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Mantle convection models constrain central Neo-Tethys Ocean reconstructions

Nerlich, Rainer, Lorenzo Colli, Siavash Ghelichkhan, Bernhard Schuberth, and Hans-Peter Bunge (2016), Mantle convection models constrain central Neo-Tethys Ocean reconstructions, Geophysical Research Letters, 43(18), 9595–9603, doi:10.1002/2016GL070524.

A striking feature of the Indian Ocean is a distinct geoid low south of India, pointing to a regionally anomalous mantle density structure. Equally prominent are rapid plate convergence rate variations between India and SE Asia, particularly in Late Cretaceous/Paleocene times. Both observations are linked to the central Neo-Tethys Ocean subduction history, for which competing scenarios have been proposed. Here we evaluate three alternative reconstructions by assimilating their associated time-dependent velocity fields in global high-resolution geodynamic Earth models, allowing us to predict the resulting seismic mantle heterogeneity and geoid signal. Our analysis reveals that a geoid low similar to the one observed develops naturally when a long-lived back-arc basin south of Eurasia's paleo-margin is assumed. A quantitative comparison to seismic tomography further supports this model. In contrast, reconstructions assuming a single northward dipping subduction zone along Eurasia's margin or models incorporating a temporary southward dipping intra-oceanic subduction zone cannot sufficiently reproduce geoid and seismic observations.
Further information
  author = {Rainer Nerlich and Lorenzo Colli and Siavash Ghelichkhan and Bernhard Schuberth and Hans-Peter Bunge},
  journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
  number = {18},
  pages = {9595{--}9603},
  title = {{Mantle convection models constrain central Neo-Tethys Ocean reconstructions}},
  volume = {43},
  year = {2016},
  language = {en},
  url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2016GL070524},
  doi = {10.1002/2016GL070524},
%0 Journal Article
%A Nerlich, Rainer
%A Colli, Lorenzo
%A Ghelichkhan, Siavash
%A Schuberth, Bernhard
%A Bunge, Hans-Peter
%D 2016
%N 18
%V 43
%J Geophysical Research Letters
%P 9595–9603
%T Mantle convection models constrain central Neo-Tethys Ocean reconstructions
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2016GL070524
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Printed 13. Aug 2020 11:16