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Characterization of crustal structure by comparing reflectivity patterns of wide-angle and near vertical seismic data from the Parnaíba Basin, Brazil

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Abstract

Recently an ambitious experiment combining deep seismic surveys from near-vertical and wide-angle acquisition methods was carried out in Brazil. The seismic lines are essentially coincident and crossed the Parnaíba Basin from west to east near latitude 5?S. Here, the wideangle reflection and refraction (WARR) and deep seismic reflection (DSR) results, which were previously interpreted independently, are compared by directly correlating WARR interfaces converted to TWTT with the major reflective horizons identified in the zero-offset image and by considering coincident reflectivity patterns displayed in both data sets. This integrated WARR and DSR analysis allowed a spatial association of the apparently acoustically featureless crust imaged in the DSR profile to the high reflectivity observed in the WARR data. Numerical tests and elastic modelling show that variations of the elastic properties of the crust, particularly as they are characterized by low Vp and Vs contrasts with a possible increase of the Vp/Vs ratio, can only weakly explain the observed reflectivity patterns but that fine-scale lithological heterogeneity within the crust is capable of replicating the observed contrasting seismic responses. The segment of the Parnaíba Basin crust that is characterized by fine-scale lithological heterogeneity lies directly above a mafic crustal underplate defined by the WARR model and was named as the Grajáu domain on the basis of WARR-derived velocity model. The applied methodologies allow added value to be taken from the independent seismic data sets and provide new information about crustal structure that may have important implications for overlying intracontinental basin evolution.

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De Lima, M. V. A. G., Stephenson, R. A., Soares, J. E. P., Fuck, R. A., De Araújo, V. C. M., Lima, F. T., & Rocha, F. A. S. (2019). Characterization of crustal structure by comparing reflectivity patterns of wide-angle and near vertical seismic data from the Parnaíba Basin, Brazil. Geophysical Journal International, 218(3), 1652–1664. https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggz227

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