Our knowledge and understanding of the 3-D lithospheric structure of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau is still challenging although numerous geophysical studies have been performed in the region. The GOCE satellite mission has the ambitious goal of mapping Earth's gravity field with unprecedented precision (i.e. an accuracy of 1–2 mGal for a spatial resolution of 100 km) to observe the lithosphere and upper-mantle structure. Consequently, it gives new insights in the lithospheric structure beneath the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau. Indeed, the GOCE gravity data now allow us to develop a new strategy for joint gravimetry-seismology inversion. Combined with teleseismic data over a large region in a joint inversion scheme, they will lead to lithospheric velocity-density models constrained in two complementary ways. We apply this joint inversion scheme to the Hi-CLIMB (Himalayan–Tibetan Continental Lithosphere during Mountain Building) seismological network which was deployed in South Tibet and the Himalayas for a 3-yr period. The large size of the network, the high quality of the seismological data and the new GOCE gravity data set allow us to image the entire lithosphere of this active area in an innovative way. We image 3-D low velocity and density structures in the middle crust that fit the location of discontinuous low S-velocity zones revealed by receiver functions in previous geophysical studies. In the deeper parts of our velocity model we image a positive anomaly interpreted to be the heterogenous Indian lithosphere vertically descending beneath the centre of the Tibetan Plateau.
Times Cited: 0 Diament, Michel/F-8553-2010 0