Upper-lithospheric structure of northeastern Venezuela from joint inversion of surface-wave dispersion and receiver functions

TitleUpper-lithospheric structure of northeastern Venezuela from joint inversion of surface-wave dispersion and receiver functions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsCabieces, R, Arnaiz-Rodríguez, MS, Villaseñor, A, Berg, E, Olivar-Castaño, A, Ventosa, S, Ferreira, AMG
JournalSolid Earth
Date Published11/2022

We use 1.5 years of continuous recordings from an amphibious seismic network deployment in the region of northeastern South America and the southeastern Caribbean to study the crustal and uppermost mantle structure through a joint inversion of surface-wave dispersion curves determined from ambient seismic noise and receiver functions. The availability of both ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs) and land stations makes this experiment ideal to determine the best processing methods to extract reliable empirical Green's functions (EGFs) and construct a 3D shear velocity model. Results show EGFs with high signal-to-noise ratio for land–land, land–OBS and OBS–OBS paths from a variety of stacking methods. Using the EGF estimates, we measure phase and group velocity dispersion curves for Rayleigh and Love waves. We complement these observations with receiver functions, which allow us to perform an H-k analysis to obtain Moho depth estimates across the study area. The measured dispersion curves and receiver functions are used in a Bayesian joint inversion to retrieve a series of 1D shear-wave velocity models, which are then interpolated to build a 3D model of the region. Our results display clear contrasts in the oceanic region across the border of the San Sebastian–El Pilar strike-slip fault system as well as a high-velocity region that corresponds well with the continental craton of southeastern Venezuela. We resolve known geological features in our new model, including the Espino Graben and the Guiana Shield provinces, and provide new information about their crustal structures. Furthermore, we image the difference in the crust beneath the Maturín and Guárico sub-basins.


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