Lithosphere mapping beneath the North American plate

W. L. Griffin, Suzanne Y. O'Reilly, B. J. Doyle, N. J. Pearson, H. Coopersmith, K. Kivi, V. Malkovets, N. Pokhilenko

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147 Citations (Scopus)


Major- and trace-element analyses of garnets from heavy-mineral concentrates have been used to derive the compositional and thermal structure of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) beneath 16 areas within the core of the ancient Laurentian continent and 11 areas in the craton margin and fringing mobile belts. Results are presented as stratigraphic sections showing variations in the relative proportions of different rock types and metasomatic styles, and the mean Fo content of olivine, with depth. Detailed comparisons with data from mantle xenoliths demonstrate the reliability of the sections. In the Slave Province, the SCLM in most areas shows a two-layer structure with a boundary at 140-160 km depth. The upper layer shows pronounced lateral variations, whereas the lower layer, after accounting for different degrees of melt-related metasomatism, shows marked uniformity. The lower layer is interpreted as a subcreted plume head, added at ca. 3.2 Ga; this boundary between the layers rises to

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-922
Number of pages50
Issue number1-4 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes



  • Lithosphere
  • North America
  • SCLM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Cite this

Griffin, W. L., O'Reilly, S. Y., Doyle, B. J., Pearson, N. J., Coopersmith, H., Kivi, K., Malkovets, V., & Pokhilenko, N. (2004). Lithosphere mapping beneath the North American plate. Lithos, 77(1-4 SPEC. ISS.), 873-922.