Thermal and mechanical structure of the upper mantle: A comparison between continental and Oceanic models

C. Froidevaux, G. Schubert, D. A. Yuen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Temperature, velocity and viscosity profiles for coupled thermal and mechanical models of the upper mantle beneath continental shields and old ocean basins show that under the continents, both the tectonic plate and the asthenosphere, are thicker than they are beneath the oceans. The minimum value of viscosity in the continental asthenosphere is about an order of magnitude larger than in the shear zone beneath oceans. The shear stress or drag underneath continental plates is also approximately an order of magnitude larger than the drag on oceanic plates. Effects of shear heating may account for flattening of ocean-floor topography and heat flux in old ocean basins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-246
Number of pages14
JournalTectonophysics
Volume37
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 5 1977

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