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ISSN  2096-3955

CN  10-1502/P

Citation: Xi Zhang, Peng Wang, Tao Xu, Yun Chen, José Badal, JiWen Teng, 2018: Density structure of the crust in the Emeishan large igneous province revealed by the Lijiang- Guiyang gravity profile, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 74-81. doi: 10.26464/epp2018007

2018, 2(1): 74-81. doi: 10.26464/epp2018007


Density structure of the crust in the Emeishan large igneous province revealed by the Lijiang- Guiyang gravity profile


State Key Laboratory of Lithospheric Evolution, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China


Institute of Earthquake Science, China Earthquake Administration, Beijing 100036, China


CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Beijing 100101, China


Physics of the Earth, Sciences B, University of Zaragoza, Pedro Cerbuna 12, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain

Corresponding author: Xi Zhang,

Received Date: 2017-06-26
Web Publishing Date: 2018-01-01

The Emeishan large igneous province (hereafter named by its acronym ELIP) is the first accepted large igneous region in China. The current study tries to reconstruct the density structure of the crust in this region. For this purpose, we conducted the gravity survey along an 800-km-long profile, which stretched laterally along the latitude 27°N from Lijiang (Yunnan province) to Guiyang (Guizhou province). The fieldwork included 338 gravity measurements distributed from the inner zone to the outer zone of the mantle plume head. After a series of gravity reductions, we calculated the Bouguer gravity anomaly and then constructed the density model for ELIP by iterative forward modeling from an initial density model tightly constrained by wide-angle seismic reflection data. The topography of the Moho, here physically interpreted as a density discontinuity of ~0.4 g·cm–3, gradually rises from the inner zone (~50 km deep) to the outer zone (~40 km), describes a thicker crust in the inner zone than in any other segment of the profile and largely reproduces the shape of the Bouguer gravity anomaly curve. Both the Bouguer gravity and the density structure show significant differences with respect to the inner zone and the other two zones of ELIP according to the commonly accepted partition of the Emeishan area. A thicker and denser middle-lower crust seems to be the main feature of the western section of the profile, which is likely related to its mafic magmatic composition due to magmatic underplating of the Permian mantle plume.

Key words: Bouguer gravity, seismic reflection data, forward modeling, crustal density structure, Emeishan large igneous province, South China

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Density structure of the crust in the Emeishan large igneous province revealed by the Lijiang- Guiyang gravity profile

Xi Zhang, Peng Wang, Tao Xu, Yun Chen, José Badal, JiWen Teng