Abstract

In this study, we analyze regional seismograms to obtain the crustal structure in the eastern Great Basin and western Colorado plateau. Adopting a forward-modeling approach, we develop a genetic algorithm (GA) based parameter search technique to constrain the one-dimensional crustal structure in these regions. The data are broadband three-component seismograms recorded at the 1994-95 IRIS PASSCAL Colorado Plateau to Great Basin experiment (CPGB) stations and supplemented by data from U.S. National Seismic Network (USNSN) stations in Utah and Nevada. We use the southwestern Wyoming mine collapse event (Mb = 5.2) that occurred on 3 February 1995 as the seismic source. We model the regional seismograms using a four-layer crustal model with constant layer parameters. Timing of teleseismic receiver functions at CPGB stations are added as an additional constraint in the modeling.

GA allows us to efficiently search the model space. A carefully chosen fitness function and a windowing scheme are added to the algorithm to prevent search stagnation. The technique is tested with synthetic data, both with and without random Gaussian noise added to it. Several separate model searches are carried out to estimate the variability of the model parameters. The average Colorado plateau crustal structure is characterized by a 40-km-thick crust with velocity increases at depths of about 10 and 25 km and a fast lower crust while the Great Basin has approximately 35-km-thick crust and a 2.9-km-thick sedimentary layer.

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