Ambient seismic noise tomography and structure of eastern North America


The time derivative of cross-correlation functions (CCF) of ambient noise fields recorded by two stations can be approximated as the Green's Function (GF) between the stations. The CCFs are thus used as Peudo-GFs (dominated by surface waves) to invert for group velocity structure in eastern North America. Stations from two regional networks deployed to monitor the New Madrid Seismic Zone and eastern Tennessee seismic zone, together with stations of the US National Seismic Network, greatly improve tomographic ray coverage. The short period (T = 5 s) group velocity map shows strong correlations with the depth to Precambrian basement. Many subtle local structures can be clearly identified from the velocity map, including the Ozark uplift, Cincinnati Arch, Nashville Dome and the Blue Ridge province of the Appalachians showing relatively high group velocity. The long period (T = 15 s) group velocity map shows strong correlations with regional geology. Ancient rift basins, such as the Mid-Continent Rift (MCR) system, the Reelfoot rift, the Oklahoma Aulacogen and the Eastern Continent Rift, are associated with low velocity belts along their rift axes. We also find that all major seismic zones in eastern North America, such as the New Madrid seismic zone, Eastern Tennessee seismic zone as well as Ouachita Orogen seismic zone, are approximately located at transition zones separating velocity highs and lows. This observation suggests that those seismic zones may reflect the reactivation of ancient faults associated with continental rift and collision zones. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth