A Lower Mantle Source for Central European Volcanism

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Science  03 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5446, pp. 1928-1931
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5446.1928

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Cenozoic rifting and volcanism in Europe have been associated with either passive or active mantle upwellings. Tomographic images show a low velocity structure between 660- and 2000-kilometer depth, which we propose to represent a lower mantle upwelling under central Europe that may feed smaller upper-mantle plumes. The position of the rift zones in the foreland of the Alpine belts and the relatively weak volcanism compared to other regions with plume-associated volcanism are probably the result of the past and present subduction under southern Europe.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: saskia{at}

  • Present address: Institut für Geophysik, ETH Hönggerberg, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland.

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