Lithosphere
Last modified December, 2013; irina@ign.ku.dk
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Lithosphere
THE CONTINENTAL LITHOSPHERE
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The Lithosphere book by Artemieva. Cambridge
Artemieva I.M., 2011.
The lithosphere:
An interdisciplinary
approach
.

Cambridge University Press,
Monograph,
794 pp., ISBN 9780521843966.

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Secular evolution of the continental lithosphere:
A 1 deg x 1 deg global database of tectono-thermal ages of the continental lithosphere TC1.
A global 1 deg x 1 deg thermal model for the continental lithosphere TC1 constrained from the statistical
relationships between continental geotherms and tectono-thermal ages.

These two global models for the continental lithosphere have been used to calculate:
  • lithospheric volume through time from Archean till present;
  • growth and preservation rate for the lithosphere from Archean till present;
  • correlation between lithospheric growth rate and growth rate of juvenile crust;
  • correlation between lithospheric growth rate and global tectonic events;
  • correlation between lithospheric structure and anorogenic magmatism (anorthosites and rapakivi).

Thermal structure of the continental lithosphere – a global study:
  •  A global, consistent thermal model for stable continental lithosphere calculated from the data on the
    surface heat flow (temperature distribution in the lithosphere, lithospheric thickness, mantle heat flow);
  • A global 1 deg x 1 deg thermal model for the continental lithosphere TC1 constrained from the statistical
    relationships between continental geotherms and tectono-thermal ages.
  •  Distinct stages of lithosphere formation have been linked to secular changes in mantle dynamics,
  •  Correlation of thermal regime of the continental lithosphere with xenolith geotherms, electrical conductivity
    of the upper mantle, and elastic thickness.

Lithosphere formation and basal erosion:
  •  Correlations between cratonic size, plate velocities, ridge push, slab pull and lithospheric thickness,
  •  Variations in lithospheric thickness of the Archean cratons: do they result from different mechanisms of
    lithosphere formation or from a selective destruction of lithospheric keels?
  •   The role of mantle processes on lithosphere erosion.

Compositional variations in the continental lithosphere as constrained by seismic and thermal
data:
  •  A correlational analysis of global maps of the thermal structure of the continental lithosphere with global
    elastic and anelastic seismic tomography models as determined from Rayleigh waves for the upper 200 km
    of the mantle;
  •  Calculation of seismic elastic and anelastic anomalies that cannot be explained by temperature variations
    alone.

Gravity constraints on lateral compositional variations in continental lithosphere:
  •  Mantle residual gravity anomalies are used to examine the effects of temperature and chemical depletion
    on lithospheric density.
  • Density variations in the cratonic roots caused by  non-thermal (compositional) variations.

Most of these results can be
downloaded from the
Publications page

Continental crust: Structure, composition and evolution
  • Crustal structure of Europe and the North Atlantic region,
  • Siberia
  • southern Africa.
  • (co)author of two regional, continent-scale databases on the seismic structure of the crust (Europe and Siberia). Their analysis have
    established the links between crustal heterogeneity and geodynamic evolution of the lithosphere.
  • Global evolution of continental crust with focus on European Variscides; the role of mantle processes and phase transition in controlling crustal
    thickness.

Free-board constraints on compositional variations in the lithosphere of the East European craton and a mechanism of
platform subsidence:
  • Possible mechanisms of Meso-Cenozoic subsidence of the East European craton.
  • Crustal and lithospheric structures as constrained by seismic and thermla data.
  • Lithospheric density anomalies beneath the East European Craton calculated from the free-board constrains;
  • The nature of a reduced-velocity zone at 100-150 km depth within the cratonic lithosphere;
  • The role of Proterozoic and Paleozoic rifting in modification of the composition of the East European lithosphere
  • A new mechanism for Phanerozoic subsidence of the East European Platform has been proposed as a result of rifting-related metasomatism.

Geophysical synthesis of the upper mantle structure in Europe and lithospheric processes:
  • A joint analysis of different geophysical data sets (seismic tomography from surface and body waves, upper mantle reflectivity, gravity and
    thermal data) and the role of major tectonic processes in formation of lithospheric structure of Europe: from Proterozoic terrain accretion and
    subduction, to Phanerozoic rifting, volcanism, subduction and continent-continent collision;
  • An integrated model of physical properties of the European subcrustal lithosphere.

Upper mantle rheology and creep in young orogens:
  • The relation of rheology to thermal regime of the lithosphere; mantle creep in young orogens of the continents;
  • The origin of seismic anisotropy at various depths as related to tectonic stress, geotherms, and rheology, with a focus on young continental
    orogens;
  • The concept of crustal “escape tectonics” as extended to the uppermost mantle: examples for different continental orogens.

Lithosphere thinning during tectonic rejuvenation:
  •  Thermal thinning of the lithosphere caused by an ascent of anomalous mantle to the base of the lithosphere, partial melting of lithospheric
    material, its consecutive replacement by material from the anomalous mantle, lithosphere thinning, and isostatic uplift of lithospheric blocks.
  • The effect of fluid phase on the dynamics of lithosphere thinning. Lamination of fusible and refractory layers in the upper mantle caused by a
    presence of H2O and CO2 may lead to a sharp change in lithosphere-thinning velocities and, hence, to a discrete character of surface vertical
    motions.

Evolution of the thermal regime of the lithosphere of regions of Cenozoic tectonism and magmatism:
  • Petrologic data on temporal changes of magma composition in intracontinental regions of Cenozoic magmatism is used to quantify lithosphere
    thinning in terms of P-T-t characteristics;
  • Secular variations in mantle heat flow required to produce observed evolution of lithospheric thickness in time;

Thermal constraints on the mechanisms of the Cenozoic uplift of the Tien-Shan:
  •  Cenozoic tectonic uplift of the Tien Shan interpreted in terms of a non-developed continental rift as supported by geophysical data;
  •  Data on the uplift history for the past 25 Ma is used to estimate thermal regime of the mantle and to calculate the isostatic response of the
    lithosphere to active processes in the mantle.
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Irina M. Artemieva
Geology Section, IGN
University of Copenhagen
Øster Voldgade 10
Copenhagen DK-1350
Denmark
Email:
irina@ign.ku.dk
www.ign.ku.dk
International Lithosphere
Programme ILP
1. Global studies
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2. Regional studies