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Abstract

Regional gravity data and a three-dimensional (3D) inversion approach were used to examine variations in crustal thickness and to extend seismic-based interpretations along the Scotian margin, Atlantic Canada. Constraints on Moho, crust and sedimentary layers were based on seismic refraction models and profiles of deep multichannel seismic data. A subsurface 3D density anomaly distribution was developed, using initial constraints from bathymetric data and seismic basement depth estimates, and inverting for crustal and subcrustal geometries. Predictions from the model include regional maps of Moho structure, crustal thickness and stretching factor. Depth slices allow comparison with seismic interpretations along three transects. The model predictions of variable width of crustal extension and northward thinning of oceanic crust agree with the seismic profiles. The density anomaly model shows significantly greater thinning and numerous block faulting beneath the northern margin and more uniform thinning to the SW. The fairly sharp transition between the two regions may be explained by a transfer zone separating different rifting regimes.

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