Foundering Lithosphere Imaged Beneath the Southern Sierra Nevada, California, USA

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Science  30 Jul 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5684, pp. 660-662
DOI: 10.1126/science.1099181

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Seismic tomography reveals garnet-rich crust and mantle lithosphere descending into the upper mantle beneath the southeastern Sierra Nevada. The descending lithosphere consists of two layers: an iron-rich eclogite above a magnesium-rich garnet peridotite. These results place descending eclogite above and east of high P wave speed material previously imaged beneath the southern Great Valley, suggesting a previously unsuspected coherence in the lithospheric removal process.

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