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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-41
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-41
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 04 Mar 2019

Research article | 04 Mar 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Solid Earth (SE) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Lithospheric and sub-lithospheric deformation under the Borborema Province of NE Brazil from receiver function harmonic stripping

Gaelle Lamarque1,2 and Jordi Julià1,3 Gaelle Lamarque and Jordi Julià
  • 1Programa do Pós-Graduação em Geodinâmica e Geofísica, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, RN CEP59078-090, Brazil
  • 2Ifremer, Geosciences Marines, Centre de Brest, 29280 Plouzané, France
  • 3Departamento de Geofísica, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, RN CEP 59078-970, Brazil

Abstract. The depth-dependent anisotropic structure of the lithosphere under the Borborema Province of northeast Brazil has been investigated through harmonic stripping of receiver functions developed at 39 stations in the region. This method retrieves the first (k = 1) and second (k = 2) degree harmonics of a receiver function dataset, which characterize seismic anisotropy beneath a seismic station. Anisotropic fabrics are in turn directly related to the deformation of the lithosphere from past and current tectonic processes. Our results reveal the presence of anisotropy within the crust and the lithospheric mantle throughout the entire Province, with the exception of a few stations in the continental interior that lack evidence for any anisotropic signatures. Most stations in the continental interior report consistent anisotropic orientations in the crust and lithospheric mantle, suggesting a dominant NE-SW pervasive deformation along lithospheric-scale shear zones developed during the Brasiliano-Pan African orogeny. The lack of anisotropy at a few stations along a NE-SW trend in the center on the Province is harder to explain, but might be related to heating of the lithosphere by an asthenospheric channel. Finally, several stations along the Atlantic coast reveal depth-dependent anisotropic orientations roughly (sub)perpendicular to the margin. These results suggest a more recent overprint, probably related to the presence of frozen anisotropy in the lithosphere due to stretching and rifting during the opening of the South Atlantic.

Gaelle Lamarque and Jordi Julià
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Gaelle Lamarque and Jordi Julià
Gaelle Lamarque and Jordi Julià
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Short summary
Our goal is to better understand the evolution of the Earth's outer shell in northeast Brazil. We analyse the propagation properties (anisotropy) of distant seismic waves in order to look for subsurface, large-scale deformation structures. Results show that structures visible at the surface can be traced down to ~ 100 km depth, that the imprint of the opening of the Atlantic Ocean can be detected along the coast, and that the continental interior is anomalous due to (perhaps) deep channel flows.
Our goal is to better understand the evolution of the Earth's outer shell in northeast Brazil....
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