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Crustal thickness and V-p/V-s ratio in NW Namibia from receiver functions: Evidence for magmatic underplating due to mantle plume-crust interaction

  • A seismological network was operated at the junction of the aseismic Walvis Ridge with the northwestern Namibian coast. We mapped crustal thickness and bulk V-p/V-s ratio by the H-k analysis of receiver functions. In the Damara Belt, the crustal thickness is similar to 35km with a V-p/V-s ratio of <1.75. The crust is similar to 30km thick at the coast in the Kaoko Belt. Strong variations in crustal thickness and V-p/V-s ratios are found at the landfall of the Walvis Ridge. Here and at similar to 150km northeast of the coast, the crustal thickness increases dramatically reaching 44km and the V-p/V-s ratios are extremely high (similar to 1.89). These anomalies are interpreted as magmatic underplating produced by the mantle plume during the breakup of Gondwana. The area affected by the plume is smaller than 300km in diameter, possibly ruling out the existence of a large plume head under the continent during the breakup.

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Author:Benjamin Heit, Xiaohui Yuan, Michael H. WeberORCiDGND, Wolfram H. Geissler, Wilfried Jokat, Bufelo Lushetile, Karl-Heinz Hoffmann
Parent Title (English):Geophysical research letters
Publisher:American Geophysical Union
Place of publication:Washington
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2015
Year of Completion:2015
Release Date:2017/03/27
Tag:V-p; V-s ratios; Walvis Ridge; continental breakup; crustal thickness; magmatic underplating
First Page:3330
Last Page:3337
Funder:Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam; Geological Survey of Namibia
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften
Peer Review:Referiert