AIMS Geosciences, 2018, 4(1): 1-20. doi: 10.3934/geosci.2018.1.1

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Rayleigh wave group velocity model of the southeast flank of the Rio Grande Rift using Cross-Correlation

Department of Geological Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, 79968, USA

The southeast shoulder of the Rio Grande Rift is located in southeastern New Mexico and west Texas in US and northern Chihuahua in Mexico. Noted mineral resources in the region are enriched in rare earth elements increasing the interest of research. These resources are related to tertiary volcanism. The magmas of this volcanism have similar composition of that of the oceanic island basalts suggesting that they were created from asthenosphere derived magmas from the basement of the North American Craton. That basement, in the area of interest, constitutes the Mazatzal and Grenville Proterozoic provinces of the Proterozoic Laurentia plate. This study is intended to contribute to the general understanding of the basement features of the region. In order to understand the structure of the crust and upper mantle we create a Rayleigh surface wave group velocity model of the southeast flank (or shoulder) of the Rio Grande Rift. Rayleigh wave group velocities were calculated using data from EarthScope’s TA and Flex arrays. The periods of the model range from 10 s to 160 s. The kernels of the model are taken from the joint inversions made for LA RISTRA, from where the depths corresponding to periods between 10 s to 160 s should be approximately between 10 km and 350 km of depth. The results show the anisotropy of the region and difficulties faced using the Rayleigh wave cross correlation. Some structures like the Delaware basin are complicated and sensitive to seismic radiation directions and patterns. In general, structures are better resolved when these radiation directions are perpendicular to the structure boundaries.
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