A one-year deployment of broadband seismographs in the Bolivian Altiplano recorded numerous intermediate-depth earthquakes at near-regional distances. We modeled the associated broadband waveforms of two earthquakes to estimate an average crustal structure for the Altiplano. The resulting model is characterized by an anomalously low mean P velocity of 6.0 km/s, a low Poisson's ratio of 0.25, and a crustal thickness of 65 km. The combination of the low mean velocity and low Poisson's ratio can be explained only by a predominantly quartz-rich, felsic bulk composition. This constraint precludes significant volumes of magmatic addition from the mantle contributing to the great thickness of the Altiplano crust, but is consistent with thickening by compressive shortening concentrated in a weak felsic layer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)