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Full waveform tomography of the upper mantle in the South Atlantic region: Imaging a westward fluxing shallow asthenosphere?

Colli, Lorenzo, Andreas Fichtner, and Hans-Peter Bunge (2013), Full waveform tomography of the upper mantle in the South Atlantic region: Imaging a westward fluxing shallow asthenosphere?, Tectonophysics, 604, 26-40, doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2013.06.015.

Abstract
A prominent feature of the South Atlantic region is its strongly asymmetric residual bathymetry across the ocean basin. It has been suggested that the residual bathymetry is dynamic in nature, arising from the large slow velocity seismic anomaly located in the lower mantle beneath the African plate. Unfortunately, the pattern of mantle heterogeneity particularly in the upper mantle is not well known owing to the sparsity of seismic stations and the existence of large aseismic regions on the African and South American plates. Here we present a new seismic tomographic study of the South Atlantic upper mantle. Our model is based on a full seismic waveform inversion of ≈4000 high-quality seismograms for isotropic 3-D seismic structure using a powerful adjoint methodology capable of extracting maximum information from each seismogram. The theory requires simulation of seismic wave propagation in 3-D heterogeneous earth models computed with a spectral-element method where the differences between observed and synthetic seismograms are quantified using phase misfits obtained through a time–frequency transform. The model images a continuous channel of pronounced slow seismic velocity in the shallow sublithospheric mantle between ≈150 and ≈300 km depth that branches in between the cratonic roots under the African and South American continents. At greater depth, below 300–350 km, the slow anomalies are less pronounced and a change in the convective planform is indicated by isolated, round shaped patches in an overall faster mantle. It is possible that the depthwise change of the convective planform from vertical to horizontal advection of hot buoyant material in a low viscosity asthenosphere can reconcile the anomalous residual bathymetry in the region, and we present a simple fluid dynamic model of pressure driven flow to assess the feasibility of this scenario.
Further information
BibTeX
@article{id2010,
  author = {Lorenzo Colli and Andreas Fichtner and Hans-Peter Bunge},
  journal = {Tectonophysics},
  pages = {26-40},
  title = {{Full waveform tomography of the upper mantle in the South Atlantic region: Imaging a westward fluxing shallow asthenosphere?}},
  volume = {604},
  year = {2013},
  url = {http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0040195113003806},
  doi = {10.1016/j.tecto.2013.06.015},
}
EndNote
%0 Journal Article
%A Colli, Lorenzo
%A Fichtner, Andreas
%A Bunge, Hans-Peter
%D 2013
%V 604
%J Tectonophysics
%P 26-40
%T Full waveform tomography of the upper mantle in the South Atlantic region: Imaging a westward fluxing shallow asthenosphere?
%U http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0040195113003806
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Printed 25. Aug 2019 09:20