Wide-angle seismic transect across the Torngat Orogen, northern Labrador: Evidence for a Proterozoic crustal root

Thomas Funck, Keith E. Louden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A refraction/wide-angle reflection seismic transect across the Labrador peninsula covers the Core Zone of the SE Churchill Province, the Paleoproterozoic Torngat Orogen, and the Archean Nain Province including a portion of the Labrador continental margin. An airgun array was used as source, and 11 ocean-bottom seismometers and 16 land stations recorded the shots. Forward modeling of travel times and amplitudes reveals a deep asymmetric crustal root beneath the Torngat Orogen, with a crustal thickness of >49 km and with P-wave velocities of 6.9-7.0 km/s. The geometry of the velocity model and the root can be best explained by either westward dipping subduction or westward underthrusting of the Nain crust. Gravity modeling suggests a correlation of the crustal root with a gravity low that extends ∼100 km in an E-W direction and ∼200 km from north to south. The preservation of the crustal root is attributed to the lack of postorogenic heating and ductile reworking consistent with the lack of abundant postcollisional magmatism in the SE Churchill Province. A discontinuity possibly cutting through the entire crust is interpreted as a zone of major transcurrent shearing associated with the main phase of deformation. West of the Torngat Orogen, the crustal thickness in the Core Zone of the Churchill Province varies between 35 and 38 km (P-wave velocities of 5.8-7.0 km/s). East of the orogen, the crystalline crust in the Nain Province is ∼38 km thick (velocities from 5.8 to 6.9 km/s) but thins to 9 km in the shelf area of the Labrador margin, where it is covered with up to 8 km of sediments. No high-velocity zone was found beneath the thinned continental crust at the margin.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1999JB900010
Pages (from-to)7463-7480
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume104
Issue numberB4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 1999
Externally publishedYes

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources

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