Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Dr Rob. L. Evans

»Electrical Structure of the Central Cascadia Subduction Zone: The EMSLAB Lincoln Line Revisited
»Electrical Lithosphere Beneath the Kaapvaal Craton
»Gulf Of Mexico Gas Seep
»MELT MT Results
»Wrightsville Beach Geophysics and Hydrology
»MELT Area Off-Axis Structure
»Karst Formation off North Carolina
»Review of Shallow Offshore EM Work
»Towed EM System
»EPR MMR Experiment
»Offshore MT and Subduction Systems
»Shallow Porosity Structure on the Continental Shelf
»Oceanic and Continental Mantle Resistivity
»New Jersey EM Survey
»Eel River EM Survey
»Impact of groundwater on EM data
»Electrical structure of Slave Craton
»Report of Shoreline Change Workshop


Rob. L. Evans1, Phil Wannamaker2, R. Shane McGary3, Jimmy Elsenbeck1

  1.      Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543
  2.     University of Utah, Energy & Geoscience Institute, Salt Lake City, Utah
  3.     WHOI/MIT Joint Program in Oceanography

Electrical Structure of the Central Cascadia Subduction Zone: The EMSLAB Lincoln Line Revisited

, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2014

The EMSLAB experiment was an ambitious onshore-offshore magnetotelluric (MT) transect of the Cascadia subduction zone. When completed (1985-1988), it was the largest experiment of its kind. Modeling and inversion capabilities at the time were, however, not sufficiently sophisticated to handle a fully regularized inversion of the data, including the seafloor data and bathymetric constraints, with the main final model presented based on trial and error forward modeling of the responses. Moreover, new data collected as part of the Earthscope USArray program are of higher quality due to improvements in instrument technology, and augment the original EMSLAB data set, presenting an opportunity to revisit the structure in this part of the subduction system. We have integrated the original wide-band MT data as well as several long-period stations from the original EMSLAB data set and invert these in conjunction with EMSLAB seafloor responses and new Earthscope data on land. This new composite data set has been analysed in several ways, assuming in all cases a two-dimensional geometry in which conductivity is assumed to be invariant along a strike direction roughly coincident with that of the subduction zone. We have solved for fully smooth regularized models, as well as solutions that allow discontinuities in conductivity along the top surface of the descending slab. Finally, we have tested specific features in the EMSLAB model, notably a shallow (~30km depth) conductor. A feature similar to this shallow conductor is a consistent and required feature in our new inversion models, but the new models highlight the connection between the slab and what is interpreted to be an accumulation of aqueous fluids in the deep crust. The depth (~40km) at which the conductor intersects the slab suggests that the fluids are released by the transition of hydrous basalt to eclogite at upper greenschist facies and higher metamorphic grade. The nose of the mantle wedge has a conductivity consistent with a dry peridotite composition and thermal models of the system. At a depth of around 80km the mantle intersecting the slab shows a slight increase in conductivity. This increase is not sufficient to require the presence of melt, but a conductor indicative of melt can be inserted into the model at this depth without denigrating the fit.

Keywords: Magnetotelluric; Subduction Zone; Cascadia; Earthscope


© Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
All rights reserved