Lithospheric Structure Across the Northern Canadian Cordillera from Teleseismic Receiver Functions

Title: Lithospheric Structure Across the Northern Canadian Cordillera from Teleseismic Receiver Functions
Authors: Ashoori Pareshkoohi, Azadeh
Date: 2016
Abstract: A major change in seismic velocities between Earth’s crust and mantle is known as the Mohorovicic discontinuity (Moho). The depth of the Moho plays an important role in characterizing the overall structure of the crust and can be related to the tectonic setting of a region. Teleseismic P-wave receiver function techniques can provide estimates of the depth of the Moho and therefore crustal thickness under a broadband station. In this research we are interested in the structure of the crust and mantle across the northern Canadian cordillera, described by various tectonic settings. The teleseismic data recorded by broadband three-component seismic stations are used to perform receiver function analysis to determine the lateral variations of Moho depth under northern Canadian cordillera and map out the crustal thickness under the broadband stations. Based on visual inspection of receiver function results in the region, we find evidence of anisotropy or dipping reflectors in the crustal structure of the northern cordillera observed in back-azimuthal variations of transverse component receiver functions. We further provide a quantitative interpretation of receiver function in terms of anisotropy or dipping structure by decomposing the azimuthal variations of depth migrated receiver functions into back-azimuthal harmonics. This technique can be used to map out the orientation of anisotropy that may be related to cracks and/or rock texture caused by deformation. We resolve the Moho at an average depth of ~35 km along the western profile of the study area. Harmonic decomposition along the study area yields crustal anisotropy at depth 5-20 km, which does not extend in the lower crust. This can be the result of complex deformation at a detachment zone like a quasi-rigid displacement of the upper crust over a lower crust. The detected anisotropy over the study area is not coherent as the slow symmetry directions detected by harmonic decomposition are highly variable.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -