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Geological implications from complete Gondwana GOCE-products reconstructions and link to lithospheric roots

By C. Braitenberg and P. Mariani


The GOCE gravity field is globally homogeneous at the resolution of about 80km or better allowing for the first time to analyze tectonic structures at continental scale. Geologic correlation studies propose to continue the tectonic lineaments across continents to the pre-breakup position. Tectonic events that induce density changes, as metamorphic events and magmatic events, should then show up in the gravity field. Applying geodynamic plate reconstructions to the GOCE gravity field places today’s observed field at the pre-breakup position. The same reconstruction can be applied to the seismic velocity models, to allow a joint gravity-velocity analysis. The geophysical fields allow to control the likeliness of the hypothesized continuation of lineations based on sparse surface outcrops. Total absence of a signal, makes the cross-continental continuation of the lineament improbable, as continental-wide lineaments are controlled by rheologic and compositional differences of lithospheric mantle. It is found that the deep lithospheric roots as those found below cratons control the position of the positive gravity values. The explanation is that the deep lithospheric roots focus asthenospheric upwelling outboard of the root protecting the overlying craton from magmatic intrusions. The study is carried out over the African and South American continents

Topics: GOCE, Gondwana, Craton
Publisher: ESA Communications
Year: 2015
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