Crustal Thickness Variation in the Northern Appalachian Mountains: Implications for the Geometry of 3-D Tectonic Boundaries Within the Crust

Cong Li, Haiying Gao, Michael L. Williams, Vadim Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Teleseismic receiver functions were calculated to image the Moho geometry in the northern Appalachian Mountains in order to explore crustal thickness variations and possible linkages with tectonic units. Waveforms from 1995 to 2016 were analyzed for a total of ~ 200 broadband seismic stations, yielding a well-distributed data set with high lateral resolution. Consistent P-to-S phases converted at the Moho can be clearly observed. The Moho depth increases from the coastal plain northwestward to the Appalachian Plateau, with a sharp east-west gradient in southern New England. A distinct subrectangular downward deflection of the Moho is imaged in northern New Hampshire and western Maine. There is a spatial correlation observed between Moho depth variations and the NE-SW trending Appalachian orogenic strike. Variations of crustal thickness along and across the orogenic strike provide insights into the formation and modification of the crust during and after the major Appalachian orogenic events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6061-6070
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume45
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 28 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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