GEOLOGIC AND SEISMIC VELOCITY STRUCTURE OF THE CRUST/MANTLE TRANSITION IN THE BAY OF ISLANDS OPHIOLITE COMPLEX.

Jeffrey Alan Karson, J. A. Collins, J. F. Casey

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Abstract

Geological investigations of the Bay of Islands Ophiolite Complex show that while a typical layered ophiolite suite is present, the thickness of major lithologic units is extremely variable from place to place. The composition and internal structure of map-scale (kilometers across) lithologic units as well as the contacts that bound them are laterally variable. Inferred velocity-depth functions of the crust/mantle ('Moho') transition reconstructed for this terrane as oceanic lithosphere suggest an extremely complex internal seismic structure. The crust/mantle transition from mafic to ultramafic lithologies varies across the ophiolite from a sharp geologic and seismic velocity discontinuity to a complexly interlayered transition zone as much as 3 km thick. The mafic/ultramafic transition is characterized by laterally discontinuous lithologic units on the order of hundreds of meters to a few kilometers thick and up to several kilometers long. Solid-state deformation has produced seismically anisotropic materials in the upper mantle and lower crustal units. Substantial relief and slopes of up to at least 12 degree over lateral distances of about 10 km occur on the top of the crust/mantle transition zone as well as other geologic unit contacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6126-6138
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres
Volume89
Issue numberB7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

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