ABSTRACT We develop and present an approach for gaining insight into the thermal structure of the upper mantle in a tectonically active region. As a starting point for the analysis we use regional geological reconstructions, based on data from surface geology, shallow seismics and paleomagnetism. For these reconstructions we determine the necessarily associated upper mantle processes, such as subduction. We then forwardly model the thermal structure of upper mantle corresponding with the geological reconstruction used. In this way we obtain an estimate of a very important characteristic – the temperature distribution of the upper mantle–that is independent from those estimates from the usual deep seismic methods. If sufficient detailed information on the seismological structure of the region is available, a quantitative test of our modelling results is possible, via the temperature dependence of seismic velocities. We apply our approach to the Mediterranean area, for which we will test the reconstruction published by Dercourt et al. (1986).
Terra Nova – Wiley
Published: Nov 1, 1990
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