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A Three-Dimensional Study of Seismic Diffraction Patterns from Deep Basement Sources

By
F. Steve Schilt
F. Steve Schilt
Department of Geological Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca. NY 14853.
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Sidney Kaufman
Sidney Kaufman
Department of Geological Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca. NY 14853.
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George H. Long
George H. Long
Formerly Department of Geological Sciences, Cornell University: presently Cities Service Company. Box 3908. Tulsa, OK 74102.
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Published:
January 01, 2016

Abstract

In 1975 the Consortium for Continental Reflection Profiling (COCORP) acquired 37 km of 12-fold common-midpoint (CMP) stacked seismic reflection profiles in Hardeman County, Texas (Oliver et al. 1976). The entire crustal section was the object of study, so a record length of 15 sec (two-way traveltime) was recorded. Three separate profiles were arranged in an H-shaped pattern to provide two-dimensional (2-D) surface coverage.

In addition to numerous reflections, the seismic sections exhibit pronounced apparent diffractions. These deep diffractions are more numerous and pronounced here than on any other CO-CORP survey to date. In many cases diffractions on different profiles intersect at the profile junctions. If these intersecting diffractions represent the same structural feature observed along different profiles, the diffraction time-surface provides an estimate of the location of the diffractor and an effective velocity (analogous to a stacking velocity) to the depth of the diffractor. Arrival times of these diffraction events were read, and a least-squares technique was developed to model intersecting diffractions simultaneously and derive location and velocity parameters, assuming point or line diffractors. Nine apparent diffraction events were identified, occurring mostly in the 5-9 sec range (~15–30 km). Point diffractor models generally give a closer fit than line models, with most of the resulting velocities between 6.0 and 7.5 km/sec. However, the introduction of a radial dimension (such as a dome instead of a point) significantly lowers these velocities without affecting the quality of fit.

The locations of the point models, when projected to the surface, are distributed roughly along a northwest-southeast trend. The trend is subparallel to the Wichita Mountains and may indicate deep intrusive and/or tectonic structures related to their evolution. These results are important evidence that strong heterogeneities on the scale of a few kilometers are present at midcrustal depths.

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Contents

Society of Exploration Geophysicists Geophysics Reprint Series

Seismic Diffraction

Kamil Klem-Musatov
Kamil Klem-Musatov
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Henning Hoeber
Henning Hoeber
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Michael Pelissier
Michael Pelissier
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Tijmen Jan Moser
Tijmen Jan Moser
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Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Volume
30
ISBN electronic:
9781560803188
Publication date:
January 01, 2016

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