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On the origin of recent intraplate volcanism in Australia

D. Rhodri Davies and Nicholas Rawlinson
On the origin of recent intraplate volcanism in Australia
Geology (Boulder) (October 2014) 42 (12): 1031-1034


Many intraplate volcanic provinces do not appear to originate from plate-boundary processes or upwelling mantle plumes. Edge-driven convection (EDC), where a small-scale convective instability (induced by local variations in lithospheric thickness) displaces hot mantle material upward, provides an alternative hypothesis for such volcanism. Recently, EDC has been postulated as the trigger for Quaternary intraplate volcanism in Australia, due to the proximity of a craton edge. However, the Precambrian shield region of the Australian continent has a boundary that is at least 10,000 km long, yet the Newer Volcanics Province (NVP) is contained within a 400 X 100 km region. This brings into question EDC as a causal mechanism, unless nucleation at a single location can be explained. Here, we use a combination of seismic tomography and geodynamic modeling to show, for the first time, that (1) the source of the NVP is restricted to the upper mantle, and (2) mantle upwelling triggered by EDC is localized and intensified beneath the NVP as a result of three-dimensional variations in lithospheric thickness and plate motion-induced shear flow. This study helps to solve the global puzzle of why step changes in lithospheric thickness, which occur along craton edges and at passive margins, produce volcanism only at isolated locations.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 42
Serial Issue: 12
Title: On the origin of recent intraplate volcanism in Australia
Affiliation: Australian National University, Research School of Earth Sciences, Canberra, A.C.T., Australia
Pages: 1031-1034
Published: 20141017
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 25
Accession Number: 2014-102340
Categories: Igneous and metamorphic petrologySolid-earth geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch map
S38°00'00" - S37°00'00", E143°00'00" - E144°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Aberdeen, GBR, United Kingdom
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2022, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201451
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