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.

Juan Carlos Afonso, Nicholas Rawlinson, Yingjie Yang, Derek L. Schutt, Alan Jones, Javier Fullea, William Griffin

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Abstract

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%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7337-7370
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume121
Issue number10
Early online date18 Oct 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016

Fingerprint

thermal structure
Colorado Plateau (US)
lithosphere
tomography
Tomography
upper mantle
Earth mantle
inversions
Geodynamics
crustal structure
mantle
Rayleigh waves
Buoyancy
Delamination
plateau
Gravitation
wave dispersion
Bouguer anomaly
asthenosphere
feedback mechanism

Keywords

  • lithospheric structure
  • joint inversion
  • mantle composition
  • thermochemical tomography
  • Western U.S
  • Colorado Plateau
  • litosphere
  • inverse theory
  • mantle
  • tomography
  • gravity anomalies and Earth structure

Cite this

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. / Afonso, Juan Carlos; Rawlinson, Nicholas; Yang, Yingjie; Schutt, Derek L.; Jones, Alan; Fullea, Javier; Griffin, William.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, Vol. 121, No. 10, 10.2016, p. 7337-7370.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Afonso, Juan Carlos ; Rawlinson, Nicholas ; Yang, Yingjie ; Schutt, Derek L. ; Jones, Alan ; Fullea, Javier ; Griffin, William. / 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. In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 2016 ; Vol. 121, No. 10. pp. 7337-7370.
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abstract = "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{\%}.",
keywords = "lithospheric structure, joint inversion, mantle composition, thermochemical tomography, Western U.S, Colorado Plateau, litosphere, inverse theory, mantle, tomography, gravity anomalies and Earth structure",
author = "Afonso, {Juan Carlos} and Nicholas Rawlinson and Yingjie Yang and Schutt, {Derek L.} and Alan Jones and Javier Fullea and William Griffin",
note = "Acknowledgments We are indebted to F. Darbyshire and J. von Hunen for useful comments on earlier versions of this work. This manuscript benefited from thorough and constructive reviews by W. Levandowski and an anonymous reviewer. We also thank J. Connolly, M. Sambridge, B. Kennett, S. Lebedev, B. Shan, U. Faul, and M. Qashqai for insightful discussions about, and contributions to, some of the concepts presented in this paper. The work of J.C.A. has been supported by two Australian Research Council Discovery grants (DP120102372 and DP110104145). Seismic data are from the IRIS DMS. D.L.S. acknowledges support from NSF grant EAR-135866. This is contribution 848 from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems (http://www.ccfs.mq.edu.au) and 1106 in the GEMOC Key Centre (http://www.gemoc.mq.edu.au).",
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T1 - 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.

AU - Afonso, Juan Carlos

AU - Rawlinson, Nicholas

AU - Yang, Yingjie

AU - Schutt, Derek L.

AU - Jones, Alan

AU - Fullea, Javier

AU - Griffin, William

N1 - Acknowledgments We are indebted to F. Darbyshire and J. von Hunen for useful comments on earlier versions of this work. This manuscript benefited from thorough and constructive reviews by W. Levandowski and an anonymous reviewer. We also thank J. Connolly, M. Sambridge, B. Kennett, S. Lebedev, B. Shan, U. Faul, and M. Qashqai for insightful discussions about, and contributions to, some of the concepts presented in this paper. The work of J.C.A. has been supported by two Australian Research Council Discovery grants (DP120102372 and DP110104145). Seismic data are from the IRIS DMS. D.L.S. acknowledges support from NSF grant EAR-135866. This is contribution 848 from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems (http://www.ccfs.mq.edu.au) and 1106 in the GEMOC Key Centre (http://www.gemoc.mq.edu.au).

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N2 - 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%.

AB - 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%.

KW - lithospheric structure

KW - joint inversion

KW - mantle composition

KW - thermochemical tomography

KW - Western U.S

KW - Colorado Plateau

KW - litosphere

KW - inverse theory

KW - mantle

KW - tomography

KW - gravity anomalies and Earth structure

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DO - 10.1002/2016JB013049

M3 - Article

VL - 121

SP - 7337

EP - 7370

JO - Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth

JF - Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth

SN - 2169-9313

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ER -