Mantle transition zone beneath central-eastern Greenland: Possible evidence for a deep tectosphere from receiver functions

Kraft H. A., Vinnik L., Thybo H.

TECTONOPHYSICS, vol.728, pp.34-40, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 728
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.tecto.2018.02.008
  • Journal Name: TECTONOPHYSICS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.34-40
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


We investigate the mantle of central-eastern Greenland by using recordings with data from 24 local broad-band seismograph stations. We apply P wave receiver function technique and evaluate the difference in the arrival times of seismic phases that are formed by P to SV mode conversion at the 410-km and 660-km seismic discontinuities. These boundaries mark the top and bottom of the mantle transition zone (MTZ). The difference in the arrival time of the phases from the 410-km and 660-km discontinuities is sensitive to the thickness of the MTZ and relatively insensitive to volumetric velocity anomalies above the 410-km discontinuity. Near the east coast of Greenland in the region of the Skaergaard basalt intrusions we find two regions where the differential time is reduced by more than 2 s. The 410-km discontinuity in these regions is depressed by more than 20 km. The depression may be explained by a temperature elevation of similar to 150 degrees C. We hypothesize that the basaltic intrusions and the temperature anomalies at a depth of similar to 400 km are, at least partly, effects of the passage of Greenland over the Iceland hotspot at about 55 Ma. This explanation is consistent with the concept of tectosphere and implies that the upper mantle to a depth of similar to 400 km translates coherently with the Greenland plate.