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Density of the ocean crust


The density structure and average density of the oceanic crust have implications for various geological and geophysical problems, including interpretations of gravity data, the variation of lithospheric bouyancy in relation to age, and role and fate of the crust in subduction. But no systematic evaluation of oceanic crustal density has been made and estimates range from 2.85 to 3.0 Mg m−3 (refs 1–3). We have made an evaluation based on seismic refraction data in combination with drilling results, laboratory studies of seismic properties of oceanic and ophiolitic rocks, and ophiolite lithostratigraphy. Our preferred value for the mean density of the oceanic crust is 2.89±0.04 Mg m−3

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Carlson, R., Raskin, G. Density of the ocean crust. Nature 311, 555–558 (1984).

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