Title

Rayleigh wave dispersion measurements reveal low-velocity zones beneath the new crust in the Gulf of California

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-28-2015

Abstract

Rayleigh wave tomography provides images of the shallow mantle shear wave velocity structure beneath the Gulf of California. Low-velocity zones (LVZs) are found on axis between 26 and 50km depth beneath the Guaymas Basin but mostly off axis under the other rift basins, with the largest feature underlying the Ballenas Transform Fault. We interpret the broadly distributed LVZs as regions of partial melting in a solid mantle matrix. The pathway for melt migration and focusing is more complex than an axis-centered source aligned above a deeper region of mantle melt and likely reflects the magmatic evolution of rift segments. We also consider the existence of solid lower continental crust in the Gulf north of the Guaymas Basin, where the association of the LVZs with asthenospheric upwelling suggests lateral flow assisted by a heat source. These results provide key constraints for numerical models of mantle upwelling and melt focusing in this young oblique rift. Key Points Low velocities in the Gulf upper mantle are interpreted as partial melting Partial melting under the Guaymas Basin and off axis of the other rift basins Lower crustal flow assisted by heat source in N Gulf near mantle upwelling

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Geophysical Research Letters

First Page

1766

Last Page

1774

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