Continental lithosphere formation

We are deeply interested in the origins of continental lithosphere.  The deep roots of cratons are made of peridotitic residues of melt extraction.  These cratonic roots are cold and should be unstable, but the chemical buoyancy associated with the peridotites compensates, in part, the effects of thermal contraction. Of interest to us are how cratonic peridotites actually form. What are the temperatures and pressures of formation, tectonic environments, etc?  What is the density structure of cratonic mantle?  When was melt extracted? What are the seismic properties of lithospheric mantle?

Future directions: investigating the role of refertilization on the stability of continental lithospheric mantle.

Li, Z-X A, Lee, C-T A, Peslier, A, Lenardic, A, Mackwell, S J, 2008, Water contents in mantle xenoliths from the Colorado Plateau and vicinity: implications for the rheology and hydration-induced thinning of continental lithosphere,  J. Geophys. Res. 113: doi:10.1029/2007JB005540.

Lee, C.-T. A., Chin, E. J., 2014, Calculating melting temperatures and pressures of peridotite protoliths: implications for the origin of cratonic mantle, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 397: 184-200, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2014.06.048.

Lee, C.-T. A., Luffi, P., Chin, E., 2011, Building and destroying continental mantle, Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences 39:59-90.

Lee, C.-T. A., Compositional variation of density and seismic velocities in natural peridotites at STP conditions: Implications for seismic imaging of compositional heterogeneities in the upper mantle, J. Geophys. Res., 108(B9), 2441, doi:10.1029/2003JB002413, 2003.

Lee, C-T, Yin, Q-Z, Rudnick, R L, Jacobsen, S B, 2001, Preservation of ancient and fertile lithospheric mantle beneath the southwestern United States, Nature 411, 69-73.