Lithospheric structure of the central Andes based on surface wave dispersion

David Baumont, Anne Paul, George Zandt, Susan L. Beck, Helle Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Shear wave velocity is very sensitive to temperature anomalies and partial melt and can provide important insights on the state of the lithosphere. With that aim in mind, phase velocities of Rayleigh and Love waves have been inverted for the regionalized shear wave velocity structure of the lithosphere across the central Andes. This inversion reveals strong lateral variations of Vs both across the range and along-strike in the Altiplano crust. In the upper crust, the main features of our models are prominent low-velocity anomalies probably related to partial melt below the Los Frailes ignimbrite complex and the southern Altiplano. At lower crustal level, the Altiplano is characterized by lower Vs than the surrounding regions. We find that the transition from the Altiplano to the Puna is associated with a 7-km thickening of the crust. At mantle depths, the Nazca plate is found to be overlaid by a dipping low-velocity zone with decreasing intensity with depth. Our results favor the idea of a cold mantle lid underlying the whole central Andes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)ESE 18-1 - 18-13
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 10 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Andes
  • Lithosphere
  • Subduction
  • Surface waves
  • Vs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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