Lithospheric structure of the Chaco and Parana Basins of South America from surface-wave inversion

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American Geophysical Union

Surface-wave data from a portable broadband array have been used to invert for the velocity structure of the crust and upper mantle beneath the Chaco and Parana Basins of central South America. The upper-mantle velocity structure beneath the Parana Basin is cratonic in character, whereas that beneath the Chaco Basin is tectonic or asthenospheric in character. The surface-wave analysis used ;broadband recordings from a subset of a 14-station array deployed in a roughly east-west sawtooth arrangement along 20 degrees S latitude, with a total EW aperture of similar to 1,400 km. Results from receiver-function analysis, as well as direct P-wave regional travel-time data, were used in the inversions to help constrain Moho depths and crust and upper-mantle velocities. S-wave structure for the intracratonic Parana Basin was determined using interstation phase and group velocities for Rayleigh waves (fundamental and first higher mode) and Love waves (fundamental mode only) based on seven events with paths which traverse the eastern Parana Basin and one event with a path across the western Parana Basin. The average Moho depth in the eastern Parana Basin is similar to 42 km. The high-velocity upper-mantle lid has a maximum S-wave velocity of 4.7 km/s, with no resolvable low-velocity zone to at least 200 km depth. This cratonic velocity structure indicates the presence of a lithospheric root beneath the Parana Basin despite emplacement of the Parana plume. The limited data from the western Parana Basin are consistent with a homogeneous upper-mantle structure throughout the Parana Basin. Waveform inversion of fundamental-mode and first-higher-mode Rayleigh waves from a single subandean event was used to obtain estimates for pure-path dispersion along propagation paths through the Chaco Basin and the western half of the Parana Basin. The data were partitioned to isolate the partial-path contribution of the phase and group velocities for the Chaco Basin. The phase and group velocities from this somewhat sparse data set were inverted to obtain: a velocity-depth model for the Chaco Basin. The distinguishing features of the Chaco model consist of a rather shallow Moho depth, 32 km, and low (''asthenospheric'') upper-mantle S-wave velocities, about 4.2 km/s, with velocity increasing only slightly to about 4.3 km/s at 150 km depth.

Bolivia, velocities, evolution
Snoke, J. A., and D. E. James (1997), Lithospheric structure of the Chaco and Parana Basins of South America from surface-wave inversion, J. Geophys. Res., 102(B2), 2939-2951, doi:10.1029/96JB03180.