Age-dependent seismic thickness and mechanical strength of the Australian lithosphere

Frederik Jozef Simons, Rob D. van der Hilst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present constraints on the regional variations of the seismic and mechanical thickness of the Australian lithosphere. We infer the seismic thickness from a waveform tomographic model of S-wave speed, and as a proxy for the elastic thickness we use the wavelength at which the coherence of surface topography and Bouguer gravity drops below hald of its long-wavelength maximum. Our results show that on scales <1000 km the relationship between the age of the crust and the thickness of the lithosphere is more complicated than longer-wavelength or global averages suggest. Recent geochemical and geodynamical evidence for small-scale secular variations of the composition and stability of continental cratons further illustrates the complexity of the age dependence of seismo-mechanical lithospheric properties on regional scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume29
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2002

Fingerprint

lithosphere
wavelength
secular variation
wavelengths
secular variations
craton
S-wave
cratons
topography
gravity
crust
S waves
crusts
waveforms
mechanical properties
gravitation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

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Age-dependent seismic thickness and mechanical strength of the Australian lithosphere. / Simons, Frederik Jozef; van der Hilst, Rob D.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 29, No. 11, 01.06.2002.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AB - We present constraints on the regional variations of the seismic and mechanical thickness of the Australian lithosphere. We infer the seismic thickness from a waveform tomographic model of S-wave speed, and as a proxy for the elastic thickness we use the wavelength at which the coherence of surface topography and Bouguer gravity drops below hald of its long-wavelength maximum. Our results show that on scales <1000 km the relationship between the age of the crust and the thickness of the lithosphere is more complicated than longer-wavelength or global averages suggest. Recent geochemical and geodynamical evidence for small-scale secular variations of the composition and stability of continental cratons further illustrates the complexity of the age dependence of seismo-mechanical lithospheric properties on regional scales.

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