Nature Publishing Group, publisher of Nature, and other science journals and reference works
Nature
my account e-alerts subscribe register
   
Monday 21 August 2017
Journal Home
Current Issue
AOP
Archive
Download PDF
References
Export citation
Export references
Send to a friend
More articles like this

Letters to Nature
Nature 385, 245 - 247 (16 January 1997); doi:10.1038/385245a0

Seismic structure of the Iceland mantle plume

Cecily J. Wolfe*, Ingi Th. Bjarnason, John C. VanDecar* & Sean C. Solomon*

* Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 5241 Broad Branch Road, NW, Washington DC 20015, USA
Science Institute, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland

Oceanic hotspots are generally accepted to be the manifestations of plumes of hot, upwelling mantle material1,2, but the nature of such flows remains enigmatic. Iceland, for example, is one of the most thoroughly investigated hotspots, yet previous seismological3–5 and geodynamic6–12 studies have been unable to constrain the width or temperature of the plume. Here we report the results of a regional broadband seismic experiment undertaken to determine the three-dimensional velocity structure of the upper mantle beneath Iceland using relative travel times of body waves from teleseismic earthquakes. Inversion solutions of the data show a cylindrical zone of low P- and S-wave velocities that extends from 100km to at least 400km depth beneath central Iceland. The radius of the low-velocity anomaly is about 150km, and its magnitude is approximately 2% for P waves and 4% for S waves, indicating that Iceland is underlain by a hot, narrow plume of upwelling mantle.

  1. Wilson, J. T. Sci. Am. 208, 86−100 (1963). | ISI |
  2. Morgan, W. J. Nature 230, 42−43 (1971). | Article | ISI |
  3. Zhang, Y.-S. & Tanimoto, T. J. Geophys. Res. 98, 9793−9823 (1993).
  4. Grand, S. P. J. Geophys. Res. 99, 11591−11621 (1994). | Article | ISI |
  5. Tryggvason, K., Husebye, E. S. & Stefánsson, R. Tectonophysics 100, 94−118 (1983). | Article |
  6. Vogt, P. R. Nature 240, 338−342 (1972). | Article | ISI |
  7. Schilling, J.-G. Nature 242, 565−571 (1973). | Article | ISI | ChemPort |
  8. McKenzie, D. J. Petrol. 25, 713−765 (1984). | ISI | ChemPort |
  9. White, R. S., Bown, J. W. & Smallwood, J. R. J. Geol. Soc. Land. 152, 1039−1045 (1995).
  10. Schilling, J.-G. Nature 352, 397−403 (1991). | Article | ISI |
  11. Ribe, N. M., Christensen, U. R. & Theissing, J. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 134, 155−168 (1995). | Article | ISI | ChemPort |
  12. Ito, G., Lin, J. & Gable, C. W. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 144, 53−74 (1996). | Article | ISI | ChemPort |
  13. Bjarnason, I. Th., Menke, W., Flóvenz, Ó. G. & Caress, D. J. Geophys. Res. 98, 6607−6622 (1993).
  14. Feighner, M. A., Kellogg, L. H. & Travis, B. J. Geophys. Res. Lett. 22, 715−718 (1995). | Article |
  15. Bjarnason, I. Th., Wolfe, C. J., Solomon, S. C. & Gudmundson, G. Geophys. Res. Lett. 23, 459−462 (1996); Geophys. Res. Lett. 23, 903 (1996). | Article | ISI |
  16. VanDecar, J. C. & Crosson, R. S. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 80, 150−169 (1990).
  17. VanDecar, J. C., James, D. E. & Assumpção, M. Nature 378, 25−31 (1995). | Article | ChemPort |
  18. Kennett, B. L. N. & Engdahl, E. R. Geophys. J. Int. 105, 429−465 (1991). | ISI |
  19. Wielandt, E. in Seismic Tomography (ed. Nolet, G.) 85−98 (Reidel, Dordrecht, 1987).
  20. Nataf, H.-C. & VanDecar, J. Nature 364, 115−120 (1993). | Article | ISI |
  21. Kendall, J.-M. Geophys. Res. Lett. 21, 301−304 (1994). | Article |
  22. Saemundsson, S. Jökull 29, 7−28 (1979).
  23. White, R. S. et al. Eos 77 197, 200−201 (1996).
  24. Kurz, M. D., Meyer, P. S. & Sigurdsson, H. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 74, 291−305 (1985). | ISI | ChemPort |
  25. Shen, Y., Solomon, S. C., Bjarnason, I. Th. & Purdy, G. M. Geophys. Res. Lett. 23, 3527−3530 (1996). | Article | ISI |
  26. Isaak, D. G. J. Geophys. Res. 97, 1871−1885 (1992). | ISI | ChemPort |
  27. Faul, U. H., Toomey, D. R. & Waff, H. S. Geophys. Res. Lett. 21, 29−32 (1994). | Article | ISI |
  28. Karato, S. Geophys. Res. Lett. 20, 1623−1626 (1993). | ISI |
  29. Smith, W. H. & Sandwell, D. T. Eos 76, 156 (1995).



© 1997 Nature Publishing Group
Privacy Policy