Seismic refraction study of the continental edge off the eastern united states


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Three long, strike-parallel, seismic-refraction profiles were made on the continental shelf edge, slope and upper rise off New Jersey during 1975. The shelf edge line lies along the axis of the East Coast Magnetic Anomaly (ECMA), while the continental rise line lies 80 km seaward of the shelf edge. Below the unconsolidated sediments (1.7-3.6 km/sec), high-velocity sedimentary rocks (4.2-6.2 km/sec) were found at depths of 2.6-8.2 km and are inferred to be cemented carbonates. Although multichannel seismic-reflection profiles and magnetic depth-to-source data predicted the top of oceanic basement at 6-8 km beneath the shelf edge and 10-11 km beneath the rise, no refracted events occurred as first arrivals from either oceanic basement (layer 2, approximately 5.5 km/ sec) or the upper oceanic crust (layer 3A, approximately 6.8 km/sec). Second arrivals from 10.5 km depth beneath the shelf edge are interpreted as events from a 5.9 km/sec refractor within igneous basement. Other refracted events from either layers 2 or 3A could not be resolved within the complex second arrivals. A well-defined crustal layer with a compressional velocity of 7.1-7.2 km/sec, which can be interpreted as oceanic layer 3B, occurred at 15.8 km depth beneath the shelf and 12.9 km beneath the upper rise. A well-reversed mantle velocity of 8.3 km/sec was measured at 18-22 km depth beneath the upper continental rise. Comparison with other deep-crustal profiles along the continental edge of the Atlantic margin off the United States, specifically in the inner magnetically quiet zone, indicates that the compressional wave velocities and layer depths determined on the U.S.G.S. profiles are very similar to those of nearby profiles. This suggests that the layers are continuous and that the interpretation of the oceanic layer 3B under the shelf edge east of New Jersey implies progradation of the shelf outward over the oceanic crust in that area. This agrees with magnetic anomaly evidence which shows the East Coast Magnetic Anomaly landward of the shelf edge off New Jersey and with previous seismic reflection data which reveal extensive outbuilding of the shelf edge during the Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous, probably by carbonate bank-margin accretion. ?? 1979.

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Seismic refraction study of the continental edge off the eastern united states
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