Electrical conductivity of old oceanic mantle in the northwestern Pacific I: 1-D profiles suggesting differences in thermal structure not predictable from a plate cooling model

Electrical conductivity of old oceanic mantle in the northwestern Pacific I: 1-D profiles... Seafloor magnetotelluric (MT) experiments were recently conducted in two areas of the northwestern Pacific to investigate the nature of the old oceanic upper mantle. The areas are far from any tectonic activity, and “normal” mantle structure is therefore expected. The data were carefully analyzed to reduce the effects of coastlines and seafloor topographic changes, which are significant boundaries in electrical conductivity and thus distort seafloor MT data. An isotropic, one-dimensional electrical conductivity profile was estimated for each area. The profiles were compared with those obtained from two previous study areas in the northwestern Pacific. Between the four profiles, significant differences were observed in the thickness of the resistive layer beyond expectations based on cooling of homogeneous oceanic lithosphere over time. This surprising feature is now further clarified from what was suggested in a previous study. To explain the observed spatial variation, dynamic processes must be introduced, such as influence of the plume associated with the formation of the Shatsky Rise, or spatially non-uniform, small-scale convection in the asthenosphere. There is significant room of further investigation to determine a reasonable and comprehensive interpretation of the lithosphere–asthenosphere system beneath the northwestern Pacific. The present results demonstrate that electrical conductivity provides key information for such investigation.[Figure not available: see fulltext.] http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Earth, Planets and Space Springer Journals

Electrical conductivity of old oceanic mantle in the northwestern Pacific I: 1-D profiles suggesting differences in thermal structure not predictable from a plate cooling model

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Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by The Author(s)
Subject
Earth Sciences; Earth Sciences, general; Geology; Geophysics/Geodesy
eISSN
1880-5981
D.O.I.
10.1186/s40623-017-0697-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Seafloor magnetotelluric (MT) experiments were recently conducted in two areas of the northwestern Pacific to investigate the nature of the old oceanic upper mantle. The areas are far from any tectonic activity, and “normal” mantle structure is therefore expected. The data were carefully analyzed to reduce the effects of coastlines and seafloor topographic changes, which are significant boundaries in electrical conductivity and thus distort seafloor MT data. An isotropic, one-dimensional electrical conductivity profile was estimated for each area. The profiles were compared with those obtained from two previous study areas in the northwestern Pacific. Between the four profiles, significant differences were observed in the thickness of the resistive layer beyond expectations based on cooling of homogeneous oceanic lithosphere over time. This surprising feature is now further clarified from what was suggested in a previous study. To explain the observed spatial variation, dynamic processes must be introduced, such as influence of the plume associated with the formation of the Shatsky Rise, or spatially non-uniform, small-scale convection in the asthenosphere. There is significant room of further investigation to determine a reasonable and comprehensive interpretation of the lithosphere–asthenosphere system beneath the northwestern Pacific. The present results demonstrate that electrical conductivity provides key information for such investigation.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Journal

Earth, Planets and SpaceSpringer Journals

Published: Aug 15, 2017

References

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