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Keywords:

  • High Lava Plains;
  • Pacific Northwest;
  • Snake River Plain;
  • ambient noise;
  • surface waves;
  • tomography

[1] We perform a joint inversion of phase velocities from both earthquake and ambient noise induced Rayleigh waves to determine shear wave velocity structure in the crust and upper mantle beneath the Pacific Northwest. We focus particularly on the areas affected by mid-Miocene to present volcanic activity. The joint inversion, combined with the high density seismic network of the High Lava Plains seismic experiment and data from the EarthScope Transportable Array, provides outstanding resolution for this area. In Oregon, we find that the pattern of low velocities in the crust and uppermost mantle varies between the High Lava Plains physiographic province and the adjacent northwestern Basin and Range. These patterns may be due to the presence of the Brothers Fault Zone which separates the clockwise rotating northwest Basin and Range from the relatively undeformed areas further north. Further to the east, the Owyhee Plateau, Snake River Plain (SRP) and northeastern Basin and Range are characterized by high crustal velocities, though the depth extent of these fast wave speeds varies by province. Of particular interest is the mid-crustal high velocity sill, previously only identified within the SRP. We show this anomaly extends significantly further south into Utah and Nevada. We suggest that one possible explanation is lateral crustal extrusion due to the emplacement of the high density mafic mid-crustal sill structures within the SRP.