Articles | Volume 8, issue 5
Research article
11 Sep 2017
Research article |  | 11 Sep 2017

Global patterns in Earth's dynamic topography since the Jurassic: the role of subducted slabs

Michael Rubey, Sascha Brune, Christian Heine, D. Rhodri Davies, Simon E. Williams, and R. Dietmar Müller

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Cited articles

Amante, C. and Eakins, B. W.: ETOPO1 1 Arc-Minute Global Relief Model: Procedures, Data Sources and Analysis, National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA,, 2009.
Baumgardner, J. R.: Three-dimensional treatment of convective flow in the Earth's mantle, J. Stat. Phys., 39, 501–511,, 1985.
Boyden, J. A., Müller, R. D., Gurnis, M., Torsvik, T. H., Clark, J. A., Turner, M., Ivey-Law, H., Watson, R. J., and Cannon, J. S.: Next-generation plate-tectonic reconstructions using GPlates, in Geoinformatics, Cambridge University Press, 95–114,, 2011.
Braun, J., Guillocheau, F., Robin, C., Baby, G., and Jelsma, H.: Rapid erosion of the Southern African Plateau as it climbs over a mantle superswell, J. Geophys. Res.-Sol. Ea., 119, 6093–6112, 2014.
Bunge, H.-P., Richards, M. A., and Baumgardner, J. R.: A sensitivity study of three-dimensional spherical mantle convection at 108 Rayleigh number: Effects of depth-dependent viscosity, heating mode, and an endothermic phase change, J. Geophys. Res.-Sol. Ea., 102, 11991–12007,, 1997.
Short summary
Earth's surface is constantly warped up and down by the convecting mantle. Here we derive geodynamic rules for this so-called dynamic topography by employing high-resolution numerical models of global mantle convection. We define four types of dynamic topography history that are primarily controlled by the ever-changing pattern of Earth's subduction zones. Our models provide a predictive quantitative framework linking mantle convection with plate tectonics and sedimentary basin evolution.