Lithospheric records of orogeny within the continental U.S.

Ryan Porter, Yuanyuan Liu, William E. Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


In order to better understand the tectonic evolution of the North American continent, we utilize data from the EarthScope Transportable Array network to calculate a three-dimensional shear velocity model for the continental United States. This model was produced through the inversion of Rayleigh wave phase velocities calculated using ambient noise tomography and wave gradiometry, which allows for sensitivity to a broad depth range. Shear velocities within this model highlight the influence of orogenic and postorogenic events on the evolution of the lithosphere. Most notable is the contrast in crustal and upper mantle structure between the relatively slow western and relatively fast eastern North America. These differences are unlikely to stem solely from thermal variations within the lithosphere and highlight both the complexities in lithospheric structure across the continental U.S. and the varying impacts that orogeny can have on the crust and upper mantle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-153
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 16 2016


  • ambient noise tomography
  • lithospheric structure
  • shear wave velocities
  • wave gradiometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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