Collaborative Research: Deep Structure of Three Continental Sutures in Eastern North America
DESCRIPTION: The project uses data gathered from seismic stations in Quebec and New England (including EarthScope and project-specific deplayments) to determine if the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary is a distinct interface that deepens towards the craton, if the seismic properties of the continental lithosphere are regionalized, and if the broad scale flow of the asthenosphere is the major source of seismic anisotropy.
OUTCOMES: We have discovered that southern New England is underlain by a very strong zone of mante upwelling. Heat being brought up from the deep earth is detectable through the very low seismic velocities in the region and by a reduction in mantle anisotropy. The heat has led to a thinning of the lithosphere, especially below southern Vermont. This feature may have existed for millions of years and may explain some of New England's enigmatic properties, including its high heat flow and its intense micro-seismicity.
In addition, see the "QMIII Quebec-Maine Three Suture Fieldtrips" and "Springwater Fieldtrips" sections of https://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/users/menke/slides/public/fieldtrips.html for fieldtrip photos and journals.