SNEP: Sierra Nevada EarthScope Project

We are undertaking a major deployment of digital seismograph systems from the EarthScope/USArray Flexible Array instrument pool to investigate the deep structure of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Eastern California. The scientific goals of this experiment include identifying the existence of high density crust and mantle material that may have recently foundered, or delaminated, from the overlying crustal material. This will constrain major hypotheses regarding the evolution of the continental lithosphere. If material has foundered, the constraints that we develop about the deep earth structure, through analysis of seismic waves and wave speeds, will be important information in the development of models to explain the physical and chemical consequences of this process. This is a collaborative project with the University of Arizona (George Zandt), the University of Colorado (Craig Jones), and Purdue University (Hersh Gilbert).

Funding

SNEP is funded by the EarthScope Program in the Earth Sciences Division of the National Science Foundation under grant EAR-0454524 to the University of South Carolina and companion awards to the University of Arizona, the University of Colorado, and Purdue University.