Crustal structure beneath the High Lava Plains of eastern Oregon and surrounding regions from receiver function analysis



[1] We analyze teleseismic P-to-S receiver functions to image crustal structure beneath the High Lava Plains (HLP) of eastern Oregon and surrounding regions. Coverage from 206 broadband seismic stations provides the first opportunity to resolve variations in crustal composition, thickness, and heterogeneity on scales of a few km in depth and tens of km laterally across the HLP region. We utilize both Hκ stacking and a new Gaussian-weighted common conversion point stacking technique. We find crust that is ≥40 km thick beneath the Cascades, Idaho Batholith, and Owyhee Plateau and thinner (∼31 km) crust beneath the HLP and northern Great Basin. Low Poisson's ratios of ∼0.240 characterize the granitic crust beneath the Idaho Batholith, while the Owyhee Plateau exhibits values of ∼0.270, typical of average continental crust. The Owyhee Plateau is a thick simple crustal block with distinct edges at depth. The western HLP exhibits high average values of 0.304, typical for regions of widespread basaltic volcanism. Combined with other geological and geophysical observations, the areas of abnormally high Poisson's ratios (∼0.320) and low-velocity zones in the crust beneath north-central and southern Oregon are consistent with the presence of partial melt on either side of the HLP trend, suggesting a central zone where crustal melts have drained to the surface, perhaps enabled by the Brothers Fault Zone. Thicker crust and an anomalous N-S band of low Poisson's ratios (∼0.252) skirting the Steens Mountain escarpment is consistent with residuum from a midcrustal magma source of the massive flood basalts, supporting the view of extensive mafic underplating and intraplating of the crust from Cenozoic volcanism.