Wide-angle seismic recordings from the 1998 Seismic Hazards Investigation of Puget Sound (SHIPS), western Washington and British Columbia

Open-File Report 99-314
By: , and 



This report describes the acquisition and processing of deep-crustal wide-angle seismic reflection and refraction data obtained in the vicinity of Puget Lowland, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Georgia Strait, western Washington and southwestern British Columbia, in March 1998 during the Seismic Hazards Investigation of Puget Sound (SHIPS). As part of a larger initiative to better understand lateral variations in crustal structure along the Cascadia margin, SHIPS participants acquired 1000 km of deep-crustal multichannel seismic-reflection profiles and 1300 km of wideangle airgun shot lines in this region using the R/V Thompson and R/V Tully. The Tully was used to record airgun shots fired by the Thompson in two different geometries: (1) expanding spread profiles (ESPs) and (2) constant offset profiles (COPs). Prior to this reflection survey, we deployed 257 Reftek and 15 ocean-bottom seismic recorders to record the airgun signals at far offsets. All data were recorded digitally on large-capacity hard disks. Although most of these stations only recorded the vertical component of motion, 95 of these seismographs recorded signals from an oriented 3-component seismometer. By recording signals generated by the Thompson's marine air gun array, operated in two differing geometries having a total volume of 110 and 79 liters (6730 and 4838 cu. in.), respectively, the arrays of wide-angle recorders were designed to (1) image the crustal structure, particularly in the vicinity of crustal faults and Cenozoic sedimentary basins, (2) determine the geometry of the Moho, and (3) image the subducting Gorda and Juan de Fuca plates. Nearly 33,300 air gun shots were recorded along several seismic lines. In this report, we illustrate the expanding spread profiles acquired using the Thompson and Tully, describe the land and ocean-bottom recording of the air gun signals, discuss the processing of the land recorder data into common receiver gathers, and illustrate the processed wide-angle seismic data collected using the Refteks and ocean-bottom seismometers. We also describe the format and content of the archival tapes containing the SEGY-formated, common-receiver gathers for the Reftek data. Data quality is variable but SHIPS appears to have successfully obtained useful data from almost all the stations deployed to record the airgun shots. Several interesting arrivals were observed: including refractions from the sedimentary basin fill in several basins, refractions from basement rocks forming the upper crust, Pg, refractions from the upper mantle, Pn, as well as reflections from within the crust and from the top of the upper mantle, PmP. We separately archived more than 30 local earthquakes recorded by the Reftek array during our deployment.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Wide-angle seismic recordings from the 1998 Seismic Hazards Investigation of Puget Sound (SHIPS), western Washington and British Columbia
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 99-314
DOI 10.3133/ofr99314
Year Published 1999
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description vi, 123 p.
Country Canada;United States
State Washington
Other Geospatial British Columbia
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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