Small-scale convective instability and upper mantle viscosity under California

George Zandt, Charles R. Carrigan

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53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Thermal calculations and convection analysis, constrained by seismic tomography results, suggest that a small-scale convective instability developed in the upper 200 kilometers of the mantle under California after the upwelling and cooling of asthenosphere into the slab window associated with the formation of the San Andreas transform boundary. The upper bound for the upper mantle viscosity in the slab window, 5 × 1019 pascal seconds, is similar to independent estimates for the asthenosphere beneath young oceanic and tectonically active continental regions. These model calculations suggest that many tectonically active continental regions characterized by low upper mantle seismic velocities may be affected by time-dependent small-scale convection that can generate localized areas of uplift and subsidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-463
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume261
Issue number5120
StatePublished - Jul 23 1993
Externally publishedYes

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Convection
Viscosity
Hot Temperature
Tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Small-scale convective instability and upper mantle viscosity under California. / Zandt, George; Carrigan, Charles R.

In: Science, Vol. 261, No. 5120, 23.07.1993, p. 460-463.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zandt, George ; Carrigan, Charles R. / Small-scale convective instability and upper mantle viscosity under California. In: Science. 1993 ; Vol. 261, No. 5120. pp. 460-463.
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