S-Wave Velocity Structure beneath the High Lava Plains, Oregon, from Rayleigh-Wave Dispersion Inversion

S-Wave Velocity Structure beneath the High Lava Plains, Oregon, from Rayleigh-Wave Dispersion Inversion The tectonic setting of the High Lava Plains. Black triangles mark locations of Cascade volcanoes. Black lines beginning at Newberry Volcano and extending to southeast show increasing age of rhyolitic volcanism [Jordan et al., 2004]. McDermitt Caldera indicates onset of volcanism 16.1 Ma. Colored gray regions show rhyolite calderas along the Snake River Plain [Priest and Morgan, 1992]. Gray line outlines the Great Basin [Wernicke, 1992]. The dashed Sr87/Sr86 = 0.706 line approximates the western boundary of Proterozoic North America [Ernst, 1988]. Lower Sr87/Sr86 values lie to the west. The blue lines labeled A-A' and B-B' indicate the locations of the cross-sections in Figure 2. The inset shows the geographic setting of the study area and the great circle paths to that area from the nine analyzed earthquakes (black circles).
The High Lava Plains (HLP) "hotspot" track is a prominent volcanic lineament that extends from the southeast corner of Oregon in the northern Great Basin to Newberry volcano in the eastern Cascades. With the age of silicic volcanism decreasing along track to the northwest, the HLP and Newberry volcano are a rough mirror image to the Eastern Snake River Plain and Yellowstone but, in the case of the HLP, at an orientation strongly oblique to North American plate motion. Since this orientation is incompatible with plate motion over a fixed hotspot, other proposed origins for the HLP, such as asthenospheric inflow around a steepening slab, residual effects of a Columbia River/Steens plume, backarc spreading, and Basin and Range extension, relate it to various tectonic features of the Pacific Northwest. To begin distinguishing between these hypotheses, we image upper-mantle structure beneath the HLP and adjacent tectonic provinces with fundamental-mode Rayleigh-waves recorded by stations of the USArray Transportable Array, the recently-initiated HLP seismic experiment, the United States National Seismograph Network, and the Berkeley seismic network [Warren et al., 2008]. We estimate phase velocities along nearly 300 two-station propagation paths that lie within and adjacent to the HLP and cross the region along two azimuths, parallel to and perpendicular to the HLP track. The dispersion curves, which typically give robust results over the period range 16-171 seconds, are grouped by tectonic region, and the composite curves are inverted for S-wave velocity as a function of depth. The resulting variations in upper-mantle structure correlate with variations in surface volcanism and tectonics. The lowest velocities (~4.1 km/s) occur at ~50 km depth in the SE corner of Oregon, where there has been extensive basaltic volcanism in the past 2-5 Kyr, and suggest uppermost mantle temperatures sufficient to produce basaltic partial melting. While the seismic velocities of the uppermost mantle beneath the volcanic High Lava Plains are low relative to the standard Tectonic North America (TNA) model [Grand and Helmberger, 1984], they are only slightly lower than those found for the adjacent northern Great Basin and they appear to be significantly higher than upper mantle velocities beneath the Eastern Snake River Plain. Our results provide no evidence for a residual plume signature beneath the HLP region, leaving open questions as to the origin of the HLP volcanic track itself.
</p><p>Warren, L.M., J.A. Snoke, and D.E. James, S-wave velocity structure beneath the High Lava Plains, Oregon, from Rayleigh-wave dispersion inversion, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 274, 121-131, 2008.
</p><p>Grand, S.P., and D.V. Helmberger, Upper mantle shear structure of North America, Geophys. J. R. Astron. Soc., 76, 399-438, 1984.
</p><p>Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the National Science Foundation through grant EAR-0506914 and by the Carnegie Institution
of Washington.</p>


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