Evidence for active upper mantle flow in the Atlantic and Indo-Australian realms since the Upper Jurassic from hiatus maps and spreading rate changes

Abstract

Histories of large-scale horizontal and vertical lithosphere motion hold important information on mantle convection. Here, we compare continent-scale hiatus maps as a proxy for mantle flow induced dynamic topography and plate motion variations in the Atlantic and Indo-Australian realms since the Upper Jurassic, finding they frequently correlate, except when plate boundary forces may play a significant role. This correlation agrees with descriptions of asthenosphere flow beneath tectonic plates in terms of Poiseuille/Couette flow, as it explicitly relates plate motion changes, induced by evolving basal shear forces, to non-isostatic vertical motion of the lithosphere. Our analysis reveals a timescale, on the order of a geological series, between the occurrence of continent-scale hiatus and plate motion changes. This is consistent with the presence of a weak upper mantle. It also shows a spatial scale for interregional hiatus, on the order of 2000–3000 km in diameter, which can be linked by fluid dynamic analysis to active upper mantle flow regions. Our results suggest future studies should pursue large-scale horizontal and vertical lithosphere motion in combination, to track the expressions of past mantle flow. Such studies would provide powerful constraints for adjoint-based geodynamic inverse models of past mantle convection.

Further Information
https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/epdf/10.1098/rspa.2021.0764
BibTeX
@article{id2822,
  author = {Berta Vilac{\'\i}s and Jorge N. Hayek and Ingo L. Stotz and Hans-Peter Bunge and Anke M. Friedrich and Sara Carena and Stuart R. Clark},
  doi = {https://doi.org/10.1098/rspa.2021.0764},
  journal = {Proceedings of The Royal Society A Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences},
  language = {en},
  number = {2262},
  pages = {20210764},
  title = {Evidence for active upper mantle flow in the Atlantic and Indo-Australian realms since the Upper Jurassic from hiatus maps and spreading rate changes},
  url = {https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/epdf/10.1098/rspa.2021.0764},
  volume = {478},
  year = {2022},
}
EndNote
%O Journal Article
%A Berta Vilacís
%A Jorge N. Hayek
%A Ingo L. Stotz
%A Hans-Peter Bunge
%A Anke M. Friedrich
%A Sara Carena
%A Stuart R. Clark
%R https://doi.org/10.1098/rspa.2021.0764
%J Proceedings of The Royal Society A Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences
%G en
%N 2262
%P 20210764
%T Evidence for active upper mantle flow in the Atlantic and Indo-Australian realms since the Upper Jurassic from hiatus maps and spreading rate changes
%U https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/epdf/10.1098/rspa.2021.0764
%V 478
%D 2022