Abstract

Coincident reflection and refraction data, collected in the austral summer of 1988/89 by Stanford University and the Geophysical Division of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Zealand, imaged the crust beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica. The Ross Ice Shelf is a unique acquisition environment for seismic reflection profiling because of its thick, floating ice cover. The ice shelf velocity structure is multilayered with a high velocity-gradient firn layer constituting the upper 50 to 100 m. This near surface firn layer influences the data character by amplifying and frequency modulating the incoming wavefield. In addition, the ice-water column introduces pervasive, high energy seafloor, in-tra-ice, and intra-water multiples that have moveout velocities similar to the expected subseafloor primary velocities. Successful removal of these high energy multiples relies on predictive deconvolution, inverse velocity stack filtering, and frequency filtering. Removal of the multiples reveals a faulted, sedimentary wedge which is truncated at or near the seafloor. Beneath this wedge the reflection character is diffractive to a two-way traveltime of approximately 7.2 s. At this time, a prominent reflection is evident on the southeast end of the reflection profile. This reflection is interpreted as Moho indicating that the crust is approximately 21-km thick beneath the profile. These results provide seismic evidence that the extensional features observed in the Ross Sea region of the Ross Embayment extend beneath the Ross Ice Shelf.

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