P- and S-Wave receiver function images of crustal imbrication beneath the Cheyenne belt in southeast Wyoming

Steven Hansen*, Ken Dueker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


We extend the receiver function deconvolution methodology of Bostock (2004) to S-wave receiver functions and develop a method of source function spectrum estimation to constrain the crustal structure across the Archean-Proterozoic Cheyenne belt suture in southeast Wyoming using data from a dense deployment of seismic stations. S-wave receiver functions are particularly useful because free surface reverberations do not contaminated the direct Sdp arrivals, and the S-wave receiver function image is able to validate our P-wave receiver function image. P- and S-wave receiver function images and a teleseismic P-wave tomogram find a structure consistent with the imbrication of Proterozoic lower crust across the Cheyenne belt. Both P and S-wave receiver function images delineate a double Moho north of the Cheyenne belt: the Archean Moho is imaged at 41-43 km depth with a deeper velocity step at 60-62 km depth. South of the Cheyenne belt, the P-wave receiver function image finds the Proterozoic Moho dipping ~7° northwest consistent with observed back-azimuth dependent Pms amplitudes. Given the lateral continuity with the northwest dipping Proterozoic Moho, the deeper velocity step of the double Moho is interpreted as the imbricated Proterozoic Moho. Modeling of P-wave receiver function amplitudes suggests a 6:4-7:4 km/sec velocity step across the shallower Archean Moho and a 7:4-7:9 km/sec velocity step across the deeper imbricated Proterozoic Moho. We speculate that imbrication of the Proterozoic lower crust was contemporaneous with the 1.76 Ga uplift and deformation of the 50 km-wide Palmer Canyon block immediately north of the Cheyenne belt exposed in the Laramie Mountains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1953-1961
Number of pages9
JournalBulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


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