Influence of the tectosphere upon plate motion

Stoddard, Paul R.; Abbott, Dallas Helen

This paper tests two hypotheses for the influence of thick lithosphere (the tectosphere) upon plate motion. The first is that the tectosphere reaches down into high-viscosity regions of the asthenosphere, effectively slowing the motion of continental plates. The second is that the tectosphere reaches down below the slow-moving convective boundary layer into regions of rapid mantle convection and effectively speeds (or slows) the motion of continental plates. Our data imply that the tectosphere speeds plate motion rather than impedes plate motion and are thus most consistent with the second hypothesis.


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Also Published In

Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Marine Geology and Geophysics
American Geophysical Union
Published Here
January 21, 2016