Influence of lithospheric thickness variations on 3-D crustal velocities due to glacial isostatic adjustment

Konstantin Latychev, Jerry X. Mitrovica, Mark E. Tamisiea, Jeroen Tromp, Robert Moucha

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42 Scopus citations


Predictions of 3-D crustal velocities driven by glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) have generally been based on spherically symmetric Earth models. We adopt a finite-volume formulation to explore the impact of lateral variations in elastic plate strength, including lithospheric thickness changes across the continent-ocean interface and plate boundary weak zones, on these predictions. Weak zones introduce horizontal rate perturbations with a plate scale coherency and amplitudes reaching 1-2 mm/yr; radial velocity perturbations can be as large, but are geographically isolated to the weak zones (specifically, the North Atlantic Ridge). A discontinuity in ocean-continent lithospheric thickness significantly impacts rates along continental margins (order 1 mm/yr for radial rates and generally about half this for tangential rates). We conclude that lateral variations in lithospheric strength should be included in future GIA analyzes of space-geodetic survey results and in assessing the impact of GIA on the stability of geodetic reference frames.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 16 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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