Abstract

Seismic reflection profiling combined with gravity data allows more exact determination of the geometry of the controversial Boulder batholith of Montana, reveals laminated structure of the lower crust beneath the batholith, and identifies the Moho at a depth of 38 km. The batholith has inward-dipping contacts, the dip being about 50° on the west side, on the basis of seismic data; and the depth to the batholith floor is constrained between 12 and 18 km, indicating a great volume for the batholith. The Boulder batholith was emplaced between 80 and 70 Ma during an eastward thrusting in the fold-and-thrust belt. A presumed basal decollement of the thrust system might coincide with the batholith floor and may correspond to the top of the lower-crustal layering at a depth of 18 km.

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