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Instability of a lithospheric step beneath western North Island, New Zealand

Salmon, Michelle; Stern, T A; Houseman, Gregory Austin; Evans, Lynn


Lithospheres of different thicknesses are often juxtaposed by movement on a continental-transform boundary. Such a boundary with a step change in densities may trigger a gravitational instability as lateral pressure gradients are created where normal mantle lithosphere terminates against less dense asthenospheric mantle. Here we show, for plausible values of the lithospheric viscosity, a mechanism by which the thicker mantle lithosphere will drip off into the lower density asthenosphere. As the...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2013
Type: Journal article
Source: Geology
DOI: 10.1130/G34028.1


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