Uplift of the central transantarctic mountains

Phil Wannamaker, Graham Hill, John Stodt, Virginie Maris, Yasuo Ogawa, Kate Selway, Goran Boren, Edward Bertrand, Daniel Uhlmann, Bridget Ayling, A. Marie Green, Daniel Feucht

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    46 Citations (Scopus)
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    The Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) are the world's longest rift shoulder but the source of their high elevation is enigmatic. To discriminate the importance of mechanical vs. thermal sources of support, a 550 km-long transect of magnetotelluric geophysical soundings spanning the central TAM was acquired. These data reveal a lithosphere of high electrical resistivity to at least 150 km depth, implying a cold stable state well into the upper mantle. Here we find that the central TAM most likely are elevated by a non-thermal, flexural cantilever mechanism which is perhaps the most clearly expressed example anywhere. West Antarctica in this region exhibits a low resistivity, moderately hydrated asthenosphere, and concentrated extension (rift necking) near the central TAM range front but with negligible thermal encroachment into the TAM. Broader scale heat flow of east-central West Antarctica appears moderate, on the order of 60-70 mW m-2, lower than that of the U.S. Great Basin.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1588
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    Number of pages11
    JournalNature Communications
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2017

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

    Author correction exists for this article and can be found in Nature Communications (2018), 9:740, doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03349-y


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