Abstract

Analysis of reflection waveforms before stack can constrain the physical properties of reflectors in the deep crust. To simplify this analysis, recorded amplitudes are assumed to be reflections from weak elastic heterogeneities. With these assumptions, trends in reflection amplitudes with offset may indicate whether the signs of a reflector's density and rigidity contrast agree with or oppose the sign of its Lame's parameter contrast. The slope of the trend indicates the degree of Poisson's ratio contrast. No attempt is made to invert for the individual modulus or density contrasts. By examining only gross amplitude-versus-offset (AVO) trends, deep reflections constrain some crustal properties.Two seismic reflection surveys in the Mojave Desert recorded deep reflections that show amplitude changes with offset. Both the 1985 Calcrust Ward Valley survey in the eastern Mojave and the 87 km COCORP Mojave line 3 in the western Mojave incorporate long offsets of 10 km or more. Prestack traces are equalized using a quantile technique assuming a constant noise level at large time, then corrected for spherical divergence. Gross AVO trends that are summarized for each survey in amplitude trend stacks suggest that the strongest reflectors in the middle and deep crust represent Poisson's ratio contrasts of at least 10 percent. In the eastern Mojave, a transition to a basal-crustal zone, at approximately 23 km depth, may include an increase in Poisson's ratio with depth. Poisson's ratio may also increase at the Moho.

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