Thermomechanical modeling of pulsation tectonics and consequences on lithospheric dynamics

Tine B. Larsen, David A Yuen, Jamie L. Smedsmo, Andrei V. Malevsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Pulsating phenomena can control continental breakup and the formation and closing of oceanic basins. Using a two-dimensional time-dependent convection model with a non-linear, temperature- and depth-dependent rheology, we have obtained self-consistently such types of pulsating behavior. Very hot mantle plumes ascend to the surface, where they can quickly thin the lithosphere down to a few kilometers. An episode of intense shear heating then ensues, which is comparable to the length of the main episode for flood volcanism, lasting a couple of Myrs. The highest plate velocities occur during this period, when both the lithosphere and slab are profusely lubricated by the impingement of the hot plume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-220
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 1996


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