A seismic refraction study of the Monterey Deep Sea Fan and a comparison of velocity structures among fan subunits Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/ms35tc19b

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  • A deep source-receiver seismic refraction experiment was conducted on the upper part of the Monterey Deep Sea Fan. The aim of this thesis is to construct the velocity structure of the upper Monterey Fan and to examine the lateral seismic velocity variations among the upper, middle and lower fan subunits. Using primary waves and whispering gallery phases (the multiply-reflected refraction waves), the sediment velocity structure was modeled by the tau-zeta travel time inversion process. The changes in velocity gradients with depth of the upper Monterey Fan are morphologically similar to that found on both the Central Bengal Fan and the Nicobar Fan, an abandoned lower fan of the Bengal Fan Complex. The velocity gradient of the upper Monterey Fan at depth, 0.59 s⁻¹ is significantly lower than both the middle Bengal Fan (0.68 s⁻¹) and the Nicobar Fan (0.81 s⁻¹). The upper fan subunit, which is closer to its sediment source, is characterized by higher porosities caused primarily by a higher sedimentation rate than the lower fan subunits. Since seismic velocity is inversely related to porosity, the upper fan subunit should have lower velocity gradients and seismic velocities than the other fan subunits. If porosity and velocity variations exist, then these variations can be used to constrain various models of deep sea fan formation. No definite conclusion can be drawn at this time due to a fault within 1 km of the Nicobar Fan site; however, a systematic velocity variation pattern of deep sea fans is revealed. Some portions of the Monterey Fan data contain refracted waves which have bottomed within the underlying acoustic basement structure. The entire velocity structure was solved by both the general and the "stripping" solving schemes. The results of basement structure show a velocity ranging from 3.4 to 5.8 km/s indicating that the uppermost part may be pre-existing continental rise sediments.
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