Continental Arc Processes in British Columbia and Earthquake Processes in Virginia: Insights from Seismic Imaging
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Travel times from a refraction and wide-angle reflection seismic survey across the Coast Plutonic Complex and Stikine terrane of British Columbia were inverted to derive two dimensional P and S-wave seismic velocity models of the crust and uppermost mantle. A felsic upper crust and a felsic to intermediate middle crust are observed in both the batholith complex and the accreted Stikine island arc terrane. The P and S wave models demonstrate a high-velocity (P 7.0 km/s, S 3.8 km/s) layer in the lower crust beneath the youngest (late Cretaceous to Eocene) portion of the continental arc complex. In contrast, the lower crust under the Stikine terrane has lower velocities consistent with amphibolite or other hydrated mafic rocks. The Moho is at ~35 km depth under the Stikine terrane, deepens to ~38 km beneath the youngest portion of the arc, then shallows towards the coast. The high velocity zone under the younger portion of the Coast Plutonic Complex has a 1.81 Vp/Vs ratio and is interpreted to have a bulk composition of mafic garnet granulite. This garnet granulite and large volumes of granodiorite-dominated melt were created by arc dehydration melting of amphibolite (or hydrated gabbro) in the pre-existing lower crust Reverse time migration method was applied to image aftershocks recorded by a dense array deployed after the 2011 Virginia earthquake. Events as tiny as magnitude -2 were successfully imaged as point sources. The propagation of energy release as a function of time and space was observed for events larger than magnitude 2.5. Spatial resolution of the images was ~200 m, which synthetic data tests show was primarily limited by the temporal sampling rate. Improved temporal and spatial sampling could produce images with sharper resolution.
- Doctoral Dissertations