Probabilistic Shear-wave Velocity Models of the Crust and Shallow Lithosphere in Continental Areas

This project adimedto continue the 2018 project under user account pawey0112. A major task for 2019 was to apply a new tomographic inversion technique developed using the Pawsey resources in 2017 and 2018 (Yuan and Bodin, Tectonics, 2018) to develop high-resolution probabilistic shear-wave velocity models of the crust and shallow lithosphere in continental areas, under several funded projects through various funding agencies in Western Australia, China and the US. The models have direct impact in understanding mineral systems by directly mapping various components of the system: deep penetrating faults, suture zones. These features have important controls on the movement of metal-carrying magmas and brines in a variety of mineral systems. High resolution models of the continental crustal and lithosphere at various tectonic settings will also shed light onto better understanding the formation and subsequent evolution of continent crust through time

Principal investigator

Huaiyu Yuan
Magnifying glass

Area of science


Systems used


Applications used

~ 70%
Partner Institution: The University of Western Australia| Project Code: pawsey0112

The Challenge

Long waiting time.

The Solution

Not really a problem but the high priority model implemented this year is really good.

The Outcome

This project so far resulted in a published paper in Nature Communications, and a manuscript in revision which was submitted to Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. Resources from the Pawsey Centre is critical for obtaining the results which are computationally heavy.

1 Zhao, L., Malusà, M.G., Yuan, H. et al. Evidence for a serpentinized plate interface favouring continental subduction. Nat Commun 11, 2171 (2020).,

2 Li, T, H. Yuan et al., New Crustal Vs model along an array in south-east China: Seismic Characters and paleo-Tethys continental amalgamation, G-cubed, in revision.

The Pawsey Centre is properly acknowledged in the papers.

List of Publications

Zhao, L., Malusà, M.G., Yuan, H. et al. Evidence for a serpentinized plate interface favouring continental subduction. Nat Commun 11, 2171 (2020).,

Captions for fig.pawsey.Tethys.pdf : 2 Tectonic setting of the study region for NCISP-8 Earthquake Seismic Project (a) and Seismic shear-wave velocity models of the crust (this study) and shallow upper mantle from Bao et al (2015) showing the “Tectonic Wedge” resulted from initial collision of the North China Block and South China Block during the paleo-Tethyan tectonic event. The collision is responsible to final assembly of the Mainland China.
Captions for NCOMMS-19-25367 - Fig 1 colour-blind-friendly.jpg: Tectonic sketch map of the Adria–Europe plate boundary zone (a), Geological sketch map of the western Alpine region (b), and seismic models at 40 and 60 km depths showing the slow velocity structure (wheat-color) that favors the presence of a layer of serpentinites that “lubricates” the subduction of the European plate underneath the Adriatic mantle. From Zhao, L., Malusà, M.G., Yuan, H. et al. N Comms. 2020