Abstract

The reprocessing of line F of the GLIMPCE deep marine reflection seismic survey according to controlled-amplitude principles provides new insights on the crustal structure of the Midcontinent rift system in eastern Lake Superior. The insertion of refraction static corrections in the processing sequence was crucial to recover the lateral continuity and amplitude strength of reflectors under rough lake-bottom topography. Coherent noise consisting mainly of waves scattered by irregularities on die lake bottom and first-order water reverberations was best attenuated by use of multiple passes of velocity filtering in different seismic domains rather than by trace editing. Overall, the variations in reflection style and strength on our final stacked and trace envelope sections allow for the identification of broad geological domains. Lava flows and postrift sediments can be traced uninterrupted across most of the rift basin, which is bounded to the north by a complex region of secondary sagging, felsic volcanism, and (or) intrusives, and to the south by the Keweenaw fault. The crust–mantle transition zone is characterized by both a smooth amplitude anomaly and by discontinuous packages of diffractions and reflections. It is overlain by an anomalous transparent lower crustal domain beneath the central basin. These observations suggest that, during rifting, magma rose from a layer of underplated material located at the base of the crust to the surface through numerous small feeders. They do not, however, fully exclude die possibility of complete crustal separation.

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