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Seismic anisotropy beneath Tibet: evidence for eastward extrusion of the Tibetan lithosphere?

Lavé, J. and Avouac, J. P. and Lacassin, R. and Tapponnier, P. and Montagner, J. P. (1996) Seismic anisotropy beneath Tibet: evidence for eastward extrusion of the Tibetan lithosphere? Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 140 (1-4). pp. 83-96. ISSN 0012-821X. doi:10.1016/0012-821X(96)00045-3.

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Strong seismic anisotropy beneath Tibet has recently been reported from the study of SKS shear wave splitting. The fast split waves are generally polarized in an easterly direction, close to the present day direction of motion of the Tibetan crust relative to stable Eurasia, as deduced from Holocene slip rates on the major active faults in and around Tibet. This correlation may be taken to suggest that the whole Tibetan lithosphere is being extruded in front of indenting India and that the anisotropic layer is the deforming asthenosphere, that accommodates the motion of the Tibetan lithosphere relative to the fixed mantle at depth. Uncertainties about this motion are at present too large to bring unambiguous support to that view. Assuming that this view is correct however, a simple forward model is used to compute theoretical delay times as a function of the thickness of the anisotropic layer. The observed delay times would require a 50–100 km thick anisotropic layer beneath south-central Tibet and an over 200 km thick layer beneath north-central Tibet, where particularly hot asthenosphere has been inferred. This study suggests that the asthenospheric anisotropy due to present absolute block motion might be dominant under actively deforming continents.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Avouac, J. P.0000-0002-3060-8442
Montagner, J. P.0000-0001-9958-3012
Additional Information:© 1996 Elsevier Science B.V. Received 19 May 1995; accepted 28 February 1996. We thank an anonymous reviewer for a useful review and Francis Guillois for having drafted the figures. [FA].
Group:Seismological Laboratory, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Subject Keywords:Tibet; SKS-waves; time variations; lithosphere; Neotectonics
Issue or Number:1-4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120910-113605699
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Official Citation:J. Lavé, J.P. Avouac, R. Lacassin, P. Tapponnier, J.P. Montagner, Seismic anisotropy beneath Tibet: evidence for eastward extrusion of the Tibetan lithosphere?, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 140, Issues 1–4, May 1996, Pages 83-96, ISSN 0012-821X, 10.1016/0012-821X(96)00045-3. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:33962
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:11 Sep 2012 15:59
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:05

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