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Comparison between Crustal Density and Velocity Variations in Southern California

Victoria E. Langenheim, & Egill Hauksson

Published 2001, SCEC Contribution #579

We predict gravity from a three-dimensional Vp model of the upper crust and compare it to the observed isostatic residual gravity field. In general this comparison shows that the isostatic residual gravity field reflects the density variations in the upper to middle crust. Both data sets show similar density variations for the upper crust in areas such as the Peninsular Ranges and the Los Angeles basin. Both show similar variations across major faults, such as the San Andreas and Garlock faults in the Mojave Desert. The difference between the two data sets in regions such as the Salton Trough, the Eastern California Shear Zone, and the eastern Ventura basin (where depth to Moho is <30 km), however, suggests high-density middle to lower crust beneath these regions. Hence the joint interpretation of these data sets improves the depth constraints of crustal density variations.

Langenheim, V. E., & Hauksson, E. (2001). Comparison between Crustal Density and Velocity Variations in Southern California. Geophysical Research Letters, 28(16), 3087-3090. doi: 10.1029/2001GL013392.