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Book Chapter

Seismic tomography of the Arctic region: inferences for the thermal structure and evolution of the lithosphere

By
Sergei Lebedev
Sergei Lebedev
Geophysics Section, School of Cosmic Physics, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 5 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, Ireland
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Andrew J. Schaeffer
Andrew J. Schaeffer
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa K1N 6N5, Canada
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Javier Fullea
Javier Fullea
Geophysics Section, School of Cosmic Physics, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 5 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, Ireland
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Victoria Pease
Victoria Pease
Department of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University, Stockholm 106 91, Sweden
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Published:
January 01, 2018

Abstract

Waveform tomography with very large datasets reveals the upper-mantle structure of the Arctic in unprecedented detail. Using tomography jointly with computational petrology, we estimate temperature in the lithosphere–asthenosphere depth range and infer lithospheric structure and evolution. Most of the boundaries of the mantle roots of cratons in the Arctic are coincident with their geological boundaries at the surface. The thick lithospheres of the Greenland and North American cratons are separated by a corridor of thin lithosphere beneath Baffin Bay and through the middle of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago; the southern archipelago is part of the North American Craton. The mantle root of the cratonic block beneath northern Greenland may extend westwards as far as central Ellesmere Island. The Barents and Kara seas show high velocities indicative of thick lithosphere, similar to cratons. The locations of intraplate basaltic volcanism attributed to the High Arctic Large Igneous Province are all on thin, non-cratonic lithosphere. The lithosphere beneath the central part of the Siberian Traps is warmer than elsewhere beneath the Siberian Craton. This observation is consistent with lithospheric erosion associated with the large igneous province volcanism. A corridor of relatively low seismic velocities cuts east–west across central Greenland. This indicates lithospheric thinning, which appears to delineate the track of the Iceland hotspot.

Supplementary material: Figures with comparisons of different tomographic models at 50 and 200 km depths are available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3817810

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Circum-Arctic Lithosphere Evolution

V. Pease
V. Pease
Stockholm University, Sweden
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B. Coakley
B. Coakley
University of Alaska, Fairbanks, USA
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The Geological Society of London
Volume
460
ISBN electronic:
9781786203410
Publication date:
January 01, 2018

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