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Crustal structure of western Hispaniola (Haiti) from a teleseismic receiver function study

Abstract : Haiti, located at the northern Caribbean plate boundary, records a geological history of terrane accretion from Cretaceous island arc formations to the Eocene to Recent oblique collision with the Bahamas platform. Little is presently known about the underlying crustal structure of the island. We analyze P-waveforms arriving at 27 temporary broadband seismic stations deployed over a distance of 200 km across the major terrane boundaries in Haiti to determine the crustal structure of western Hispaniola. We compute teleseismic receiver functions using the Extended-Time Multi-Taper method and determine crustal thickness and bulk composition (Vp/Vs) using the H-к stacking method. Three distinctive and fault-bounded crustal domains, defined by their characteristic Moho depth distributions and bulk crustal Vp/Vs, are imaged across Haiti. We relate these domains to three crustal terranes that have been accreted along the plate boundary during the northeastwards displacement of the Caribbean plate and are presently being deformed in a localized fold and thrust belt. In the northern domain, made up of volcanic arc facies, the crust has a thickness of ~ 23 km and Vp/Vs of 1.75 ± 0.1 typical of average continental crust. The crust in the southern domain is part of the Caribbean Large Igneous Province (Caribbean LIP), and is ~ 22 km thick with Vp/Vs of 1.80 ± 0.03 consistent with plume-related rocks of late Cretaceous age. Significantly thicker, the crust in central Haiti has values of Moho depths averaging ~ 41 km and with Vp/Vs of 1.80 ± 0.05. We propose that the central domain is likely constructed of an island arc upper crust with fragments of dense material originating from mafic lavas or LIP material. We produce a crustal profile along a N-S transect across Haiti accounting for the surface geology, shallow structural history, and new seismological constraints provided by variations of crustal thickness and bulk composition.
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Jordane Corbeau, Frédérique Rolandone, Sylvie Leroy, K. Guerrier, D. Keir, et al.. Crustal structure of western Hispaniola (Haiti) from a teleseismic receiver function study. Tectonophysics, Elsevier, 2017, 709, pp.9-19. ⟨10.1016/j.tecto.2017.04.029⟩. ⟨hal-01517419⟩

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