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We present a new global model for the Earth's crust based on seismic refraction data published in the period 1948-1995 and a detailed compilation of ice and sediment thickness. An extensive compilation of seismic refraction measurements has been used to determine the crustal structure on continents and their margins. Oceanic crust is modeled with both a standard model for normal oceanic crust, and variants for nonstandard regions, such as oceanic plateaus. Our model (CRUST 5.1) consists of 2592 5?? ?? 5?? tiles in which the crust and uppermost mantle are described by eight layers: (1) ice, (2) water, (3) soft sediments, (4) hard sediments, (5) crystalline upper, (6) middle, (7) lower crust, and (8) uppermost mantle. Topography and bathymetry are adopted from a Mandard database (ETOPO-5). Compressional wave velocity in each layer is based on field measurements, and shear wave velocity and density are estimated using recently published empirical Vp-Vs and Vp -density relationships. The crustal model differs from previous models in that (1) the thickness and seismic/density structure of sedimentary basins is accounted for more completely, (2) the velocity structure of unmeasured regions is estimated using statistical averages that are based on a significantly larger database of crustal structure, (3) the compressional wave, shear wave, and density structure have been explicitly specified using newly available constraints from field and laboratory studies. Thus - this global crustal model is based on substantially more data than previous models and differs from them in many important respects. A new map of the thickness of the Earth's crust is presented, and we illustrate the application of this model by using it to provide the crustal correction for surface wave phase velocity maps. Love waves at 40 s are dominantly sensitive to crustal structure, and there is a very close correspondence between observed phase velocities at this period and those predicted by CRUST 5.1. We find that the application of crustal corrections to long-period (167 s) Rayleigh waves significantly increases the variance in the phase velocity maps and strengthens the upper mantle , velocity anomalies beneath stable continental regions. A simple calculation of crustal isostacy indicates significant lateral variations in upper mantle density. The model CRUST 5.1 provides a complete description of the physical properties of the Earth's crust at a scale of 5?? ?? 5?? and can be used for a wide range of seismological and nonseismological problems.