Interpretation of reprocessed seismic reflection profiles reveals three highly coherent, layered, unconformity-bounded sequences that overlie (or are incorporated within) the Proterozoic "granite-rhyolite province" beneath the Paleozoic Illinois basin and extend down into middle crustal depths. The sequences, which are situated in east-central Illinois and west-central Indiana, are bounded by strong, laterally continuous reflectors that are mappable over distances in excess of 200 km and are expressed as broad "basinal" packages that become areally more restricted with depth. Normal-fault reflector offsets progressively disrupt the sequences with depth along their outer margins. We interpret these sequences as being remnants of a Proterozoic rhyolitic caldera complex and/or rift episode related to the original thermal event that produced the granite-rhyolite province. The overall thickness and distribution of the sequences mimic closely those of the overlying Mt. Simon (Late Cambrian) clastic sediments and indicate that an episode of localized subsidence was underway before deposition of the post-Cambrian Illinois basin stratigraphic succession, which is centered farther south over the "New Madrid rift system" (i.e., Reelfoot rift and Rough Creek graben). The present configuration of the Illinois basin was therefore shaped by the cumulative effects of subsidence in two separate regions, the Proterozoic caldera complex and/or rift in east-central Illinois and west-central Indiana and the New Madrid rift system to the south. Filtered isostatic gravity and magnetic intensity data preclude a large mafic igneous component to the crust so that any Proterozoic volcanic or rift episode must not have tapped deeply or significantly into the lower crust or upper mantle during the heating event responsible for the granite-rhyolite. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Geophysical constraints on understanding the origin of the Illinois basin and its underlying crust