lithoprobe logo
home | contact | search about | transects | publications | links | classroom/media 

Lithoprobe mediaSee the movie or slideshow about LITHOPROBE, or read more about LITHOPROBE Multidisciplinary studies.

For more info about geoscience information and educational materials available - click here.



Trans-Continental Lithospheric Cross Section

LITHOPROBE's multidisciplinary transects have been used to assemble three cross sections that extend through the crust to the base of the lithosphere (as deep as 270 km). The southern profile is 6000 km long and crosses the entire continent, extending across the western Cascadia subduction zone, the mountain belts, the prairies and Canadian Shield, southern Quebec, through the maritimes to beyond the Grand Banks off the east coast. The northwestern cross section (2000 km long) extends from the Pacific Plate to Yellowknife and the northeastern cross section(1600 km long) crosses northern Quebec and follows the Labrador coastline. The profiles illuminate the assembly of the North American continent (jpg or pdf; Figure 3, CJES, 2010) which has developed through a sequence of plate collisions and accretions over the last 4 billion years.


a) Trans-Continental Cross Section: GSA Today
GSA Today, 2011 June (v. 21, no. 6, p. 4, DOI: 10.1130/GSATG95A.1)
The big picture: A lithospheric cross section of the North American continent         Philip T.C. Hammer, Ron M. Clowes, Fred A. Cook, K. Vasudevan, and Arie J. van der Velden.   
 (pdf: 4.2 MB),  Appendix/References (pdf: 36 KB), Poster (see below).


  • Low Resolution (pdf: 6.7 MB, jpg: 2.5 MB): seismic sections may not display well at this resolution
  • High Resolution (pdf: 14.9 MB): Suggested printing size: 42x 91cm (16.5"x36") or larger.

Articles highlighting the paper and poster: Amazing PlanetUBC Science.

b) Three (3) Canadian cross sections (trans-continental and two northern cross sections): CJES Paper
Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 2010 May  (47:(5) 821-857, DOI: 10.1139/E10-036) The Lithoprobe trans-continental lithospheric cross sections: Imaging the internal structure of the North American continent        
Philip T.C. Hammer, Ron M. Clowes, Fred A. Cook, Arie J. van der Velden, and  K. Vasudevan
Abstract, Poster (see below).


  • Low Resolution (pdf: 5.5 MB; jpg: 7.2 MB): seismic sections may not display well at this resolution

  • High Resolution (pdf: 22 MB): Suggested printing size 42x100cm (16.5x40") or larger.

  • Full Resolution (ai: 156 MB): optimal for printing on a plotter.

  • Poster references: Appendix/References (pdf: 19 KB)

c) Public Poster

A poster for distribution to schools and universities is currently being developed with funding from the Canadian Geoscience Foundation. We hope to have the poster available by late 2011. 

If you would like to be put on the mailing list for the public poster, please email Phil Hammer.


Ghost Mountains and Vanished Oceans – North America from Birth to Middle Age: a new book by John Wilson, author of Dancing Elephants and Floating Continents,  and Ron Clowes, Director of Lithoprobe, that is aimed at the general adult reader. It is the Lithoprobe story and more. Stories of mountains rising and falling, oceans opening and closing, and entire continents sliding around on the surface like shuffleboard pieces. Stories that incorporate lost explorers, Irish bishops, Scottish cannibals, and a naturalist who should be as famous as Charles Darwin. The tale told is of the birth, death, and rebirth of entire continents and, by extension, it is the story of the world on which we live.  

The Trans-Canada Crustal Cross-Section
LITHOPROBE geophysical and geological studies have been assembled
to create a cross-section that crosses the continent and extends down
more than 100 km. This profile spans 4 billion years of crustal
evolution and emphasizes the large-scale pattern of sequential
collisions that result in deformation and crustal growth.

A poster is being developed. However, for now you can download this
preliminary brochure.

UNIQUE! A new children's book about LITHOPROBE: Dancing Elephants & Floating Continents - The story of Canada beneath your feet. A children’s non-fiction book for ages about 8-12 years with profuse illustrations, both photo pictures and artistic renderings - written by John Wilson and published by Key Porter Books.

Accompany Teachers' Guide for Dancing Elephants & Floating Continents - The story of Canada beneath your feet is now available.

Read more in our Books section

Read press release by Key Porter Books.

See book's cover 2Mb

Also check out the recently released books on physical properties of Earth materials - supported by the LITHOPROBE project:
RHEOLOGY of Polyphase Earth Materials
   LITHOPROBE publication no. #1301
   Written by Shaocheng Ji and Bin Xia;
   Published by Polytechnic International Press.
   See book's cover 800Kb

Handbook of Seismic Properties of Minerals, Rocks and Ores
   LITHOPROBE publication no. #1316
Written by Shaocheng Ji, Qin Wang and Bin Xia;
   Published by Polytechnic International Press.
   See book's cover 1Mb




home | about | transects | publications | links | classroom/media | search | contact