Journal Highlights

3-D multiobservable probabilistic inversion for the compositional and thermal structure of the lithosphere and upper mantle III: Thermochemical Tomography in the Western-Central US

Editors’ Highlight—

The authors apply a novel approach to model an unprecedented number of geophysical observables in terms of a self-consistent thermochemical structure, including the dynamics of the lithosphere and upper asthenosphere. This approach inherently disentangles the effects of temperature from those of composition and allows explicit separation of isostatic and dynamic contributions to topography. In particular, the application to the Colorado Plateau challenges many conventional views of the interplay between inherited structure and modern deformation. Their inversion suggests that "frozen-in" compositional variations in the mantle lithosphere are responding heterogeneously to changing surface and basal condition.  As computing power and the volume of geophysical data available continue to grow, joint approaches such as these will provide ever-sharper and more self-consistent images of earth structure with the potential to solve many outstanding questions on lithospheric dynamics and evolution.