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Seismological Constraints on the Temperature and Composition of the Lithosphere and Asthenosphere

March 24 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am

Fundamental to the theory of plate tectonics is the notion of a rigid lithosphere that translates over a weak asthenosphere. However, the physical and chemical properties of the lithosphere and asthenosphere that give rise to this rheological contrast are poorly understood. Variations in temperature, in volatile content, or in partial melt are the most likely explanations; furthermore, the dominant mechanism may depend on tectonic setting. While seismic velocity is widely used to estimate these factors, it is affected by temperature, composition, melt, and water content and thus provides incomplete information. I will describe two approaches I use to overcome this short-coming. I will show that seismic-wave attenuation can be used to distinguish between temperature and composition in the continental lithosphere and that jointly analyzing seismic velocity with basalt chemistry and ridge depth can distinguish between temperature and composition beneath mid-ocean ridges.

By: Colleen Dalton, Assistant Professor, Brown University

Click for a live broadcast

Host: Nick Hayman/Harm Van Avendonk, UTIG


March 24
10:30 am - 11:30 am




Seminar Conference Room
10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 196-ROC
Austin, TX 78758 United States
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