Crustal Root Beneath the Urals: Wide-Angle Seismic Evidence

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Science  11 Oct 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5285, pp. 222-224
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5285.222


Wide-angle reflection and refraction data acquired as part of the URSEIS '95 geophysical experiment across the southern Uralide orogen provide evidence for a 12- to 15-kilometer-thick crustal root, yielding a total crustal thickness of 55 to 58 kilometers. Strong reflections from the Mohorovičić discontinuity (Moho) at relatively small precritical distances suggest that the crust-mantle transition beneath the crustal root is a sharp feature. The derived P- and S-wave velocity models constrain key physical properties of the crust, including the depth of the mafic rocks of the Magnitogorsk volcanic arc and the existence of a lower crustal zone of possible basic rock enrichment beneath the East Uralian zone.

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