Crust and upper mantle structure beneath southeast Australia from ambient noise and teleseismic tomography

N. Rawlinson, S. Pilia, M. Young, M. Salmon, Y Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


In the last decade, the lithospheric structure beneath southeast Australia has been intensively studied using passive seismic data from WOMBAT, the largest transportable seismic array in the southern hemisphere. The two primary imaging methods that have been applied are ambient noise tomography for the crust and teleseismic tomography for the upper mantle. Despite these recent studies, no attempt has yet been made to provide an integrated view of the crust–mantle system. Here, we perform teleseismic tomography using WOMBAT data that includes a detailed crustal model from ambient noise tomography in the starting model. A Moho surface from the Australian seismological reference Earth model (AuSREM) is also included. This has the dual benefit of accounting for the unresolved crustal component of the teleseismic arrival time residuals, and producing a model that reveals a high level of detail in both the crust and upper mantle. Our new integrated P-wave model contains a number of noteworthy features, including (i) low velocity anomalies in the lower crust and high velocity anomalies in the lithospheric mantle beneath the Gawler Craton and Curnamona Province, which are of Paleoproterozoic–Archean origin; (ii) a marked velocity transition in the crust and lithospheric mantle near the Moyston Fault, which we interpret as the boundary between the Lachlan and Delamerian orogens; (iii) a rapid eastward decrease in upper mantle velocity ~ 200 km inboard of the east coast of Australia, which is consistent with a marked thinning of the lithosphere; (iv) an increase in upper mantle velocity north of the Gawler Craton and Curnamona Province, which points to the presence of thicker lithosphere associated with the Precambrian shield region of the Australian continent; (v) Cenozoic intraplate basaltic volcanic centres distributed exclusively above the zone of thinner lithosphere inboard of the east coast, with the exception of low volume leucitite volcanics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-156
Number of pages14
Early online date23 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2016

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by ARC Discovery Project DP120103673.


  • Seismic tomography
  • Surface waves
  • Body waves
  • Crust
  • Mantle
  • Australia


Dive into the research topics of 'Crust and upper mantle structure beneath southeast Australia from ambient noise and teleseismic tomography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this