Exploring the theory of plate tectonics

the role of mantle lithosphere structure

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

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Abstract

This review of the role of the mantle lithosphere in plate tectonic processes collates a wide range of recent studies from seismology and numerical modelling. A continually growing catalogue of deep geophysical imaging has illuminated the mantle lithosphere and generated new interpretations of how the lithosphere evolves. We review current ideas about the role of continental mantle lithosphere in plate tectonic processes. Evidence seems to be growing that scarring in the continental mantle lithosphere is ubiquitous, which implies a reassessment of the widely held view that it is the inheritance of crustal structure only (rather than the lithosphere as a whole) that is most important in the conventional theory of plate tectonics (e.g. the Wilson cycle). Recent studies have interpreted mantle lithosphere heterogeneities to be pre-existing structures and, as such, linked to the Wilson cycle and inheritance. We consider the current fundamental questions in the role of the mantle lithosphere in causing tectonic deformation, reviewing recent results and highlighting the potential of the deep lithosphere in infiltrating every aspect of plate tectonics processes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalGeological Society Special Publications
Volume470
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Mar 2018

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Tectonics
plate tectonics
lithosphere
mantle
Seismology
Imaging techniques
seismology
crustal structure
tectonics

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Exploring the theory of plate tectonics : the role of mantle lithosphere structure. / Heron, Philip J.; Pysklywec, Russell N.; Stephenson, Randell.

In: Geological Society Special Publications , Vol. 470, 01.03.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "This review of the role of the mantle lithosphere in plate tectonic processes collates a wide range of recent studies from seismology and numerical modelling. A continually growing catalogue of deep geophysical imaging has illuminated the mantle lithosphere and generated new interpretations of how the lithosphere evolves. We review current ideas about the role of continental mantle lithosphere in plate tectonic processes. Evidence seems to be growing that scarring in the continental mantle lithosphere is ubiquitous, which implies a reassessment of the widely held view that it is the inheritance of crustal structure only (rather than the lithosphere as a whole) that is most important in the conventional theory of plate tectonics (e.g. the Wilson cycle). Recent studies have interpreted mantle lithosphere heterogeneities to be pre-existing structures and, as such, linked to the Wilson cycle and inheritance. We consider the current fundamental questions in the role of the mantle lithosphere in causing tectonic deformation, reviewing recent results and highlighting the potential of the deep lithosphere in infiltrating every aspect of plate tectonics processes.",
author = "Heron, {Philip J.} and Pysklywec, {Russell N.} and Randell Stephenson",
note = "From: WILSON, R. W., HOUSEMAN, G. A., MCCAFFREY, K. J. W., DOR{\'E}, A. G. & BUITER, S. J. H. (eds) Fifty Years of the Wilson Cycle Concept in Plate Tectonics. Geological Society. Funding Funding agency: Canadian Network for Research and Innovation in Machining Technology, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Funding agency ID: https://doi.org/10.13039/ 501100002790. Principal award recipient Russell Pysklywec. RNP and PJH are grateful for funding from an NSERC Discovery Grant. PJH is also grateful for funding from a DIFeREns2 COFUND Junior Research Fellowship (2017). The DIFeREns2 project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 609412. Computations were performed on the GPC supercomputer at the SciNet HPC Consortium (Loken et al. 2010). SciNet is funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation under the auspices of Compute Canada, the Government of Ontario, Ontario Research Fund-Research Excellence, and the University of Toronto.",
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N1 - From: WILSON, R. W., HOUSEMAN, G. A., MCCAFFREY, K. J. W., DORÉ, A. G. & BUITER, S. J. H. (eds) Fifty Years of the Wilson Cycle Concept in Plate Tectonics. Geological Society. Funding Funding agency: Canadian Network for Research and Innovation in Machining Technology, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Funding agency ID: https://doi.org/10.13039/ 501100002790. Principal award recipient Russell Pysklywec. RNP and PJH are grateful for funding from an NSERC Discovery Grant. PJH is also grateful for funding from a DIFeREns2 COFUND Junior Research Fellowship (2017). The DIFeREns2 project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 609412. Computations were performed on the GPC supercomputer at the SciNet HPC Consortium (Loken et al. 2010). SciNet is funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation under the auspices of Compute Canada, the Government of Ontario, Ontario Research Fund-Research Excellence, and the University of Toronto.

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N2 - This review of the role of the mantle lithosphere in plate tectonic processes collates a wide range of recent studies from seismology and numerical modelling. A continually growing catalogue of deep geophysical imaging has illuminated the mantle lithosphere and generated new interpretations of how the lithosphere evolves. We review current ideas about the role of continental mantle lithosphere in plate tectonic processes. Evidence seems to be growing that scarring in the continental mantle lithosphere is ubiquitous, which implies a reassessment of the widely held view that it is the inheritance of crustal structure only (rather than the lithosphere as a whole) that is most important in the conventional theory of plate tectonics (e.g. the Wilson cycle). Recent studies have interpreted mantle lithosphere heterogeneities to be pre-existing structures and, as such, linked to the Wilson cycle and inheritance. We consider the current fundamental questions in the role of the mantle lithosphere in causing tectonic deformation, reviewing recent results and highlighting the potential of the deep lithosphere in infiltrating every aspect of plate tectonics processes.

AB - This review of the role of the mantle lithosphere in plate tectonic processes collates a wide range of recent studies from seismology and numerical modelling. A continually growing catalogue of deep geophysical imaging has illuminated the mantle lithosphere and generated new interpretations of how the lithosphere evolves. We review current ideas about the role of continental mantle lithosphere in plate tectonic processes. Evidence seems to be growing that scarring in the continental mantle lithosphere is ubiquitous, which implies a reassessment of the widely held view that it is the inheritance of crustal structure only (rather than the lithosphere as a whole) that is most important in the conventional theory of plate tectonics (e.g. the Wilson cycle). Recent studies have interpreted mantle lithosphere heterogeneities to be pre-existing structures and, as such, linked to the Wilson cycle and inheritance. We consider the current fundamental questions in the role of the mantle lithosphere in causing tectonic deformation, reviewing recent results and highlighting the potential of the deep lithosphere in infiltrating every aspect of plate tectonics processes.

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