Satellite-derived geoid for the estimation of lithospheric cooling and basal heat flux anomalies over the northern Indian Ocean lithosphere
Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Earth and Planetary Sciences
The northern Indian Ocean consists of older Bay of Bengal (BOB) oceanic lithosphere with numerous intra-plate loads; whereas, contrasting elements like active Mid-Ocean ridge divergence and slow spreading ridges are present in the relatively younger (<60 Ma) Arabian Sea oceanic lithosphere. The mechanism of lithospheric cooling of young age oceanic lithosphere from the moderately active and slow spreading Carlsberg Ridge is analysed by considering the hypothesis of near lithospheric convective
... spheric convective action or whole upper mantle convection. We addressed these issues by studying the marine geoid at different spatial wavelengths and retrieved and compared their lithospheric cooling signatures, plate spreading and distribution of mass and heat anomalies along with seismicity, bathymetry, gravity and isochron age data. Results show that progressive cooling of young-aged oceanic lithosphere from the Mid-Ocean Carlsberg Ridge is because of conductive cooling and those signals are retrieved in the shorter wavelength band (111 <λ<1900 km) of constrained residual geoid with mass anomaly sources near to sublithospheric. This shows steadiness in the geoid anomaly decay rate (∼-0.1 m/Ma), consistency in the growth of thermal boundary layer and progressive fall of basal temperature and heat flux (900-300 K and 100-18 mW m −2 ) with increase of lithospheric age. The above observations are attributed to the fact that the advective-convective action beneath the Mid-Ocean Carlsberg Ridge is driven by the basal temperature gradient between the lithosphere and the near lithospheric low viscose thin layer. But, for the case of old-aged oceanic lithosphere in the BOB, the residual geoid anomaly cooling signals are not prominently seen in the same band as that of the Arabian Sea because of the Ninetyeast Ridge magmatism. However, its cooling anomaly signatures are retrieved at relatively higher band (1335 ≤ λ ≤ 3081 km) having erratic geoid decay rates (-0.3 to 0.2 m/Ma) owing to vigorous convective thermal instabilities originated around 290-530 km from the plume remnant in the upper mantle (for the case of the BOB). We discussed that such instabilities had transported sufficient heat energy to accelerate the erstwhile fast movement of the Indian Plate prior to the India-Eurasia continent-continent collision.