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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Prof Gillian Foulger

Foulger, G.R, Pritchard, M.J, Julian, B.R, Evans, J.R, Allen, R.M, Nolet, G, Morgan, W.J, Bergsson, B.H, Erlendsson, P, Jakobsdottir, S, Ragnarsson, S, Stefansson, R & Vogfjord, K (2000). The seismic anomaly beneath Iceland extends down to the mantle transition zone and no deeper. Geophysical Journal International 142: F1-F5.

Author(s) from Durham


A 3-D teleseismic tomography image of the upper mantle beneath Iceland of unprecedented resolution reveals a subvertical low wave speed anomaly that is cylindrical in the upper 250 km but tabular below this. Such a morphological transition is expected towards the bottom of a buoyant upwelling. Our observations thus suggest that magmatism at the Iceland hotspot is fed by flow rising from the mantle transition zone. This result contributes to the ongoing debate about whether the upper and lower mantles convect separately or as one. The image also suggests that material flows outwards from Iceland along the Reykjanes Ridge in the upper 200 km, but is blocked in the upper 150 km beneath the Tjornes Fracture Zone. This provides direct observational support for the theory that fracture zones dam lateral flow along ridges.