Lithosphere thickness map

Global maps displaying lateral variations in lithosphere thickness across the surface of the Earth. Oceanic lithosphere is assigned a thickness proportional to the square root of its age (ages are taken from Müller et al., 1997). For continental areas, characteristic thickness is determined following the method of Gung et al. (2003), who employ the maximum depth for which the seismic velocity anomaly (as determined using the seismic tomography model S20RTSb of Ritsema et al., 2004) is consistently greater than +2%. A 100 km thickness is imposed as the minimum continental and maximum oceanic characteristic thickness. It should be kept in mind that material properties such as viscosity vary continuously throughout the depth of the lithosphere, so the definition of thickness may vary. The presented model does not assume any particular definition, but instead characterises lateral variations in layer thickness (see Conrad and Lithogow-Bertelloni, 2006).

  • Creator: Fabio Crameri
  • This version: 25.10.2021
  • License: Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)
  • Specific citation: This graphic by Fabio Crameri based on data by Conrad & Lithgow-Bertelloni (2006) is available via the open-access s-Ink repository.
  • Related reference: Conrad, C.P., and C. Lithgow-Bertelloni (2006), Influence of continental roots and asthenosphere on plate-mantle coupling, Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L05312, doi:10.1029/2005GL025621.
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