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Intraplate seismicity in SE Brazil: stress concentration in lithospheric thin spots

AutorAssumpçao, M.; Escalante, C.; Schimmel, Martin ; Barbosa, J.M.; Rocha, Marcelo Peres; Barros, L.V.
Palabras claveIntraplate seismicity
Lithospheric strength
Trindade plume
Upper-mantle tomography
Fecha de publicaciónabr-2004
EditorJohn Wiley & Sons
CitaciónGeophysical Journal International 159(1): 390-399 (2004)
ResumenIntraplate seismicity has generally poor correlation with surface geological patterns. Except for major extensional features, such as aborted continental rifts, which may act as weak zones, it is usually difficult to find simple geology based models to explain differences in seismic activity in stable continental regions. Seismicity in Brazil is clearly not uniform and a few areas of higher activity have been identified. However, the seismic areas show almost no correlation with the main geological provinces, which is typical of other intraplate settings. A recent upper-mantle tomography study in SE and central Brazil, using approximately 8500 P-wave and 2000 PKP-wave arrivals recorded in 59 sites since 1992, has mapped P-wave velocity anomalies from lithospheric depths down to 1300 km. In this region, higher seismic activity occurs preferentially in areas with low P-wave velocities at 150–250 km depth. The low P-wave velocities are interpreted as shallower asthenosphere. In such areas, a hotter geotherm will reduce the strength of the lithospheric upper mantle causing most of the intraplate forces to be concentrated in the brittle upper crust. The low-velocity anomalies coincide with Late Cretaceous provinces of alkaline intrusions. The proposed ponding of the Trindade plume head beneath lithospheric thin spots is consistent with our tomography results, suggesting that plume effects may have helped to preserve lithosphere/asthenosphere topography. Although other factors are also important, the present data show that stress concentrations resulting from lithosphere/asthenosphere topography should play an important role in explaining the intraplate seismicity in the Brazilian platform.
Versión del editorhttp://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/118792841/HTMLSTART
ISSN1365-246X (Online)
0956-540X (Print)
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