Abstract

Comprehensive geophysical surveys including magnetotelluric, seismic, and aerial gravity–magnetic surveys are essential for understanding the history of Antarctic tectonics. The ice sheet and uppermost structure derived from those geophysical methods are relatively low resolution. Although ice‐penetrating radar can provide high‐resolution reflectivity images of the ice sheet, it cannot provide constraints on subice physical properties, which are important for geological understanding of the Antarctic continent. To obtain high‐resolution images of the ice sheet and uppermost crustal structure beneath the Larsemann Hills, Prydz Bay, East Antarctica, we conduct an ambient noise seismic experiment with 100 short‐period seismometers spaced at 0.2 km intervals. Continuous seismic waveforms are recorded for one month at a 2 ms sampling rate. Empirical Green’s functions are extracted by cross correlating the seismic waveform of one station with that of another station, and dispersion curves are extracted using a new phase‐shift method. A high‐resolution shear‐velocity model is derived by inverting the dispersion curves. Furthermore, body waves are enhanced using a set of processing techniques commonly used in seismic exploration. The stacked body‐wave image clearly shows a geological structure similar to that revealed by the shear‐wave velocity model. This study, which is the first of its kind in Antarctica, possibly reveals a near‐vertical intrusive rock covered by an ice sheet with a horizontal extent of 4 km. Our results help to improve the understanding of the subice environment and geological evolution in the Larsemann Hills, Prydz Bay, East Antarctica.

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