[Eoas-seminar] EOAS Seminar Erica Emry, Feb 1st, 3:30, 353LOV

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Fri Jan 26 12:44:30 EST 2018

Speaker: Erica Emry
Postdoctoral Researcher
Dept. Earth and Environmental Sciences
New Mexico Tech

Title: Upper mantle seismic structure beneath Africa and its implications for mantle flow and surface uplift
When/Where: Thursday, February 1, 3:30pm, Baum Seminar Room (353LOV)

Abstract: The role that mantle processes play in the tectonic development of continents, particularly with regards to rifting and volcanism, is a subject of ongoing discussion. Beneath Africa, the presence of several thick, Archean cratons along the East African Rift System has been suggested to influence the flow direction of mantle upwellings. An accurate picture of cratonic structure and low-velocity material throughout the region may enable us to better understand whether mantle flow contributes to the variable character of this rift system. However, in Africa, the distribution of seismic sensors is spatially inconsistent throughout the continent, and this has inhibited our ability to completely image the upper mantle along the rift. To address these questions, I used long-period signals from ambient noise combined with full waveform inversion to obtain well-resolved images of upper mantle structure throughout Africa, particularly in regions where seismic stations are lacking. I will discuss the tomographic patterns and their implications for cratonic structure, mantle flow, rifting, and surface uplift throughout the continent. I will highlight several features where the observed patterns of upper mantle structure provide important clues that may help us to better understand continental rift processes in Africa and around the world.
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