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An integrated multi-scale 3D seismic model of the Archaean Yilgarn Craton, Australia

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posted on 2023-05-16, 19:39 authored by Goleby, BR, Blewett, RS, Fomin, T, Fishwick, S, Anya ReadingAnya Reading, Henson, PA, Kennett, BLN, Champion, DC, Jones, L, Drummond, BJ, Nicoll, M
The collection of a range of different seismic data types has greatly improved our understanding of the crustal architecture of Australia's Archaean Yilgarn Craton over the last few years. These seismic data include broadband seismic studies, seismic receiver functions, wide-angle recordings and mine-scale to deep seismic reflection transects. Each data set provides information on the three-dimensional (3D) tectonic model of the Yilgarn Craton from the craton scale through to the mine scale. This paper demonstrates that the integration and rationalisation of these different seismic data sets into a multi-scale 3D geological/seismic model, that can be visualised at once in a single software package, and incorporating all available data sets, significantly enhances this understanding. This enhanced understanding occurred because the integrated 3D model allowed easy and accurate comparison of one result against another, and facilitated the integrated questioning and interrogation across scales and seismic method. As a result, there are feedback questions regarding understanding of the individual seismic data sets themselves, as well as the Yilgarn Craton as a whole. The methodology used, including all the data sets in the model range, had to allow for the wide range of data sets, frequencies and seismic modes. At the craton scale, P-wave, S-wave and surface wave variations constrained the 3D lithospheric velocity model, revealing noticeable large-scale velocity variations within and across the craton. An interesting feature of the data, easily identified in 3D, is the presence of a fast S-wave velocity anomaly (> 4.8 km s- 1) within the upper mantle. This velocity anomaly dips east and has a series of step-down offsets that coincide approximately with province and terrane boundaries of the Yilgarn Craton. One-dimensional receiver function profiles show variations in their crustal velocity across the craton. These crustal velocity variations are consistent with the larger-scale geological subdivision of the craton, and provide characteristic profiles for provinces and terranes. The receiver function results and the deep seismic reflection data both agree on the depth to the Moho, and both indicate an increase in Moho depth to the east. The 2D seismic refraction results in the south-west of the craton provide crustal thickness information, an indication of middle and lower crustal compositions, and information regarding the broad-scale architectural framework. At the province- and terrane-scale, the deep seismic reflection data and the mine-scale seismic data provide geometric constraints on crustal architecture, in particular the orientation of the region's fault systems as well as variations in the thickness of the granite-greenstone succession. Integration of the results from wide-angle seismic refraction data coincident with the deep seismic reflection data provided additional constraints on likely upper crustal lithologies. The integrated 3D seismic model implies the dominant geodynamic process involved the development of an orogenic belt that developed with a series of contractional (folding and thrusting) events, separated by equally important extensional events. The seismic reflection data in particular suggests that extensional movement on many shear zones was more common than previously thought. The seismic reflection data suggest that the dominant mineral systems involved deeply sourced fluid flowing up crustal-penetrating shear zones. These deeply sourced fluids were further focussed into sites located above fault-breached domal regions in the upper crust. Crown Copyright © 2006.


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School of Natural Sciences



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The Netherlands

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Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences

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