Part of the population "A" peridotites contain clinopyroxene of mg# 94 - 95, typical for low temperatures of equilibration. The lithology "B" (equilibration temperatures close to 900 ºC) contains olivine Fo87.5-90.0. Elevated contents of LREE in clinopyroxene from both the lithologies "A" and "B" suggest their equilibration with one of the two metasomatic agents stated in this area: anhydrous silicate alkaline melt or carbonatite-silicate melt. Action of hydrous alkaline melts in the mantle in the region is recorded only locally (e.g. Wilcza Góra). In some sites (e.g. Krzeniów) the trace element patterns show that decreasing mg# of clinopyroxene in the "A" peridotites is due to gradual replacement of primary lower-temperature mineral assemblage by the later higher-temperature one. This suggests that the variation of mineral chemistry is rather due to chromatographic fractionation of metasomatic agents than due to vertical variation in lithospheric mantle temperatures (Christensen et al.,2001). The "B" peridotites originated due to "Fe-metasomatism" of more magnesian peridotites by silicate melts percolating through lithospheric mantle. The peridotites belonging to lithology "A" might have been partly the protolith of the lithology "B". The data on Central European lithospheric mantle are equivocal and thus

  14. Mantle phase changes and deep-earthquake faulting in subducting lithosphere

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirby, S.H.; Durham, W.B.; Stern, L.A.

    1991-01-01

    Inclined zones of earthquakes are the primary expression of lithosphere subduction. A distinct deep population of subduction-zone earthquakes occurs at depths of 350 to 690 kilometers. At those depths ordinary brittle fracture and frictional sliding, the faulting processes of shallow earthquakes, are not expected. A fresh understanding of these deep earthquakes comes from developments in several areas of experimental and theoretical geophysics, including the discovery and characterization of transformational faulting, a shear instability connected with localized phase transformations under nonhydrostatic stress. These developments support the hypothesis that deep earthquakes represent transformational faulting in a wedge of olivine-rich peridotite that is likely to persist metastably in coldest plate interiors to depths as great as 690 km. Predictions based on this deep structure of mantle phase changes are consistent with the global depth distribution of deep earthquakes, the maximum depths of earthquakes in individual subductions zones, and key source characteristics of deep events.

  15. Mantle phase changes and deep-earthquake faulting in subducting lithosphere.

    PubMed

    Kirby, S H; Durham, W B; Stern, L A

    1991-04-12

    Inclined zones of earthquakes are the primary expression of lithosphere subduction. A distinct deep population of subduction-zone earthquakes occurs at depths of 350 to 690 kilometers. At those depths ordinary brittle fracture and frictional sliding, the faulting processes of shallow earthquakes, are not expected. A fresh understanding of these deep earthquakes comes from developments in several areas of experimental and theoretical geophysics, including the discovery and characterization of transformational faulting, a shear instability connected with localized phase transformations under nonhydrostatic stress. These developments support the hypothesis that deep earthquakes represent transformational faulting in a wedge of olivine-rich peridotite that is likely to persist metastably in coldest plate interiors to depths as great as 690 km. Predictions based on this deep structure of mantle phase changes are consistent with the global depth distribution of deep earthquakes, the maximum depths of earthquakes in individual subductions zones, and key source characteristics of deep events.

  16. Probing the structure of the sub-Salinia mantle lithosphere using spinel lherzolite xenoliths from Crystal Knob, Santa Lucia Range, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinn, D. P.; Saleeby, J.; Ducea, M. N.; Luffi, P. I.

    2013-12-01

    We present the first petrogenetic analysis of a suite of peridotite xenoliths from the Crystal Knob volcanic neck in the Santa Lucia Range, California. The neck was erupted during the Plio-Pleistocene through the Salinia terrane, a fragment of the Late Cretaceous southern Sierra-northwest Mojave supra-subduction core complex that was displaced ~310 km in the late Cenozoic along the dextral San Andreas fault. The marginal tectonic setting makes these xenoliths ideal for testing different models of upper-mantle evolution along the western North American plate boundary. Possible scenarios include the early Cenozoic underplating of Farallon-plate mantle lithosphere nappes (Luffi et al., 2009), Neogene slab window opening (Atwater and Stock, 1998), and the partial subduction and stalling of the Monterey microplate (Pisker et al., 2012). The xenoliths from Crystal Knob are spinel lherzolites, which sample the mantle lithosphere underlying Salinia, and dunite cumulates apparently related to the olivine-basalt host. Initial study is focused on the spinel lherzolites: these display an allotriomorphic granular texture with anisotropy largely absent. However, several samples exhibit a weak shape-preferred orientation in elongate spinels. Within each xenolith, the silicate phases are in Fe-Mg equilibrium; between samples, Mg# [molar Mg/(Mg+Fe)*100] ranges from 87 to 91. Spinels have Cr# [molar Cr/(Cr+Al)*100] ranging from 10 to 27. Clinopyroxene Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd radiogenic isotope data show that the lherzolites are depleted in large-ion lithophile (LIL) elements, with uniform enrichment in 143Nd (ɛNd from +10.3 to +11.0) and depletion in 87Sr (87/86Sr of .702). This data rules out origin in the continental lithosphere, such as that observed in xenoliths from above the relict subduction interface found at at Dish Hill and Cima Dome in the Mojave (Luffi et al., 2009). The Mesozoic mantle wedge, which is sampled by xenoliths from beneath the southern Sierra Nevada batholith

  17. Low shear velocities in the sub-lithospheric mantle beneath the Indian shield?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, M. Ravi; Saikia, Dipankar; Singh, Arun; Srinagesh, D.; Baidya, P. R.; Dattatrayam, R. S.

    2013-03-01

    Ever since its breakup from the Gondwanaland ~140 Myr ago, the Indian plate was ravaged by four hot spots. Although the surface manifestations of such deep processes are evident in terms of large igneous provinces like the Deccan and the fast drift of the Indian plate, the modifications to the deep structure remain to be grasped. In this study, we investigate the mantle transition zone (TZ) structure beneath the Indian shield region using ~14,000 teleseismic receiver functions from 77 broadband stations sited on diverse geologic terrains. The arrival times of the P-to-s (Ps) conversions from the 410 km discontinuity at most cratonic stations appear to be delayed by ~2 s in comparison with the times observed for other Precambrian shield regions like Africa, Australia, and Canada. Such delays in the conversions from the 410 km discontinuity below the Indian shield suggest low shear wave speeds in the lithospheric and sub-lithospheric mantles due to higher temperatures, together with a thinner high velocity lid that contrasts with a thicker one found beneath most Archean cratons. A thin transition zone beneath most of the cratonic stations lends support to the enhanced temperatures within the TZ itself. Also, a further delay of the TZ discontinuities is observed for stations on the southern granulite terrain, which was under the influence of the Marion plume that is responsible for the separation of Madagascar from India. Although the data do not conclusively show evidence for a 520 km discontinuity, an LVL atop the 410 cannot be ruled out beneath certain geological provinces of the Indian shield.

  18. Continental lithospheric evolution: Constraints from the geochemistry of felsic volcanic rocks in the Dharwar Craton, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manikyamba, C.; Ganguly, Sohini; Saha, Abhishek; Santosh, M.; Rajanikanta Singh, M.; Subba Rao, D. V.

    2014-12-01

    Felsic magmatism associated with ocean-ocean and ocean-continent subduction processes provide important evidence for distinct episodes of crust-generation and continental lithospheric evolution. Rhyolites constitute an integral component of the tholeiitic to calc-alkaline basalt-andesite-dacite-rhyolite (BADR) association and contribute to crustal growth processes at convergent plate margins. The evolution of the Dharwar Craton of southern peninsular India during Meso- to Neoarchean times was marked by extensive development of greenstone belts. These granite-greenstone terranes have distinct volcano-sedimentary associations consistent with their geodynamic setting. The present study deals with geochemistry of rhyolites from the Chitradurga-Shimoga greenstone belts of western (WDC) and the Gadwal-Kadiri greenstone belts of eastern (EDC) sectors of Dharwar Craton to compare and evaluate their petrogenesis and geodynamic setting and their control on the continental lithospheric evolution of the Dharwar Craton. At a similar range of SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3, the rhyolites of WDC are more potassic, whereas the EDC rhyolites are more sodic and less magnesian with slight increase in TiO2. Minor increase in MgO content of WDC rhyolites reflects their ferromagnesian trace elements which are comparatively lower in the rhyolites of EDC. The relative enrichment in LILE (K, Rb) and depletion in HFSE (Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf) marked by negative Nb-Ta, Zr-Hf and Ti anomalies endorse the convergent margin processes for the generation of rhyolites of both the sectors of Dharwar Craton. The high silica potassic rhyolites of Shimoga and Chitradurga greenstone belts of WDC showing prominent negative Eu and Ti anomalies, flat HREE patterns correspond to Type 3 rhyolites and clearly point towards their generation and emplacement in an active continental margin environment. The geochemical characteristics of Gadwal and Kadiri rhyolites from eastern Dharwar Craton marked by aluminous compositions with

  19. Geochemical and isotopic characteristics of lithospheric mantle beneath West Kettle River, British Columbia: Evidence from ultramafic xenoliths

    SciTech Connect

    Xue, Xianyu; Baadsgaard, H.; Scarfe, C.M. ); Irving, A.J. )

    1990-09-10

    A group of spinel peridotite xenoliths from West Kettle River, British Columbia, represents essentially undepleted to moderately depleted lithospheric mantle rocks in terms of major and compatible trace elements. Whole rock Sr isotopic composition for most of these xenoliths, and whole rock Sm-Nd isotopic composition and LREE contents for some of them, seem to have been perturbed by near-surface processes. Sr and Nd isotopic results for acid-cleaned clinopyroxenes separated from these spinel peridotites reveal an isotopically mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB)-like mantle. Seven spinel lherzolites gave Nd model ages of 1.5-3.6 Ga, similar to MORB, and on a Sm-Nd isotope diagram plot close to a reference Nd isochron with an age of 0.7 Ga and an initial {var epsilon}{sub Nd} of +7. These features likely resulted from multiple mantle depletion. The isotopic similarities of these xenoliths with MORB suggest that this area is underlain by oceanic lithospheric mantle, possibly accreted to North America during the mid-Jurassic. The Nd isochron age could record the time when the oceanic lithosphere was isolated from the asthenosphere. Recent enrichment event may have acted on such a depleted mantle, as indicated by the low Sm/Nd ratios of two spinel harzburgites.

  20. Role of inherited structures on the strength and strain rate of continental lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazzotti, Stephane; Gueydan, Frédéric

    2014-05-01

    Under the Wilson Cycle and Plate Tectonics paradigms, continents are divided between stable continental regions (SCR), which tend to remain un-deformed, and plate boundary zones (PBZ) that repeatedly accommodate deformation associated with opening and closing of tectonic plates. This long-term (> 1 Ma) perspective is reflected in short-term (< 100 a) deformation markers such as seismicity and GPS measurements, which highlight the first-order contrast in strain rates between SCR and PBZ. Despite this clear first-order view, significant debate remains regarding short- and long-term strength and deformation rates in intraplate weak zones (e.g., Rhine Graben, New Madrid seismic zone). We propose to constrain first-order strength and strain rates using lithosphere rheological models, including new strain-weakening rheologies, driven by tectonic forces. We estimate average strain rates that satisfy near-failure equilibrium between net driving forces and lithosphere strength for cases that typify PBZ, cratons, and intraplate weak zones. Our model yields a range of strain rates that vary by up to six orders of magnitude between PBZ and cratons. In intraplate weak zones, structural and tectonic heritage results in significant weakening and yields strain rates compatible with GPS, seismicity, and geological markers. These results provide first-order constraints on long-term lithosphere strength and deformation rates. In particular, we explore upper and lower bounds of possible strain rates in intraplate weak zones, using a range of geotherm, rheology, and local stress conditions.

  1. Nature and evolution of lithospheric mantle beneath the southern Ethiopian rift zone: evidence from petrology and geochemistry of mantle xenoliths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alemayehu, Melesse; Zhang, Hong-Fu; Sakyi, Patrick Asamoah

    2016-06-01

    Mantle xenoliths hosted in Quaternary basaltic lavas from the Dillo and Megado areas of the southern Ethiopian rift are investigated to understand the geochemical composition and associated processes occurring in the lithospheric mantle beneath the region. The xenoliths are comprised of predominantly spinel lherzolite with subordinate harzburgite and clinopyroxenite. Fo content of olivine and Cr# of spinel for peridotites from both localities positively correlate and suggest the occurrence of variable degrees of partial melting and melt extraction. The clinopyroxene from lherzolites is both LREE depleted (La/Sm(N) = 0.11-0.37 × Cl) and LREE enriched (La/Sm(N) = 1.88-15.72 × Cl) with flat HREEs (Dy/Lu(N) = 0.96-1.31 × Cl). All clinopyroxene from the harzburgites and clinopyroxenites exhibits LREE-enriched (La/Sm(N) = 2.92-27.63.1 × Cl and, 0.45 and 1.38 × Cl, respectively) patterns with slight fractionation of HREE. The 143Nd/144Nd and 176Hf/177Hf ratios of clinopyroxene from lherzolite range from 0.51291 to 0.51370 and 0.28289 to 0.28385, respectively. Most of the samples define ages of 900 and 500 Ma on Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf reference isochrons, within the age range of Pan-African crustal formation. The initial Nd and Hf isotopic ratios were calculated at 1, 1.5, 2 and 2.5 Ga plot away from the trends defined by MORB, DMM and E-DMM which were determined from southern Ethiopian peridotites, thus indicating that the Dillo and Megado xenoliths could have been produced by melt extraction from the asthenosphere during the Pan-African orogenic event. There is no significant difference in 87Sr/86Sr ratios between the depleted and enriched clinopyroxene. This suggests that the melts that caused the enrichment of the clinopyroxene are mainly derived from the depleted asthenospheric mantle from which the xenoliths are extracted. Largely, the mineralogical and isotopic compositions of the xenoliths show heterogeneity of the CLM that could have been produced from various

  2. Geochemical Evolution of Cratonic Lithospheric Mantle: A 3.6 Ga Story of Persistence and Transformation (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Reilly, S. Y.; Griffin, W. L.; Pearson, N. J.

    2013-12-01

    Over the last decade, our view of the Earth has changed dramatically with the rapid development of planetary- and lithosphere-scale seismic tomography at increasingly higher resolution, and other global datasets such as gravity, magnetic and magnetotellurics. We now have access to geochemical (including isotopic) data for a large proportion of the elements in the periodic table, at very low levels in bulk rocks and in tiny volumes of tiny volumes. These advances, along with imaging of microstructures, enormous databanks for tectonic syntheses, and robust geodynamic modelling, have generated new concepts in understanding lithosphere evolution, structure and processes. The 4-D Lithosphere Mapping methodology introduced the integration of geophysical and geochemical datasets to construct geologically realistic sections of rock types and major boundaries in the deep lithosphere, in different timeslices. Correlation of petrological and geophysical data allows broader extrapolation of Lithosphere Mapping beyond xenolith sampling sites. The lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) is a first-order Earth discontinuity: it may shallow due to extension and metasomatism, or deepen due to vertical accretion. Its (paleo-)location can be traced geochemically (a proxy for paleogeophysics), and cratonic LAB is commonly marked by significant concentrations of eclogites. Convergent geochronology datasets of Hf isotopic model ages for zircons and Re-Os model ages for mantle sulfides and PGMs, reinforced by other geochemical and tectonic criteria, indicate that over 70% of the SCLM and its overlying crust (now mostly lower crust) formed at about 3.5 Ga, probably in a series of global overturn events that marked a change in Earth's fundamental geodynamic behaviour. This primitive SCLM, the roots of the Archean cratons up to 300km deep, was geochemically highly depleted, and subsequently played a major role in crustal metallogeny for many ore types. Firstly, the high degree of buoyancy

  3. Osmium isotope evidence for Early to Middle Proterozoic mantle lithosphere stabilization and concomitant production of juvenile crust in Dish Hill, CA peridotite xenoliths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armytage, Rosalind M. G.; Brandon, Alan D.; Peslier, Anne H.; Lapen, Thomas J.

    2014-07-01

    The 187Os/188Os compositions in peridotite samples from the sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) can be used to constrain the timing of melt extraction and potentially test the link between large-scale mantle melting and juvenile crust production. The SCLM has often experienced a complex history such that some lithophile elements such as REEs (rare earth elements) in these rocks typically record overprinting during metasomatism. New 187Os/188Os, major and trace element compositional data were obtained on sixteen Dish Hill peridotite xenoliths (California, USA) and are used to examine these issues. The samples show strong correlations between 187Os/188Os and indicators of melt depletion such as Lu abundance in clinopyroxene, modal abundance of clinopyroxene, bulk rock Al2O3 and the Cr# (Cr/(Cr + Al) in spinel. These relationships indicate that metasomatism did not compromise the 187Os/188Os systematics. The data appear to form two melt depletion trends consistent with Re depletion model ages (TRD) obtained from the two Al2O3 versus 187Os/188Os trends are 2.1 ± 0.5 Ga and 1.3 ± 0.3 Ga (±95% conf.). It has been suggested that the SCLM under Dish Hill may be fragments of oceanic lithosphere emplaced as the result of Farallon plate subduction during the Late Cretaceous (Luffi et al., 2009). However, the strong melt depletion trends, major element compositions and Re-depletion ages are not consistent with the interpretation of this suite of xenoliths having an oceanic lithospheric origin. Rather, the 2.1 Ga age coincides with Nd model ages of 2-2.3 Ga (Bennett and DePaolo, 1987; Rämö and Calzia, 1998) for the overlying Mojavia crustal province. The 1.3 Ga age is consistent with large-scale A-type magmatism in the nearby region at this time that is purported to be the result of mantle plume melting processes. Therefore, data from this study point to the SCLM under Dish Hill being formed by two ancient mantle-melting events, which could be the result of

  4. Yellowstone plume-continental lithosphere interaction beneath the Snake River Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanan, Barry B.; Shervais, John W.; Vetter, Scott K.

    2008-01-01

    The Snake River Plain represents 17 m.y. of volcanic activitythat took place as the North American continent migrated overa relatively fixed magma source, or hotspot. The identificationof a clear seismic image of a plume beneath Yellowstone is compellingevidence that the Miocene to recent volcanism associated withthe Columbia Plateau, Oregon High Lava Plains, Snake River Plain,Northern Nevada Rift and Yellowstone Plateau represents a singlemagmatic system related to a mantle plume. A remaining enigmais, why do radiogenic isotope signatures from basalts eruptedover the Mesozoic-Paleozoic accreted terrains suggesta plume source while basalts erupted across the Proterozoic-Archeancraton margin indicate an ancient subcontinental mantle lithospheresource? We show that ancient cratonic lithosphere like thatof the Wyoming province superimposes its inherent isotopic compositionon sublithospheric plume and/or asthenospheric melts. The resultsshow that Yellowstone plume could have a radiogenic isotopecomposition similar to the mantle source of the early ColumbiaRiver Basalt Group and that the plume source composition haspersisted to the present day.

  5. Refertilization process in the Patagonian subcontinental lithospheric mantle of Estancia Sol de Mayo (Argentina)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melchiorre, Massimiliano; Coltorti, Massimo; Gregoire, Michel; Benoit, Mathieu

    2015-05-01

    Anhydrous mantle xenoliths equilibrated at 1003-1040 °C from Estancia Sol de Mayo (ESM, Central Patagonia, Argentina) and entrained in post-plateau alkaline lavas belonging to Meseta Lago Buenos Aires have been investigated aiming at reconstructing the depletion and enrichment processes that affected this portion of the Patagonia lithospheric mantle. Xenoliths are characterized by a coarse-grained protogranular texture and are devoid of evident modal metasomatism. They show two texturally different clinopyroxenes: protogranular (cpx1) and texturally related to spinel (cpx2). Three different types of orthopyroxenes are also recognized: large protogranular crystals with exsolution lamellae (opx1); small clean and undeformed grains without exsolution lamellae (opx2) and small grains arranged in a vein (opx3). Major element composition of clinopyroxenes and orthopyroxenes highlights two different trends characterized by i) a high Al2O3 content at almost constant mg# and ii) a slight increase in Al2O3 content with decreasing mg#. Clinopyroxenes are enriched in LREE and are characterized by prominent to slightly negative Nb, Zr and Ti anomalies. No geochemical differences are observed between cpx1 and cpx2, while a discrimination can be observed between opx1 and opx2 (LREE-depleted; prominent to slightly negative Ti and Zr anomalies) and opx3 (prominent positive Zr anomaly). Partial melting modeling using both major and trace elements indicates a melting degree between ~ 5% and ~ 13% (up to ~ 23% according to major element modeling) for lherzolites and between ~ 20% and ~ 30% for harzburgites (down to ~ 5% according to trace element modeling). La/Yb and Al2O3, as well as Sr and Al2O3 negative correlations in clinopyroxenes point to a refertilization event affecting this lithospheric mantle. The agent was most probably a transitional alkaline/subalkaline melt, as indicated by the presence of orthopyroxene in the vein and the similar geochemical features of ESM

  6. Numerical Geodynamic Experiments of Continental Collision: Past and Present

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gray, Robert

    Research explores deep continental lithosphere (i.e., the continental lower crust and mantle lithosphere) deformation during continental collision. I found that depending on the composition/rheology of the crust and the amount of radiogenic heat production in the crust, three dominant modes of mantle lithosphere deformation evolve under Neoarchean-like conditions: (1) a pure-shear thickening style; (2) an imbrication style; (3) and a "flat-subduction" style. The imbrication and the flat-subduction styles result in the emplacement of "plate-like" mantle lithosphere at depths between 200 km and 325 km. The imbrication style behavior shifts to the "flat-subduction" style behavior after a crustal inversion event. I investigated mature Phanerozoic-style collision and found that it is sensitive to mantle lithosphere density, mantle lithosphere yield stress, lower-crustal strength and to the presence of phase change-related density changes in the lower crust. The early stages of collision are accommodated by subduction of lower crust and mantle lithosphere along a discrete shear zone beneath the overriding plate. Next, the subducting lower crust and mantle lithosphere retreat from the collision zone, permitting the sub-lithospheric mantle to upwell and intrude the overriding plate. Next, the lower crust and mantle lithosphere of the overriding plate delaminate from the overlying crust. This process produces plateau-like uplift. These modeling results are interpreted in the context of available geological and geophysical observables for the Himalayan-Tibetan orogen. I quantitatively investigated the effects that sediment deposition may have on continental lithosphere deformation during collision. In the absence of sedimentation, the early stages of collision are accommodated by subduction of lower crust and mantle lithosphere beneath the overriding plate. Next, the subducting lower crust and mantle lithosphere retreat from the collision zone. This permits the sub-lithospheric

  7. Modeling Continental Growth and Mantle Hydration in Earth's Evolution and the Impact of Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Höning, Dennis; Spohn, Tilman

    2016-04-01

    The evolution of planets with plate tectonics is significantly affected by several intertwined feedback cycles. On Earth, interactions between atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, crust, and interior determine its present day state. We here focus on the feedback cycles including the evolutions of mantle water budget and continental crust, and investigate possible effects of the Earth's biosphere. The first feedback loop includes cycling of water into the mantle at subduction zones and outgassing at volcanic chains and mid-ocean ridges. Water is known to reduce the viscosity of mantle rock, and therefore the speed of mantle convection and plate subduction will increase with the water concentration, eventually enhancing the rates of mantle water regassing and outgassing. A second feedback loop includes the production and erosion of continental crust. Continents are formed above subduction zones, whose total length is determined by the total size of the continents. Furthermore, the total surface area of continental crust determines the amount of eroded sediments per unit time. Subducted sediments affect processes in subduction zones, eventually enhancing the production rate of new continental crust. Both feedback loops affect each other: As a wet mantle increases the speed of subduction, continental production also speeds up. On the other hand, the total length of subduction zones and the rate at which sediments are subducted (both being functions of continental coverage) affect the rate of mantle water regassing. We here present a model that includes both cycles and show how the system develops stable and unstable fixed points in a plane defined by mantle water concentration and surface of continents. We couple these feedback cycles to a parameterized thermal evolution model that reproduces present day observations. We show how Earth has been affected by these feedback cycles during its evolution, and argue that Earth's present day state regarding its mantle water

  8. Multi-Observable Thermochemical Tomography of the lithosphere and upper mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afonso, J. C.; Yang, Y.; Rawlinson, N.; Jones, A. G.; Fullea, J.; Qashqai, M.

    2015-12-01

    Current knowledge of the present-day physical state and structure of the lithosphere and upper mantle essentially derives from four independent sources: i) gravity field and thermal modelling, ii) modelling/inversion of different seismic datasets, iii) magnetotelluric studies, and iv) thermobarometric and geochemical data from exhumed mantle samples. Unfortunately, the integration of these different sources of information in modern geophysical studies is still uncommon and significant discrepancies and/or inconsistencies in predictions between these sources are still the rule rather than the exception.In this contribution we will present a thermodynamically-constrained multi-observable probabilistic inversion method capable of jointly inverting i) surface and body wave datasets, gravity anomalies, geoid height, gravity gradients, receiver functions, surface heat flow, magnetotelluric data, and elevation (static and dynamic) in 3D spherical coordinates. Key aspects of the method are: (a) it combines multiple geophysical observables with different sensitivities to deep/shallow, thermal/compositional anomalies into a single thermodynamic-geophysical framework; (b) it works with thermophysical models of the Earth rather than with parameterized structures of physical parameters (e.g. Vs, Vp, density, etc), (c) it uses a general probabilistic (Bayesian) formulation to appraise the data; (d) no initial model is needed; (e) a priori compositional information relies on robust statistical analyses of a large database of natural mantle samples; (f) it provides a natural platform to estimate realistic uncertainties; (g) it handles multiscale parameterizations and complex physical models, and (h) it includes dynamic (convection) effects on surface observables by solving the complete Stokes flow using multi-dimensional decomposition methods. We will present results for both synthetic and real case studies, which serve to highlight the advantages and limitations of this new

  9. 3D multi-observable probabilistic inversion for the compositional and thermal structure of the lithosphere and sublithospheric upper mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afonso, J. C.; Fullea, J.; Yang, Y.; Griffin, W. L.; Jones, A. G.; Connolly, J.; Lebedev, S.; O'Reilly, S. Y.

    2011-12-01

    High-resolution imaging and characterization of the thermal and compositional structure of the lithospheric and sublithospheric upper mantle are the basis for understanding the formation and evolution of the lithosphere and the interaction between the crust-mantle and lithosphere-asthenosphere systems. Unfortunately, such imaging and characterization using available geophysical-geochemical methods still present unsolved and technically challenging problems. In this contribution we present a new full-3D multi-observable inversion method particularly designed for high-resolution (regional) thermal and compositional mapping of the lithosphere and sublithospheric upper mantle. Ambient noise tomography, multiple plane wave earthquake tomography, magnetotelluric, thermal, thermodynamic, and potential field modelling are all combined in a single thermodynamic-geophysical framework and appraised within a general probabilistic (Bayesian) formulation. This circumvents the problems of strong non-linearity involved in traditional inversions, provides highly refined seismic information, minimizes the problem of trade-off between temperature and composition in wave speeds, offers critical insights into incompatibilities between traditional stand-alone methods, and takes advantage of a priori local geochemical information. Both synthetic models and preliminary results in real-case examples will be used to discuss the benefits, robustness, and limitations of this method.

  10. A taxonomy of three species of negative velocity arrivals in the lithospheric mantle beneath the United States using Sp receiver functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, K.; Dueker, K.; McClenahan, J.; Hansen, S. M.; Schmandt, B.

    2012-12-01

    The Transportable Array, with significant supplement from past PASSCAL experiments, provides an unprecedented opportunity for a holistic view over the geologically and tectonically diverse continent. New images from 34,000 Sp Receiver Functions image lithospheric and upper mantle structure that has not previously been well constrained, significant to our understanding of upper mantle processes and continental evolution. The negative velocity gradient (NVG) found beneath the Moho has been elusive and is often loosely termed the "Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundary" (LAB).This label is used by some researchers to indicate a rheological boundary, a thermal gradient, an anisotropic velocity contrast, or a compositional boundary, and much confusion has arisen around what observed NVG arrivals manifest. Deconvolution across up to 400 stations simultaneously has enhanced the source wavelet estimation and allowed for more accurate receiver functions. In addition, Sdp converted phases are precursory to the direct S phase arrival, eliminating the issue of contamination from reverberated phases that add noise to Ps receiver functions in this lower-lithospheric and upper mantle depth range. We present taxonomy of the NVG arrivals beneath the Moho across the span of the Transportable Array (125° - 85° W). The NVG is classified into three different categories, primarily distinguished by the estimated temperature at the depth of the arrival. The first species of Sp NVG arrivals is found to be in the region west of the Precambrian rift hinge line, at a depth range of 70 - 90 km, corresponding to a temperature of >1150° C. This temperature and depth is predicted to be supersolidus for a 0.02% weight H2O Peridotite (Katz et al., 2004), supporting the theory that these arrivals are due to a melt-staging area (MSA), which could be correlated with the base of the thermal lithosphere. The current depth estimate of the cratonic US thermal LAB ranges from 150-220 km (Yuan and Romanowitz

  11. Geochemical and Isotopic Evidence for Melting and Erosion of Wyoming Craton Mantle Lithosphere Prior to 48 Ma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duke, G. I.; Carlson, R. W.; Frost, C. D.

    2010-12-01

    Trace-element geochemistry of Cretaceous-Tertiary Great Plains igneous rocks supports isotopic data that reveal a sequence of digestion of lithospheric mantle followed by intrusion of dominantly asthenospheric magmas. Multiple Archean, Proterozoic, and Phanerozoic subduction events beneath the Wyoming craton concentrated Ba and K within the underlying mantle lithosphere, resulting in earliest Cretaceous-Tertiary lithospheric melts with fingerprints of high K, high Ba/Nb and negative epsilon-Nd, but low U, Th, total REE, and less extreme values of LREE/HREE. Youngest (Eocene-Oligocene) magmas were kimberlite and carbonatite, with high U, Th, LREE, extremely high LREE/HREE, and positive epsilon-Nd, but with high-T xenoliths from depths of only 150 km (Carlson et al., 1999). Importantly, in the entire Wyoming craton, the Homestead kimberlite is the only one of K-T age that has transported a diamond—a single micro-diamond discovered. The shallow low-T to high-T xenolith transition, lack of diamonds, and changing magma geochemistry, suggest that a significant portion of the mantle lithosphere beneath the Wyoming Archean craton must have been consumed prior to the ≤48 Ma kimberlite eruptions. In contrast, the earliest phase of Cretaceous magmatism in Arkansas was explosive diamond-containing lamproite (~102 Ma) with a Proterozoic lithospheric isotopic signature (Lambert et al., 1995). In Arkansas, there was no earlier subalkalic magmatism, and no evidence of slow digestion of the mantle lithosphere, although later magmatism trended toward higher positive epsilon-Nd values (i.e. larger asthenospheric component). Removal by melting of a significant portion of the Wyoming mantle lithosphere during late Cretaceous-early Tertiary magmatism, along with heating, may have helped promote lithospheric “relaxation” related to extension further west between 53 Ma and 49 Ma, followed by more facile penetration by asthenospheric magmas, an idea proposed to explain the time

  12. Petrogenesis of postcollisional magmatism at Scheelite Dome, Yukon, Canada: Evidence for a lithospheric mantle source for magmas associated with intrusion-related gold systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mair, John L.; Farmer, G. Lang; Groves, David I.; Hart, Craig J.R.; Goldfarb, Richard J.

    2011-01-01

    The type examples for the class of deposits termed intrusion-related gold systems occur in the Tombstone-Tungsten belt of Alaska and Yukon, on the eastern side of the Tintina gold province. In this part of the northern Cordillera, extensive mid-Cretaceous postcollisional plutonism took place following the accretion of exotic terranes to the continental margin. The most cratonward of the resulting plutonic belts comprises small isolated intrusive centers, with compositionally diverse, dominantly potassic rocks, as exemplified at Scheelite Dome, located in central Yukon. Similar to other spatially and temporally related intrusive centers, the Scheelite Dome intrusions are genetically associated with intrusion-related gold deposits. Intrusions have exceptional variability, ranging from volumetrically dominant clinopyroxene-bearing monzogranites, to calc-alkaline minettes and spessartites, with an intervening range of intermediate to felsic stocks and dikes, including leucominettes, quartz monzonites, quartz monzodiorites, and granodiorites. All rock types are potassic, are strongly enriched in LILEs and LREEs, and feature high LILE/HFSE ratios. Clinopyroxene is common to all rock types and ranges from salite in felsic rocks to high Mg augite and Cr-rich diopside in lamprophyres. Less common, calcic amphibole ranges from actinolitic hornblende to pargasite. The rocks have strongly radiogenic Sr (initial 87Sr/86Sr from 0.711-0.714) and Pb isotope ratios (206Pb/204Pb from 19.2-19.7), and negative initial εNd values (-8.06 to -11.26). Whole-rock major and trace element, radiogenic isotope, and mineralogical data suggest that the felsic to intermediate rocks were derived from mafic potassic magmas sourced from the lithospheric mantle via fractional crystallization and minor assimilation of metasedimentary crust. Mainly unmodified minettes and spessartites represent the most primitive and final phases emplaced. Metasomatic enrichments in the underlying lithospheric mantle

  13. Rifting of the Tyrrhenian Basin: A Natural Laboratory to Study Extension of Continental Lithosphere and Conjugate Rifted Margin Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranero, C. R.; Sallares, V.; Grevemeyer, I.; Zitellini, N.; Vendrell, M. G.; Prada, M.; Moeller, S.; Party, M. C.; Medoc Cruise Party

    2011-12-01

    The Tyrrhenian basin has been created by extension of continental lithosphere above a retreating slab during the Neogene. The basin is not currently extending, but its structure preserves information of the time evolution of the rifting process. The basin opened from north to south with different amounts of extension. The northern region stopped opening after relatively low extension. The amount of extension increases southwards to a region where full crustal separation produced mantle exhumation. The final structure displays two conjugate margins with an asymmetric structure. We present results from a two-vessel seismic experiment that took place in spring 2010. The cruise was carried out with the Spanish R/V Sarmiento de Gamboa (SdG) and the Italian R/V Urania in a first leg. The ships collected 5 E-W trending wide-angle seismic (WAS) profiles across the entire basin using 17 Ocean Bottom Seismometers and 25 Ocean Bottom Hydrophones and a 4800 c.i. G-II gun array. During the second leg the R/V SdG collected 16 Multichannel Seismic Reflection (MCS) profiles using a 3.75 km-long streamer and a 3000 c.i. G-II gun array. MCS profiles were acquired coincident with the WAS profiles, and a number of additional lines concentrated in the central region of the basin where mantle exhumation took place. The seismic data covers the region of the basin that experienced different amount of extension from north to south. In this presentation we compare observations from different transects to study the evolution of the processes of continental margin formation by trading space (different areas with different extension factors) for time (evolution of extension). Each transect provides the tectonic structure, the geometry of sedimentary deposits, and seismic velocity distribution. This information allows to interpret the mechanisms of deformation and to study the symmetry-asymmetry structure of the conjugated margins, and thus of the processes involved in their formation. The

  14. Dynamic lithosphere within the Great Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, Ryan C.; Fouch, Matthew J.; Schmerr, Nicholas C.

    2014-04-01

    place new constraints on the short-term, broad-scale lithospheric evolution of plate interiors, we utilize broadband seismic data from the Great Basin region of the Western United States to produce high-resolution images of the crust and upper mantle. Our results suggest that parts of the Great Basin lithosphere has been removed, likely via inflow of hot asthenosphere as subduction of the Farallon spreading center occurred and the region extended. In our proposed model, fragments of thermal lithosphere removed by this process were gravitationally unstable and subsequently sank into the underlying mantle, leaving behind less dense, stronger, chemically depleted lithosphere. This destabilization process promotes volcanism, deformation, and the reworking of continental lithosphere inboard from plate margins. Our results provide evidence for a new mechanism of lithospheric evolution that is likely common and significant in postsubduction tectonic settings.

  15. Imaging the continental mantle beneath Iberia and Northern Morocco: the contribution of the Topo-Iberia project.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diaz, Jordi

    2013-04-01

    One of the key assets of the Topo-Iberia research program, aiming to unravel the complex structure and mantle processes in the area of interaction between the African and European continental plates, has been the deploying of a technological observational platform, named IberArray, to provide new seismological, magnetotelluric and geodetical data with unprecedented resolution and coverage. Topo-Iberia has also benefited from the interaction with subsequent projects investigating the same area, as the USA Picasso, the French Pyrope or the Portuguese Wilas. This interaction includes sharing the available data to better assess the key geological questions. This contribution aims to present the current state of the most significant scientific investigations concerning the lithosphere-asthenosphere system beneath Iberia and Northern Morocco which are arising from the data acquired using the Iberarray platform. The area so far investigated extends from the Variscan Central Iberian Massif in the North to the border of the Sahara Platform in the South and includes areas of complex and still not completely understood geodynamics, as the Alboran domain or the Atlas Mountains. SKS splitting analysis clearly image this complexity; the fast polarization directions (FPD) beneath the Betics-Alboran show a spectacular rotation along the Gibraltar arc following the curvature of the Rif-Betic chain. Beneath the High Atlas and SW Iberia, there are a very significant number of high quality events without evidence for anisotropy, suggesting the presence of a large vertical component of flow in the upper mantle. These observations allow inferring a model of mantle flow at regional scale. New body wave tomographic images have confirmed the presence of a high-velocity slab beneath the Gibraltar Arc and allowed to define more precisely its geometry, appearing as a near-vertical feature extending from 50-75 km to about 600 km. Magnetotelluric profiles acquired using broad-band and long

  16. Thermal and isostatic consequences of simple shear extension of the continental lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Issler, Dale; McQueen, Herbert; Beaumont, Christopher

    1989-01-01

    Quantitative results are presented for a model involving large-scale simple shear of continental lithosphere. The locally compensated, finite element model includes the effects of sedimentation, radiogenic heat production in the crust and sediments, and finite rates of extension. Flexural effects during firting are examined using a simple shear model with a uniform initial elastic thickness. The locally compensated model predicts that a breakup unconformity develops on the upper plate when extension occurs at typical plate tectonic velocities. Subsidence occurs as the upper and lower lithospheric plates separate. Extension creates the potential for large accumulations of sediment ( ˜ 20 km), most of which is syn-rift if sedimentation keeps pace with subsidence. The effect of flexure is to modify the shape of the detachment surface and the uplift patterns on the flanks of the upper and lower plate sedimentary basins. A model which incorporates flexure predicts significant uplift of the lower plate as it is unloaded by the upper plate during extension. The Wernicke simple shear model can be distinguished from its opposite end member, the McKenzie pure shear model, by the predicted asymmetry in thermal evolution (higher predicted heat flux within the upper plate), uplift/subsidence histories and stratigraphic development of the upper and lower plates.

  17. Constraints on the mantle and lithosphere dynamics from the observed geoid with the effect of visco-elasto-plastic rheology in the upper 300 km

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osei Tutu, Anthony; Steinberger, Bernhard; Rogozhina, Irina; Sobolev, Stephan

    2015-04-01

    Over the past decades rheological properties of the Earth's mantle and lithosphere have been extensively studied using numerical models calibrated versus a range of surface observations (e.g., free-air-gravity anomaly/geoid, dynamic topography, plate velocity, etc.).The quality of model predictions however strongly depends on the simplifying assumptions, spatial resolution and parameterizations adopted by numerical models. The geoid is largely (Hager & Richards, 1989) determined by both the density anomalies driving the mantle flow and the dynamic topography at the Earth surface and the core-mantle boundary. This is the effect of the convective processes within the Earth's mantle. The remainder is mostly due to strong heterogeneities in the lithospheric mantle and the crust, which also need to be taken into account. The surface topography caused by density anomalies both in the sub-lithospheric mantle and within the lithosphere also depends on the lithosphere rheology. Here we investigate the effects of complex lithosphere rheology on the modelled dynamic topography, geoid and plate motion using a spectral mantle flow code (Hager & O'Connell, 1981) considering radial viscosity distribution and a fully coupled code of the lithosphere and mantle accounting for strong heterogeneities in the upper mantle rheology in the 300 km depths (Popov & Sobolev, 2008). This study is the first step towards linking global mantle dynamics with lithosphere dynamics using the observed geoid as a major constraint. Here we present the results from both codes and compare them with the observed geoid, dynamic topography and plate velocities from GPS measurements. This method allows us to evaluate the effects of plate rheology (e.g., strong plate interiors and weak plate margins) and stiff subducted lithosphere on these observables (i.e. geoid, topography, plate boundary stresses) as well as on plate motion. This effort will also serve as a benchmark of the two existing numerical methods

  18. The Two Subduction Zones of the Southern Caribbean: Lithosphere Tearing and Continental Margin Recycling in the East, Flat Slab Subduction and Laramide-Style Uplifts in the West

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levander, A.; Bezada, M. J.; Niu, F.; Schmitz, M.

    2015-12-01

    The southern Caribbean plate boundary is a complex strike-slip fault system bounded by oppositely vergent subduction zones, the Antilles subduction zone in the east, and a currently locked Caribbean-South American subduction zone in the west (Bilham and Mencin, 2013). Finite-frequency teleseismic P-wave tomography images both the Atlanic (ATL) and the Caribbean (CAR) plates subducting steeply in opposite directions to transition zone depths under northern South America. Ps receiver functions show a depressed 660 discontinuity and thickened transition zone associated with each subducting plate. In the east the oceanic (ATL) part of the South American (SA) plate subducts westward beneath the CAR, initiating the El Pilar-San Sebastian strike slip system, a subduction-transform edge propagator (STEP) fault (Govers and Wortel, 2005). The point at which the ATL tears away from SA as it descends into the mantle is evidenced by the Paria cluster seismicity at depths of 60-110 km (Russo et al, 1993). Body wave tomography and lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) thickness determined from Sp and Ps receiver functions and Rayleigh waves suggest that the descending ATL also viscously removes the bottom third to half of the SA continental margin lithospheric mantle as it descends. This has left thinned continental lithosphere under northern SA in the wake of the eastward migrating Antilles subduction zone. The thinned lithosphere occupies ~70% of the length of the El Pilar-San Sebastian fault system, from ~64oW to ~69oW, and extends inland several hundred kilometers. In northwestern SA the CAR subducts east-southeast at low angle under northern Colombia and western Venezuela. The subducting CAR is at least 200 km wide, extending from northernmost Colombia as far south as the Bucaramanga nest seismicity. The CAR descends steeply under Lake Maracaibo and the Merida Andes. This flat slab is associated with three Neogene basement cored, Laramide-style uplifts: the Santa Marta

  19. Isotopic evidence from lavas and mantle xenoliths for a mixed asthenospheric-lithospheric source for Rio Grande rift magmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatterjee, R. N.; Byerly, B. L.; Lassiter, J. C.

    2011-12-01

    Lavas from the Rio Grande rift have a wide range of isotopic compositions from MORB-like to OIB and further enriched values. Most previous studies have interpreted this as reflecting variable melt derivation from asthenospheric and lithospheric mantle sources with temporal evolution related to thinning or delamination of the lithosphere associated with rifting. Alternatively, Wolff et al. (2005) and Crocker et al. (2010) have argued for strong crustal overprinting of the lavas; which swamps the mantle signature and limits our understanding of the mantle evolution beneath the rift. We have examined lavas and mantle xenoliths from West Potrillo, Elephant Butte and Cerro Chato localities of the rift in order to investigate whether the mantle beneath the rift possesses the isotopic signature of the lavas or if crustal inputs are required to explain the enrichments in the lavas. The lavas display a wide range of isotopic composition with 87Sr/86Sr (0.702990-0.704936), 143Nd/144Nd (0.512745-0.512973), 206Pb/204Pb (18.66-19.93), 207Pb/204Pb (15.54-15.66) and 208Pb/204Pb (38.32-39.53). The Elephant Butte lavas are more enriched than the West Potrillo lavas. Clinopyroxene separates from the mantle xenoliths have 87Sr/86Sr (0.701756-0.704455), 143Nd/144Nd (0.512880-0.514040), 206Pb/204Pb (17.99-19.52), 207Pb/204Pb (15.39-15.68) and 208Pb/204Pb (37.46-39.22). The Elephant Butte xenoliths have depleted mantle-like compositions while the Cerro Chato xenoliths are chemically similar to SCLM. The lavas lie on a mixing line between these two end-members in Sr-Nd-Pb space. The isotopic ratios of the lavas are correlated with Sm/Yb, La/Sm and Ba/Nb ratios, which are generally more sensitive to melting processes rather than crustal assimilation. Indices of fractional crystallization such as SiO2 and Mg# are not correlated with the isotopic ratios. The West Potrillo lavas generally have lower SiO2 and higher Sm/Yb compared to Elephant Butte, likely due to a greater depth of melt

  20. Seismic structure of the lithosphere and upper mantle beneath the ocean islands near mid-oceanic ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haldar, C.; Kumar, P.; Kumar, M. Ravi

    2014-05-01

    Deciphering the seismic character of the young lithosphere near mid-oceanic ridges (MORs) is a challenging endeavor. In this study, we determine the seismic structure of the oceanic plate near the MORs using the P-to-S conversions isolated from quality data recorded at five broadband seismological stations situated on ocean islands in their vicinity. Estimates of the crustal and lithospheric thickness values from waveform inversion of the P-receiver function stacks at individual stations reveal that the Moho depth varies between ~ 10 ± 1 km and ~ 20 ± 1 km with the depths of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) varying between ~ 40 ± 4 and ~ 65 ± 7 km. We found evidence for an additional low-velocity layer below the expected LAB depths at stations on Ascension, São Jorge and Easter islands. The layer probably relates to the presence of a hot spot corresponding to a magma chamber. Further, thinning of the upper mantle transition zone suggests a hotter mantle transition zone due to the possible presence of plumes in the mantle beneath the stations.

  1. Diamonds from the Machado River alluvial deposit, Rondônia, Brazil, derived from both lithospheric and sublithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burnham, A. D.; Bulanova, G. P.; Smith, C. B.; Whitehead, S. C.; Kohn, S. C.; Gobbo, L.; Walter, M. J.

    2016-11-01

    Diamonds from the Machado River alluvial deposit have been characterised on the basis of external morphology, internal textures, carbon isotopic composition, nitrogen concentration and aggregation state and mineral inclusion chemistry. Variations in morphology and features of abrasion suggest some diamonds have been derived directly from local kimberlites, whereas others have been through extensive sedimentary recycling. On the basis of mineral inclusion compositions, both lithospheric and sublithospheric diamonds are present at the deposit. The lithospheric diamonds have clear layer-by-layer octahedral and/or cuboid internal growth zonation, contain measurable nitrogen and indicate a heterogeneous lithospheric mantle beneath the region. The sublithospheric diamonds show a lack of regular sharp zonation, do not contain detectable nitrogen, are isotopically heavy (δ13CPDB predominantly - 0.7 to - 5.5) and contain inclusions of ferropericlase, former bridgmanite, majoritic garnet and former CaSiO3-perovskite. This suggests source lithologies that are Mg- and Ca-rich, probably including carbonates and serpentinites, subducted to lower mantle depths. The studied suite of sublithospheric diamonds has many similarities to the alluvial diamonds from Kankan, Guinea, but has more extreme variations in mineral inclusion chemistry. Of all superdeep diamond suites yet discovered, Machado River represents an end-member in terms of either the compositional range of materials being subducted to Transition Zone and lower mantle or the process by which materials are transferred from the subducted slab to the diamond-forming region.

  2. Secondary Hotspots in the South Pacific as a Result of Mantle Plumelets and Lithospheric Extension?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koppers, A.; Staudigel, H.; Wijbrans, J.; Pringle, M.

    2003-12-01

    has lead to new models that retain the concept of mantle plumes, but these lack both simplicity and predictive power. New models that call on "extension" are indeed simple and they may explain most characteristics of Earth's intra-plate volcanism, but they also have limited predictive power, making it more difficult to test for their validity. We argue that we require a combination of processes: one that forces regional magmatism from a large-scale source of buoyancy from below (like the rise of plumelets shooting off the top of a superplume) and one process that acts from above, as intra-plate extension opens up pathways that allow the lithosphere to be penetrated by magma.

  3. Magmatic lithospheric heating and weakening during continental rifting: A simple scaling law, a 2-D thermomechanical rifting model and the East African Rift System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmeling, Harro; Wallner, Herbert

    2012-08-01

    Continental rifting is accompanied by lithospheric thinning and decompressional melting. After extraction, melt is intruded at shallower depth thereby heating and weakening the lithosphere. In a feedback mechanism this weakening may assist rifting and melt production. A one-dimensional kinematic lithospheric thinning model is developed including decompressional melting and intrusional magma deposition. The intrusional heating effect is determined as a function of thinning rate and amount, melting parameters, potential temperature, and the depth range of emplacement. The temperature increases approximately proportionally to the square root of the thinning rate and to the square of the supersolidus potential temperature. Simple scaling laws are derived allowing predicting these effects and the surface heat flux for arbitrary scenarios. Two-dimensional thermomechanical extension models are carried out for a multicomponent (crust-mantle) two-phase (melt-matrix) system with a rheology based on laboratory data including magmatic weakening. In good agreement with the 1-D kinematic models it is found that the lithosphere may heat up by several 100 K. This heating enhances viscous weakening by one order of magnitude or more. In a feedback mechanism rifting is dynamically enforced, leading to a significant increase of rift induced melt generation. Including the effect of lateral focusing of magma toward the rift axis the laws are applied to different segments of the East African Rift System. The amount of intrusional heating increases with maturity of the rift from O(10 K) to up to 200 K or 400 K at the Afar Rift depending on the depth range of the magmatic emplacement.

  4. Receiver function and magnetotelluric analysis to understand the first stage of a continental lithospheric break-up : case of the North Tanzanian Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plasman, M.; Tiberi, C.; Tarits, P.; Hautot, S.; Gautier, S.; Ebinger, C. J.; Mulibo, G. D.; Khalfan, M.

    2015-12-01

    First stage of continental break-up, though intensively studied, is yet poorly understood. This is partly because actual rifting areas are either too mature (more than 10 My) or not easily accessible (thick sediment cover or under water). The North Tanzania part of the East African Rift is the place of a lithosphere's early break-up (less than 5My) in response to a combination of regional pulling forces and mantle upwelling. Deformation there results from complex interactions between magmatic intrusions, faulting, asthenospheric dynamics and far field stresses. CoLiBrEA (ANR) and CRAFTI (NSF) are two multidisciplinary projects which collaboratively focus on this area to understand the interactions between faults and magma, the role of inherited structures and rheological heterogeneities of the lithosphere. For that purpose, we deployed 38 broadband seismic stations in the Natron and Ngorongoro areas from January 2013 to December 2014 and carried out a 120 km East-West magnetotelluric (MT) profile to image the crustal and mantle structures. The 3D resistivity model, obtained from the inversion of the MT data along the profile, shows an highly heterogeneous crust with three-dimensional structures over a more homogeneous upper mantle. The first inversion result from the receiver function (RF) by the Zhu and Kanamori's inversion method show a thick crust (~35 km) with important variations (maximum 15km) especially in the Ngorongoro area, and an average Vp/Vs ratio of 1.75. We then completed this study by combining the MT data and the RF at the 11 sites of the EW profile. For each site, we built a 1D velocity model (Vs and VpVs) obtained by combining the Sambridge forward solution with a non linear descent research algorithm and constrained by the resistivity structure. The inversion shows an heterogeneous crust obviously dominated by the Moho interface at different depths, with low velocity layers mainly corresponding to low resistivity features.

  5. Teleseismic wave front anomalies at a Continental Rift: no mantle anomaly below the central Upper Rhine Graben

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirschner, Stephanie; Ritter, Joachim; Wawerzinek, Britta

    2011-08-01

    The deep structure of the Upper Rhine Graben (URG), a continental rift in SW Germany and E France, is still poorly known. This deficit impedes a full understanding of the geodynamic evolution of this prominent rift. We study the lithosphere-asthenosphere structure using teleseismic waveforms obtained from the passive broad-band TIMO project across the central URG. The recovered, crust-corrected traveltime residuals relative to the iasp91 earth model are tiny (mostly less than 0.2-0.3 s). The average measured slowness (<1 s deg-1) and backazimuth (<5°) deviations are also very small and do not show any systematic wave front anomalies. These observed perturbation values are smaller than expected ones from synthetic 3-D ray tracing modelling with anomalies exceeding 2-3 per cent seismic velocity in the mantle. Thus there is no significant hint for any deep-seated anomaly such as a mantle cushion, etc. This result means that the rifting process did not leave behind a lower lithospheric signature, which could be clearly verified with high-resolution teleseismic experiments. The only significant traveltime perturbation at the central URG is located at its western side in the upper crust around a known geothermal anomaly. The upper crustal seismic anomaly with traveltime delays of 0.2-0.3 s cannot be explained with increased temperature alone. It is possibly related to a zone of highly altered granite. In the west of our network a traveltime anomaly (0.6-0.7 s delay) related with the Eifel plume is confirmed by the TIMO data set.

  6. Pb and Sr isotopic constraints on lithospheric magma sources during Mesozoic continental margin arc initiation, southern California

    SciTech Connect

    Barth, A.P. . Dept. of Geology); Tosdal, R.M.; Wooden, J.L. )

    1993-04-01

    Initiation of the Mesozoic Cordilleran arc in the southwestern US is marked by plutonism from about 241--213 Ma, exposed in the Granite Mountains in the southwestern Mojave Desert, through the Transverse Ranges to the Colorado River trough in southeastern California and southwestern Arizona. Plutons range in composition from diorite to granite, but quartz monzonite and monzodiorite predominate. Plutons intruded 1,700 to 1,100 Ma rocks of the Mojave crustal province [as defined isotopically by Wooden and Miller (1990) and Bennett and DePaolo (1987)], and episomal plutons locally intruded its deformed cratonal/miogeoclinal cover. Plutons emplaced during arc initiation overlap isotopically with local Proterozoic basement rocks, but typically have less radiogenic [sup 207]Pb/[sup 204]Pb, [sup 208]Pb/[sup 204]Pb and [sup 87]Sr/[sup 86]Sr than adjacent, more voluminous Middle-Late Jurassic and Late Cretaceous arc plutons. Among early arc plutons, an inter-suite trend toward more radiogenic Pb and [sup 87]Sr/[sup 86]Sr at similar silica contents reflects regional basement isotopic variability. Generally high Sr contents, low Rb/Sr and limited REE data suggest this inter-suite variations records heterogeneity in eclogite/garnet amphibolite facies mafic lithospheric magma sources, corresponding to mafic lower crust and/or upper mantle formed during 1,700 Ma orogenesis or rift-related magmatism at 1,100 Ma. Intra-suite trends toward less radiogenic Pb at constant or more radiogenic Sr reflect involvement of a U and Th depleted, silicic intracrustal contaminant. Distinctive magma sources and limited crustal interaction during emplacement probably reflects the relatively cool thermal structure of the nascent Cordilleran continental margin arc.

  7. Theory and detection scheme of seismic EM signals transferred into the atmosphere from the oceanic and continental lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novik, Oleg; Ershov, Sergey; Ruzhin, Yuri; Smirnov, Fedor; Volgin, Maxim

    2014-07-01

    Due to the compound structure of the medium and large portions of energy transferred, a seismic excitation in the oceanic or continental lithosphere disturbs all types of geophysical fields. To investigate the problem of electromagnetic (EM) disturbances in the atmosphere from the seismically activated lithosphere, we have formulated two mathematical models of interaction of fields of different physical nature resulting in arising of the low-frequency (from 0.1 to 10 Hz by amplitude of a few hundreds of pT) EM signals in the atmosphere. First we have considered the EM field generation in the moving oceanic lithosphere and then in the moving continental one. For both cases, the main physical principles and geological data were applied for formulation of the model and characteristics of the computed signals of different nature agree with measurements of other authors. On the basis of the 2D model of the seismo-hydro-EM-temperature interaction in the lithosphere-Ocean-atmosphere domain, a block-scheme of a multisensory vertically distributed (from a seafloor up to the ionosphere) tsunami precursors' detection system is described. On the basis of the 3D model of the seismo-EM interaction in a lithosphere-atmosphere domain, we explain why Prof. Kopytenko (Inst. IZMIRAN of Russian Acad. Sci.) and co-authors were able to estimate location of the future seismic epicenter area from their magnetic field measurements in the atmosphere near the earth's surface.

  8. Combined underthrusting and mantle dripping - lateral dragging controlling the lithosphere structure of the NW-Moroccan margin and the Atlas Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez-Munt, I.; Fernandez, M.; Zlotnik, S.

    2012-04-01

    Recent studies carried out in NW-Africa indicate prominent variations of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) depth. The studies integrate gravity, geoid, surface heat flow, elevation and seismic data along a profile running from the Tagus Abyssal Plain to the Sahara Platform and crossing the Gorringe Bank, the NW Moroccan Margin and the Atlas Mountains. The resulting mantle density anomalies show a prominent lithospheric mantle thickening beneath the margin (LAB >200 km-depth) followed by thinning beneath the Atlas Mountains (LAB ~90 km-depth). A combination of mantle underthrusting due to oblique convergence together with a viscous dripping fed by lateral mantle dragging can explain the imaged lithospheric structure. The model is consistent with a strong decoupled crustal-mantle mechanical response to the Africa-Eurasia convergence and results in positive/negative dynamic topography in regions with thickened/thinned crust. In the present work we go a step further analysing the role of the lithospheric mantle structure on the resulting dynamic topography and the dynamic conditions suitable to produce the inferred mantle density anomalies. Therefore, we calculate the dynamic topography rising from mantle thickness variations along the profile and those related to possible lateral variations of mantle composition. In addition, we study the key factors controlling the deformation of the lithospheric mantle when submitted to convergence by means the fully dynamic software UNDERWORLD. Chief among these factors are the mantle viscosity and its temperature dependence, the characteristic time of the process, and the resulting topography variation of the free upper surface. These results allow us to speculate on the past and future evolution of the NW-Moroccan margin which could show the appropriated conditions for subduction initiation.

  9. Thermal and mechanical structure of the upper mantle: A comparison between continental and oceanic models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Froidevaux, C.; Schubert, G.; Yuen, D. A.

    1976-01-01

    Temperature, velocity, and viscosity profiles for coupled thermal and mechanical models of the upper mantle beneath continental shields and old ocean basins show that under the continents, both tectonic plates and the asthenosphere, are thicker than they are beneath the oceans. The minimum value of viscosity in the continental asthenosphere is about an order of magnitude larger than in the shear zone beneath oceans. The shear stress or drag underneath continental plates is also approximately an order of magnitude larger than the drag on oceanic plates. Effects of shear heating may account for flattening of ocean floor topography and heat flux in old ocean basins.

  10. No thermal anomalies in the mantle transition zone beneath an incipient continental rift: evidence from the first receiver function study across the Okavango Rift Zone, Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Y.; Liu, K. H.; Moidaki, M.; Reed, C. A.; Gao, S. S.

    2015-08-01

    Mechanisms leading to the initiation and early-stage development of continental rifts remain enigmatic, in spite of numerous studies. Among the various rifting models, which were developed mostly based on studies of mature rifts, far-field stresses originating from plate interactions (passive rifting) and nearby active mantle upwelling (active rifting) are commonly used to explain rift dynamics. Situated atop of the hypothesized African Superplume, the incipient Okavango Rift Zone (ORZ) of northern Botswana is ideal to investigate the role of mantle plumes in rift initiation and development, as well as the interaction between the upper and lower mantle. The ORZ developed within the Neoproterozoic Damara belt between the Congo Craton to the northwest and the Kalahari Craton to the southeast. Mantle structure and thermal status beneath the ORZ are poorly known, mostly due to a complete paucity of broad-band seismic stations in the area. As a component of an interdisciplinary project funded by the United States National Science Foundation, a broad-band seismic array was deployed over a 2-yr period between mid-2012 and mid-2014 along a profile 756 km in length. Using P-to-S receiver functions (RFs) recorded by the stations, the 410 and 660 km discontinuities bordering the mantle transition zone (MTZ) are imaged for the first time. When a standard Earth model is used for the stacking of RFs, the apparent depths of both discontinuities beneath the Kalahari Craton are about 15 km shallower than those beneath the Congo Craton. Using teleseismic P- and S-wave traveltime residuals obtained by this study and lithospheric thickness estimated by previous studies, we conclude that the apparent shallowing is the result of a 100-150 km difference in the thickness of the lithosphere between the two cratons. Relative to the adjacent tectonically stable areas, no significant anomalies in the depth of the MTZ discontinuities or in teleseismic P- and S-wave traveltime residuals are

  11. New model of the mantle lithosphere beneath Kuoyka kimberlite field Yakutia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashchepkov, Igor; Kostrovitsky, Sergey; Ovchinnikov, Yury; Tychkov, Nikolai; Khmelnikova, Olga; Palessky, Stanislav

    2013-04-01

    New data for the 11 pipes from Kuoyka field show that high Cr2O3 garnets to 10- 12% as well as high Cr chromites (to 64%Cr2O3) are found in several more pipes Zaozernaya, Seraya, Slyudyanka, Vodorasdelnaya, Titan, Lusya in addition to Djanga pipe. All garnets belong o lherzolite field and not less than 1/3 are TiO rich. The TiO2 rich chromites are dominating in the Cr- rich population. Metasomatic Cr2O3- rich (to 6%) ilmenites pre in the MgO and TiO2- part of the variation diagrams. The Cr- diopside variations show high variations of Fe and Na content to 4 % suggesting the hybridic origin similar to the Cr- pyroxeneis from Obnazhennaya pyroxenites (Taylor et al ., 2003). Omphicites (to 7 % Na2O) are rare. Cr-amphiboles (pargasites and hornblendes) are common in the upper part of the SCLM as well as in the Anabar and Kharamai region. Reconstructions of the mantle sections show the deep lithospheric roots beneath the Zosernaya pipe (7.5 GPa) traced by the PT conditions for Opx, Cpx, Gar, Cr and Ilm. SCLM is divided in to 4 sections and Ilm trace tow intervals in lower and upper part form 4 GPa. Th HT branch is sporadically found from 7 GPa to the Moho. In other pipes ilmenite and garnet PT estimates are more common in the lower part o mantle section while the Cpx trace mainly middle part of SCLM similar to the Obnazhennaya pip. It seems that kimberlites captured mainly the walls of feeders traced by Cr- low garnets and ilmenites in the lower part of SCLM while peridotitic mantle column was captured starting from the middle part of SCLM. The NS transsect of the Kuoyka field show more fertile mantle sections in the NNW part of the field. The TRE determined for the minerals from Kuoyka field show rather rounded patterns for REE of garnets with high variations in HREE part and small elevation in LREE . The depleted compositions reval the inflection in Eu TRE spidergrams well as relatively small Sr minima. Many of them show Ta peak, relatively small Pb elevation and Th

  12. The depth distribution of azimuthal anisotropy in the continental upper mantle.

    PubMed

    Marone, Federica; Romanowicz, Barbara

    2007-05-10

    The most likely cause of seismic anisotropy in the Earth's upper mantle is the lattice preferred orientation of anisotropic minerals such as olivine. Its presence reflects dynamic processes related to formation of the lithosphere as well as to present-day tectonic motions. A powerful tool for detecting and characterizing upper-mantle anisotropy is the analysis of shear-wave splitting measurements. Because of the poor vertical resolution afforded by this type of data, however, it has remained controversial whether the splitting has a lithospheric origin that is 'frozen-in' at the time of formation of the craton, or whether the anisotropy originates primarily in the asthenosphere, and is induced by shear owing to present-day absolute plate motions. In addition, predictions from surface-wave-derived models are largely incompatible with shear-wave splitting observations. Here we show that this disagreement can be resolved by simultaneously inverting surface waveforms and shear-wave splitting data. We present evidence for the presence of two layers of anisotropy with different fast-axis orientations in the cratonic part of the North American upper mantle. At asthenospheric depths (200-400 km) the fast axis is sub-parallel to the absolute plate motion, confirming the presence of shear related to current tectonic processes, whereas in the lithosphere (80-200 km), the orientation is significantly more northerly. In the western, tectonically active, part of North America, the fast-axis direction is consistent with the absolute plate motion throughout the depth range considered, in agreement with a much thinner lithosphere.

  13. Slip rates on San Francisco Bay area faults from anelastic deformation of the continental lithosphere

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Geist, E.L.; Andrews, D.J.

    2000-01-01

    Long-term slip rates on major faults in the San Francisco Bay area are predicted by modeling the anelastic deformation of the continental lithosphere in response to regional relative plate motion. The model developed by Bird and Kong [1994] is used to simulate lithospheric deformation according to a Coulomb frictional rheology of the upper crust and a dislocation creep rheology at depth. The focus of this study is the long-term motion of faults in a region extending from the creeping section of the San Andreas fault to the south up to the latitude of Cape Mendocino to the north. Boundary conditions are specified by the relative motion between the Pacific plate and the Sierra Nevada - Great Valley microplate [Argus and Gordon, 2000]. Rheologic-frictional parameters are specified as independent variables, and prediction errors are calculated with respect to geologic estimates of slip rates and maximum compressive stress directions. The model that best explains the region-wide observations is one in which the coefficient of friction on all of the major faults is less than 0.15, with the coefficient of friction for the San Andreas fault being approximately 0.09, consistent with previous inferences of San Andreas fault friction. Prediction error increases with lower fault friction on the San Andreas, indicating a lower bound of ??SAF > 0.08. Discrepancies with respect to previous slip rate estimates include a higher than expected slip rate along the peninsula segment of the San Andreas fault and a slightly lower than expected slip rate along the San Gregorio fault.

  14. Variations on the Lower Silesian (SW Poland) lithospheric mantle - the Grodziec xenoliths case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matusiak-Małek, Magdalena; Ćwiek, Mateusz; Puziewicz, Jacek; Ntaflos, Theodoros

    2016-04-01

    The lithospheric mantle underlying the northern margin of Bohemian Massif (Lower Silesia, SW Poland) is in general characterized by presence of two ultramafic lithologies, both of mostly harzburgitic composition. The group A harzburgites are strongly depleted and record variable metasomatic events, which are however always related to reactions with mixed alkaline-carbonatite melts. The group B harzburgites also record reaction with mafic melts, but in this case the reaction resulted in enrichment of the peridotites in Fe ("Fe-metasomatism"). The xenoliths suites from Grodziec (this study), Krzeniów (Matusiak-Małek et al., 2014, JoP) and Wilcza Góra (Matusiak-Małek et al., submitted), all in the Złotoryja volcanic complex, follow the "A" and "B" lithological characteristics. The Grodziec suite contains, however, numerous lherzolitic xenoliths. The group A xenoliths from Grodziec are anhydrous lherzolites, scarcely harzburgites. The Fo content in olivine varies from 90.7 to 91.8%, Mg# in ortho-and clinopyroxene is 0.91-0.92. Al content in orthopyroxene is 0.05-0.14 a pfu (0.70 to 3.44 wt.%), which makes them one of the highest in region. Few lherzolites are characterized by slightly lower Fo content in olivine (89.16-90.10%) and are therefore classified as A- group. The Mg# of pyroxenes in this group varies from 0.89 to 0.90, but orthopyroxene is generally characterized by low Al content (< 0.08 a pfu, corresponding to <2 wt.% in majority of xenoliths). Group B xenoliths are orthopyroxene - free dunites, and wehrlite. Olivine contains from 85.14 to 86.14 % of Fo, the Mg# of clinopyroxene varies from 0.84 to 0.88. Clinopyroxene in all the groups is LREE enriched and has negative Sr, Zf-Hf and Ti anomalies, but the enrichment decreases from group A to B and so are the depths of negative anomalies. Temperatures of major element equilibration of group A and A- pyroxenes are from approximately 1010 to 1100°C with no specific differences between the groups. So high

  15. Mantle dynamics in Mars and Venus - Influence of an immobile lithosphere on three-dimensional mantle convection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schubert, G.; Bercovici, D.; Glatzmaier, G. A.

    1990-01-01

    The manner of the mantle convection in planets with rigid lids, such as Venus and Mars, is investigated using a numerical method. The effect of the rigid upper boundary condition on mantle convection was examined by comparing the convection in planets with rigid lids with results for planets with shear stress-free upper surfaces. The results for convection in models of the mantles of Mars and Venus show that the cylindrical plume is the prominent form of upwelling as long as sufficient heat enters the mantle from the core.

  16. Sr-Nd-Pb isotope systematics of mantle xenoliths from Somerset Island kimberlites: Evidence for lithosphere stratification beneath Arctic Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidberger, S. S.; Simonetti, A.; Francis, D.

    2001-11-01

    Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic compositions were determined for a suite of Archean garnet peridotite and garnet pyroxenite xenoliths and their host Nikos kimberlite (100 Ma) from Somerset Island to constrain the isotopic character of the mantle root beneath the northern Canadian craton. The Nikos peridotites are enriched in highly incompatible trace elements (La/Sm N = 4-6), and show 143Nd/ 144Nd (t) (0.51249-0.51276) and a large range in 87Sr/ 86Sr (t) (0.7047-0.7085) and Pb ( 206Pb/ 204Pb (t) = 17.18 to 19.03) isotope ratios that are distinct from those estimated for "depleted mantle" compositions at the time of kimberlite emplacement. The Nd isotopic compositions of the peridotites overlap those of the Nikos kimberlite, suggesting that the xenoliths were contaminated with kimberlite or a kimberlite-related accessory phase (i.e., apatite). The highly variable Sr and Pb isotopic compositions of the peridotites, however, indicate that kimberlite contribution was restricted to very small amounts (˜1 wt % or less). The high-temperature peridotites (>1100°C) that sample the deep Somerset lithosphere trend toward more radiogenic 87Sr/ 86Sr (t) (0.7085) and unradiogenic 206Pb/ 204Pb (t) (17.18) isotopic ratios than those of the low-temperature peridotites (<1100°C). This is in agreement with Sr isotopic compositions of clinopyroxene from the low-temperature peridotites ( 87Sr/ 86Sr (t) = 0.7038-0.7046) that are significantly less radiogenic than those of clinopyroxene from the high-temperature peridotites ( 87Sr/ 86Sr (t) = 0.7052-0.7091). The depth correlation of Sr isotopes for clinopyroxene and Sr and Pb isotopic compositions for the Nikos whole-rocks indicate that the deep Somerset lithosphere (>160 km) is isotopically distinct from the shallow lithospheric mantle. The isotopic stratification with depth suggests that the lower lithosphere is probably younger and may have been added to the existing Archean shallow mantle in a Phanerozoic magmatic event. The radiogenic Sr

  17. A mechanism to thin the continental lithosphere at magma-poor margins.

    PubMed

    Lavier, Luc L; Manatschal, Gianreto

    2006-03-16

    Where continental plates break apart, slip along multiple normal faults provides the required space for the Earth's crust to thin and subside. After initial rifting, however, the displacement on normal faults observed at the sea floor seems not to match the inferred extension. Here we show that crustal thinning can be accomplished in such extensional environments by a system of conjugate concave downward faults instead of multiple normal faults. Our model predicts that these concave faults accumulate large amounts of extension and form a very thin crust (< 10 km) by exhumation of mid-crustal and mantle material. This transitional crust is capped by sub-horizontal detachment surfaces over distances exceeding 100 km with little visible deformation. Our rift model is based on numerical experiments constrained by geological and geophysical observations from the Alpine Tethys and Iberia/Newfoundland margins. Furthermore, we suggest that the observed transition from broadly distributed and symmetric extension to localized and asymmetric rifting is directly controlled by the existence of a strong gabbroic lower crust. The presence of such lower crustal gabbros is well constrained for the Alpine Tethys system. Initial decoupling of upper crustal deformation from lower crustal and mantle deformation by progressive weakening of the middle crust is an essential requirement to reproduce the observed rift evolution. This is achieved in our models by the formation of weak ductile shear zones.

  18. Multi-observable thermochemical tomography of the lithosphere and upper mantle beneath the Western/Central US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afonso, J. C.; Yang, Y.; Rawlinson, N.; Schutt, D.; Fullea, J.; Jones, A. G.

    2013-12-01

    We use a novel multi-observable 3D inversion method (Afonso et al., 2013a; b) to study the present-day thermal and compositional structures of the lithosphere and sublithospheric upper mantle beneath the Western and Central US (between 256-246o long and 33-43o lat). We jointly invert Rayleigh wave phase velocity maps for periods up to 150 sec (from ambient noise and earthquake data), P and S teleseismic travel time residuals (>63000 for P-waves and > 28000 for S-waves), geoid and gravity anomalies, surface heat flow, gravity gradients, and absolute elevation. These observables have different sensitivities to deep/shallow, thermal/compositional anomalies and therefore they provide complementary constraints to the inversion. The method is based on a thermodynamically-constrained, nonlinear probabilistic (Bayesian) approach and includes the effect of potential dynamic contributions from density anomalies in the sublithospheric mantle via full solutions of the Stokes-flow problem. From this joint inversion, we obtain the 3D density, compositional, electrical conductivity and thermal structure for the entire lithosphere (including a multi-layer crust) and sublithospheric upper mantle down to 400 km. The resulting models show a number of robust features that carry important implications for supporting or disapproving current evolutionary models for this region. References: - Afonso, J.C., Fullea J., Griffin, W.L., Yang, Y., Jones, A.G., Connolly, J.A.D., O'Reilly, S.Y. (2013a), 3D multi-observable probabilistic inversion for the compositional and thermal structure of the lithosphere and upper mantle I: a priori information and geophysical observables. J. Geophys. Res., 118, 2586-2617, doi:10.1002/jgrb.50124. - Afonso, J.C., Fullea J., Yang, Y., Connolly, J.A.D., Jones, A.G. (2013b), 3D multi-observable probabilistic inversion for the compositional and thermal structure of the lithosphere and upper mantle II: General methodology and resolution analysis. J. Geophys. Res

  19. The electrical conductivity of the upper mantle and lithosphere from satellite magnetic signal due to ocean tidal flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schnepf, N. R.; Kuvshinov, A. V.; Grayver, A.; Sabaka, T. J.; Olsen, N.

    2015-12-01

    Global electromagnetic (EM) studies provide information on mantle electrical conductivity with the ultimate aim of understanding the composition, structure, and dynamics of Earth's interior. There is great much interest in mapping the global conductivity of the lithosphere and upper mantle (i.e., depths of 10-400 km) because recent laboratory experiments demonstrate that the electrical conductivity of minerals in these regions are greatly affected by small amounts of water or by partial melt. For decades, studies of lithospheric/mantle conductivity were based on interpretation of magnetic data from a global network of observatories. The recent expansion in magnetic data from low-Earth orbiting satellite missions (Ørsted, CHAMP, SAC-C, and Swarm) has led to a rising interest in probing Earth from space. The largest benefit of using satellite data is much improved spatial coverage. Additionally, and in contrast to ground-based data, satellite data are overall uniform and very high quality. Probing the conductivity of the lithosphere and upper mantle requires EM variations with periods of a few hours. This is a challenging period range for global EM studies since the ionospheric (Sq) source dominates these periods and has a much more complex spatial structure compared to the magnetospheric ring current. Moreover, satellite-based EM induction studies in principle cannot use Sq data since the satellites fly above the Sq source causing the signals to be seen by the satellite as a purely internal source, thus precluding the separation of satellite Sq signals into internal and external parts. Lastly, magnetospheric and ionospheric sources interact inductively with Earth's conducting interior. Fortunately, there exists an alternative EM source in the Sq period range: electric currents generated by oceanic tides. Tides instead interact galvanically with the lithosphere (i.e. by direct coupling of the source currents in the ocean with the underlying substrate), enabling

  20. Modeling the physical properties and composition of the mantle lithosphere using magnetotellurics combined with other information (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, A. G.

    2013-12-01

    There are but two ways of directly sensing the physical properties of the lithosphere, rather than by inference from modeling, and these are seismological techniques and electromagnetic ones. The former primarily yield information on bulk, vibrational properties of the medium, namely compressional and shear velocities, whereas the latter primarily yield information on transport properties of the medium, often dictated by a well-interconnected minor phase, namely electrical conductivity. As such, they are highly complementary and taken together, either informally in co-operative modelling/inversion or formally in joint modelling/inversion, are far more powerful than each in isolation. Further than this, there is a wealth of additional data available virtually everywhere that can be utilized to constrain the thermal structure and composition of the lithosphere, namely gravity, geoid, surface heat flow, and elevation. Examples will be shown of studies in cratons (Southern Africa, Canada) and active regions (Atlas Mountains, Tibet) where magnetotellurics combined with seismological and other information is able to provide firm constraints on the thermal structure, physical properties and composition of the mantle lithosphere. In particular, MT can map the presence or absence of water in the lithospheric column, which is important for the debate on rheological properties and deformation.

  1. A Thermal Evolution Model of the Earth Including the Biosphere, Continental Growth and Mantle Hydration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Höning, D.; Spohn, T.

    2014-12-01

    By harvesting solar energy and converting it to chemical energy, photosynthetic life plays an important role in the energy budget of Earth [2]. This leads to alterations of chemical reservoirs eventually affecting the Earth's interior [4]. It further has been speculated [3] that the formation of continents may be a consequence of the evolution life. A steady state model [1] suggests that the Earth without its biosphere would evolve to a steady state with a smaller continent coverage and a dryer mantle than is observed today. We present a model including (i) parameterized thermal evolution, (ii) continental growth and destruction, and (iii) mantle water regassing and outgassing. The biosphere enhances the production rate of sediments which eventually are subducted. These sediments are assumed to (i) carry water to depth bound in stable mineral phases and (ii) have the potential to suppress shallow dewatering of the underlying sediments and crust due to their low permeability. We run a Monte Carlo simulation for various initial conditions and treat all those parameter combinations as success which result in the fraction of continental crust coverage observed for present day Earth. Finally, we simulate the evolution of an abiotic Earth using the same set of parameters but a reduced rate of continental weathering and erosion. Our results suggest that the origin and evolution of life could have stabilized the large continental surface area of the Earth and its wet mantle, leading to the relatively low mantle viscosity we observe at present. Without photosynthetic life on our planet, the Earth would be geodynamical less active due to a dryer mantle, and would have a smaller fraction of continental coverage than observed today. References[1] Höning, D., Hansen-Goos, H., Airo, A., Spohn, T., 2014. Biotic vs. abiotic Earth: A model for mantle hydration and continental coverage. Planetary and Space Science 98, 5-13. [2] Kleidon, A., 2010. Life, hierarchy, and the

  2. Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic systematics of crustal rocks from the western Betics (S. Spain): Implications for crustal recycling in the lithospheric mantle beneath the westernmost Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varas-Reus, María Isabel; Garrido, Carlos J.; Marchesi, Claudio; Bosch, Delphine; Acosta-Vigil, Antonio; Hidas, Károly; Barich, Amel; Booth-Rea, Guillermo

    2017-04-01

    We present new Sr-Nd-Pb isotope data of the western Alpujárride metamorphic basement and the pre-Miocene Flysch sediments of the Betic Cordillera (southern Spain). Nd model ages are consistent with an increasing detrital input from the Alborán domain to the Flysch Trough in the western Mediterranean during the late Oligocene. The Alpujárride metamorphic crustal rocks derived from Archean-Paleoproterozoic terranes located along the northern margin of Gondwana in the Neoproterozoic. The heterogeneous isotopic signatures of the Alpujárride units indicate that they have different sedimentary protoliths and underwent contrasted Variscan and pre-Variscan tectono-magmatic evolutions. Melts/fluids derived from the western Alpujárride gneisses contaminated the mantle source of the Ronda high-Mg pyroxenite dykes, implying that the Alpujárride lower crust underthrusted the subcontinental lithospheric mantle of the Alborán domain generating subduction-like magmatism in the late Oligocene. The western Alpujárride upper crust is involved in the Neogene volcanism of the Alborán Sea basin, but only contaminated some LREE-enriched calc-alkaline lavas erupted along the continental margins. On the other hand, tholeiitic lavas in the center of the basin show no isotopic evidence of crustal assimilation. This indicates that most of the crust in the central Alborán Sea accreted by Miocene tholeiitic magmatism and that Alpujárride lower crust is absent and likely foundered close to the continental margins of the basin.

  3. Three-dimensional modeling of the lateral flow of the plume material under the continental lithosphere of Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, S.; Kuo, B.

    2002-12-01

    Spreading of a giant plume head beneath the continental lithosphere, has been proposed to explain the extensive Cenozoic magmatism in east Africa (e.g., Ebinger and Sleep, 1998). Previous models using kinematic flow with simple geometry and constant rheology show that the progression of the lateral flow of the impinging plume material guided by the anti-valley along the lithosphere-asthenosphere interface agrees with the age of the magmatic activities. Here we revisit this problem with a 3-D, variable-viscosity numerical modeling approach to explore the combined effects of the temperature- and water-content rheology and the topography of the lithosphere's base. We examine the single-plume hypothesis by investigating how the buoyant plume material migrates from east Africa to the north and west and how far it could reach, with a more detailed modeling on rheology and geometry against geological constraints. The problem is characterized as a multi-component viscous flow model involving advection of the interfaces between continent, asthenosphere and plume head material. We design models for the continental lithosphere with different slopes and depths on the base and monitor the propagation of the plume head material along the channel.

  4. Continents, supercontinents, mantle thermal mixing, and mantle thermal isolation: Theory, numerical simulations, and laboratory experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenardic, A.; Moresi, L.; Jellinek, A. M.; O'Neill, C. J.; Cooper, C. M.; Lee, C. T.

    2011-10-01

    Super-continental insulation refers to an increase in mantle temperature below a supercontinent due to the heat transfer inefficiency of thick, stagnant continental lithosphere relative to thinner, subducting oceanic lithosphere. We use thermal network theory, numerical simulations, and laboratory experiments to provide tighter physical insight into this process. We isolate two end-member dynamic regimes. In the thermally well mixed regime the insulating effect of continental lithosphere can not cause a localized increase in mantle temperature due to the efficiency of lateral mixing in the mantle. In this regime the potential temperature of the entire mantle is higher than it would be without continents, the magnitude depending on the relative thickness of continental and oceanic lithosphere (i.e., the insulating effects of continental lithosphere are communicated to the entire mantle). Thermal mixing can be short circuited if subduction zones surround a supercontinent or if the convective flow pattern of the mantle becomes spatially fixed relative to a stationary supercontinent. This causes a transition to the thermal isolation regime: The potential temperature increases below a supercontinent whereas the potential temperature below oceanic domains drops such that the average temperature of the whole mantle remains constant. Transition into this regime would thus involve an increase in the suboceanic viscosity, due to local cooling, and consequently a decrease in the rate of oceanic lithosphere overturn. Transition out of this regime can involve the unleashing of flow driven by a large lateral temperature gradient, which will enhance global convective motions. Our analysis highlights that transitions between the two states, in either direction, will effect not only the mantle below a supercontinent but also the mantle below oceanic regions. This provides a larger set of predictions that can be compared to the geologic record to help determine if a hypothesized

  5. Crustal magmatism and lithospheric geothermal state of western North America and their implications for a magnetic mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jian; Li, Chun-Feng

    2015-01-01

    The western North American lithosphere experienced extensive magmatism and large-scale crustal deformation due to the interactions between the Farallon and North American plates. To further understand such subduction-related dynamic processes, we characterize crustal structure, magmatism and lithospheric thermal state of western North America based on various data processing and interpretation of gravimetric, magnetic and surface heat flow data. A fractal exponent of 2.5 for the 3D magnetization model is used in the Curie-point depth inversion. Curie depths are mostly small to the north of the Yellowstone-Snake River Plain hotspot track, including the Steens Mountain and McDermitt caldera that are the incipient eruption locations of the Columbia River Basalts and Yellowstone hotspot track. To the south of the Yellowstone hotspot track, larger Curie depths are found in the Great Basin. The distinct Curie depths across the Yellowstone-Snake River Plain hotspot track can be attributed to subduction-related magmatism induced by edge flow around fractured slabs. Curie depths confirm that the Great Valley ophiolite is underlain by the Sierra Nevada batholith, which can extend further west to the California Coast Range. The Curie depths, thermal lithospheric thickness and surface heat flow together define the western edge of the North American craton near the Roberts Mountains Thrust (RMT). To the east of the RMT, large Curie depths, large thermal lithospheric thickness, and low thermal gradient are found. From the differences between Curie-point and Moho depth, we argue that the uppermost mantle in the oceanic region is serpentinized. The low temperature gradients beneath the eastern Great Basin, Montana and Wyoming permit magnetic uppermost mantle, either by serpentinization/metasomatism or in-situ magnetization, which can contribute to long-wavelength and low-amplitude magnetic anomalies and thereby large Curie-point depths.

  6. Geochemical characteristics of lava-field basalts from eastern Australia and inferred sources: Connections with the subcontinental lithospheric mantle?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Reilly, Suzanne Y.; Zhang, Ming

    1995-08-01

    A large new database of major, trace elements and Sr-Nd isotopic ratios from 11 lava-field provinces in New South Wales and Queensland, eastern Australia allows detailed interpretation of the origin of these basaltic magmas. Isotopic signatures and trace element patterns identify an OIB-type (oceanic island basalt) source as a dominant component for most of these and some provinces appear to have additional significant components derived from the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM). The SCLM components have geochemical characteristics that overlap those observed in spinel lherzolite xenoliths (samples of shallow lithospheric mantle) from eastern Australia. These SCLM components show geochemical provinciality that indicates the occurrence of distinct geochemical lithospheric domains reflecting the timing and style of tectonic evolution of different regions. One component reflects modification by subduction-related processes during the late Paleozoic and Mesozoic, one records enrichment by fluids during old metasomatic events and another suggests a metasomatic event involving a distinctive amphibole and apatite-style enrichment. The composition and age distribution of volcanic lava-field provinces older than 10 Ma are consistent with a model involving a regional upwelling (elongated N-S along eastern Australia) of deep hot mantle related to marginal rifting and with OIB-type source geochemical characteristics. Thermal inhomogeneities within this plume swath resulted in small diapirs which may have undergone melt segregation at about 100 km and incorporated varying amounts of SCLM components there or from higher levels of the SCLM during ascent. Subsequent hot-spot generated central volcanoes overprinted this lava-field volcanism, tapped a similar OIB-type source component and truncated the thermal events.

  7. Subduction- vs- Intraplate-Type Melt Migration in the Alboran Lithospheric Mantle: Insights From the Tallante Xenoliths (Betic Cordillera, SE Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rampone, E.; Vissers, R. L.; Poggio, M.; Scambelluri, M.; Zanetti, A.

    2008-12-01

    The Alboran Sea region has been affected since the late Oligocene by widespread eruption of tholeiitic to calc-alkaline magmas followed by Late Neogene alkaline basalts. These magmatic episodes are related to Neogene lithospheric extension beneath the Alboran domain, as a consequence of slab roll-back. According to recent models, subduction of oceanic lithosphere caused continental-edge delamination of subcontinental lithosphere, associated with upwelling of plume-type mantle sources. The Alboran lithospheric mantle thus constitutes a unique setting to investigate the effects of subduction- and intraplate-type metasomatism. Here we present a microstructural and geochemical study of mantle xenoliths from the Cabezo Tallante Late Neogene alkaline volcanic center (SE Spain). These xenoliths record multiple episodes of reactive porous melt percolation, and melt entrapment, tracking their progressive extension-related uplift from P > 20 Kb to 7-10 Kb. This is documented by i) crystallization of undeformed olivine replacing pyroxene porphyroclasts, and unstrained opx overgrowing undeformed olivine and pyroxene porphyroclasts, in porphyroclastic spinel peridotites, ii) development of annealed equigranular structure, likely enhanced by heating during melt percolation, iii) crystallization of interstitial (plag±ol±opx) aggregates between mantle minerals in porphyroclastic and equigranular xenoliths. Cpx in equigranular peridotites have smooth trace element spectra characterized by slight LREE depletion; computed equilibrium liquids have a tholeiitic-transitional affinity. Diffuse melt percolation was followed by intrusion of melts with distinct chemical affinity. The first event is documented by the intrusion of cm-sized gabbronoritic veins, showing a fine-grained opx reaction rim against the host peridotite. Similar gabbronoritic lithotypes were previously documented and ascribed to slab-derived melts. A quite remarkable textural feature in these veins is the occurrence

  8. Tracing the metasomatic and magmatic evolution of continental mantle roots with Sr, Nd, Hf and and Pb isotopes: A case study of Middle Atlas (Morocco) peridotite xenoliths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittig, Nadine; Pearson, D. Graham; Duggen, Svend; Baker, Joel A.; Hoernle, Kaj

    2010-02-01

    We studied clinopyroxenes from spinel-facies peridotite xenoliths sampled by the Quaternary intra-plate volcanism of the Middle Atlas (Morocco) and present new trace element and Sr-Nd-Hf isotope data. However, we focus in particular on Pb isotope data and 238U/ 204Pb and 232Th/ 204Pb ratios of these clinopyroxenes. This data allows us to investigate: (a) the timing of metasomatic events, (b) the prevalence and persistence of elevated 238U/ 204Pb, 232Th/ 238U and 232Th/ 204Pb in continental mantle roots and (c) the 238U/ 204Pb and 232Th/ 204Pb composition of putative basaltic melts generated from such metasomatised sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM). Incompatible trace element concentrations in these clinopyroxenes are elevated, marked by high-field strength element depletion and fractionated elemental ratios (e.g., U/Nb, Zr/Hf) most consistent with enrichment due to carbonatitic liquids. Sr, Nd and Hf isotopes have an affinity to HIMU. U, Th and Pb abundances in the clinopyroxenes generally exceed estimates of primitive mantle clinopyroxene. Pb isotope compositions of these clinopyroxenes are radiogenic and vary between 206Pb/ 204Pb = 19.93-20.25, 207Pb/ 204Pb = 15.63-15.66 and 208Pb/ 204Pb = 39.72-40.23. These Pb isotope systematics result in generally negative Δ7/4 but positive Δ8/4; setting these samples distinctly apart from typical HIMU. These Pb isotope compositions are also distinct from the associated host volcanic rocks. 238U/ 204Pb and 232Th/ 204Pb of these clinopyroxenes, which range from 26 to 81 and 136 to 399, respectively, are elevated and more extreme than estimates of MORB- and HIMU-source mantle. The Pb isotope evolution of the clinopyroxenes suggests that the metasomatic enrichment is younger than 200 Ma, which discounts the volcanic activity due to the opening of the Atlantic and the onset of the collision of the African and Eurasian plates as processes generating the lithophile element and isotope composition of this continental

  9. Mantle anisotropy in the lithosphere and asthenosphere beneath the southeastern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDougall, J.; Fischer, K. M.; Wagner, L. S.; Hawman, R. B.

    2014-12-01

    Using teleseismic shear-wave splitting measurements from the SESAME array and EarthScope Transportable Array, we are quantifying sources of seismic anisotropy beneath the southern Appalachians and the adjacent rifted Coastal Plain. SESAME (Southeastern Suture of the Appalachian Margin Experiment; 2010-2014), an EarthScope Flexible Array, consisted of 85 stations that spanned Georgia, northern Florida, and parts of North Carolina and Tennessee. Stations were most densely spaced in southern Georgia across the hypothesized suture between Laurentia and the exotic Suwannee terrane, which is thought to have been part of Gondwana and to have collided with Laurentia in the late Paleozoic. The region experienced rifting in the Mesozoic, leading to the creation of the South Georgia Rift Basin. Shear-wave splitting in SKS and SKKS phases indicates the presence of significant anisotropy in the mantle. Splitting times range from 0.4 s to 3.2 s, but are typically 1.0-1.5 s. SK(K)S splitting fast directions are dominated by an overall NE-SW trend, but significant fast direction differences occur between sub-regions of the array. At stations within the higher topography of the Blue Ridge terrane, fast directions are predominantly NE-ENE, and show little systematic variation with back-azimuth. At stations further to the southeast in the Inner Piedmont and Carolina terranes, fast directions are ENE-ESE. Closer to the Atlantic coast and in a sub-region that experienced significant rifting in the Mesozoic, a strong variation of fast direction with backazimuth is observed. Spatial overlap of paths with different fast directions indicates that the backazimuthal pattern reflects a rotation of azimuthal anisotropy with depth, rather than simple lateral variations. The laterally-rapid spatial variations between these groups indicates that the SK(K)S waves are likely sampling differences in lithospheric anisotropy between adjacent terranes, superimposed on any asthenospheric anisotropy. We

  10. Using PP and SS precursors to Image Lithospheric and Upper-mantle Discontinuities Beneath the Line Islands in the Central Pacific Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarbrough, M.; Gurrola, H.

    2013-12-01

    We interpret PP precursors for upper mantle structure beneath the Line Islands (LI), north of French Polynesia. Petrological and geochemical observations, as well as SS precursors, are used to verify our interpretation. Although PP and SS bouncepoint precursors have not hitherto been effective for detailed imaging of the lithosphere, array processing of EarthScope Transportable Array data and simultaneous iterative deconvolution improves frequency content to 4Hz and affords a more detailed view of the upper mantle. Using PP precursors, the 520 is observable beneath the LI region and is shallowest directly beneath the islands. To the SW of the island chain, the 410 is apparent at 430 km, then shallows by 6 km toward the NE. We observe a negative phase underlying a relatively flat 90-km-deep positive phase representing the LAB (Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundary. Overlying this is a negative lens-shaped phase that reaches its greatest thickness just NE of the center of the LI, and pinches out with distance from the LI axis. This negative phase suggests either a lens of partial melt or depleted mantle due to a past melt. A strong arch-shaped positive phase (~60 km depth) overlies this lens; it appears to be breached at its apex, and is overlain by a negative phase (~40 km) that is relatively thin to the SW and thickens to the NE. We believe this breached arch to be the vestige of an ancestral LAB that fractured as it became a conduit for ancient melt entering the lithosphere. The mechanism for formation of the LI appears similar to that in continental rifts. Petrological and geochemical observations support this interpretation. The use of PP precursors to investigate upper mantle structure at this scale beneath oceanic crust is novel, as PP data have historically been severely low-pass filtered and PP-waves, which travel through water, require a correction for ocean-bottom response. To do so, we generate a synthetic response for water depth at each bouncepoint and

  11. Evolution of continental crust and mantle heterogeneity: Evidence from Hf isotopes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jonathan, Patchett P.; Kouvo, O.; Hedge, C.E.; Tatsumoto, M.

    1982-01-01

    We present initial 176Hf/177 Hf ratios for many samples of continental crust 3.7-0.3 Gy old. Results are based chiefly on zircons (1% Hf) and whole rocks: zircons are shown to be reliable carriers of essentially the initial Hf itself when properly chosen on the basis of U-Pb studies. Pre-3.0 Gy gneisses were apparently derived from an unfractionated mantle, but both depleted and undepleted mantle are evident as magma sources from 2.9 Gy to present. This mantle was sampled mainly from major crustal growth episodes 2.8, 1.8 and 0.7 Gy ago, all of which show gross heterogeneity of 176Hf/177Hf in magma sources from ??Hf=0 to +14, or about 60% of the variability of the present mantle. The approximate ??Hf=2??Nd relationship in ancient and modern igneous rocks shows that 176Lu/177Hf fractionates in general twice as much as 147Sm/144Nd in mantle melting processes. This allows an estimation of the relative value of the unknown bulk solid/liquid distribution coefficient for Hf. DLu/DHf=??? 2.3 holds for most mantle source regions. For garnet to be an important residual mantle phase, it must hold Hf strongly in order to preserve Hf-Nd isotopic relationships. The ancient Hf initials are consistent with only a small proportion of recycled older cratons in new continental crust, and with quasi-continuous, episodic growth of the continental crust with time. However, recycling of crust less than 150 My old cannot realistically be detected using Hf initials. The mantle shows clearly the general positive ??Hf resulting from a residual geochemical state at least back to 2.9 Gy ago, and seems to have repeatedly possessed a similar degree of heterogeneity, rather than a continuously-developing depletion. This is consistent with a complex dynamic disequilibrium model for the creation, maintenance and destruction of heterogeneity in the mantle. ?? 1981 Springer-Verlag.

  12. Passive rifting of thick lithosphere in the southern East African Rift: Evidence from mantle transition zone discontinuity topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, Cory A.; Liu, Kelly H.; Chindandali, Patrick R. N.; Massingue, Belarmino; Mdala, Hassan; Mutamina, Daniel; Yu, Youqiang; Gao, Stephen S.

    2016-11-01

    To investigate the mechanisms for the initiation and early-stage evolution of the nonvolcanic southernmost segments of the East African Rift System (EARS), we installed and operated 35 broadband seismic stations across the Malawi and Luangwa rift zones over a 2 year period from mid-2012 to mid-2014. Stacking of over 1900 high-quality receiver functions provides the first regional-scale image of the 410 and 660 km seismic discontinuities bounding the mantle transition zone (MTZ) within the vicinity of the rift zones. When a 1-D standard Earth model is used for time-depth conversion, a normal MTZ thickness of 250 km is found beneath most of the study area. In addition, the apparent depths of both discontinuities are shallower than normal with a maximum apparent uplift of 20 km, suggesting widespread upper mantle high-velocity anomalies. These findings suggest that it is unlikely for a low-velocity province to reside within the upper mantle or MTZ beneath the nonvolcanic southern EARS. They also support the existence of relatively thick and strong lithosphere corresponding to the widest section of the Malawi rift zone, an observation that is consistent with strain localization models and fault polarity and geometry observations. We postulate that the Malawi rift is driven primarily by passive extension within the lithosphere attributed to the divergent rotation of the Rovuma microplate relative to the Nubian plate, and that contributions of thermal upwelling from the lower mantle are insignificant in the initiation and early-stage development of rift zones in southern Africa.

  13. A Model of Continental Growth and Mantle Degassing Comparing Biotic and Abiotic Worlds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Höning, D.; Hansen-Goos, H.; Spohn, T.

    2012-12-01

    While examples for interaction of the biosphere with the atmosphere can be easily cited (e.g., production and consumption of O2), interaction between the biosphere and the solid planet and its interior is much less established. It has been argued (e.g., Rosing et al. 2006; Sleep et al, 2012) that the formation of continents could be a consequence of bioactivity harvesting solar energy through photosynthesis to help build the continents and that the mantle should carry a chemical biosignature. We present an interaction model that includes mantle convection, mantle water vapor degassing at mid-oceanic ridges and regassing through subduction zones, continental crust formation and erosion and water storage and transport in a porous oceanic crust that includes hydrous mineral phases. The mantle viscosity in this model depends on the water concentration in the mantle. We use boundary layer theory of mantle convection to parameterize the mantle convection flow rate and assume that the plate speed equals the mantle flow rate. The biosphere enters the calculation through the assumption that the continental erosion rate is enhanced by a factor of several through bioactivity and through an assumed reduction of the kinetic barrier to diagenetic and metamorphic reactions (e.g., Kim et al. 2004) in the sedimentary basins in subduction zones that would lead to increased water storage capacities. We further include a stochastic model of continent-to-continent interactions that limits the effective total length of subduction zones. We use present day parameters of the Earth and explore a phase plane spanned by the percentage of surface coverage of the Earth by continents and the total water content of the mantle. We vary the ratio of the erosion rate in a postulated abiotic Earth to the present Earth, as well as the activation barrier to diagenetic and metamorphic reactions that affect the water storage capacity of the subducting crust. We find stable and unstable fixed points in

  14. Mantle xenocrysts from the Arkhangelskaya kimberlite (Lomonosov mine, NW Russia): Constraints on the composition and thermal state of the diamondiferous lithospheric mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehtonen, M.; O'Brien, H.; Peltonen, P.; Kukkonen, I.; Ustinov, V.; Verzhak, V.

    2009-11-01

    The Arkhangelskaya kimberlite pipe belongs to the Zolotitsa kimberlite field in the Arkhangelsk region, NW Russia. It is the first pipe of the Lomonosov diamond mine to be put into production, with 2 million tons of ore already extracted. In this study major and trace element compositions of garnet, clinopyroxene (Cpx), Mg-ilmenite and chromite xenocrysts from the Arkhangelskaya pipe have been used to infer information about the compositional variability of the mantle underlying the Zolotitsa field. Single-grain thermobarometry of peridotitic Cpx xenocrysts yields a cool cratonic geotherm that follows a ca. 36 mW/m 2 conductive model. Equilibration temperatures of garnet and chromite grains based on Ni- and Zn-thermometry, respectively, indicate a sampling interval of ca. 70-230 km of the lithospheric mantle when projected onto the Cpx-derived geotherm. The major element chemistry of Mg-ilmenite xenocrysts suggests that almost optimal redox conditions for diamond preservation prevailed in the mantle during the time of emplacement of the host kimberlite magmas. Garnet major and trace element compositions combined with the Cpx-geotherm indicate that the peridotitic diamond window extends from 130 to 210 km under Zolotitsa and that the deeper parts of the lithosphere have been affected by metasomatic events. Arkhangelskaya seems to have sampled the bulk of its diamonds from the deepest portion of the diamond stability field, between 190 and 210 km. In comparison, the neighbouring Lomonosova and Pionerskaya pipes are known to have collected their diamonds from 130-160 km. The comparable grade of the three pipes suggests that diamondiferous material is generously distributed within the diamond stability field. The remarkable difference evidenced by garnet composition and thermobarometry between Arkhangelskaya and the two other Zolotitsa pipes probably derives from differences in rheology and eruption rates of the rising kimberlite magmas.

  15. Fault-controlled hydration of the upper mantle during continental rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bayrakci, G.; Minshull, T. A.; Sawyer, D. S.; Reston, T. J.; Klaeschen, D.; Papenberg, C.; Ranero, C.; Bull, J. M.; Davy, R. G.; Shillington, D. J.; Perez-Gussinye, M.; Morgan, J. K.

    2016-05-01

    Water and carbon are transferred from the ocean to the mantle in a process that alters mantle peridotite to create serpentinite and supports diverse ecosystems. Serpentinized mantle rocks are found beneath the sea floor at slow- to ultraslow-spreading mid-ocean ridges and are thought to be present at about half the world’s rifted margins. Serpentinite is also inferred to exist in the downgoing plate at subduction zones, where it may trigger arc magmatism or hydrate the deep Earth. Water is thought to reach the mantle via active faults. Here we show that serpentinization at the rifted continental margin offshore from western Spain was probably initiated when the whole crust cooled to become brittle and deformation was focused along large normal faults. We use seismic tomography to image the three-dimensional distribution of serpentinization in the mantle and find that the local volume of serpentinite beneath thinned, brittle crust is related to the amount of displacement along each fault. This implies that sea water reaches the mantle only when the faults are active. We estimate the fluid flux along the faults and find it is comparable to that inferred for mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal systems. We conclude that brittle processes in the crust may ultimately control the global flux of sea water into the Earth.

  16. Crustal contamination and mantle source characteristics in continental intra-plate volcanic rocks: Pb, Hf and Os isotopes from central European volcanic province basalts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, S.; Pfänder, J. A.; Brauns, M.; Maas, R.

    2011-05-01

    crustal contamination. The association at Vogelsberg of primitive alkaline and tholeiitic lavas with a range of MORB- to OIB-like Os-Pb-Hf-Nd-Sr isotopic characteristics requires at least two asthenospheric magma sources. This is consistent with trace element modelling which suggests that the alkaline and tholeiitic parent magmas represent mixtures of melts from garnet and spinel peridotite sources (both with amphibole), implying an origin of the magmas in the garnet peridotite-spinel peridotite transition zone, probably at the asthenosphere-lithosphere interface. We propose that uncontaminated Vogelsberg lavas originated in 'metasomatized' mantle, involving a 3-stage model: (1) early carbonatite metasomatism several 10-100 Ma before the melting event (2) deposition of low-degree asthenospheric melts from carbonated peridotite at the lithosphere-asthenosphere thermal boundary produces hydrous amphibole-bearing veins or patches, and (3) remobilization of this modified lithospheric mantle into other asthenospheric melts passing through the same area later. In keeping with 'metasomatized' mantle models for other continental basalt provinces, we envisage that stage (2) is short-lived (few Ma), thus producing a prominent lithospheric trace element signature without changing the asthenospheric isotopic signatures. Models of this type can explain the peculiar mix of lithospheric (prominent depletions of Rb and K) and asthenospheric (OIB-like high 187Os/ 188Os, 143Nd/ 144Nd and 176Hf/ 177Hf) signatures observed in the Vogelsberg and many other continental basalt suites.

  17. Helium Isotopic Compositions of Antarctic High-Mg Rocks Related to the Karoo Continental Flood Basalts: Evidence for a Depleted Upper Mantle Source?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinonen, J. S.; Kurz, M. D.

    2014-12-01

    The isotopic composition of helium is often considered to be one of the key elements in resolving deep mantle plume vs. upper mantle origin of hotspot-related volcanic rocks. High 3He/4He values, greater than 10 times atmospheric (Ra), are generally thought to indicate plume-related sources in the lower mantle. The use of helium isotopes in continental flood basalt (CFB) provinces has been limited by the lack of fresh rock material, poor exposures, time-integrated ingrowth of radiogenic 4He, and strong lithospheric overprinting. Vestfjella mountain range at western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, is comprised of lava flows and intrusive rocks that belong to the Jurassic (~180 Ma) Karoo continental flood basalt province, the bulk of which is exposed in southern Africa. The Karoo CFBs and related rocks show strong lithospheric influence in their geochemistry in general, but some high-Mg dikes from Vestfjella show geochemical evidence of derivation from sublithospheric sources. In an attempt to determine the first estimate for the helium isotopic composition of the Karoo mantle sources, we performed He isotopic measurements on six primitive Vestfjella dike samples collected from variably exposed nunataks. Helium was extracted by in-vacuo stepwise crushing and melting of separated and carefully hand-picked olivine phenocrysts (Ø = 0.25-1 mm; ~10 000 grains in total; abraded and unabraded fractions). The results of coupled crushing and melting measurements show evidence of both cosmogenic and radiogenic helium contributions within the olivines (i.e. by having high He contents and anomalously low or high 3He/4He released by melting), which complicates interpretation of the data. As a best estimate for the mantle isotopic composition, we use the sample with the highest amount of He released (> 50%) during the first crushing step of an abraded coarse fraction, which gave 3He/4He of 7.03 ± 0.23 (2σ) Ra. This value is indistinguishable from those measured from Southwest

  18. Constraints on lateral variations of lithospheric thickness and mantle viscosity from GNSS horizontal velocities of the BIFROST project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steffen, Holger; Johansson, Jan; Kierulf, Halfdan Pascal; Kristiansen, Oddgeir; Lidberg, Martin; Tarasov, Lev

    2016-04-01

    The BIFROST (Baseline Inferences for Fennoscandian Rebound Observations Sea Level and Tectonics) project was started in 1993. The primary goal was to establish a new and useful three-dimensional measurement of crustal movement based on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) observations, that is able to constrain models of the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) in Fennoscandia. Station velocities derived from analysis of observations at permanent GNSS stations in the Nordic countries and beyond have been published over the last 15 years. The latest GNSS-based 3D velocity field of Fennoscandia is a result of a re-processing of data from 1993 to 2014 from more than two hundred stations in northern Europe. It is computed using a state-of-the-art strategy. In this poster, we analyse the computed station velocities towards identification of lateral variations in lithospheric thickness and mantle viscosity in Fennoscandia. We therefore focus on the horizontal components. We compare observed velocities against velocities from a large set of GIA models. Preliminary results show that inclusion of lateral mantle viscosity variations in the model is necessary to explain distinct horizontal velocity patterns of the observed motion. However, some patterns can also be explained by strong lithospheric thickness variations, which requires an extended analysis in future.

  19. Mantle xenoliths from Szentbékálla, Balaton: Geochemical and petrological constraints on the evolution of the lithospheric mantle underneath Pannonian Basin, Hungary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ntaflos, Theo; Bizimis, Michael; Abart, Rainer

    2017-04-01

    Pliocene alkali basalts from the Bakony-Balaton Highland Volcanic Field (BBHVF) in the western Pannonian Basin carry mantle xenoliths comprising hydrous and anhydrous spinel peridotites. The studied mantle xenoliths from Szentbékálla, near Lake Balaton, Hungary, are fine- and coarse-grained fertile to depleted spinel lherzolites, spinel harzburgites and dunites, with protogranular, porphyroclastic, and secondary protogranular and mosaic equigranular textures. Melt pockets, with shapes resembling amphibole, are common in a number of samples, whereas other samples have thin films of intergranular glass. Bulk-rock major element abundances show that the mantle lithosphere beneath this area experienced variable degrees (up to 20%) of partial melting. The clinopyroxene trace elements systematics retain a record of melt depletion and metasomatic processes attributed to subduction-related melt/fluids or to the infiltration of percolating undersaturated melts in the Pannonian lithospheric mantle. The radiogenic isotopes of Sr, Nd and Hf in clinopyroxene suggest that this metasomatism was a relatively recent event. Textural evidence suggests that the calcite filling up the vesicles in the melt pockets and in veinlets cross-cutting the constituent minerals is of epigenetic nature and not due to carbonatite metasomatism. The non-metasomatized primitive mantle normalized clinopyroxene REE abundances mimic those, but at higher values, of their bulk-rock REE patterns. Bulk-rock and clinopyroxene REE with upward and downward LREE respectively, indicate up to 2.4% host basalt infiltration. The calculated bulk composition of the melt pockets is identical to small amphibole relics found as inclusions in second generation clinopyroxene within the melt pockets, suggesting incongruent melting of amphibole, without the need for additional metasomatic melt/fluids to initiate the amphibole breakdown. The heat for the temperature increase necessary for amphibole breakdown was derived from

  20. The depth of sub-lithospheric diamond formation and the redistribution of carbon in the deep mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beyer, Christopher; Frost, Daniel J.

    2017-03-01

    Most diamonds form in the Earth's lithosphere but a small proportion contain Si-rich majoritic garnet inclusions that indicate formation in the deeper mantle. The compositions of syngenetic garnet inclusions can potential yield information on both the depth and mantle lithology in which the diamonds formed. Pressure dependent changes in garnet compositions have been calibrated using the results of experiments conducted in a multi-anvil apparatus at pressures between 6 and 16 GPa and temperatures of 1000 to 1400 °C. Using the results of these experiments a barometer was formulated based on an empirical parameterisation of the two major majoritic substitutions, referred to as majorite (Maj; Al3+ =Mg2+ +Si4+), and Na-majorite (Na-Maj; Mg2+ +Al3+ =Na+ +Si4+). Moreover, previously published experimental garnet compositions from basaltic, kimberlite, komatiite and peridotite bulk compositions were included in the calibration, which consequently covers pressures from 6 to 20 GPa and temperatures from 900 to 2100 °C. Experimental pressures are reproduced over these conditions with a standard deviation of 0.86 GPa. The barometer is used to determine equilibration pressures of approximately 500 reported garnet inclusions in diamonds from a range of localities. As the majority of these inclusions are proposed to be syngenetic this allows a detailed picture of diamond formation depths and associated source rocks to be established using inclusion chemistry. Geographic differences in diamond source rocks are mapped within the sub-lithospheric mantle to over 500 km depth. Continuous diamond formation occurs over this depth range within lithologies with eclogitic affinities but also in lithologies that appear transitional between eclogitic and peridotitic bulk compositions, with an affinity to pyroxenites. The geographic differences between eclogitic and pyroxenitic diamond source rocks are rationalised in terms of diamond formation within downwelling and upwelling regimes

  1. Thermal and metasomatic rejuvenation and dunitization in lithospheric mantle beneath Central Europe - The Grodziec (SW Poland) case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matusiak-Małek, Magdalena; Ćwiek, Mateusz; Puziewicz, Jacek; Ntaflos, Theodoros

    2017-04-01

    The 32 Ma Grodziec nephelinite (Lower Silesia, SW Poland) contains xenolith of peridotite (mostly lherzolite) and clinopyroxenite/olivine clinopyroxenite composition. The forsterite content in olivine classifies these rocks into three groups: groups A and B consist of peridotites, while group C xenoliths are pyroxenitic cumulates. Group A xenoliths contain olivine Fo 87.90-91.8% and pyroxenes with high Mg# ( 0.91-0.92); clinopyroxene is strongly LREE-enriched (LaN/LuN = 2.19-17.74) and strongly impoverished in Zr, Hf and Ti relative to primitive mantle. The group B xenoliths (dunites and wehrlite) are orthopyroxene-free, olivine and clinopyroxene are less magnesian than those in the A group (Fo = 85.2-87.2%, Mg# = 0.86-0.88), clinopyroxene is less LREE-enriched (LaN/LuN = 4.07-4.15) and only slightly impoverished in Zr, Hf and Ti. Group C xenoliths contain olivine with forsterite content from 78.6 to 86.6% and clinopyroxene of Mg# from 0.84 to 0.85, with LREE/trace element characteristics similar to those of B group (LaN/LuN = 1.96-3.10). Group A xenoliths from Grodziec record migration of mixed carbonatite-alkaline silicate melts through the subcontinental lithospheric mantle beneath Lower Silesia, which preceded the migration of melts similar to the Grodziec nephelinite. The peridotitic protoliths were dunitized at the direct contacts with the migrating nephelinite melt and are now represented by group B. Group C pyroxenites originated in mantle conditions by crystal settling in places of transient nephelinite melt stagnation. The mantle section beneath Grodziec was reheated to ca 1000-1100 °C. The Grodziec scenario is similar to that of Księginki (northern extension of Eger Rift, SW Poland), which shares a similar age of xenolith entrainment. Both sites show that the processes of mantle metasomatism and thermal rejuvenation of subcontinental lithospheric mantle were more intense during the Lower Oligocene volcanic climax compared to those recorded in younger

  2. Cretaceous potassic intrusives with affinities to aillikites from Jharia area: Magmatic expression of metasomatically veined and thinned lithospheric mantle beneath Singhbhum Craton, Eastern India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srivastava, Rajesh K.; Chalapathi Rao, N. V.; Sinha, Anup K.

    2009-11-01

    Cretaceous potassic dykes and sills at the Jharia area intrude the Permo-carboniferous coal-bearing Gondwana sediments of the Eastern Damodar Valley, Singhbhum craton. These intrusives are widely regarded as a part of the Mesozoic alkaline and Rajmahal flood basalt magmatism in the Eastern Indian shield. Jharia intrusives display a wide petrographic diversity; olivine, phlogopite and carbonate are the predominant phases whereas apatite and rutile constitute important accessories. Impoverishment in sodium, silica and alumina and enrichment in potassium, titanium and phosphorous are the hallmark of these rocks and in this aspect they are strikingly similar to the rift-related aillikites (ultramafic lamprophyres) of Aillik Bay, Labrador. Crustal contamination of the Jharia magmas is minimal and the incompatible trace element ratios demonstrate (i) their generation by greater degrees of partial melting of a sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) source similar to that of the kimberlites of Dharwar craton, southern India, and (ii) retention of long-term memories of ancient (Archaean) subduction experienced by their source regions. We infer that a metasomatically veined and thinned lithosphere located at the margin of the Singhbhum craton and the inheritance of an ancient (Archaean) subducted component has played a significant role in deciding the diverging petrological and geochemical characters displayed by the Jharia potassic intrusives: those of kimberlites (orangeites) and lamproites (cratonic signature) and those of aillikites (rift-related signature). A substantial melt component of Jharia potassic intrusives was derived from the SCLM and the melt contribution of the Kerguelen plume is inferred to be minimal.

  3. Cr-pyrope garnets in the lithospheric mantle 2. Compositional populations and their distribution in time and space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffin, W. L.; Fisher, N. I.; Friedman, J. H.; O'Reilly, Suzanne Y.; Ryan, C. G.

    2002-12-01

    Three novel statistical approaches (Cluster Analysis by Regressive Partitioning [CARP], Patient Rule Induction Method [PRIM], and ModeMap) have been used to define compositional populations within a large database (n > 13,000) of Cr-pyrope garnets from the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM). The variables used are the major oxides and proton-microprobe data for Zn, Ga, Sr, Y, and Zr. Because the rules defining these populations (classes) are expressed in simple compositional variables, they are easily applied to new samples and other databases. The classes defined by the three methods show strong similarities and correlations, suggesting that they are statistically meaningful. The geological significance of the classes has been tested by classifying garnets from 184 mantle-derived peridotite xenoliths and from a smaller database (n > 5400) of garnets analyzed for >20 trace elements by laser ablation microprobe-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LAM-ICPMS). The relative abundances of these classes in the lithospheric mantle vary widely across different tectonic settings, and some classes are absent or very rare in either Archean or Phanerozoic SCLM. Their distribution with depth also varies widely within individual lithospheric sections and between different sections of similar tectonothermal age. These garnet classes therefore are a useful tool for mapping the geology of the SCLM. Archean SCLM sections show high degrees of depletion and varying degrees of metasomatism, and they are commonly strongly layered. Several Proterozoic SCLM sections show a concentration of more depleted material near their base, grading upward into more fertile lherzolites. The distribution of garnet classes reflecting low-T phlogopite-related metasomatism and high-T melt-related metasomatism suggests that many of these Proterozoic SCLM sections consist of strongly metasomatized Archean SCLM. The garnet-facies SCLM beneath Phanerozoic terrains is only mildly depleted

  4. A melt-focusing zone in the lithospheric mantle preserved in the Santa Elena Ophiolite, Costa Rica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madrigal, Pilar; Gazel, Esteban; Denyer, Percy; Smith, Ian; Jicha, Brian; Flores, Kennet E.; Coleman, Drew; Snow, Jonathan

    2015-08-01

    The Santa Elena Ophiolite in Costa Rica is composed of a well-preserved fragment of the lithospheric mantle that formed along a paleo-spreading center. Within its exposed architecture, this ophiolite records a deep section of the melt transport system of a slow/ultra-slow spreading environment, featuring a well-developed melt-focusing system of coalescent diabase dikes that intrude the peridotite in a sub-vertical and sub-parallel arrangement. Here we present an integrated analysis of new structural data, 40Ar/39Ar geochronology, major and trace element geochemistry and radiogenic isotope data from the diabase dikes in order to elucidate the tectonic setting of the Santa Elena Ophiolite. The dikes are basaltic and tholeiitic in composition. Petrological models of fractional crystallization suggest deep pressures of crystallization of > 0.4 GPa for most of the samples, which is in good agreement with similar calculations from slow/ultra-slow spreading ridges and require a relatively hydrated ( 0.5 wt.% H2O) MORB-like source composition. The diabase dikes share geochemical and isotope signatures with both slow/ultra-slow spreading ridges and back-arc basins and indicate mixing of a DMM source and an enriched mantle end-member like EMII. The 40Ar/39Ar geochronology yielded an age of 131 Ma for a previous pegmatitic gabbroic magmatic event that intruded the peridotite when it was hot and plastic and an age of 121 Ma for the diabase intrusions, constraining the cooling from near asthenospheric conditions to lithospheric mantle conditions to 10 Ma. Our findings suggest a complex interplay between oceanic basin and back-arc extension environments during the Santa Elena Ophiolite formation. We propose an alternative hypothesis for the origin of Santa Elena as an obducted fragment of an oceanic core complex (OCC).

  5. Stable isotopic (O, H) evidence for hydration of the central Colorado Plateau lithospheric mantle by slab-derived fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, E. W.; Barnes, J.; Lassiter, J. C.

    2013-12-01

    The Colorado Plateau is a tectonically stable, relatively undeformed Proterozoic lithospheric province in the North America Cordillera. Although the stability of the Colorado Plateau suggests that it is rheologically strong, evidence from xenoliths show that the lithospheric mantle is extensively hydrated (e.g., presence of hydrous minerals, 'high' water contents in nominally anhydrous minerals), and therefore weakened. In addition, LREE enrichments in clinopyroxene (cpx) imply that the lithospheric mantle has been metasomatized ([1],[2]). Here we analyze mineral separates from spinel and garnet peridotite xenoliths from the Navajo Volcanic Field (NVF), located in the center of the Plateau, for their oxygen and hydrogen isotope compositions. These compositions are compared to those of xenoliths at the margins of the Plateau: spinel peridotites from the Grand Canyon Volcanic Field (GCVF) in the west and Zuni-Bandera Volcanic Field (ZBVF) in the east. NVF xenoliths are significantly more hydrous than the xenoliths on the margins of the Colorado Plateau based on modal abundances of hydrous minerals and structural water in olivine (e.g. [3]). All hydrous phases have high δD values (antigorite = -71 to -46‰ (n = 6 xenoliths); chlorite = -49 to -31‰ (n=3); amphibole = -47‰ (n=1)) compared to normal mantle (~-80‰), suggesting the addition of a fluid that is enriched in D compared to typical mantle. δ18O values for the same hydrous minerals range from 6.0 to 6.6‰ (n=6). δ18O values of olivine from NVF spinel peridotites have a narrow range, 5.0 to 5.4‰ (n = 4), near mantle olivine values (~5.2‰). Olivines from spinel peridotites from the GCVF and ZBVF also have mantle-like δ18O values (5.1 to 5.2‰ (n=3) and 5.1 to 5.4‰ (n=7), respectively). However, olivines and orthopyroxenes (opx) from NVF garnet peridotites have a slightly larger range and some record 18O enrichment (olivine = 5.1 to 5.6‰ (n = 3); opx = 5.9‰ (n=1)). The high δ18O values of

  6. Mechanical heterogeneities and lithospheric extension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duretz, Thibault; Petri, Benoit; Mohn, Geoffroy; Schenker, Filippo L.; Schmalholz, Stefan

    2016-04-01

    Detailed geological and geophysical studies of passive margins have highlighted the multi-stage and depth-dependent aspect of lithospheric thinning. Lithospheric thinning involves a variety of structures (normal faults, low angle detachments, extensional shear zones, extraction faults) and leads to a complex architecture of passive margins (with e.g. necking zone, mantle exhumation, continental allochthons). The processes controlling the generation and evolution of these structures as well as the impact of pre-rift inheritance are so far incompletely understood. In this study, we investigate the impact of pre-rift inheritance on the development of rifted margins using two-dimensional thermo-mechanical models of lithospheric thinning. To first order, we represent the pre-rift mechanical heterogeneities with lithological layering. The rheologies are kept simple (visco-plastic) and do not involve any strain softening mechanism. Our models show that mechanical layering causes multi-stage and depth-dependent extension. In the initial rifting phase, lithospheric extension is decoupled: as the crust undergoes thinning by brittle (frictional-plastic) faults, the lithospheric mantle accommodates extension by symmetric ductile necking. In a second rifting phase, deformation in the crust and lithospheric mantle is coupled and marks the beginning of an asymmetric extension stage. Low angle extensional shear zones develop across the lithosphere and exhume subcontinental mantle. Furthemore, crustal allochthons and adjacent basins develop coevally. We describe as well the thermal evolution predicted by the numerical models and discuss the first-order implications of our results in the context of the Alpine geological history.

  7. Interaction of extended mantle plume head with ancient lithosphere: evidence from deep-seated xenoliths in basalts and lamprophyre diatremes in Western Syria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharkov, Evgenii

    2016-04-01

    . Formation of clinopyroxene-hornblende rocks (analogs of the "black series" of mantle xenoliths in basalt) occurred at close P-T parameters: 12.6 kbar, 1100°C. Judging from the absence of deformations in the rocks, their parental melts were intruded into the stabilized lower crust. Hence, it follows that the ancient continental lower crust existed there in the mid-Cretaceous, but in the Late Cenozoic it was replaced by the spreading mantle plume head. In other words, the deep structure of the region was reconstructed radically in the Late Cenozoic, and only the uppermost horizon of the ancient lithosphere (sialic crust) was not changed. According to the geological and petrological data, the heads of mantle plumes reached the base of the upper sialic crust, and the level of the lower crust of the continents (30-40 km) is optimal for abundant adiabatic melting of the mantle plume head. If this level was not reached, melting was limited, and an excess of volatile components appeared, which resulted in the formation of lamprophyric and even kimberlitic diatremes. The work was supported by grant RFBR # 14-05-00468 and Project of ONZ RAS # 8.

  8. Oceanic provenance of lithospheric mantle beneath Lower Silesia (SW Poland) and the two kinds of its "Fe-metasomatism"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puziewicz, Jacek; Matusiak-Małek, Magdalena; Ntaflos, Theodoros; Kukuła, Anna; Ćwiek, Mateusz

    2016-04-01

    Our recent studies (Puziewicz et al. 2015, IJES 104:1913-1924, and references therein) show that the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) beneath Lower Silesia (SW Poland) and neighbouring part of Upper Lusatia (SE Germany) is dominated by harzburgites. Part of them contain small amounts of clinopyroxene which, despite its primary textural appearance, is a late addition to the protoliths which are residues after extensive (up to 30 %) partial melting. This clinopyroxene was added to the harzburgites in Cenozoic times by alkaline basaltic melts migrating upwards from their asthenospheric sources during rifting in the Variscan foreland of the Alpine-Carpathian chain. The pre-rifting history of the SCLM beneath the region is thus recorded in the olivine and orthopyroxene. The forsterite content in olivine divides the Lower Silesian harzburgites into two groups: A (olivine Fo 90.5 - 92.0), and B (olivine Fo 84.0 - 90.0; for data see Puziewicz et al. 2015, op. cit.). The Al content in orthopyroxene is low and similar in both A and part of B harzburgites, called B1 in the following. The orthopyroxene occurring in the B1 harzburgites contains typically 0.05 - 0.10 atoms of Al per formula unit (corresponding to 0.5 - 2.5 wt. % Al2O3), although slightly lower (down to 0.02 a pfu) and slightly higher (up to 0.13 a pfu) Al contents occur in subordinate number of samples. The Al content in the B1 orthopyroxene is not correlated with forsterite content in coexisting olivine. The B2 harzburgites occur only in one site (Księginki). They contain orthopyroxene which Al content exhibits negative correlation with forsterite content in coexisting olivine. The most Al -rich orthopyroxene (0.24 atoms of Al pfu, corresponding to ca. 5.7 wt % Al2O3) coexists with olivine Fo 86.5 in Księginki. The low contents of Al in orthopyroxene is specific for the Lower Silesian/Upper Lusatian domain of European lithospheric mantle. The Al-poor mantle domain below Lower Silesia and upper

  9. Petrogenesis of fertile mantle peridotites from the Monte del Estado massif (southwest Puerto Rico): a preserved section of Proto-Caribbean oceanic lithospheric mantle?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marchesi, Claudio; Jolly, Wayne T.; Lewis, John F.; Garrido, Carlos J.; Proenza, Joaquín. A.; Lidiak, Edward G.

    2010-05-01

    The Monte del Estado massif is the largest and northernmost serpentinized peridotite belt in southwest Puerto Rico. It is mainly composed of spinel lherzolite and minor harzburgite with variable clinopyroxene modal abundances. Mineral and whole rock major and trace element compositions of peridotites coincide with those of fertile abyssal peridotites from mid ocean ridges. Peridotites lost 2-14 wt% of relative MgO and variable amounts of CaO by serpentinization and seafloor weathering. HREE contents in whole rock indicate that the Monte del Estado peridotites are residues after low to moderate degrees (2-15%) of fractional partial melting in the spinel stability field. However, very low LREE/HREE and MREE/HREE in clinopyroxene cannot be explained by melting models of a spinel lherzolite source and support that the Monte del Estado peridotites experienced initial low fractional melting degrees (~ 4%) in the garnet stability field. The relative enrichment of LREE in whole rock is not due to secondary processes but probably reflects the capture of percolating melt fractions along grain boundaries or as microinclusions in minerals, or the presence of exotic micro-phases in the mineral assemblage. We propose that the Monte del Estado peridotite belt represents a section of ancient Proto-Caribbean (Atlantic) lithospheric mantle originated by seafloor spreading between North and South America in the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous. This portion of oceanic lithospheric mantle was subsequently trapped in the forearc region of the Greater Antilles paleo-island arc generated by the northward subduction of the Caribbean plate beneath the Proto-Caribbean ocean. Finally, the Monte del Estado peridotites belt was emplaced in the Early Cretaceous probably as result of the change in subduction polarity of the Greater Antilles paleo-island arc without having been significantly modified by subduction processes.

  10. A detailed view of the crust and lithospheric mantle beneath eastern Australia from transportable seismic array tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rawlinson, Nicholas; Pilia, Simone

    2014-05-01

    The WOMBAT transportable seismic array project has been ongoing in eastern Australia since 1998, when a 40 station temporary array of recorders was first installed in western Victoria. To date, 16 consecutive array deployments have taken place with a cumulative total of over 700 stations installed in an area spanning Tasmania, New South Wales, southern Queensland and much of South Australia. Station separation varies between 15 km in Tasmania and 50 km on the mainland, with the majority of stations 3-component 1 Hz instruments, although a number of broadband instruments are interspersed. Although best suited to P-wave tomography, the recorded seismic wavefield has also proven to be useful for ambient noise tomography and crustal receiver functions, thus allowing detailed information on both the crust and lithospheric mantle structure to be retrieved. In order to apply teleseismic tomography using a transportable array of instruments, a robust background model is required which contains the long wavelength features suppressed by the use of relative arrival time residual datasets which are array specific. Here, we use the recently released AuSREM mantle model which is based on regional surface and body wave datasets. Crustal and Moho structure, which is poorly resolved by teleseismic data, is also included (from the AuSREM crustal model) as prior information to minimise smearing of crustal information into the mantle. The final model exhibits a variety of well resolved features, including a low velocity zone associated with Quaternary intraplate volcanism; a pronounced velocity gradient transition zone between the Precambrian shield region of Australia in the west and the Palaeozoic orogens in the east; and the presence of a high velocity salient which extends almost to the east coast in northern New South Wales, which is interpreted to be Precambrian lithosphere. The ambient noise tomography results, which are now continuous between Tasmania and mainland Australia

  11. Origin of cratonic lithospheric mantle roots: A geochemical study of peridotites from the North Atlantic Craton, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittig, N.; Pearson, D. G.; Webb, M.; Ottley, C. J.; Irvine, G. J.; Kopylova, M.; Jensen, S. M.; Nowell, G. M.

    2008-09-01

    A critical examination of the extent to which geodynamic information on the initial mantle depletion and accretion event(s) is preserved in kimberlite-borne cratonic SCLM peridotite xenoliths is attempted by using new major and trace element data of whole-rock peridotites ( n = 55) sampled across the North Atlantic Craton (NAC; West Greenland). We also present additional whole-rock trace element data of mantle xenoliths from Somerset Island, the Slave and Kaapvaal cratons for comparison. Peridotites comprising the West Greenland SCLM are distinctly more olivine-rich and orthopyroxene-poor than most other cratonic peridotites, in particular those from the Kaapvaal craton. The West Greenland peridotites have higher Mg/Si but lower Al/Si, Al 2O 3 and CaO than cratonic mantle from the Kaapvaal Craton. We suggest that the more orthopyroxene depleted, harzburgite to dunite character of the NAC peridotites reflects more of the original melting history than peridotites from other cratons and in that sense may be more typical of cratonic lithosphere compositions prior to extensive modification. Despite this, some modal and cryptic metasomatism has clearly taken place in the West Greenland lithosphere. The insensitivity of major elements to pressure of melting at high degrees of melt extraction combined with the ease with which these elements may be changed by modal metasomatism mean that we cannot confidently constrain the depth of melting of peridotites using this approach. Mildly incompatible trace elements offer much more promise in terms of providing geodynamic information about the original Archean melting regime. The very low, systematically varying heavy REE abundances in NAC whole-rock peridotites and in peridotites from all other cratons where high-quality data are available provide ubiquitous evidence for a shallow melting regime in the absence of, or to the exhaustion of garnet. This finding explicitly excludes large extents of deep (iso- and polybaric) melting

  12. Geochemistry of the Quaternary alkali basalts of Garrotxa (NE Volcanic Province, Spain): a case of double enrichment of the mantle lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cebriá, J. M.; López-Ruiz, J.; Doblas, M.; Oyarzun, R.; Hertogen, J.; Benito, R.

    2000-11-01

    The area of Garrotxa (also known as the Olot area) represents the most recent (700,000-11,500 y) and better preserved area of magmatic activity in the NE Volcanic Province of Spain (NEVP). This region comprises a suite of intracontinental leucite basanites, nepheline basanites and alkali olivine basalts, which in most cases represent primary or nearly primary liquids. The geochemical characteristics of these lavas are very similar to the analogous petrologic types of other Cenozoic volcanics of Europe, which are intermediate between HIMU, DM and EM1. Quantitative trace element modeling, suggests derivation from an enriched mantle source by degrees of melting that progressively increased from the leucite basanites (˜4%) to the olivine basalts (˜16%). However, the relatively more variable Sr-Nd-Pb isotope signature of the magmas suggests the participation of at least two distinct components in the mantle source: (1) a sublithospheric one with a geochemical signature similar to the magmas of Calatrava (Central Spain) and other basalts of Europe; and (2) an enriched lithospheric component with a K-bearing phase present. The geochemical model proposed here involves the generation of a hybrid mantle lithosphere source produced by the infiltration of the sublithospheric liquids into enriched domains of the mantle lithosphere, shortly before the melting event that generated the Garrotxa lavas. The available geological data suggest that the first enrichment event of the mantle lithosphere under the NEVP could be the result of Late Variscan mantle upwelling triggered by the extensional collapse of the Variscan orogen during the Permo-Carboniferous. By Jurassic/Cretaceous time, large-scale NNE-directed sublithospheric mantle channeling of thermally and chemically anomalous plume material was placed under the Iberian Peninsula and Central Europe. However, the geodynamic conditions in the NEVP did not favor magmatism, which could not take place until the Cenozoic after

  13. 3-D multiobservable probabilistic inversion for the compositional and thermal structure of the lithosphere and upper mantle: III. Thermochemical tomography in the Western-Central U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afonso, Juan Carlos; Rawlinson, Nicholas; Yang, Yingjie; Schutt, Derek L.; Jones, Alan G.; Fullea, Javier; Griffin, William L.

    2016-10-01

    We apply a novel 3-D multiobservable probabilistic tomography method that we have recently developed and benchmarked, to directly image the thermochemical structure of the Colorado Plateau and surrounding areas by jointly inverting P wave and S wave teleseismic arrival times, Rayleigh wave dispersion data, Bouguer anomalies, satellite-derived gravity gradients, geoid height, absolute (local and dynamic) elevation, and surface heat flow data. The temperature and compositional structures recovered by our inversion reveal a high level of correlation between recent basaltic magmatism and zones of high temperature and low Mg# (i.e., refertilized mantle) in the lithosphere, consistent with independent geochemical data. However, the lithospheric mantle is overall characterized by a highly heterogeneous thermochemical structure, with only some features correlating well with either Proterozoic and/or Cenozoic crustal structures. This suggests that most of the present-day deep lithospheric architecture reflects the superposition of numerous geodynamic events of different scale and nature to those that created major crustal structures. This is consistent with the complex lithosphere-asthenosphere system that we image, which exhibits a variety of multiscale feedback mechanisms (e.g., small-scale convection, magmatic intrusion, delamination, etc.) driving surface processes. Our results also suggest that most of the present-day elevation in the Colorado Plateau and surrounding regions is the result of thermochemical buoyancy sources within the lithosphere, with dynamic effects (from sublithospheric mantle flow) contributing only locally up to ˜15-35%.

  14. Petrogenesis of spinel peridotite suite xenoliths from northern Santa Cruz province, Argentina; implication for the Patagonian Lithospheric Mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ntaflos, Theodoros; Mundl, Andrea; Bjerg, Ernesto; Tschegg, Cornelius; Kosler, Jan

    2010-05-01

    interstitial clinopyroxene appears to be of metasomatic origin. The clinopyroxene from cumulate dunites has depleted LREE abundances and low HREE indicating that they have been formed from residual melts. In contrast, clinopyroxene from mantle dunites has enriched LREE (10 x PM) and LILE suggesting that the metasomatic agent was fluid-rich silicate melt. Calculated equilibrium conditions cover a wide range, from 800 to 1100 °C. Considering the crustal thickness in the area being around 35 km, a pressure between 12 and 17 kbar can be assumed as reasonable, indicating that xenoliths were extracted from shallow depths, in the order of 40 to 60 km. Model calculations have shown that the Lithospheric Mantle beneath Don Camilo is fertile and that spinel peridotites experienced low degrees of partial melting (2-8% batch melting in the spinel peridotite field). The metasomatic agent was a fluid rich silicate melt presumably similar to that which affected the xenoliths from Cerro Clark locality, north of Don Camilo. Don Camilo mantle xenoliths, like Tres Lagos, Cerro Redondo and Gobernador Gregores, does not show evidence for interaction of the Lithospheric Mantle in southern Patagonia with subduction related components.

  15. An ancient depleted mantle sample from a 42-Ma dike in Montana: Constraints on persistence of the lithosphere during Eocene Magmatism

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dudas, F.O.; Harlan, S.S.

    1999-01-01

    Recent models for the Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the western margin of North America propose that delamination of ancient lithosphere accompanied asthenospheric upwelling, magmatism, and uplift subsequent to Laramide deformation. On the basis of the age of an alkaline dike in south-central Montana, thermometry of mantle xenoliths from the dike, and Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic compositions of the dike and a xenocryst, we show that refractory lithosphere, derived from ancient, depleted mantle, remained in place under the Wyoming Craton as late as 42 Ma. The Haymond School Dike, a camptonite, yields a 40Ar/39Ar plateau date of 41.97 ?? 0.19 Ma (2??). Paleomagnetic data are consistent with this date and indicate intrusion during chron C19r. The dike has Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic compositions similar to those of other Eocene alkaline rocks from central Montana. A clinopyroxene megacryst from the dike has ??42 = 17, and 87Sr/86Sr = 0.70288, indicating that it derives from ancient, depleted mantle isotopically distinct from the source of the host camptonite. Thermometry of xenoliths from the dike shows pyroxene populations that formed at 880?? and 1200??C. Combining thermometry with previous estimates of the regional Eocene geotherm inferred from xenoliths in kimberlites, and with the Al-in-orthopyroxene barometer, we infer that lithospheric mantle remained intact to depths of 110-150 km as late as 42 Ma. Eocene magmatism was not accompanied by complete removal of ancient lithosphere.

  16. The lithosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1983-01-01

    This document is the report of a week-long workshop on problems relating to the interpretations of the composition and dynamics of the lithosphere. A wide range of topics was discussed, dealing not only with the lithosphere itself, but also with possible interactions between the lithosphere and underlying mantle, down to and including the core-mantle boundary zone. Emphasis, very broadly, was on the physical and chemical properties of the lower crust and the subcrustal lithosphere: the physical and chemical characteristics of the prominent seismic discontinuities down to the core-mantle boundary; the nature and patterns of possible convection within the mantle and its relation to the generation, subduction, and intermixing of lithospheric and mantle material; the location and nature and evolution of reservoirs supplying magmas to the crust; and the various models that have been proposed to account for the location, nature, and geological history of these magma reservoirs. The general applicability of the plate tectonics model was assumed, but virtually every widely accepted explanation for the dynamics of that model and of possible unrelated phenomena such as deep-mantle plumes and hot spots was brought into question. 83 refs., 19 figs.

  17. Role of mantle flow in Nubia-Somalia plate divergence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamps, D. S.; Iaffaldano, G.; Calais, E.

    2015-01-01

    Present-day continental extension along the East African Rift System (EARS) has often been attributed to diverging sublithospheric mantle flow associated with the African Superplume. This implies a degree of viscous coupling between mantle and lithosphere that remains poorly constrained. Recent advances in estimating present-day opening rates along the EARS from geodesy offer an opportunity to address this issue with geodynamic modeling of the mantle-lithosphere system. Here we use numerical models of the global mantle-plates coupled system to test the role of present-day mantle flow in Nubia-Somalia plate divergence across the EARS. The scenario yielding the best fit to geodetic observations is one where torques associated with gradients of gravitational potential energy stored in the African highlands are resisted by weak continental faults and mantle basal drag. These results suggest that shear tractions from diverging mantle flow play a minor role in present-day Nubia-Somalia divergence.

  18. Sr-Nd-Pb-C-O isotope systematics of carbonated ultramafic xenoliths from Mafu, Taiwan: Evidence for an extremely enriched lithospheric mantle source beneath the extended margin of the South China block

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, A. D.; Wen, D.; Chung, S.; Wang, K.; Chiang, H.; Tsai, C.

    2008-12-01

    Deep-seated carbonate melt is widely proposed as an effective agent to metasomatize the lithospheric mantle. However, such carbonate melts may have a great diversity of composition and a mantle or recycled origin remains unclear. Here we present the evidence for unique carbonate metasomatism of the continental lithospheric mantle (CLM) beneath the extended southeast margin of the South China block from severely replaced spinel peridotite xenoliths from Mafu, northwestern Taiwan. The metasomatic calcitic carbonates and whole carbonated xenoliths from Mafu have unusually low trace element abundances (total REE abundance < 6 ppm), except for enrichment in Sr, Ba, Pb, Mn and LREE. A magmatic origin is suggested by textural observation that the chromium diopside is resorbed by carbonate melts. In addition, the carbonate melts are distinguishable from the overlaying Miocene limestone and the amygdaloidal carbonate in the host lava with respect to Sr, Nd, C and O isotopic compositions, thereby precluding a crustal origin or surficial alteration, respectively. Compared with the depleted CLM source(s) represented by the unaltered chromium diopside and/or leach residue (86Sr/87Sr = 0.7041; ɛ Nd = +4.9, one residual sample up to +12; 206Pb/204Pb = 18.3), the Sr-Nd-Pb-C-O isotope systematics of the carbonates (86Sr/87Sr = 0.7044-0.7045; ɛ Nd = -6.9 to -7.7; 206Pb/204Pb = 18.5; δ13C = -4.5 to -5.7; δ18O = +21.8 to +22.9) reveal an extremely enriched and heterogeneous CLM. According to the Nd model age, the enriched component evolved for at least 1 Gyrs after isolation from the depleted CLM, before the Late Miocene entrapment. Coupled with high Sr/Nd, Ba/Th, La/Yb, Zr/Hf, and low Nb/U, Ce/Pb, Th/U, Ti/Eu ratios, this EM1-like metasomatic agent may be one of the most efficient percolating melt to cause disequlibrium interaction or Sr-Nd isotope decoupling. To a broader interpretation, it offers an alternative to account for some enriched signatures in mantle lithosphere, such

  19. Lithospheric stress and uppermantle dynamics in mainland China due to mantle flow based on combination of global- and regional-scale seismic tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Tao

    2016-12-01

    In order to explore the importance of mantle flow to lithospheric stress field in mainland China, seismic tomography_based mantle flow models are used to predict the most compressive principal horizontal stress directions (MCPHSDs). Considered that regional-scale seismic tomography models have higher horizontal resolution to map the mantle structure, while global-scale models can present the information out of the imaging domains of regional-scale models although this information has relatively poor horizontal resolution, the combined global- and regional-scale seismic tomography_based mantle flow models (hereafter called combined models) are mainly used in this paper. After the comparison of the observed and our predicted MCPHSDs, it is suggested that (1) a combined model, compared with a only global-scale seismic tomography_based model, could improve greatly the predictions in some regions of mainland China such as Sichuan-Yunnan, South China and North China blocks; (2) the mantle flow model driven by both plate motions and mantle density heterogeneity (hereafter called plate-density-driven model), compared with the flow model driven only by mantle density heterogeneity (hereafter called density-driven model), has much better predictions in the eastern China; (3) the presence of density variations above 250 km could better dramatically the predictions in the eastern China; and (4) sublithospheric mantle flow causes the lithosphere under compression in mainland China, and plays an important role in forming the lithospheric stress in Alashan, Qaidam, western Tibetan and eastern Tarim blocks as well as the east of the eastern China.

  20. Nature of the lithospheric mantle beneath the Arabian Shield and genesis of Al-spinel micropods: Evidence from the mantle xenoliths of Harrat Kishb, Western Saudi Arabia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmed, Ahmed H.; Moghazi, Abdel Kader M.; Moufti, Mohamed R.; Dawood, Yehia H.; Ali, Kamal A.

    2016-01-01

    The Harrat Kishb area of western Saudi Arabia is part of the Cenozoic volcanic fields in the western margin of the Arabian Shield. Numerous fresh ultramafic xenoliths are entrained in the basanite lava of Harrat Kishb, providing an opportunity to study the nature and petrogenetic processes involved in the evolution of the lithospheric mantle beneath the Arabian Shield. Based on the petrological characteristics and mineralogical compositions, the majority of the mantle xenoliths ( 92%) are peridotites (lherzolites and pyroxene-bearing harzburgites); the remaining xenoliths ( 8%) are unusual spinel-rich wehrlites containing black Al-spinel micropods. The two types of mantle xenoliths display magmatic protogranular texture. The peridotite xenoliths have high bulk-rock Mg#, high forsterite (Fo90-Fo92) and NiO (0.24-0.46 wt.%) contents of olivine, high clinopyroxene Mg# (0.91-0.93), variable spinel Cr# (0.10-0.49, atomic ratio), and approximately flat chondrite-normalized REE patterns. These features indicate that the peridotite xenoliths represent residues after variable degrees of melt extraction from fertile mantle. The estimated P (9-16 kbar) and T (877-1227 °C) as well as the oxidation state (∆logfO2 = - 3.38 to - 0.22) under which these peridotite xenoliths originated are consistent with formation conditions similar to most sub-arc abyssal-type peridotites worldwide. The spinel-rich wehrlite xenoliths have an unusual amount ( 30 vol.%) of Al-spinel as peculiar micropods with very minor Cr2O3 content (< 1 wt.%). Olivines of the spinel-rich wehrlites have low-average Fo (Fo81) and NiO (0.18 wt.%) contents, low-average cpx Mg# (0.79), high average cpx Al2O3 content (8.46 wt.%), and very low-average spinel Cr# (0.01). These features characterize early mantle cumulates from a picritic melt fraction produced by low degrees of partial melting of a garnet-bearing mantle source. The relatively high Na2O and Al2O3 contents of cpx suggest that the spinel-rich wehrlites

  1. Lithosphere and upper-mantle structure of the southern Baltic Sea estimated from modelling relative sea-level data with glacial isostatic adjustment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steffen, H.; Kaufmann, G.; Lampe, R.

    2014-06-01

    During the last glacial maximum, a large ice sheet covered Scandinavia, which depressed the earth's surface by several 100 m. In northern central Europe, mass redistribution in the upper mantle led to the development of a peripheral bulge. It has been subsiding since the begin of deglaciation due to the viscoelastic behaviour of the mantle. We analyse relative sea-level (RSL) data of southern Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland and Lithuania to determine the lithospheric thickness and radial mantle viscosity structure for distinct regional RSL subsets. We load a 1-D Maxwell-viscoelastic earth model with a global ice-load history model of the last glaciation. We test two commonly used ice histories, RSES from the Australian National University and ICE-5G from the University of Toronto. Our results indicate that the lithospheric thickness varies, depending on the ice model used, between 60 and 160 km. The lowest values are found in the Oslo Graben area and the western German Baltic Sea coast. In between, thickness increases by at least 30 km tracing the Ringkøbing-Fyn High. In Poland and Lithuania, lithospheric thickness reaches up to 160 km. However, the latter values are not well constrained as the confidence regions are large. Upper-mantle viscosity is found to bracket [2-7] × 1020 Pa s when using ICE-5G. Employing RSES much higher values of 2 × 1021 Pa s are obtained for the southern Baltic Sea. Further investigations should evaluate whether this ice-model version and/or the RSL data need revision. We confirm that the lower-mantle viscosity in Fennoscandia can only be poorly resolved. The lithospheric structure inferred from RSES partly supports structural features of regional and global lithosphere models based on thermal or seismological data. While there is agreement in eastern Europe and southwest Sweden, the structure in an area from south of Norway to northern Germany shows large discrepancies for two of the tested lithosphere models. The lithospheric

  2. Sensing the Electrical Conductivity of the Upper Mantle and Lithosphere Using Satellite Magnetic Signal Due to Ocean Tidal Flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schnepf, N. R.; Kuvshinov, A. V.; Sabaka, T. J.; Olsen, N.

    2014-12-01

    A few scientific groups convincingly demonstrated that the magnetic fields induced by the lunar semidiurnal (M2) ocean flow can be identified in magnetic satellite