Lithospheric structure of the southwestern United States

Raed Al-Douri, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

This dissertation investigates the crustal structure in the southwestern United States using different geophysical techniques. Surface wave analysis of paths in the SBR, CP, RGR, SRM and GP were conducted. The Moho of TUC-EPT path in the SBR is estimated at 30 km with upper mantle velocity of 7.85 km/sec. The Moho for the TUC-ALQ path is estimated between 29-34 km with upper mantle velocity of 4.2 km/sec. This path passes through SBR, CP and RGR. The Moho for the GOL-ALQ path in the SRM and RGR is estimated between 40-45 km with upper mantle velocity of 7.9 km/sec. The Moho for ALQ-EPT path in the RGR is estimated between 32-37 km/sec showing thinning in crust toward the south. Crustal structure between EPT-JCT shows a gradual increase in velocity over the crust with the Moho estimated at 39-44 km depth, reflecting mostly the stable craton of the GP. The path between ALQ-LUB shows higher velocities in the lower crust of 4.0 km/sec with the Moho estimated at 37-42 km depth which is similar to EPT-JCT, showing the more stable craton of the GP. ^ Shear wave velocities for the GOL-DAL-LUB path derived from the inversion are 3.2 km/sec for the upper crust (17 km thick), 3.9 km/sec for the lower crust (25 km thick), and 4.1 km/sec for the uppermost mantle. Crustal structure for the path LUB-GOL-RCD path derived from the inversion shows a gradual increase of velocity with the Moho estimated at a depth of 42-47 km. Receiver function analysis was conducted for the Lajitas seismic station for all three back azimuths, NW, SE and SW. Moho depth is estimated at 34-36 km with shear wave velocities of 4.2 km/sec in the uppermost mantle for all back azimuths. These results suggest that the RGR extends south, but its effect is minimized compared to the El Paso area. Receiver function results from the ANMO seismic station for all three back azimuths SW, SE and NW show the Moho at a depth of 36 km. ^ Analysis of three seismic lines in southern New Mexico show a Moho depth of 30-32 km with velocity of 7.6--7.7 km/sec Gravity database for the US was complied and bad, duplicate, redundant, erroneous points were removed from the dataset. The database was stored in a relational database and its accessible from http://gis.utep.edu or http://research.utep.edu/paces or http://www.geongrid.org. ^

Subject Area

Geology|Geophysics

Recommended Citation

Al-Douri, Raed, "Lithospheric structure of the southwestern United States" (2007). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3242139.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI3242139

Share

COinS