Lateral density inhomogeneities of the continental and oceanic lithosphere and their relationship with the Earth’s crust formation

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Abstract

This paper presents the results of the study of the free mantle surface (FMS) depth beneath continents and oceans. The reasons for the observed dependence of the FMS depth on the crustal thickness in the continental lithosphere are discussed. The influence of radial variations in the mantle’s density is evaluated. The calculations performed have indicated that the observed dependence of the FMS depth on the crustal thickness is caused mostly by lateral inhomogeneities in the lithospheric mantle, and the size of these inhomogeneities is proportional to the thickness of the crust. The origin of such inhomogeneities can be related to the process of continental crust formation.

Keywords

isostasy free mantle surface Earth’s crust lithosphere density inhomogeneities 

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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Marine Geology and Geophysics, Far East BranchRussian Academy of SciencesYuzhno-SakhalinskRussia
  2. 2.Institute of Physics of the EarthRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  3. 3.International Institute of Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical GeophysicsMoscowRussia

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