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Moho temperature and mobility of lower crust in the Western United States

Derek L. Schutt, Anthony R. Lowry and Janine S. Buehler
Moho temperature and mobility of lower crust in the Western United States
Geology (Boulder) (March 2018) 46 (3): 219-222


We use measurements of mantle P-wave velocity from the Moho refracted phase, Pn, to estimate temperature within the uppermost few km of the western U.S. mantle. Relative to other approaches to modeling the deep geotherm, using Pn velocities requires few assumptions and provides a less uncertain temperature at a tightly constrained depth. Assuming a homogeneous mantle composition, Moho temperatures are lowest in an arc that extends from the High Lava Plains through western Montana and the high-plains region of Wyoming and western Kansas/Nebraska. Highest temperatures are observed under recent (<10 Ma) volcanic provinces and are consistent with melting. Estimates of lower crustal viscosity suggest that the western U.S. west of the Laramide deformation front likely has regions of mobile lower crust that decouple upper crustal and upper mantle tractions.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 46
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Moho temperature and mobility of lower crust in the Western United States
Affiliation: Colorado State University, Department of Geosciences, Fort Collins, CO, United States
Pages: 219-222
Published: 201803
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 40
Accession Number: 2018-041974
Categories: Solid-earth geophysicsApplied geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch maps
Secondary Affiliation: Utah State University, USA, United StatesScripps Institution of Oceanography, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, 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: 201810
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