New shear-wave splitting measurements at permanent broadband seismic stations in the south-central United States reveal the orientation and degree of polarization of mantle fabrics, and provide constraints on models for the formation of these fabrics. For stations on the stable North American craton, correspondence between observed polarization direction of the fast wave and the trend of Proterozoic and Paleozoic structures associated with rifts and orogenic belts implies a lithospheric origin for the observed anisotropy. The largest splitting times (up to 1.6 s) are observed at stations located in the ocean-continent transition zone, in which the fast directions are parallel to the Gulf of Mexico continental margin. The parallelism and the geometry of the keel of the craton beneath the study area suggest that asthenospheric flow around the keel of the North American craton, lithospheric fabrics developed during Mesozoic rifting, or a combination of these factors are responsible for the observed anisotropy on stations above the transitional crust.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Continent-Ocean Transitional Crust; Mantle Flow; Seismic Anisotropy; Shear-Wave Splitting; South-Central United States; S-wave; Atlantic Ocean; Gulf of Mexico; North America

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

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© 2008 Geological Society of America, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2008

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Geology Commons