• Open Access

The mode of deformation in the orogenic mid-crust revealed by seismic attribute analysis



[1] The processes and the structures within the middle and the lower crust are intimately related to the evolution of orogenies, but more detailed knowledge is needed of these deep crustal processes. Seismic reflection data, chiefly displayed in amplitude, are commonly used to interpret deep crustal structures. The strongest amplitude events are probably related to lithological changes and do not necessarily correspond to geological structures, tectonic boundaries, or deformation fabrics. Furthermore, the detailed structures and the strain distribution between the interpreted structural boundaries remain obscure. Here, we show an example of how seismic attributes, combined with the seismic facies interpretation technique, can be used to enhance 2D seismic reflection data from the Palaeoproterozoic Svecofennian crust of southern Finland, to reveal unprecedentedly detailed information about the deformation fabrics within the mid-crust of a collisional orogen. The images are plausibly interpreted to show that the extension/lateral flow of the orogenic middle and lower crust was mainly accommodated by kilometer-scale S-C′ structures. The structures form penetrative deformation fabrics which are correlated with outcrop observations. The successful enhancement of the seismic data confirms the ductile extension affecting hot orogenic crust, and gives new information about the strain distribution of the regional, syn- to late-orogenic deformation. The seismic attribute method and the seismic facies interpretational approach described in this paper should be applicable to other seismic datasets from the crystalline basement.