The state of the upper mantle beneath Southern Africa

Priestley, K. F. and McKenzie, D. P. and Debayle, E. (2006) The state of the upper mantle beneath Southern Africa. Tectonophysics, 416 (1-4). pp. 101-112. DOI


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We present a new upper mantle seismic model for southern Africa based on the fitting of a large (3622 waveforms) multi-mode surface wave data set with propagation paths significantly shorter (≤ 6000 km) than those in globally-derived surface wave models. The seismic lithosphere beneath the cratonic region of southern Africa in this model is about 175 ± 25 km thick, consistent with other recent surface wave models, but significantly thinner than indicated by teleseismic body-wave tomography. We determine the in situ geotherm from kimberlite nodules from beneath the same region and find the thermal lithosphere model that best fits the nodule data has a mechanical boundary layer thickness of 186 km and a thermal lithosphere thickness of 204 km, in very good agreement with the seismic measurement. The shear wave velocity determined from analyzes of the kimberlite nodule compositions agree with the seismic shear wave velocity to a depth of not, vert, similar150 km. However, the shear wave velocity decrease at the base of the lid seen in the seismic model does not correspond to a change in mineralogy. Recent experimental studies of the shear wave velocity in olivine as a function of temperature and period of oscillation demonstrate that this wave speed decrease can result from grain boundary relaxation at high temperatures at the period of seismic waves. This decrease in velocity occurs where the mantle temperature is close to the melting temperature (within not, vert, similar100 °C).

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2006 AREP IA48 IA50 2006 P
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Journal or Publication Title: Tectonophysics
Volume: 416
Page Range: pp. 101-112
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2009 13:03
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:08

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