Pn arrivals and lateral variations of Moho geometry beneath the Kaapvaal craton
PublisherElsevier Science Ltd. www.elsevier.com/locate/lithos
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Pn arrivals from mining-induced earthquakes on the edge of the Witwatersrand basin show that the P wavespeeds in the uppermost mantle are almost constant throughout most of the Kaapvaal craton. The presence of only small wavespeed variations allows the use of a simple method of estimating crustal thicknesses below the stations of the Kaapvaal broad-band network using Pn times that has been compared with results from receiver functions. One thousand three hundred thirty-seven Pn arrivals were used to derive crustal thicknesses at 46 stations on the Kaapvaal craton. The average crustal thicknesses for 19 centrally located stations on each of the northern and southern regions of the craton that yielded well-constrained thicknesses were 50.52 ± 0.88 km and 38.07 ± 0.85 km, respectively. In contrast, the corresponding average thicknesses determined from receiver functions were 43.58 ± 0.57 km and 37.58 ± 0.70 km, respectively. The systematically lower values for receiver functions in the northern part of the Kaapvaal craton that was affected by the Bushveld magmatism at 2.05 Ga, suggest that the receiver functions do not enable the petrological crust mantle boundary to be reliably resolved due to variations in composition and metamorphic grade in a mafic lower crust. The Pn times also suggest pervasive azimuthal anisotropy with maximum wavespeeds of about 8.40 km/s at azimuths of about 15° and 217° in the northern and southern regions of the craton, respectively, and minimum wavespeeds of about 8.25 km/s.