A Seismic Look Under the Continents

Science  27 Aug 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5432, pp. 1365-1366
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5432.1365

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So-called continental keels extend 250 to 350 kilometers below continents. Recent seismic arrays studies have provided insights into the origin and evolution of these fast wave speed features. The studies have shown that the keels are much more diverse than previously thought on the basis of sparser data sets. Global generalizations regarding keel properties and processes should therefore be viewed with considerable caution.