Synthesizing earthscope data to constrain the thermal evolution of the continental U.S. lithosphere

Ryan C. Porter, Suzan van der Lee, Steven J. Whitmeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In this work, we compile several seismic velocity models publicly available from the Incorporated Research Institute for Seismology (IRIS) Earth Model Collaboration (EMC) and compare subcrustal mantle velocities in the models to each other and to the timing of tectonism across the continent. This work allows us to assess the relationship between the time elapsed since the most recent thermotectonic event and uppermost mantle temperatures. We apply mineral-and physics-based models of velocity-temperature relationships to calculate upper-mantle temperatures in order to determine cooling rates for the lower-crust and uppermost mantle following thermotectonic activity. Results show that most of the cooling occurs in the ~300-500 million years following orogeny. This work summarizes current estimates of upper-mantle shear velocities and provides insights on the thermal stabilization of continental lithosphere through time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1722-1737
Number of pages16
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Stratigraphy


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