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Dynamic lithosphere within the Great Basin

Porter, Ryan C. and Fouch, Matthew J. and Schmerr, Nicholas C. (2014) Dynamic lithosphere within the Great Basin. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 15. pp. 1128-1146. ISSN 1525-2027


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Publisher’s or external URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2013gc005151


To place new constraints on the short-term, broad-scale lithospheric evolution of plate interiors, we utilize broadband seismic data from the Great Basin region of the Western United States to produce high-resolution images of the crust and upper mantle. Our results suggest that parts of the Great Basin lithosphere has been removed, likely via inflow of hot asthenosphere as subduction of the Farallon spreading center occurred and the region extended. In our proposed model, fragments of thermal lithosphere removed by this process were gravitationally unstable and subsequently sank into the underlying mantle, leaving behind less dense, stronger, chemically depleted lithosphere. This destabilization process promotes volcanism, deformation, and the reworking of continental lithosphere inboard from plate margins. Our results provide evidence for a new mechanism of lithospheric evolution that is likely common and significant in postsubduction tectonic settings.

Item Type: Article
Publisher’s Statement: ©2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
ID number or DOI: 10.1002/2013GC005151
Keywords: Lithosphere; Continental tectonics: extensional; Dynamics: convection currents, and mantle plumes; North America; downwellings; extension; Great Basin; joint inversion; lithospheric removal; northern basin; phase velocities; range province; receiver functions; southern sierra-nevada; surface-wave tomography; velocity structure; western-united-states; yellowstone hotspot track
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Faculty/Staff
Department/Unit: College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Science > School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2015 22:46
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/734

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