The Upper Mantle Seismic Structure Beneath Northeastern North America
Hertzog, Justin Tyler. “The Upper Mantle Seismic Structure Beneath Northeastern North America”, Boston College, 2013. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/3401.
Using the seismic refraction technique with a least squares inversion methodology, arrival time data from 1985 to the present are analyzed to delineate, with improved spatial resolution, the upper mantle P-velocity structure throughout northeastern North America (NENA). A total of one hundred and sixty-eight earthquakes are analyzed utilizing over one hundred seismic stations throughout NENA. Seismic data analyzed between 200 - 400 km, 400 - 600 km, and 600+ km throughout NENA are used to study the increase in velocity with depth in the upper mantle. A jackknife analysis was carried out to put constraints on the uncertainties of the velocity measurements. The P-wave velocity of the upper mantle through the New England Appalachians is found to be uniformly 7.94 - 8.07 km/s at depths down to 75 km. Upper mantle Pn velocities throughout the southeastern Grenville Province show velocities ranging from 8.15 km/s to 8.54 km/s as epicentral distances increase. Uncertainties of P velocities range from 0.01- 0.12 km/s. Based on laboratory measurements of simulated upper mantle conditions and the orogenic history of the Grenville Province and northern Appalachians, upper mantle mineral compositions of eclogite (Grenville Province) and pyroxenite (northern Appalachians) are proposed to be the factor controlling seismic velocity variation in the upper mantle. Variations in upper mantle temperatures between the Grenville Province and northern Appalachians are ruled out as affecting the difference in upper mantle velocities between southeastern Canada and New England.