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THE CONTINENTAL LITHOSPHERE
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|Artemieva I.M., 2011.
Cambridge University Press,
794 pp., ISBN 9780521843966.
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My current research focuses on the following topics:
Thermo-chemical heterogeneity of the continental mantle lithosphere
as constrained by geophysical data
A series of research projects funded by Carlsbergfondet, Denmark, 2005-2009 and University of Copenhagen (2009-2013) (as PI).
• Thermo-chemical and structural heterogeneity of the lithosphere (upper mantle) from interdisciplinary interpretations of
different geophysical datasets (thermal, global elastic and anelastic seismic tomography, gravity (land and satellite), and free-
board) with a strong petrological focus. In particular, my recent studies have demonstrated that a large part of seismic and density
anomalies in the upper mantle should be attributed to compositional heterogeneity.
• Compositional layering of cratonic lithosphere from seismic and thermal inversion; the origin of mid-lithosphere discontinuity.
• Global modelling and inversion of the thermal structure of the continental lithosphere; link to the only existing global model of
thermal structure of the continental lithosphere.
• Secular evolution of the continental lithosphere mantle since the Archean; lithosphere growth/destruction rate and its
correlation with global tectonic events; stability of cratonic lithosphere.
• Global age distribution of continental lithosphere (link to the only existing global 1 deg x 1 deg database of lithosphere ages).
Are xenoliths representative of the continental lithospheric mantle?
Large Research Project funded by the Danish Research Council (DFF/FNU10-083081), 2011-2013 (PI).
My recent results demonstrate that mantle-derived xenolith (widely used in geophysical models for calibration of seismic velocities,
density, and elastic moduli) may be non-representative of "pristine" upper mantle in terms of physical properties. This project tests
two hypotheses: (i) if mantle xenoliths are representative of the continental lithospheric mantle and (ii) what controls their
The research includes, but is not limited to, the following components, with the focus on the lithosphere structure of Siberia:
• Geodynamic control of kimberlite emplacement based on cluster analysis; correlations of kimberlite and diamond
occurrences with lithosphere structure based on inversion of geophysical (seismic, gravity) and petrological data.
• Thermo-chemical heterogeneity and density structure of the lithosphere (upper mantle) of Siberia from interdisciplinary
interpretations of different geophysical datasets (thermal, satellite gravity (GOCE), and free-board modeling) compared with
regional petrologic data.
These studies will continue within the frame of the newly funded project (Large Research Project funded by the Danish Research
Council (DFF/FNU10-083081), 2014-2017 (PI):
Thermo‐chemical structure and evolution of the continental lithosphere:
the hen‐and‐egg problem
The goal of the project is to understand the feed-back system between thermo-chemical heterogeneity and the geodynamic
evolution of the continental lithosphere. This will be achieved by constraining a model of the thermo-chemical-rheological
structure of the continental lithosphere based on multidisciplinary geophysical and petrologic data and establishing links between
the lithosphere structure and the geodynamic settings. This study will have a particular focus on the lithosphere structure of the
Canadian shield and will include among other:
• Compositional effect on density and seismic velocity of upper mantle rocks based on compilation of global xenolith dataset;
modeling “synthetic” densities and seismic velocities of the mantle from major element mineralogy.
• Regional analysis (focus on the Canadian shield) of thermo-compositional heterogeneity of the mantle lithosphere based on
satellite gravity and seismic data, correlations with laboratory and "synthetic" mantle physical properties.
• Receiver-function analysis for Eurasia.
• Seismic anisotropy of continental lithosphere, with focus on the cratons of southern Africa and young orogens; analysis of the
role of tectonic stresses, mantle flow, and structural anisotropy associated with giant dyke swarms.
Other research topics include:
Crustal structure: continent-scale and regional models
• Crustal structure of Eurasia, the North Atlantic region, and southern Africa
Major sedimentary basins: structure and subsidence mechanisms
.• Velocity structure of major sedimentary basins; relations of velocity to density and composition. In particular, my studies have demonstrated that commonly used
conversion curves for density structure of deep sedimentary basins (based largely on compaction) are invalid for most basins.
• Geodynamic control on formation of large sedimentary basins; role of magmatism and eclogitization. Recent studies of my research group of the West Siberian Basin
have for the first time documented the presence of large volumes of eclogites beneath the deepest grabens of the basin.
Magmatism and geodynamic evolution of the lithosphere
• Intraplate magmatism and thermal evolution of the lithosphere; reconstruction of paleo-thermal regime from spatio-temporal trends in magma composition variation:
• lithosphere structure in the Caucasus and the Altay region based on petrologic studies of magmas.
Numerical modeling of continental rifting
• Numerical modeling of continental rifting; role of various factors, including erosion and pre-existing structural and thermo-chemical heterogeneity of the crust and
lithospheric mantle; case studies of the Baikal rift and Ladoga rift.
Anomalous oceanic lithosphere
• Anomalous lithosphere structure of the North Atlantic ocean; role of pre-exiting lithosphere heterogeneity on ocean spreading; global structure of the oceanic crust and
lithosphere; implications for mantle potential temperatures.
Current members of the research group
Zurab Chemia (postdoc), Topic: “Cluster analysis and numerical modeling of kimberlite magmatism”
Matija Herceg (postdoc), Topic: ” Density structure of upper mantle from satellite gravity inversion”
Mohammad Youssof (research ass.), Topic: “Receiver function analysis for Eurasia”
Yulia Cherepanova (PhD student), Title: “Upper mantle heterogeneity in Siberia from geophysical data”
Helene Kraft (PhD student), Tentative title: “Seismic structure of the lithosphere in eastern Greenland”, main supervisor Prof. H. Thybo
Maria Myshenkova (PhD student), Tentative title: “Geodynamic framework of magmatism in the Greater Caucasus orogen: case study of the Elbrus Magmatic Area”;
co-supervisor Prof. N.V. Koronovsky (Moscow Univ.)
Ekaterina Kurbatova (PhD student), Tentative title: “Geodynamic evolution of the rift zones of the Scotia Sea and its environs”,
main supervisor Prof. E.P. Dubinin (Moscow Univ.)
Olga Barantseva (PhD student), Tentative title: “Anomalous structure of the oceanic crust based on global analysis and regional seismic models”
Elena Vasyukova (PhD student), Tentative title: "Geodynamic control of lamprophyre magmatism: A case study of the Mesozoic Chuya complex
(SW Altai-NW Mongolia)", main supervisor Prof. A.S. Borisenko (Novosibirsk, IGM SB RAS)
Tala Aabø (MS student), Title “Why do Virgin Rock Temperatures deviate from Drill Steam Tests? Analysis of oil fields in the North Sea”,
co-supervised with Prof. H. Thybo