Depth to Moho in Greenland: receiver-function analysis suggests two Proterozoic blocks in Greenland

Trine Dahl-Jensen, Tine B. Larsen, Ingo Woelbern, Torben Bach, Winfried Hanka, Rainer Kind, Søren Gregersen, Klaus Mosegaard, Peter Voss, Olafur Gudmundsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


The GLATIS project (Greenland Lithosphere Analysed Teleseismically on the Ice Sheet) with collaborators has operated a total of 16 temporary broadband seismographs for periods from 3 months to 2 years distributed over much of Greenland from late 1999 to the present. The very first results are presented in this paper, where receiver-function analysis has been used to map the depth to Moho in a large region where crustal thicknesses were previously completely unknown. The results suggest that the Proterozoic part of central Greenland consists of two distinct blocks with different depths to Moho. North of the Archean core in southern Greenland is a zone of very thick Proterozoic crust with an average depth to Moho close to 48 km. Further to the north the Proterozoic crust thins to 37-42 km. We suggest that the boundary between thick and thin crust forms the boundary between the geologically defined Nagssugtoqidian and Rinkian mobile belts, which thus can be viewed as two blocks, based on the large difference in depth to Moho (over 6 km). Depth to Moho on the Archean crust is around 40 km. Four of the stations are placed in the interior of Greenland on the ice sheet, where we find the data quality excellent, but receiver-function analyses are complicated by strong converted phases generated at the base of the ice sheet, which in some places is more than 3 km thick.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-393
Number of pages15
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2003


  • Crustal thickness
  • Greenland
  • Receiver functions

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources


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