Combining deterministic and stochastic velocity fields in the analysis of deep crustal seismic data
Larkin, Steven Paul
Levander, Alan R.
Doctor of Philosophy
Standard crustal seismic modeling obtains deterministic velocity models which ignore the effects of wavelength-scale heterogeneity, known to exist within the Earth's crust. Stochastic velocity models are a means to include wavelength-scale heterogeneity in the modeling. These models are defined by statistical parameters obtained from geologic maps of exposed crystalline rock, and are thus tied to actual geologic structures. Combining both deterministic and stochastic velocity models into a single model allows a realistic full wavefield (2-D) to be computed. By comparing these simulations to recorded seismic data, the effects of wavelength-scale heterogeneity can be investigated. Combined deterministic and stochastic velocity models are created for two datasets, the 1992 RISC seismic experiment in southeastern California and the 1986 PASSCAL seismic experiment in northern Nevada. The RISC experiment was located in the transition zone between the Salton Trough and the southern Basin and Range province. A high-velocity body previously identified beneath the Salton Trough is constrained to pinch out beneath the Chocolate Mountains to the northeast. The lateral extent of this body is evidence for the ephemeral nature of rifting loci as a continent is initially rifted. Stochastic modeling of wavelength-scale structures above this body indicate that little more than 5% mafic intrusion into a more felsic continental crust is responsible for the observed reflectivity. Modeling of the wide-angle RISC data indicates that coda waves following PmP are initially dominated by diffusion of energy out of the near-surface basin as the wavefield reverberates within this low-velocity layer. At later times, this coda consists of scattered body waves and P to S conversions. Surface waves do not play a significant role in this coda. Modeling of the PASSCAL dataset indicates that a high-gradient crust-mantle transition zone or a rough Moho interface is necessary to reduce precritical PmP energy. Possibly related, inconsistencies in published velocity models are rectified by hypothesizing the existence of large, elongate, high-velocity bodies at the base of the crust oriented to and of similar scale as the basins and ranges at the surface. This structure would result in an anisotropic lower crust.