Crustal structure of Nigeria and Southern Ghana, West Africa from P-wave receiver functions

Ofonime Akpan, Andrew Nyblade, Chiedu Okereke, Michael Oden, Erica Emry, Jordi Julià

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report new estimates of crustal thickness (Moho depth), Poisson's ratio and shear-wave velocities for eleven broadband seismological stations in Nigeria and Ghana. Data used for this study came from teleseismic earthquakes recorded at epicentral distances between 30° and 95° and with moment magnitudes greater than or equal to 5.5. P-wave receiver functions were modeled using the Moho Ps arrival times, H-k stacking, and joint inversion of receiver functions and Rayleigh wave group velocities. The average crustal thickness of the stations in the Neoproterozoic basement complex of Nigeria is 36 km, and 23 km for the stations in the Cretaceous Benue Trough. The crustal structure of the Paleoproterozoic Birimian Terrain, and Neoproterozoic Dahomeyan Terrain and Togo Structural Unit in southern Ghana is similar, with an average Moho depth of 44 km. Poisson's ratios for all the stations range from 0.24 to 0.26, indicating a bulk felsic to intermediate crustal composition. The crustal structure of the basement complex in Nigeria is similar to the average crustal structure of Neoproterozoic terrains in other parts of Africa, but the two Neoproterozoic terrains in southern Ghana have a thicker crust with a thick mafic lower crust, ranging in thickness from 12 to 17 km. Both the thicker crust and thick mafic lower crustal section are consistent with many Precambrian suture zones, and thus we suggest that both features are relict from the collisional event during the formation of Gondwana.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-260
Number of pages11
JournalTectonophysics
Volume676
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 26 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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