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Composition of the crust in the Grenville and Appalachian Provinces of North America inferred from VP/VS ratios

Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
By: , and 

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Abstract

We use the ratios between P and S wave velocities (VP/VS), derived from seismic refraction data, to infer the composition of the crust in the Grenville and the Appalachian Provinces of North America. The crust exhibits VP/VS increasing with depth from 1.64 to 1.84; there is a clear distinction between the Grenville Province (average VP/VS=1.81) and the Appalachian Province (average VP/VS=1.73) which persists at all depths. The boundary between these provinces is east dipping extending for 100 km east of the Champlain thrust. In the Appalachian Province the increase in VP/VS ratios with depth from 1.67 to 1.74 ?? 0.02 may reflect a normal decrease of silica content in the continental crust. In the Grenville Province beneath the Central Granulite Terrane, an anomalous VP/VS ratio of 1.82 ?? 0.02 is observed extending to a depth of 10 km; this correlates with the abundance of Ca-plagioclase in the Marcy Anorthosite. At greater depth (15-20 km), where seismic lamination and high electrical conductivity is observed, VP/VS is 1-84 ?? 0.02 and correlates with the Tahawus Complex, a layered mafic intrusion. Within the 25-km-thick lower crust of the Grenville Province the VP/VS is 1-84 ?? 0.02 and P-velocity is 7.0 ?? 0.1 km/s, which are typical for plagioclase-bearing rocks (gabbro-norite). The high VP/VS ratio in the Grenville Province has not been reported in crust of any other age. Since the Grenville Province contains 75% of the world's known anorthosites, high VP/VS ratio is related to high plagioclase. We suggest that the composition of the Grenville lower crust was significantly modified by the emplacement of the anorthosites in the mid-Proterozoic. Copyright 1997 by the American Geophysical Union.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Composition of the crust in the Grenville and Appalachian Provinces of North America inferred from VP/VS ratios
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
Volume 102
Issue B7
Year Published 1997
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
First page 15225
Last page 15241