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ABSTRACT: Deep Seismic Reflection Survey of Queen Charlotte Basin

Kristin Rohr, James Dietrich

One thousand kilometers of 14 sec marine seismic reflection data collected in the Queen Charlotte basin region in 1988 provide excellent images of Tertiary sedimentary basin fill as well as deep crustal structure. The Tertiary section is highly variable in thickness, with up to 6500 m of strata occurring in the deepest depocenters in a complex array of subbasins and half-grabens. Widespread extensional deformation including normal faulting during basin development was followed later by compressional deformation in the northern half of the basin. Sediments have been compressed into open folds and flower structures; some normal faults have been reactivated as reverse faults. Seismic interpretations of structural features suggest that Tertiary extension and compression have eveloped in response to strike-slip tectonics.

Crust under Hecate Strait is more reflective than under Queen Charlotte Sound; geological interpretation of these discontinuous and structurally variable crustal reflections requires further analysis. In some areas of the basin (e.g., near the Sockeye wells, Hecate Strait) coherent reflections occur directly beneath the Tertiary section and may be images of Mesozoic strata. Deep reflections imaged at times of 7.0 to 10.0 sec on many profiles, provide for the seismic differentiation between reflective lower crust and nonreflective upper mantle. Estimated crustal thicknesses of 18-21 km beneath Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound indicate significant crustal thinning beneath the Queen Charlotte basin.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91003©1990 AAPG Annual Convention, San Francisco, California, June 3-6, 1990