Crustal Structure Beneath the Lake Ontario Region from Inverse Models of Potential Field and Seismic Data

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Luis C. Navarrete1, Margaret H Benoit2, Cynthia J Ebinger1 and Frank Horowitz3, (1)University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, United States, (2)College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ, United States, (3)Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States
The regions surrounding Lake Ontario (e.g. the Adirondack mountain region and its northern border with Canada) are among the most seismically active regions in the Eastern US. However, only scant knowledge exists of the location and geometry of faults, suture zones, or crustal thickness variations that may localize strain in the crust beneath sections of New York, Pennsylvania and Ontario. Our aim is to determine the crustal density and magnetic susceptibility contrasts (e.g., steep faults, intrusive bodies, Moho topography) which give rise to anomaly patterns and to place constraints on their geometries and locations. With a better understanding of these structures, we will examine how the distribution of the faults and steep contacts throughout the region compare with zones of active seismicity.

Utilizing the North American Gravity Database, we created a profile that crosses a narrow Bouguer anomaly with steep gradients surrounded by Bouguer anomaly highs transecting the lake and extending onshore east of Rochester, subparallel to the seismically active Clarendon-Linden fault. Euler deconvolution and ‘worm’ analyses show that this narrow anomaly is bounded by east-dipping faults that extend to mid-crustal levels.

We perform receiver function analyses of Earthscope TA stations in the region in order to constrain crustal thickness and lateral variations in Vp/Vs. These receiver functions at onshore sites in the area show complex Moho structure which partially explains our anomaly.Additionally, a vintage seismic profile coupled with the Lake Ontario bathymetry dataset was used to place constraints on sedimentary strata thicknesses and to identify structures within Proterozoic basement. Predictive models of crustal variations were created from a potential field profile, receiver functions, and a seismic profile to test interpretations. The Moho topography alone does not fully explain the short wavelength gravity anomaly, and a sedimentary basin of 3-5 km in depth is also needed to explain the observed Bouguer gravity anomaly patterns. We use these techniques to extend density mapping throughout the region.