We derive estimates of temperature of the Australian continental mantle between 80 and 350 km depth from two published S-velocity models. Lithospheric temperatures range over about 1000 °C, with a large-scale correlation between temperature and tectonic age. In detail however, variations ranging from 200 to 700 °C occur within each tectonic province. At the current seismic resolution, strictly Proterozoic and Archean blocks do not have substantially different temperatures, nor does the Phanerozoic lithosphere east and west of the Tasman line. Temperatures close to an average (moist) MORB source mantle solidus characterize the eastern seaboard and its offshore. Differences between the temperatures derived from the two velocity models illustrate the importance of well-constrained absolute velocities and gradients for physical interpretation. The large range of lithospheric temperatures cannot be explained solely with documented variability in crustal heat production, but requires significant variations in mantle heat flow as well.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science
- Surface wave velocity