Tectonic fabric of the subcontinental lithosphere: Evidence from seismic, magnetotelluric and mechanical anisotropy

David W. Eaton*, Alan Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Knowledge of anisotropy is key to our understanding of tectonic fabrics in the lithosphere and sublithospheric mantle. Anisotropy provides a unique constraint on the character of past and present deformation, and thus is critical to our understanding of dynamics of the plate-tectonic system-in particular how continents, with their thick lithospheric mantle roots, form, stabilize and interact with underlying mantle regions. Improved observational methods and rapid developments of geophysical inversion techniques are contributing to more realistic Earth models that include various types of anisotropy and heterogeneity. A more robust characterization of anisotropic parameters can be achieved by integrating complementary datasets, incorporating constraints from seismology, magnetotellurics, geodynamics and mineral physics. Valid comparisons between different measures of anisotropy, however, require a solid understanding of the principles and limitations of the various techniques. To this end, we briefly summarize a new compilation of original articles with a common focus on anisotropy of continental lithosphere, including theory, laboratory experiments and observations that span a range of different geophysical techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-91
Number of pages7
JournalPhysics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors
Issue number2-4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Anisotropy
  • Continental lithosphere
  • Electrical anisotropy
  • Mechanical anisotropy
  • Seismic anisotropy
  • Tectonic fabrics


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