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Mantle plumes and associated flow beneath Arabia and East Africa


IPGP - Îlot Cuvier


Séminaires de Sismologie

Salle 310

Sung-Joon Chang

University of East Anglia

We investigate mantle plumes and associated flow beneath the lithosphere by imaging the three-dimensional S-velocity structure beneath Arabia and East Africa. This image shows elongated vertical and horizontal low-velocity anomalies down to at least mid mantle depths. This three-dimensional S-velocity model is obtained through the joint inversion of teleseismic S- and SKS-arrival times, regional S- and Rayleigh waveform fits, fundamental-mode Rayleigh-wave group velocities, and independent Moho constraints from receiver functions, reflection/refraction profiles, and gravity measurements. In the resolved parts of our S-velocity model we find that the Afar plume is distinctly separate from the Kenya plume, showing the Afar plume’s origin in the lower mantle beneath southwestern Arabia. We identify another quasi-vertical low-velocity anomaly beneath Jordan and northern Arabia which extends into the lower mantle and may be related to volcanism in Jordan, northern Arabia, and possibly southern Turkey. Comparing locations of mantle plumes from the joint inversion with fast axes of shear-wave splitting, we confirm horizontal mantle flow radially away from Afar. Low-velocity channels in our model support southwestward flow beneath Ethiopia, eastward flow beneath the Gulf of Aden, but not northwestwards beneath the entire Red Sea. Instead, northward mantle flow from Afar appears to be channeled beneath Arabia.