An image of the Columbia Plateau from inversion of high‐resolution seismic data

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We use a method of traveltime inversion of high‐resolution seismic data to provide the first reliable images of internal details of the Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG), the subsurface basalt/sediment interface, and the deeper sediment/basement interface. Velocity structure within the basalts, delineated on the order of 1 km horizontally and 0.2 km vertically, is constrained to within ±0.1 km/s for most of the seismic profile. Over 5000 observed traveltimes fit our model with an rms error of 0.018 s. The maximum depth of penetration of the basalt diving waves (truncated by underlying low‐velocity sediments) provides a reliable estimate of the depth to the base of the basalt, which agrees with well‐log measurements to within 0.05 km (165 ft). We use image blurring, calculated from the resolution matrix, to estimate the aspect ratio of imaged velocity anomaly widths to true widths for velocity features within the basalt. From our calculations of image blurring, we interpret low velocity zones (LVZ) within the basalts at Boylston Mountain and the Whiskey Dick anticline to have widths of 4.5 and 3 km, respectively, within the upper 1.5 km of the model. At greater depth, the widths of these imaged LVZs thin to approximately 2 km or less. We interpret these linear, subparallel, low‐velocity zones imaged adjacent to anticlines of the Yakima Fold Belt to be brecciated fault zones. These fault zones dip to the south at angles between 15 to 45 degrees.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title An image of the Columbia Plateau from inversion of high‐resolution seismic data
Series title Geophysics
DOI 10.1190/1.1443685
Volume 59
Issue 8
Year Published 1994
Language English
Publisher Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Description 12 p.
First page 1278
Last page 1289
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