Collaborative Research: High Resolution Multichannel Seismic Imaging of Active Tectonics, Northwest Gulf of California

Project Details


Funds are provided for a high-resolution multi-channel seismic survey of a tectonically active area in northwestern Gulf of California. The Gulf of California is one of the very few accessible areas where the transitional crust from continent to ocean can be studied in a region of oblique extension. Most models of the region show a single, simple plate boundary, due to lack of deeper understanding. Two end-member models are possible: diffuse deformation in a broad active zone, and localized slip in two separate zones in the northern Gulf. The key to discriminating between the two models lies in the shallow Gulf of California. The PIs will use the LDEO portable high resolution MCS system on a Mexican research vessel to obtain seismic reflection profiles of active tectonics, augmented wth sonobuoy reflection profiles to image the young faults, transform faults and the spreading center. Modeling will quantify estimates of kinematics of the current plate motions and strain partitioning and lead to an understanding of the organization of the stike-slip and rift segments during transition from a contiental to an oceanic system.

Effective start/end date1/1/9912/31/02


  • National Science Foundation: $429,993.00


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