Thermal processes in the context of EarthScope

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Abstract

The EarthScope project is designed to elucidate the dynamics and evolution of the North American continent. To reach that goal, focused studies of the continental seismic structure, the strength of the lithosphere and modes of deformation, the patterns of stresses and strain, and the manner in which the lithosphere responds to excitation during earthquakes are all a high priority.

The common factor linking these EarthScope centric issues is the thermal state of the lithosphere. Although not an explicit component of EarthScope in the sense of US Array, PBO or SAFOD, an understanding of the thermal structure and associated thermal processes plays a key role in interpreting the observations generated by the EarthScope infrastructure. In order to help guide EarthScope science to exploit most effectively the links among these observations, a workshop was held to bring together practitioners from the fields of seismology geodesy thermochronology and crustal deformation with researchers who focus on thermal processes. The goal was to define the high priority issues to be addressed through integration of thermal geophysics with Earth-Scope science.

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