Deep Seismic Sounding in the Transition Zones from Continents to Oceans

  1. Leon Knopoff,
  2. Charles L. Drake and
  3. Pembroke J. Hart
  1. I. P. Kosminska and
  2. S. M. Zverev

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM012p0122

The Crust and Upper Mantle of the Pacific Area

The Crust and Upper Mantle of the Pacific Area

How to Cite

Kosminska, I. P. and Zverev, S. M. (2012) Deep Seismic Sounding in the Transition Zones from Continents to Oceans, in The Crust and Upper Mantle of the Pacific Area (eds L. Knopoff, C. L. Drake and P. J. Hart), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM012p0122

Author Information

  1. Institute of the Physics of the Earth, Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Ussr

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 20 APR 2012

Book Series:

  1. Geophysical Monograph Series

Book Series Editors:

  1. Waldo E. Smith

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900124

Online ISBN: 9781118663738



  • Continents to oceans;
  • Crustal layers;
  • Deep seismic sounding (DSS);
  • Geophysical and geological methods;
  • Kuril-Kamchatka zone and radio buoys;
  • Marine seismic techniques and Kuril Islands;
  • M discontinuity and Upper mantle;
  • Transitional zones


Transitional zones are regions of complex junction of areas having different types of crust. The main problem in investigating transitional zones is locating the principal features of their structure. This problem can be solved by a complex of geophysical and geological methods, the most important of which is deep seismic sounding. Several modifications of deep seismic sounding have been developed for offshore work, the possibilities of which differ both in the depth of investigation and the extent of differentiating the subsurface in different types of crust. The most complete information can be obtained from simultaneous application of four or six recording units, some of which may be located on land. Simple systems of observation in which one or two recording units are employed on ships or radio buoys are widely used. The distance range of recording offshore shots at land stations exceeds 200 km; by ship, 150 or 200 km; by radio buoys, 30 to 50 km. The corresponding depths of investigation are 35, 20–30, and 5–10 km, respectively. Recent experience shows that the most successful technique for studying areas of oceanic and suboceanic types of the crust and upper mantle is that of recording from ships and, in some areas of the ocean, from radio buoys. For the continental type of crust that occurs in some continental shelves, this problem is solved by a combination of land and offshore observations from ships. Radio buoy recording allows the study of only the upper boundary of the consolidated crust. The main problems of seismic investigations within transitional zones are improvement of receiving systems with autonomic buoys to achieve the recording range of 200 km and more, development of rational systems of observation, enhancement of information from the records obtained, and integration of deep seismic sounding with seismic exploration and other geological and geophysical data.