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Moho Depth of Northern Baja California, Mexico, From Teleseismic Receiver Functions

Ramirez, E. E. and Bataille, Klaus and Vidal-Villegas, J. A. and Stock, J. M. and Ramírez-Hernández, J. (2020) Moho Depth of Northern Baja California, Mexico, From Teleseismic Receiver Functions. . (Unpublished)

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We estimated Moho depth from data recorded by permanent and temporary broadband seismic stations deployed in northern Baja California, Mexico using the receiver function technique. This region is composed, mainly, of two subregions of contrasting geological and topographical characteristics: The Peninsular Ranges of Baja California (PRBC), a batholith with high elevations (up to 2600 m above mean sea level); and the Mexicali Valley (MV) region, a sedimentary environment at around the mean sea level. Crustal thickness derived from the P-to-S converted phases at 29 seismic stations were analyzed in 3 profiles: two that cross the two subregions, in a ~W-E direction, and the third one that runs over the PRBC in a N-S direction. For the PRBC region, Moho depths vary from 35 to 45 km, from 33°;N to 32°;N; and from 30 to 46 km depth from 32°;N to 30.5°;N. From a profile that crosses the subregions in the W-E direction; Moho depths vary from 45 to ~34 km under the PRBC; with an abrupt change of depth under the Main Gulf Escarpment, from ~32 to 30 km; and depths of 17-20 km under the MV region. Moho depths of the profile that runs, of an almost W-E direction at ~31.5°; N, follow the eltimetry from 0 to 2600 m: from ~30 to 40 km; and became shallower (16 km depth) as the profile reaches the Gulf of California. These results show that deeper Moho is related to higher elevations with an abrupt change under the Main Gulf Escarpment.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper ItemUSGS Earthquake Catalog ItemMatlab scripts ItemNorthwest Mexico Seismic Network ItemPreprocessing scripts ItemObsPy
https://www.spyder-ide.orgRelated ItemSpyder Itemrf Python framework ItemTauP ItemFuncLab toolbox
http://gmt.soest.hawaii.eduRelated ItemGeneric Mapping Tools v.5.3.1
Ramirez, E. E.0000-0002-8515-1128
Stock, J. M.0000-0003-4816-7865
Additional Information:Published Online: Fri, 18 Sep 2020. Part of the financial support for this project was provided by CONACYT (CB-2009-133019 SEP-CONACYT). The first author worked under the Scholarship Number 254218 granted by the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACYT), the CONACYT 2018 Foreign Mobility Fellowship (291250), and by the Mobility Fellowship granted by the Autonomous University of Baja California: research residence (announcement 76). Alejandra Núñez-Leal facilitated teleseismic data streams from the local seismic network (RESNOM). For the installation and service for the seismic stations, the authors acknowledge Oscar Gálvez, Luis Orozco, and Ignacio Méndez, from the Earth Sciences Division of CICESE. Sergio Arregui provided the main script used for creating the maps in Generic Mapping Tools. Data and Resources: Raw and processed seismic signals, as well as the poles and zeros of stations and main scripts used can be found in (doi: 10.5281/zenodo.4017974). Teleseismic catalog was obtained from the USGS Earthquake Catalog, available at (last accessed September 2020). Some computations were made writing Matlab scripts, available at (last accessed September 2020). Data from the Northwest Mexico Seismic Network are available, since 10 September 2014, from the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology Data Management Center (IRIS-DMC) at (last accessed September 2020). The teleseismic data used in this study and the stations Dataless are available upon request to M. Alejandra Nuñez-Leal. ( Preprocessing scripts (macros) were written in Seismic Analysis Code (SAC), available at (last September 2020). ObsPy is available at (last accessed July 2019). Spyder is available at (last accessed September 2020). The rf Python framework for receiver function computations is available at (last accessed July 2019). The P-wave travel times were computed, and added to earthquakes data with TauP, available at (last accessed September 2020). The FuncLab toolbox used for estimating the Moho depth is available at (last accessed September 2020). Some plots were made using the Generic Mapping Tools v.5.3.1 available at (last accessed September 2020).
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT)CB-2009-133019 SEP-CONACYT
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT)254218
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT)291250
Universidad Autónoma de Baja CaliforniaUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201022-104923841
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:106221
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:22 Oct 2020 18:09
Last Modified:22 Oct 2020 18:09

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