High-resolution Moho model for Greenland from EIGEN-6C4 gravity data

Rebekka Steffen, Gabriel Strykowski, Björn Lund

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The crust–mantle boundary (the Moho) is a first order interface in the Earth and the depth to the Moho is therefore well studied in most regions. However, below regions which are covered by large ice sheets, such as Greenland and Antarctica, the Moho is only partly known and seismic data are difficult to obtain. Here, we take advantage of the global gravity model EIGEN-6C4, together with the Parker-Oldenburg algorithm, to estimate the depth to the Moho beneath Greenland and surroundings. The available free-air gravity data are corrected for the topographic effect and the effect of sedimentary basins. We also correct for the effect on gravity due to the weight of the ice sheet and the accompanying deflection of the Earth's surface, which has not previously been taken into account in gravity studies of currently glaciated regions. Our final Moho depth model for Greenland has an associated uncertainty of ±4.5 km for areas with sedimentary basins and ±4 km for areas without sedimentary basins. The model shows maximum Moho depths below east Greenland of up to 55 km and values less than 20 km offshore east Greenland. There is a marked increase in Moho depth of 10–15 km from northern to central Greenland, indicating a significant change in geology. A deep Moho at the northern coast of Greenland towards Ellesmere Island might be related to the location of the hot-spot track. Our Moho model is consistent with previous models, but has a higher lateral resolution of 0.1° and covers the entire area of on- and offshore Greenland.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)206-220
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • EIGEN-6C4
    • Glacial isostatic adjustment
    • Gravity data
    • Gravity inversion
    • Greenland
    • Moho


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