Compositional Density Structure of the Upper Mantle from Constrained 3-D Inversion of Gravity Anomaly: A Case Study of Southeast Asia

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 9:15 AM
Qing Liang1,2, Chao Chen2, Mikhail K Kaban3 and Maik Thomas3, (1)China University of Geosciences Wuhan, Wuhan, China, (2)Hubei Subsurface Multi-scale Imaging Lab (SMIL), China University of Geosciences Wuhan, Wuhan, China, (3)Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
Mantle density structure is a key for tectonics. The density variations in the upper mantle are affected by temperature and composition. Seismic tomography method has been widely applied to obtain the P- and S-wave velocity structure in the mantle, which is then used to calculate the density perturbation. However, the velocity model is mainly due to the thermal effects but not the compositional effects. A method of 3-D inversion of gravity anomaly developed in spherical coordinates is used to image the large-scale density structure of upper mantle in Southeast Asia. The mantle gravity anomalies used in inversion are calculated by removing the crustal effects from the observed gravity. With constraints of thermal density model from seismic tomography, the integrative density structure is estimated from gravity inversion. Consequently, we obtain the compositional density by subtracting the thermal density from the integrative structure. The result of inversion shows the anisotropic composition of subduction zones, Cratons and plates boundary in Southeast Asia. In the shallow depth, the compositional density anomalies of large scales present uniform features in oceanic and continental mantle. In depth of 75-175 km, there are differences between the thermal and the compositional variations. The density anomalies at these depths are both affected by temperature and composition of the upper mantle. Below 175-km depth, the density anomalies are dominated by the compositional variations. Furthermore, comparing with high seismicity occurred at moderate-depth (50-300 km), we found that the compositional density variations is one of the factor that inducing earthquakes. The constrained inversion of mantle gravity anomaly has possibility to reveal the subduction which is not clearly seen from low-resolution tomography data, and may reveal the relation of seismicity and composition in the upper mantle. This study is supported by the Program of International Science and Technology (S&T) Cooperation (2010DFA24580) and in part by the Special Fund for Basic Scientific Research of Central Colleges, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) (CUG090106, CUG100701), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41104048).