3 years ago

Lithospheric rheological heterogeneity across an intraplate rift basin (Linfen Basin, North China) constrained from magnetotelluric data: Implications for seismicity and rift evolution

We take the Linfen Basin, which is the most active segment of the Cenozoic intraplate Shanxi Rift, as an example, showing how to use magnetotelluric data to constrain lithospheric rheological heterogeneities of intraplate tectonic zones. Electrical resistivity models, combined with previous rheological numerical simulation, show a good correlation between resistivity and rheological strength, indicating the mechanisms of enhanced conductivity could also be reasons of reduced viscosity. The crust beneath the Linfen Basin shows overall stratified features in both electrical resistivity and rheology. The uppermost crustal conductive layer is dominated by friction sliding-type brittle fracturing. The high-resistivity mid-crust is inferred to be high-viscosity metamorphic basement being intersected by deep fault. The plastic lower crust show significantly high-conductivity feature. Seismicity appears to be controlled by crustal rheological heterogeneity. Micro-earthquakes mainly distribute at the brittle-ductile transition zones as indicated by high- to low-resistivity interfaces or the high pore pressure fault zones while the epicenters of two giant destructive historical earthquakes occur within the high-resistivity and therefore high-strength blocks near the inferred rheological interfaces. The lithosphere-scale lateral rheological heterogeneity along the profile can also be illustrated. The crust and upper mantle beneath the Ordos Block, Lüliang Mountains and Taihang Mountains are of high rheological strength as indicated by large-scale high-resistivity zones while a significant high-conductivity, lithosphere-scale weak zone exists beneath the eastern margin of the Linfen Basin. According to previous geodynamic modeling works, we suggest that this kind of lateral rheological heterogeneity may play an essential role for providing driving force for the formation and evolution of the Shanxi Rift, regional lithospheric deformation and earthquake activities under the far-field effects of the India-Eurasian Collision.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0040195117302962

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