Effect of the lithospheric thermal state on the Moho geometry
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Gravimetric methods applied for a Moho recovery in areas with sparse and irregular distribution of seismic data often assume only a constant crustal density. Results of the latest studies, however, indicate that corrections for the crustal density heterogeneities could improve the gravimetric result especially in regions with a complex geologic/tectonic structure. Moreover, the isostatic mass balance reflects also the density structure within the mantle. The gravimetric methods should therefore incorporate an additional correction for the sub-crustal density heterogeneities. Following this principle, we solve the Vening Meinesz-Moritz (VMM) inverse problem of isostasy constrained on seismic data to determine the Moho depth of the South American tectonic plate including surrounding oceans, while taking into consideration the crustal and mantle density heterogeneities. Our numerical result confirms that the contribution of sediments significantly modifies the Moho geometry especially along the continental margins with large sediment deposits. To account for the mantle density heterogeneities we develop and apply a method of correcting the Moho geometry for the contribution of the lithospheric thermal state (i.e., the lithospheric thermal-pressure correction). In addition, the misfit between the isostatic and seismic Moho models, attributed mainly to deep mantle density heterogeneities and other geophysical phenomena, is corrected for by applying the non-isostatic correction. The results reveal that the application of the lithospheric thermal-pressure correction improves the RMS fit of the VMM gravimetric Moho solution to the CRUST1.0 seismic model and the point-wise seismic data in South America about 40% and 7% respectively.
Crust, gravity, lithosphere, Moho, thermal state.
Engineering and Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-183556OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-183556DiVA: diva2:912535
QS 20162016-03-162016-03-162016-03-17Bibliographically approved