Magnetotelluric Investigations of Convergent Margins and of Incipient Rifting: Preliminary Results from the EarthScope MT Transportable Array and MT FlexArray Deployments in Cascadia and in the North American Mid-Continent Region
Abstract:We report on preliminary analyses of data from the EarthScope MT Transportable Array, and from two high-resolution EarthScope MT studies in Cascadia. The first of these, iMUSH, is acquiring wideband MT data at 150 sites, as well as active and passive seismic data in SW Washington (including Mounts Saint Helens, Adams and Rainier). iMUSH seeks to determine details of crustal magma transport and storage, and to resolve major tectonic controls on volcanism along the arc. iMUSH may help to settle a debate over the origin of the SW Washington Crustal Conductor (SWCC), which covers ~5000 km2and that has alternately been attributed to accreted Eocene metasediments or to an extensive region of partial melt in the lower crust beneath the three volcanoes.
The iMUSH array is continguous with an amphibious ~150 station MT experiment (MOCHA) onshore and offshore of the Washington and Oregon forearc. MOCHA iwill image the crust and upper mantle of the subduction system in 3D, constraining the fluid input to the system from offshore and the distribution of fluids released from the down-going slab, including along the transitional zone where Episodic Tremor and Slip occurs. Our goal is to refine our understanding of the segmentation, structure and fluid distribution along the convergent margin segments, and their relationship to the spatial pattern of ETS.
In contrast to the active Cascadia margin, the Mid-Continent Rift (MCR) is the trace of a massive igneous event that nearly split North America 1.1 billion years ago. Initial results from 3D inversion of MT Transportable Array data show less fine-scale heterogeneity in the upper mantle (250 km depth) than is evident in western, tectonic North America, but a division at the base of thick lithosphere, with higher conductivities beneath and immediately south of the Great Lakes, than to the south. From the base of the lithosphere to the Moho, this high conductivity feature narrows, ultimately disappearing in the mid-crust. In the upper crust above this feature, an E-W elongated conductive feature appears that maps to surface expressions of the MCR. The significance of this deep feature, and its relationship to the failed rifting event of the mesoproterozoic era will be discussed.