Rocky Mountain Evolution: Tying CD-ROM and Deep Probe Seismic Experiments with Receiver Functions

In this study, we have determined the crustal structure using three different receiver function methods using data collected from the northern transect of the Continental Dynamics of the Rocky Mountains (CD-ROM) experiment. The resulting migrated image and crustal thickness determinations confirm and refine prior crustal thickness measurements based on the CD-ROM and Deep Probe experiment data sets. The new results show a very distinct and thick lower crustal layer beneath the Archean Wyoming province. In addition, we are able to show its termination at 42°N latitude, which provides a seismic tie between the CD-ROM and Deep Probe seismic experiments and thus completes a continuous north-south transect extending from New Mexico into Alberta, Canada. This new tie is particularly important because it occurs close to a major tectonic boundary, the Cheyenne belt, between an Archean craton and a Proterozoic terrane. We used two different stacking techniques, based on a similar concept but using two different ways to estimate uncertainties. Furthermore, we used receiver function migration and common conversion point (CCP) stacking techniques. The combined interpretation of all our results shows (1) crustal thinning in southern Wyoming, (2) strong northward crustal thickening beginning in central Wyoming, (3) the presence of an unusually thick and high-velocity lower crust beneath the Wyoming province, and (4) the abrupt termination of this lower crustal layer north of the Cheyenne belt at 42°N latitude.

Jan 1 2009 (All day)
journal paper