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Deep seismic reflection experiment using a dense receiver and sparse shot technique for imaging the deep structure of the Median Tectonic Line (MTL) in east Shikoku, Japan


A seismic experiment was carried out in east Shikoku, Japan, to detect deep reflections across the Median Tectonic Line (MTL), which juxtaposes low-P/T metamorphic rocks with high-P/T metamorphic rocks. Our experiment employed an unconventional technique: sparse shot spacing, a strong energy source (dynamite) and a dense array of seismometers. The above specifications produce only single fold coverage without common midpoint (CMP) stacking. Nevertheless, the reflection profile provides essential information on the deep structure of the MTL, of other major faults, and of the Moho in east Shikoku. On the MTL, this profile is the first to delineate the MTL from the surface to about 12 km depth. The following three factors were essential to the success of our experiment. First, the receiver interval was sufficiently small to provide horizontal resolution that was able to detect deep reflectors. Second, the simple crustal structure does not require CMP stacking to enhance data quality. Third, a thin weathering layer at the surface reduced the attenuation of seismic waves and minimized the generation of the surface waves that often obscure deep reflectors. In these conditions, the technique can be an effective means of probing the deep crust while substantially reducing survey costs.


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Correspondence to Tomonori Kawamura.

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Kawamura, T., Onishi, M., Kurashimo, E. et al. Deep seismic reflection experiment using a dense receiver and sparse shot technique for imaging the deep structure of the Median Tectonic Line (MTL) in east Shikoku, Japan. Earth Planet Sp 55, 549–557 (2003).

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Key words

  • MTL
  • seismic reflection
  • single fold
  • Setouchi volcanic rocks