Volcanic passive continental margin beneath Maitri station in central DML, East Antarctica: constraints from crustal shear velocity through receiver function modelling
Dronning Maud Land (DML) in East Antarctica is considered to be a key area for the reconstruction of the Gondwana supercontinent. We investigate the crustal shear wave velocity (Vs) model beneath the Maitri station, situated in the central DML of East Antarctica, through receiver function modelling. The analysis shows an average crustal thickness of 38.50 ± 0.5 km and a Vp/Vs ratio of 1.784 ± 0.002. The obtained Vs structure suggests that the topmost ca. 2.5 km of the crust contains ice and sediments with low Vs (1.5–2.0 km/s). This layer is underlain by a thick (ca. 12.5 km) layer of Vs = 2.25–2.6 km/s, suggestive of an extrusive igneous rock (rhyolite) at this depth range. Between 16 and 28 km depth, the Vs increases from 2.9 to 3.4 km/s. In the lower crust, a 7 km thick layer of Vs = 3.9 km/s is followed by 6 km thick underplated layer (Vs = 4.1 km/s) at the crust–mantle boundary. The uppermost mantle Vs is ca. 4.3 km/s. With the observation of underplated material in the lowermost crust, extrusive volcanic rocks in the upper crust, seaward dipping reflectors in the surrounding and a general paucity of seismicity, we believe the crust beneath the Maitri station represents a volcanic passive continental margin. We also believe that after its origin in the Precambrian and during its subsequent evolution it might have been affected by the post-Precambrian tectono-thermal event(s) responsible for the Gondwana supercontinent break-up.
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