On the role of lower crust and mid-lithosphere discontinuity for cratonic lithosphere delamination and recycling

Zhenshen Wang, Timothy Kusky, Fabio Antonio Capitanio

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Delamination is an important mechanism of continental lithosphere removal and recycling. It has been invoked as a likely cause for the observed thinning in the eastern North China (North China Craton) and several other cratons, returning thick depleted cratonic roots to the deep mantle. However, how delamination occurred, its lateral extent, and detachment depth of delamination are still debated. Here we test this process by means of 2-D numerical modeling and find that delamination below lower crustal depths can only initiate near cratonic margins, where thickening-induced eclogitization can significantly destabilize the lower part of the lithosphere, allowing it to detach and leading to intraplate orogeny. When a weak midlithosphere discontinuity is present, widespread delamination can initiate near cratonic margins and easily propagate to cratonic interiors, yet without obvious intraplate deformation. We illustrate how this delamination mechanism can recycle large volumes of depleted Archean subcontinental lithospheric mantle using numerical models. Our models explain the large-scale delamination in the North China Craton, where a midlithosphere discontinuity is inferred by geophysical studies and shows that large portions of subcontinental lithospheric mantle can be recycled in the deep mantle potentially affecting mantle heterogeneity.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberdoi.org/10.1029/2017GL076948
Pages (from-to)7425-7433
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume45
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Earth mantle
  • convection models
  • mantle convection

Cite this

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title = "On the role of lower crust and mid-lithosphere discontinuity for cratonic lithosphere delamination and recycling",
abstract = "Delamination is an important mechanism of continental lithosphere removal and recycling. It has been invoked as a likely cause for the observed thinning in the eastern North China (North China Craton) and several other cratons, returning thick depleted cratonic roots to the deep mantle. However, how delamination occurred, its lateral extent, and detachment depth of delamination are still debated. Here we test this process by means of 2-D numerical modeling and find that delamination below lower crustal depths can only initiate near cratonic margins, where thickening-induced eclogitization can significantly destabilize the lower part of the lithosphere, allowing it to detach and leading to intraplate orogeny. When a weak midlithosphere discontinuity is present, widespread delamination can initiate near cratonic margins and easily propagate to cratonic interiors, yet without obvious intraplate deformation. We illustrate how this delamination mechanism can recycle large volumes of depleted Archean subcontinental lithospheric mantle using numerical models. Our models explain the large-scale delamination in the North China Craton, where a midlithosphere discontinuity is inferred by geophysical studies and shows that large portions of subcontinental lithospheric mantle can be recycled in the deep mantle potentially affecting mantle heterogeneity.",
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On the role of lower crust and mid-lithosphere discontinuity for cratonic lithosphere delamination and recycling. / Wang, Zhenshen; Kusky, Timothy; Capitanio, Fabio Antonio.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 45, No. 15, doi.org/10.1029/2017GL076948, 2018, p. 7425-7433.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - On the role of lower crust and mid-lithosphere discontinuity for cratonic lithosphere delamination and recycling

AU - Wang, Zhenshen

AU - Kusky, Timothy

AU - Capitanio, Fabio Antonio

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - Delamination is an important mechanism of continental lithosphere removal and recycling. It has been invoked as a likely cause for the observed thinning in the eastern North China (North China Craton) and several other cratons, returning thick depleted cratonic roots to the deep mantle. However, how delamination occurred, its lateral extent, and detachment depth of delamination are still debated. Here we test this process by means of 2-D numerical modeling and find that delamination below lower crustal depths can only initiate near cratonic margins, where thickening-induced eclogitization can significantly destabilize the lower part of the lithosphere, allowing it to detach and leading to intraplate orogeny. When a weak midlithosphere discontinuity is present, widespread delamination can initiate near cratonic margins and easily propagate to cratonic interiors, yet without obvious intraplate deformation. We illustrate how this delamination mechanism can recycle large volumes of depleted Archean subcontinental lithospheric mantle using numerical models. Our models explain the large-scale delamination in the North China Craton, where a midlithosphere discontinuity is inferred by geophysical studies and shows that large portions of subcontinental lithospheric mantle can be recycled in the deep mantle potentially affecting mantle heterogeneity.

AB - Delamination is an important mechanism of continental lithosphere removal and recycling. It has been invoked as a likely cause for the observed thinning in the eastern North China (North China Craton) and several other cratons, returning thick depleted cratonic roots to the deep mantle. However, how delamination occurred, its lateral extent, and detachment depth of delamination are still debated. Here we test this process by means of 2-D numerical modeling and find that delamination below lower crustal depths can only initiate near cratonic margins, where thickening-induced eclogitization can significantly destabilize the lower part of the lithosphere, allowing it to detach and leading to intraplate orogeny. When a weak midlithosphere discontinuity is present, widespread delamination can initiate near cratonic margins and easily propagate to cratonic interiors, yet without obvious intraplate deformation. We illustrate how this delamination mechanism can recycle large volumes of depleted Archean subcontinental lithospheric mantle using numerical models. Our models explain the large-scale delamination in the North China Craton, where a midlithosphere discontinuity is inferred by geophysical studies and shows that large portions of subcontinental lithospheric mantle can be recycled in the deep mantle potentially affecting mantle heterogeneity.

KW - Earth mantle

KW - convection models

KW - mantle convection

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VL - 45

SP - 7425

EP - 7433

JO - Geophysical Research Letters

JF - Geophysical Research Letters

SN - 0094-8276

IS - 15

M1 - doi.org/10.1029/2017GL076948

ER -