Precambrian Plate Tectonics in Northern Hudson Bay: Evidence From P and S Wave Seismic Tomography and Analysis of Source Side Effects in Relative Arrival‐Time Data Sets

Mitch V. Liddell (Corresponding Author), Ian Bastow, Nicholas Rawlinson, Fiona Darbyshire, Amy Gilligan, Emma Watson

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The geology of northern Hudson Bay, Canada, documents more than 2 billion years of history including the assembly of Precambrian and Archean terranes during several Paleoproterozoic orogenies, culminating in the Trans‐Hudson Orogen (THO) ∼1.8 Ga. The THO has been hypothesized to be similar in scale and nature to the ongoing Himalaya‐Karakoram‐Tibetan orogen, but the nature of lithospheric terrane boundaries, including potential plate‐scale underthrusting, is poorly understood. To address this problem, we present new P and S wave tomographic models of the mantle seismic structure using data from recent seismograph networks stretching from northern Ontario to Nunavut (60–100∘W and 50–80∘N). The large size of our network requires careful mitigation of the influence of source side structure that contaminates our relative arrival time residuals. Our tomographic models reveal a complicated internal structure in the Archean Churchill plate. However, no seismic wave speed distinction is observed across the Snowbird Tectonic Zone, which bisects the Churchill. The mantle lithosphere in the central region of Hudson Bay is distinct from the THO, indicating potential boundaries of microcontinents and lithospheric blocks between the principal colliders. Slow wave speeds underlie southern Baffin Island, the leading edge of the generally high wave speed Churchill plate. This is interpreted to be Paleoproterozoic material underthrust beneath Baffin Island in a modern‐style subduction zone setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5690-5709
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number7
Early online date5 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


  • Precambrian tectonics
  • Trans-Hudson Orogen
  • cratonic lithosphere
  • relative arrival time
  • seismic tomography
  • source side effect


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