A seismic refraction study of the Oregon Cascades

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



A 275‐km‐long reversed refraction profile in the Oregon Cascades, two shallow earthquakes of magnitude 5 in southern Washington, a shallow earthquake of magnitude 4.6 in northern California, and a previously published analysis of the Bouguer gravity field are used to develop a crustal P wave velocity model for the Oregon Cascades. Travel time analysis of the refraction profile indicates a crustal structure characterized by surface layers with P wave velocities that vary from 2.9 to 5.2 km/s and thicknesses that vary from 2.5 to 5.0 km, upper crustal velocities of 6.1 to 6.5 km/s between the depths of 3 and 29 km, lower crustal velocities near 7.0 km/s between the depths of 29 and 44 km, and a mantle reflector at a depth of 44 km. Comparison with synthetic seismograms supports this structure and shows that the lower crustal and Mono transitions can be better modeled by continuous velocity gradients than by first‐order discontinuities. Arrival times from two shallow earthquakes in southern Washington in 1981 across 14 telemetry stations in the Oregon Cascades show an apparent velocity of 7.62 km/s. On the basis of a previously published gravity analysis, the mean north‐south component of the dip to the crust‐mantle boundary is estimated at 1° down dip to the south. The apparent velocity from the earthquakes and the dip estimate from gravity indicate that the true Pn velocity is 7.70 km/s. Arrival times from a shallow earthquake in northern California in 1978 across telemetry stations in the Washington Cascades are consistent with this model and indicate that the upper mantle velocity reaches 8.20 km/s at a depth of approximately 100 km.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A seismic refraction study of the Oregon Cascades
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
DOI 10.1029/JB089iB05p03121
Volume 89
Issue B5
Year Published 1984
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description 14 p.
First page 3121
Last page 3134
Country United States
State Oregon
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