Mechanisms for oscillatory true polar wander

J. R. Creveling, J. X. Mitrovica, N. H. Chan, K. Latychev, Isamu M Matsuyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Palaeomagnetic studies of Palaeoproterozoic to Cretaceous rocks propose a suite of large and relatively rapid (tens of degrees over 10 to 100 million years) excursions of the rotation pole relative to the surface geography, or true polar wander (TPW). These excursions may be linked in an oscillatory, approximately coaxial succession about the centre of the contemporaneous supercontinent. Within the framework of a standard rotational theory, in which a delayed viscous adjustment of the rotational bulge acts to stabilize the rotation axis, geodynamic models for oscillatory TPW generally appeal to consecutive, opposite loading phases of comparable magnitude. Here we extend a nonlinear rotational stability theory to incorporate the stabilizing effect of TPW-induced elastic stresses in the lithosphere. We demonstrate that convectively driven inertia perturbations acting on a nearly prolate, non-hydrostatic Earth with an effective elastic lithospheric thickness of about 10 kilometres yield oscillatory TPW paths consistent with palaeomagnetic inferences. This estimate of elastic thickness can be reduced, even to zero, if the rotation axis is stabilized by long-term excess ellipticity in the plane of the TPW. We speculate that these sources of stabilization, acting on TPW driven by a time-varying mantle flow field, provide a mechanism for linking the distinct, oscillatory TPW events of the past few billion years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-248
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume491
Issue number7423
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 8 2012

Fingerprint

Phosmet
Geography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Creveling, J. R., Mitrovica, J. X., Chan, N. H., Latychev, K., & Matsuyama, I. M. (2012). Mechanisms for oscillatory true polar wander. Nature, 491(7423), 244-248. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11571

Mechanisms for oscillatory true polar wander. / Creveling, J. R.; Mitrovica, J. X.; Chan, N. H.; Latychev, K.; Matsuyama, Isamu M.

In: Nature, Vol. 491, No. 7423, 08.11.2012, p. 244-248.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Creveling, JR, Mitrovica, JX, Chan, NH, Latychev, K & Matsuyama, IM 2012, 'Mechanisms for oscillatory true polar wander', Nature, vol. 491, no. 7423, pp. 244-248. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11571
Creveling JR, Mitrovica JX, Chan NH, Latychev K, Matsuyama IM. Mechanisms for oscillatory true polar wander. Nature. 2012 Nov 8;491(7423):244-248. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11571
Creveling, J. R. ; Mitrovica, J. X. ; Chan, N. H. ; Latychev, K. ; Matsuyama, Isamu M. / Mechanisms for oscillatory true polar wander. In: Nature. 2012 ; Vol. 491, No. 7423. pp. 244-248.
@article{28927e04c4a4428fb95d8e9fa665029c,
title = "Mechanisms for oscillatory true polar wander",
abstract = "Palaeomagnetic studies of Palaeoproterozoic to Cretaceous rocks propose a suite of large and relatively rapid (tens of degrees over 10 to 100 million years) excursions of the rotation pole relative to the surface geography, or true polar wander (TPW). These excursions may be linked in an oscillatory, approximately coaxial succession about the centre of the contemporaneous supercontinent. Within the framework of a standard rotational theory, in which a delayed viscous adjustment of the rotational bulge acts to stabilize the rotation axis, geodynamic models for oscillatory TPW generally appeal to consecutive, opposite loading phases of comparable magnitude. Here we extend a nonlinear rotational stability theory to incorporate the stabilizing effect of TPW-induced elastic stresses in the lithosphere. We demonstrate that convectively driven inertia perturbations acting on a nearly prolate, non-hydrostatic Earth with an effective elastic lithospheric thickness of about 10 kilometres yield oscillatory TPW paths consistent with palaeomagnetic inferences. This estimate of elastic thickness can be reduced, even to zero, if the rotation axis is stabilized by long-term excess ellipticity in the plane of the TPW. We speculate that these sources of stabilization, acting on TPW driven by a time-varying mantle flow field, provide a mechanism for linking the distinct, oscillatory TPW events of the past few billion years.",
author = "Creveling, {J. R.} and Mitrovica, {J. X.} and Chan, {N. H.} and K. Latychev and Matsuyama, {Isamu M}",
year = "2012",
month = "11",
day = "8",
doi = "10.1038/nature11571",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "491",
pages = "244--248",
journal = "Nature",
issn = "0028-0836",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "7423",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mechanisms for oscillatory true polar wander

AU - Creveling, J. R.

AU - Mitrovica, J. X.

AU - Chan, N. H.

AU - Latychev, K.

AU - Matsuyama, Isamu M

PY - 2012/11/8

Y1 - 2012/11/8

N2 - Palaeomagnetic studies of Palaeoproterozoic to Cretaceous rocks propose a suite of large and relatively rapid (tens of degrees over 10 to 100 million years) excursions of the rotation pole relative to the surface geography, or true polar wander (TPW). These excursions may be linked in an oscillatory, approximately coaxial succession about the centre of the contemporaneous supercontinent. Within the framework of a standard rotational theory, in which a delayed viscous adjustment of the rotational bulge acts to stabilize the rotation axis, geodynamic models for oscillatory TPW generally appeal to consecutive, opposite loading phases of comparable magnitude. Here we extend a nonlinear rotational stability theory to incorporate the stabilizing effect of TPW-induced elastic stresses in the lithosphere. We demonstrate that convectively driven inertia perturbations acting on a nearly prolate, non-hydrostatic Earth with an effective elastic lithospheric thickness of about 10 kilometres yield oscillatory TPW paths consistent with palaeomagnetic inferences. This estimate of elastic thickness can be reduced, even to zero, if the rotation axis is stabilized by long-term excess ellipticity in the plane of the TPW. We speculate that these sources of stabilization, acting on TPW driven by a time-varying mantle flow field, provide a mechanism for linking the distinct, oscillatory TPW events of the past few billion years.

AB - Palaeomagnetic studies of Palaeoproterozoic to Cretaceous rocks propose a suite of large and relatively rapid (tens of degrees over 10 to 100 million years) excursions of the rotation pole relative to the surface geography, or true polar wander (TPW). These excursions may be linked in an oscillatory, approximately coaxial succession about the centre of the contemporaneous supercontinent. Within the framework of a standard rotational theory, in which a delayed viscous adjustment of the rotational bulge acts to stabilize the rotation axis, geodynamic models for oscillatory TPW generally appeal to consecutive, opposite loading phases of comparable magnitude. Here we extend a nonlinear rotational stability theory to incorporate the stabilizing effect of TPW-induced elastic stresses in the lithosphere. We demonstrate that convectively driven inertia perturbations acting on a nearly prolate, non-hydrostatic Earth with an effective elastic lithospheric thickness of about 10 kilometres yield oscillatory TPW paths consistent with palaeomagnetic inferences. This estimate of elastic thickness can be reduced, even to zero, if the rotation axis is stabilized by long-term excess ellipticity in the plane of the TPW. We speculate that these sources of stabilization, acting on TPW driven by a time-varying mantle flow field, provide a mechanism for linking the distinct, oscillatory TPW events of the past few billion years.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84868612448&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84868612448&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/nature11571

DO - 10.1038/nature11571

M3 - Article

C2 - 23135471

AN - SCOPUS:84868612448

VL - 491

SP - 244

EP - 248

JO - Nature

JF - Nature

SN - 0028-0836

IS - 7423

ER -