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Imaging the Chicxulub Central Crater Zone from Large-Scale Seismic Acoustic Wave Propagation and Gravity Modeling

Abstract : Large impact structures are characterized by peak ring and central uplifts with lateral/vertical mass transport during late formation stages. Here we investigate the Chicxulub crater, which has been surveyed by an array of marine, aerial and land-borne geophysical methods. Seismic reflection surveys in its central sector have shown lack of resolution, making it difficult to image the central uplift. We develop an integrated seismic and gravity model for the structural elements, imaging the central uplift and melt and breccia units. The 3D velocity model built from interpolation of seismic data is validated using perfectly matched layer seismic acoustic wave propagation modeling, optimized at grazing incidence using the shift in the frequency domain. Modeling shows that lack of illumination relates to seismic energy that remains trapped in an upper low-velocity zone corresponding to the carbonate sediments, upper melt/breccias and surrounding faulted blocks. After conversion of seismic velocities into a volume of density values, we apply parallel forward gravity modeling to constrain the size and shape of the central uplift, which has a ~ 40 km diameter concave upwards top lying at ~ 3.5-4.5 km depth. The preferred model provides a high-resolution image of crater units and structure. The gravity response of modeled units shows asymmetries in structure and the distribution of breccias, melt and target carbonates. Finally, we apply an adjoint reverse time migration approach for seismic imaging using the density and velocity models built for the acoustic wave propagation and gravity modeling, which allows improved modeling of the crater structure.
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Contributor : Nathalie POTHIER Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, May 6, 2022 - 6:19:56 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 4, 2022 - 9:29:27 AM




Carlos Ortiz-Aleman, Ronald Martin, Jaime Urrutia-Fucugauchi, Mauricio Orozco del Castillo, Mauricio Nava-Flores. Imaging the Chicxulub Central Crater Zone from Large-Scale Seismic Acoustic Wave Propagation and Gravity Modeling. Pure and Applied Geophysics, 2021, 178, pp.55-77. ⟨10.1007/s00024-020-02638-2⟩. ⟨insu-03661477⟩



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