Lithospheric Structure Beneath the Hangay Dome, Central Mongolia

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Josh C Stachnik1, Anne Meltzer1, Stephanie Souza1, Ulziibat Munkhuu2, Baasanbat Tsaagan2 and Raymond M Russo3, (1)Lehigh University, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Bethlehem, PA, United States, (2)Research Center for Astronomy and Geophysics, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, (3)Univ of FL-Geological Sciences, Gainesville, FL, United States
The Mongolian Plateau is a broad regional uplift positioned between the Siberian Craton to the north and the far northern edge of the India-Asia collision to the south. Within this intracontinental setting of high topography, the Hangay Dome in central Mongolia reaches elevations of 4 km and contains intermittent basaltic magmatism over the last 30 Ma. The relationship between high topography, magmatism, and geodynamic processes remains largely unsolved although processes ranging from lithospheric delamination to mantle plume effects have been proposed. A temporary array of seismic stations was deployed around the Hangay Dome to determine lithospheric structure. Preliminary results are shown from receiver function analysis, ambient noise tomography, and teleseismic P-wave tomography. Crustal thickness measurements from H-k stacking of receiver functions range from 42 km to 57 km across the array, with thicker crust beneath the highest topography. The bulk crustal Vp/Vs ratio ranges from 1.71 to 1.9 with a median value for the array of 1.77, perhaps indicating a variable crustal composition with some regions having a more mafic crust. The stacked receiver functions are also combined with ambient noise phase velocity dispersion measurements in a joint inversion for shear velocity profiles at each station which reveals crustal thickness estimates consistent with the H-k stacks while also determining the shear velocity step at the Moho. Teleseismic P-wave travel time residuals ranging between +/-1 second are inverted for a 3D P-wave velocity model using finite-frequency kernels. Notable features include 1) a low velocity anomaly (-3%) in the upper 200 km beneath the eastern part of the Hangay Dome near the Orkhon River Valley, , 2) a steeply dipping low velocity anomaly to the north of the Hangay Dome, perhaps related to the nearby Baikal Rift, and 3) generally higher velocities in the upper 200 km surrounding the high topography. To first order, the high topography of the Hangay Dome appears to be largely supported by thickened crust. However, lower P-wave velocities in the upper mantle beneath the dome are observed. The relative contributions of crustal thickness and upper mantle structure for support of topography and their relationship to magmatism will be determined with further refinement of the models.