Evidence for mafic lower crust in Tanzania, East Africa, from joint inversion of receiver functions and Rayleigh wave dispersion velocities

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Abstract

The S-wave velocity structure of Precambrian terranes in Tanzania, East Africa is modelled by jointly inverting receiver functions and surface wave dispersion velocities from the 1994-1995 Tanzania broad-band seismic experiment. The study region, which consists of an Archean craton surrounded by Proterozoic mobile belts, forms a unique setting for evaluating Precambrian crustal evolution. Our results show a uniform crustal structure across the region, with a 10-15 km thick upper crust with Vs = 3.4-3.5 km s-1, overlying a gradational lower crust with S-wave velocities up to 4.1 km s -1 at 38-42 km depth. The upper-mantle lid displays uniform S-wave velocities of 4.5-4.7 km s-1 to depths of 100-150 km and overlays a prominent low-velocity zone. This low-velocity zone is required by the dispersion and receiver function data, but its depth interval is uncertain. The high crustal velocities within the lowermost crust characterize the entire region and suggest that mafic lithologies are present in both Archean and Proterozoic terranes. The ubiquitous mafic lower crust can be attributed to underplating associated with mafic dyke emplacement. This finding suggests that in East Africa there has been little secular variation in Precambrian crustal development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-569
Number of pages15
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Volume162
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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