Resolving Upper Mantle Seismic Structure Beneath the Pacific Northwest and Inferred Plume-Lithosphere Interactions During the Steens-Columbia River Flood Basalt Eruptions
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Cenozoic tectonics of the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and the associated mantle structures are remarkable, the latter revealed by EarthScope seismic data. In this thesis we model teleseismic body waves constrained by ambient-noise surface waves and teleseismic receiver function analysis in order to recover better-controlled higher resolution images of the PNW continuously from the surface of the crust to the base of the upper mantle. We focus on and have clearly imaged two major upper mantle structures: (1) the high-velocity Farallon slab (the "Siletzia curtain") extending vertically beneath the Challis-Kamloops-Absaroka volcanic flareup (~53-47 Ma) of western Idaho and central Washington; and (2) a high-velocity anomaly beneath the Wallowa Mountains of northeast Oregon associated with the main Columbia River flood basalts source region. The proximity of these two structures along with the tectono-magmatic history of the PNW leads us to reexamine the origin of the Columbia River Basalts ~ 16 Ma. This thesis includes co-authored material submitted for publication.