Comparative study of the uniform and variable moho density contrast in the vening Meinesz-Moritz’s isostatic scheme for the gravimetric moho recovery

Robert Tenzer, Mohammad Bagherbandi

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


In gravimetric methods for a determination of the Moho geometry, the constant value of the Moho density contract is often adopted. Results of gravimetric and seismic studies, however, showed that the Moho density contrast varies significantly. The assumption of a uniform density contrast thus might yield large errors in the estimated Moho depths. In this study we investigate these errors by comparing the Moho depths determined globally for the uniform and variable models of the Moho density contrast. These two gravimetric results are obtained based on solving the Vening Meinesz-Moritz’s inverse problem of isostasy. The uniform model of the Moho density contrast is defined individually for the continental and oceanic lithosphere to better reproduce the reality. The global data of the lower crust and upper mantle retrieved from the CRUST1.0 seismic crustal model are used to define the variable Moho density contrast. This seismic model is also used to validate both gravimetric solutions. Results of our numerical experiment reveals that the consideration of the variable Moho density contrast improves the agreement between the gravimetric and seismic Moho models; the RMS of differences is 5.4 km (for the uniform density contrast) and 4.7 km (for the variable density contrast).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIGFS 2014 - Proceedings of the 3rd International Gravity Field Service, IGFS 2014
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9783319398198
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event3rd International Gravity Field Service, IGFS 2014 - Shanghai, China
Duration: 30 Jun 20146 Jul 2014


Conference3rd International Gravity Field Service, IGFS 2014


  • Crust
  • Gravity
  • Isostasy
  • Mantle
  • Moho

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Geophysics

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