Journal Article

Noise correlation tomography of Southwest Western Canada Sedimentary Basin

Yu Jeffrey Gu and Luyi Shen

in Geophysical Journal International

Volume 202, issue 1, pages 142-162
ISSN: 0956-540X
Published online April 2015 | e-ISSN: 1365-246X | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggv100
Noise correlation tomography of Southwest Western Canada Sedimentary Basin

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We analyse continuous recordings from 23 broadband seismic stations near Alberta, the southwestern sector of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. Noise correlation tomo-graphy based on vertical-component seismograms reveals below-average shear velocities at shallow and middle crustal depths in central Alberta, spanning across Proterozoic accreted terranes and Archean microcontinents. This observation likely results from extensive plate convergence and crustal melting during the Proterozoic eon. The overall correlation between the crustal velocities and presumed basement domains is lower than expected, however. In the lower crust, the main pattern of shear velocities is relatively concordant with the reported domain boundaries and key Precambrian structures appear to be intact. The shear velocities beneath the Loverna Block, the largest constituent of the Hearne craton, are 10 per cent higher than the regional average. This prominent northeast striking seismic anomaly is moderately correlated with the regional heat flow and potentially represents the remnant core of the Archean Hearne province. The associated high velocities extend into the western part of the Medicine Hat Block, a possible Archean microcontinent with a debatable origin, and contribute to a strong east–west structural gradient in the lower crust. The presence and the continuity of this anomalous structure imply extensive communications among the various basement domains in southern Alberta during the assembly of the North American continent.

Keywords: Interferometry; Composition of the continental crust; Surface waves and free oscillations; Seismic tomography; Intra-plate processes; Cratons

Journal Article.  12992 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Volcanology and Seismology

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