Seismic evidence of on-going sublithosphere upper mantle convection for intra-plate volcanism in Northeast China

Zhen Guo, Y. John Chen*, Jieyuan Ning, Yingjie Yang, Juan Carlos Afonso, Youcai Tang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Citations (Scopus)


A 3-D crustal and upper mantle S-wave velocity model of NE China is constructed by inversion of phase velocity dispersion curves at 6-140 s periods from ambient noise tomography and two-plane surface wave tomography. The seismic data used in this study are collected from 120 China Earthquake Administration (CEA) permanent stations and 127 portable stations of NECESSArray. We observe strong low S-wave velocity beneath the Changbaishan volcano in the upper mantle to at least 200-km depth, which is interpreted as a mantle upwelling beneath the Changbaishan volcano that is consistent with the body wave tomographic image. The Songliao Basin is dominated by a high velocity extending to at least 200-km depth. Built upon the observed velocity anomalies, we propose a sub-lithosphere mantle convection model for NE China in which the upwelling of upper mantle materials from the mantle transition zone to the Changbaishan volcano could induce a local sub-lithosphere convection in the upper mantle and the strong high velocity of the upper mantle beneath the Songliao Basin corresponds to the downwelling limb of this convection cell. The downwelling beneath the Songliao Basin could also induce secondary local convection in the asthenosphere to the west, leading to local asthenospheric upwelling beneath the Abaga and Halaha volcanoes in the Xing'an-Mongolia Orogenic Belt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-43
Number of pages13
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Abaga volcano
  • Changbaishan volcano
  • Halaha volcano
  • Markov chain Monte Carlo
  • Northeast China
  • Surface wave tomography


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