Joint inversion of multichannel seismic reflection and wide-angle seismic data: Improved imaging and refined velocity model of the crustal structure of the north Ecuador–south Colombia convergent margin

Authors

  • W. Agudelo,

    1. Géoscience Azur, Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, IRD, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, CNRS, Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
    2. Now at Ecopetrol, Instituto Colombiano del Petroleo, Piedecuesta, Columbia.
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  • A. Ribodetti,

    1. Géoscience Azur, Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, IRD, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, CNRS, Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
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  • J.-Y. Collot,

    1. Géoscience Azur, Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, IRD, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, CNRS, Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
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  • S. Operto

    1. Géoscience Azur, Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, IRD, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, CNRS, Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
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Abstract

[1] Improving seismic imaging of the crust is essential for understanding the structural factors controlling subduction zones processes. We developed a processing work flow based on the combined analysis of multichannel seismic reflection (MCS) and wide angle (WA) reflection/refraction data to derive both shallow and deep velocities suitable for prestack depth migration and to construct a blocky velocity model integrating all identifiable seismic phases contained in MCS and WA data. We apply this strategy to the study of the north Ecuador–SW Colombia subduction margin to improve the imaging and geostructural interpretation of a splay fault and surrounding outer and inner margin wedges. Results show improvements over tomographic inversion of WA data only, such as (1) sediment velocity variation across the trench and margin slope that correlates with lateral lithologic changes, tectonic compaction and effect of mass wasting processes; (2) a two-layer velocity structure of the inner wedge basement that is consistent with the crust of an oceanic plateau; (3) a complex velocity structure of the outer wedge basement that consists of a deep, high-velocity (5.0–5.5 km s−1) core and a low-velocity zone (3.8–5.0 km s−1) associated with the major splay fault; (4) a ∼1.3-km-thick, low-velocity (3.5–4.0 km s−1) subduction channel that extends beneath the margin outer wedge. Both the splay fault and subduction channel are expected to direct fluid flows; and (5) downdip velocity increase (5–6 km s−1) in the subducting oceanic crust associated with a low (7.8 km s−1) upper mantle velocity, possibly reflecting changes in rock nature or properties.

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