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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Interpretation of a seismic refraction profile from the Richardson Mountains, Yukon territory O'Brien, Simon


In March of 1987, the Geologic Survey of Canada conducted a major seismic refraction experiment in the Mackenzie Delta-Southern Beaufort Sea-Northern Yukon area. This study involves the analysis of a portion of the resulting data set. A 2D velocity profile through the Richardson Mountains of the northern Yukon has been constructed using raytracing to model the travel-times and amplitudes. The line is approximately 320 km long, running from a shotpointon the Eagle Plains in the south to one 50 km offshore in Mackenzie Bay to the north, with an average receiver spacing of 3.5 km. An additional shotpoint is located at Shingle Point, on the shore of Mackenzie Bay. A series of four sedimentary basins separated by major structural highs produces a complex basement structure. Two distinct upper crustal layers were modelled, a 5.95 km/s layer overlying a 6.3 km/s layer, as well as a lower crustal layer with a velocity of 7.25 km/s. Crustal velocity gradients are low (≤ 0.005 s⁻¹). The 6.3 km/s layer pinches out beneath the Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin in the north, accompanied by a thinning of the lower crust from a thickness of 20 km in the south to less than 10 km beneath MB. This results in the crust as a whole thinning from a thickness of 50 km under the Richardson Mountains to only 40 km under the Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin. The velocity of the upper mantle is 7.95 km/s. The modelling of shear wave arrivals indicate Poisson's ratios of 0.23 ±0.02 in the upper crust and 0.25 + 0.02 in the lower crust.

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