Crustal structure of the Altiplano from broadband regional waveform modeling: Implications for the composition of thick continental crust

Jennifer L. Swenson, Susan L. Beck, George Zandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have modeled the full waveforms from six intermediate-depth and two shallow earthquakes recorded at regional distances by the BANJO Broadband Andean Joint Experiment (BANJO) and Seismic Exploration of the Deep Altiplano (SEDA) portable seismic networks in the central Andes. In this study we utilize data from those BANJO and SEDA stations located within the Altiplano and Eastern Cordillera. We used reflectivity synthetic seismograms and a grid search to constrain four parameters of the Altiplano-Eastern Cordillera lithosphere: crustal thickness, average crustal velocity (Vp) and crustal and upper mantle Poisson's ratios (σcrust and σmantle). Using our grid search, we investigated the crustal and upper mantle structure along 36 individual event station paths and applied forward modeling to 56 event station paths. Robust models for the Altiplano that provide the best overall fit between the data and synthetic seismograms are characterized by an average Vp of 5.75-6.25 km/s, crustal thicknesses of 60-65 km, σcrust = 0.25, and σmantle = 0.27-0.29. We find a north-south variation in the structure of the Altiplano, with the crust south of the BANJO transect characterized by either lower than average crustal P wave velocities or a slightly higher σcrust relative to crust north of the BANJO transect. These results are consistent with a model of crustal thickening caused predominantly by tectonic shortening of felsic crust, rather than by underplating or magmatic intrusion from the mantle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1999JB900327
Pages (from-to)607-621
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume105
Issue numberB1
StatePublished - Jan 10 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

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