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Temporal variation in rigidity and mechanical behaviour of old thick continental lithosphere

C. Moctar Doucoure and Maarten J. de Wit
Temporal variation in rigidity and mechanical behaviour of old thick continental lithosphere
South African Journal of Geology (March 2002) 105 (1): 39-50

Abstract

We calculate variations in the thickness of the rigid uppermost layer of the lithosphere of South Africa, including its 2.6 to 3.6 billion-year-old embedded Kaapvaal craton. Results show that this layer, known as the competent lithosphere, beneath the craton attained its present thickness of up to 120 km only after 2.0 billion years ago. Prior to that the thickness of the competent lithosphere of the craton may have been up to 60% less because its upper mantle was mechanically decoupled from its upper crust. The observed variance in the depth to the base of the competent lithosphere between the Archean Kaapvaal Craton and the surrounding Mesoproterozoic terrain are interpreted in terms of distinct chemical differences. These findings have implications for understanding the ageing of continents and Archean tectonics.


ISSN: 1012-0750
EISSN: 1996-8590
Coden: TGSAA3
Serial Title: South African Journal of Geology
Serial Volume: 105
Serial Issue: 1
Title: Temporal variation in rigidity and mechanical behaviour of old thick continental lithosphere
Affiliation: University of Cape Town, Department of Geological Sciences, Rondebosch, South Africa
Pages: 39-50
Published: 200203
Text Language: English
Publisher: Bureau for Scientific Publications, Pretoria, South Africa
References: 62
Accession Number: 2003-014183
Categories: Solid-earth geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: Includes appendices
Illustration Description: illus.
S27°00'00" - S18°00'00", E18°00'00" - E30°00'00"
S35°00'00" - S22°00'00", E16°00'00" - E33°00'00"
Country of Publication: South Africa
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 200305
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