Spatial and Spectral Analysis of Refined Gravity Data for Modelling the Crust-Mantle Interface and Mantle-Lithosphere Structure

Robert Tenzer, Vladislav Gladkikh, Pavel Novák, Peter Vajda

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


We analyse spatial and spectral characteristics of various refined gravity data used for modelling and gravimetric interpretation of the crust-mantle interface and the mantle-lithosphere structure. Depending on the purpose of the study, refined gravity data have either a strong or weak correlation with the Moho depths (Moho geometry). The compilation of the refined gravity data is purely based on available information on the crustal density structure obtained from seismic surveys without adopting any isostatic hypothesis. We demonstrate that the crust-stripped relative-to-mantle gravity data have a weak correlation with the CRUST2. 0 Moho depths of about 0. 02. Since gravitational signals due to the crustal density structure and the Moho geometry are subtracted from gravity field, these refined gravity data comprise mainly the information on the mantle lithosphere and sub-lithospheric mantle. On the other hand, the consolidated crust-stripped gravity data, obtained from the gravity field after applying the crust density contrast stripping corrections, comprise mainly the gravitational signal of the Moho geometry, although they also contain the gravitational signal due to anomalous mass density structures within the mantle. In the absence of global models of the mantle structure, the best possible option of computing refined gravity data, suitable for the recovery/refinement of the Moho interface, is to subtract the complete crust-corrected gravity data from the consolidated crust-stripped gravity data. These refined gravity data, that is, the homogenous crust gravity data, have a strong absolute correlation of about 0. 99 with the CRUST2. 0 Moho depths due to removing a gravitational signal of inhomogeneous density structures within the crust and mantle. Results of the spectral signal decomposition and the subsequent correlation analysis reveal that the correlation of the homogenous crust gravity data with the Moho depths is larger than 0. 9 over the investigated harmonic spectrum up to harmonic degree 90. The crust-stripped relative-to-mantle gravity data correlate substantially with the Moho depths above harmonic degree 50 where the correlation exceeds 0. 5.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-839
Number of pages23
JournalSurveys in Geophysics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Crust
  • Forward modelling
  • Gravity
  • Mantle
  • Moho interface
  • Spectral representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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