Seismic Images of Crust and Upper Mantle Beneath Tibet: Evidence for Eurasian Plate Subduction

Science  08 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5596, pp. 1219-1221
DOI: 10.1126/science.1078115

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Seismic data from central Tibet have been combined to image the subsurface structure and understand the evolution of the collision of India and Eurasia. The 410- and 660-kilometer mantle discontinuities are sharply defined, implying a lack of a subducting slab beneath the plateau. The discontinuities appear slightly deeper beneath northern Tibet, implying that the average temperature of the mantle above the transition zone is about 300°C hotter in the north than in the south. There is a prominent south-dipping converter in the uppermost mantle beneath northern Tibet that might represent the top of the Eurasian mantle lithosphere underthrusting the northern margin of the plateau.

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