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Lithospheric and sublithospheric anisotropy beneath the Baltic shield from surface-wave array analysis

Abstract : We report measurements of radial and azimuthal anisotropy in the upper mantle beneath southern and central Finland, which we obtained by array analysis of fundamental-mode Rayleigh and Love waves. Azimuthally averaged phase velocities were analysed in the period range 15 to 190 s for Rayleigh waves and 15 to 100 s for Love waves. The azimuthal variation of the Rayleigh wave phase velocities was obtained in the period range 20 to 100 s. The limited depth resolution of fundamental-mode surface waves necessitated strong damping constraints in the inversion for anisotropic parameters. We investigated the effects of non-unicity on the final model by experimenting with varying model geometries. The radial anisotropy beneath Finland can be explained by a lithosphere at least 200 km thick, predominantly (> 50% by volume) composed of olivine crystals having their a-axes randomly distributed in the horizontal plane. On the contrary, the measured lithospheric azimuthal anisotropy is small. This can be reconciled with body-wave observations made in the area that indicate a complex pattern of rapidly varying anisotropy. Below 200–250 km depth, that is below the petrologic lithosphere as revealed by xenolith analyses conducted in the area, the magnitude of the azimuthal anisotropy increases and would be compatible with a mantle containing 15–20% by volume of olivine crystals whose a-axes are coherently aligned in the N–NE direction. The alignment of the a-axes is off the direction of present-day absolute plate motion in either the no-net-rotation or hot-spot reference frame, currently N55–N60. We interpret this mismatch as evidence for a complex convective flow pattern of the mantle beneath the shield, which, by inference, is decoupled from the overlying lithosphere.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 2, 2008 - 12:52:08 PM
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Helle A. Pedersen, Marianne Bruneton, Valérie Maupine. Lithospheric and sublithospheric anisotropy beneath the Baltic shield from surface-wave array analysis. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Elsevier, 2006, 244 (3-4), pp.590-605. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2006.02.009⟩. ⟨insu-00269170⟩



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