Integrated geophysical interpretation of crustal structures in the northern Abitibi belt: Constraints from seismic amplitude analysis

Guy Sénéchal*, Marianne Mareschal, Claude Hubert, Andrew J. Calvert, Gilles Grandjean, John Ludden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


We present a processing sequence that attempts to balance geometrical and amplitude analyses in order to recover the maximum information from deep seismic reflection data. The approach, which is guided by the interpretation of other deep geophysical data sets (magnetotellurics, refraction), is applied to Lithoprobe seismic reflection line 28 across the central and northern Abitibi belt. We show, in particular, how amplitude analyses help to quantify the depth of penetration of seismic energy as well as the crustal reflectivity. Apparent lateral variations of deep structures (e.g., the Moho) can be directly related to the high levels of noise that limit the signal penetration depth. We propose a geological model that satisfies all deep geophysical constraints. In this model, the mid crust south of Casa-Berardi tectonic zone consists of imbricated volcanic-plutonic and sedimentary lithologies, which are probably comparable to the mid-crustal section of the Kapuskasing structural zone, and in this paper are referred to as "the Abitibi plate." The lithologies are characterized by high reflectivity, while north of Casa-Berardi tectonic zone the mid crust is dominantly Opatica plutonic lithologies, of lower reflectivity. In this scenario, supracrustal rocks of the Abitibi belt overlie the Opatica plutonic belt, whereas the Abitibi plate extends beneath the Opatica plutonic belt. The boundary between the Opatica plutonic belt and the Abitibi plate is a northward-dipping décollement extending from mid crust in the south to lower crust in the north. The Casa-Berardi tectonic zone appears to be a crustal boundary affecting upper and middle crust down to 20 km, between northern polycyclic terranes and southern monocyclic ones. The uniformity of the lower crust suggests that its formation was decoupled from that of the intermediate to upper crust.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1343-1362
Number of pages20
JournalCanadian Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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