This study examines teleseismic S-wave attenuation variations between the Ross Sea in West Antarctica and Vostok Subglacial Highlands in East Antarctica. These analyses indicate that δt* is ∼1 second greater beneath the Ross Sea than East Antarctica, with the transition occurring beneath the Transantarctic Mountains. While the structure is non-unique, low attenuation beneath East Antarctica is consistent with thick subcontinental lithosphere (≥250 km) and negligible asthenosphere. In contrast, the Ross Sea possesses a thin lithosphere underlain by thick, highly anelastic asthenosphere. Independent temperature estimates from velocity and quality factor indicate that the mantle is 200-400°C colder beneath East Antarctica than the Ross Sea between 80 and 220 km depth. The temperature variation beneath the Transantarctic Mountains may have assisted in the asymmetric uplift of the mountains. Attenuation and velocity anomalies within East Antarctica may delineate regions of elevated temperature, representing recently modified sections between older lithospheric blocks.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)