To reconcile differences between the assessments of crustal composition in the southern Basin and Range province on the basis of seismic refraction and reflection data and lower-crustal xenoliths, we measured velocities of xenoliths from the Cima volcanic field in southern California. Lower-crustal samples studied included gabbro, microgabbro, and pyroxenite. We find that the mafic xenolith velocities are compatible with regional in situ measurements from seismic refraction studies, provided that a mixture of gabbro and pyroxenite is present in the lower crust. Supporting this model are observations that many of the lower-crustal xenoliths from the Cima volcanic field are composites of these rock types, with igneous contacts. Vertical incidence synthetic seismograms show that a gabbroic lower crust with occasional pyroxenite layering can produce a reflective lower crust that is similar in texture to that shown by seismic reflection data recorded nearby.

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