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Address : TU Delft, Netherlands-SRON & DEOS, Netherlands-University of Calgary, Canada
Celebration date : 8 Monday September 2008
Author name : Vermeersen, Bert1; Schotman, Hugo2; Wu, Patrick3; Drury, Martyn4; de Bresser, Hans4

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  • Article title : GOCE gravity satellite constraints on thermomechanical models of the shallow Earth
    Article type : Tectonic & Seismotectonic
    Location : International Geological Congress,oslo 2008

    Fulltext :

    Current constraints on the process of glacial-isostatic adjustment in Northern Europe are mainly provided by relative sea level data and GPS measurements. Due to a lack of resolving power in the shallow earth (down to about 200 km), these data sets only provide weak constraints on the shallow viscosity structure and thickness of the lithosphere. Future high-resolution gravity data, as expected from ESA’s Gravity and Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite - due for launch May 2008 at the time this abstract was submitted -, are predicted to provide additional information on the shallow earth, especially the viscosity structure. However, mass inhomogeneities due to chemical and thermal anomalies are expected to interfere with the gravity signals induced by shallow low-viscosity structures. We test therefore if heat flow data and laboratory-derived creep laws for the crust (plagioclase feldspars) and shallow upper mantle (olivine) can provide additional information on the shallow earth. For this, we use a thermal model constrained by surface heat flow data and a mechanical model based on the commercially available finite-element package Abaqus. We show estimates of lithospheric thickness and viscosities that can be expected in the shallow earth, and generate predictions for Northern Europe using heat flow data and representative creep laws.

     
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