Seismic investigations of the northern Transantarctic Mountains

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dc.contributor Robinson, D. M.
dc.contributor Stowell, Harold Hilton
dc.contributor Zhang, Bo
dc.contributor Wiens, Douglas Alvin
dc.contributor.advisor Hansen, Samantha E.
dc.contributor.author Graw, Jordan Hunter
dc.date.accessioned 2017-07-28T14:11:57Z
dc.date.available 2017-07-28T14:11:57Z
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0002578
dc.identifier.other Graw_alatus_0004D_13069
dc.identifier.uri http://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/3175
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract Stretching ~3500 km across Antarctica and reaching elevations of ~4500 m, the Transantarctic Mountains (TAMs) are the largest non-compressional mountain chain on Earth. The TAMs show no evidence of folding or reverse faulting as is typically seen in contractional mountain building, calling the origin of the mountain range into question. Using data from the recent Transantarctic Mountains Northern Network seismic deployment, this dissertation integrates Rayleigh wave surface wave tomography, downward continuation and wavefield decomposition, and seismic anisotropy studies to better characterize the structure beneath the northern TAMs and to assess uplift. Surface wave tomographic images indicate a previously unidentified low shear wave velocity anomaly beneath the northern TAMs, with faster seismic velocities behind the TAMs front. The low shear wave velocity anomaly is interpreted as reflect rift-related decompression melting associated with Cenozoic extension. Uplift for the TAMs is attributed to a thermal buoyancy force associated with this anomaly. When trying to assess crustal structure, ice coverage is typically troublesome as reverberations in the ice layer can complicate the P-wave response. Downward continuation and wavefield decomposition removes the effect of ice layers on the P-wave response, resulting in signal that can be directly modeled for Earth structure. Inversion solution models agree well with results from previous studies based on S-wave receiver functions and tomography, confirming relatively thin crust beneath the northern TAMs. Upper mantle structure can also be assessed with seismic anisotropy. I performed shear wave splitting analyses on PKS, SKS, and SKKS phases to obtain the splitting parameters (fast axis directions φ and delay times δt). Behind the TAMs front, the anisotropic signature is interpreted as relict fabric “frozen” into the lithosphere from tectonic processes in the geologic past. Near the Ross Sea coastline, the signature is interpreted as a result from rift-related decompression melting, creating active upper mantle flow. Results highlight heterogeneity in the uplift along the TAMs front. The degree of uplift in the northern TAMs is similar to that in the central TAMs; however, the northern TAMs appear to have a stronger thermal buoyancy component, creating more pronounced topography.
dc.format.extent 163 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Geophysics
dc.subject.other Geology
dc.title Seismic investigations of the northern Transantarctic Mountains
dc.type thesis
dc.type text
etdms.degree.department University of Alabama. Dept. of Geological Sciences
etdms.degree.discipline Geology
etdms.degree.grantor The University of Alabama
etdms.degree.level doctoral
etdms.degree.name Ph.D.


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