Magnetotelluric images of the crustal structure of Chyulu Hills volcanic field, Kenya.

Sakkas, V. and Meju, Max A. and Khan, M. A. and Haak, V. and Simpson, F. (2002) Magnetotelluric images of the crustal structure of Chyulu Hills volcanic field, Kenya. Tectonophysics, 346 (3-4). pp. 169-185. ISSN 0040-1951

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Electromagnetic experiments were conducted in 1995 as part of a multidisciplinary research project to investigate the deep structure of the Chyulu Hills volcanic chain on the eastern flank of the Kenya Rift in East Africa. Transient electromagnetic (TEM) and broadband (120–0.0001 Hz) magnetotelluric (MT) soundings were made at eight stations along a seismic survey line and the data were processed using standard techniques. The TEM data provided effective correction for static shifts in MT data. The MT data were inverted for the structure in the upper 20 km of the crust using a 2-D inversion scheme and a variety of starting models. The resulting 2-D models show interesting features but the wide spacing between the MT stations limited model resolution to a large extent. These models suggest that there are significant differences in the physical state of the crust between the northern and southern parts of the Chyulu Hills volcanic field. North of the Chyulu Hills, the resistivity structure consists of a 10–12-km-thick resistive (up to 4000 Ω m) upper crustal layer, ca. 10-km-thick mid-crustal layer of moderate resistivity (50 Ω m), and a conductive substratum. The resistive upper crustal unit is considerably thinner over the main ridge (where it is ca. 2 km thick) and further south (where it may be up to 5 km thick). Below this cover unit, steep zones of low resistivity (0.01–10 Ω m) occur underneath the main ridge and at its NW and SE margins (near survey positions 100 and 150–210 km on seismic line F of Novak et al. [Novak, O., Prodehl, C., Jacob, A.W.B., Okoth, W., 1997. Crustal structure of the southern flank of the Kenya Rift deduced from wide-angle P-wave data. In: Fuchs, K., Altherr, R., Muller, B., Prodehl, C. (Eds.), Structure and Dynamic Processes in the Lithosphere of the Afro-Arabian Rift System. Tectonophysics, vol. 278, 171–186]). These conductors appear to be best developed in upper crustal (1–8 km) and middle crustal (9–18 km) zones in the areas affected by volcanism. The low-resistivity anomalies are interpreted as possible magmatic features and may be related to the low-velocity zones recently detected at greater depth in the same geographic locations. The MT results, thus, provide a necessary upper crustal constraint on the anomalous zone in Chyulu Hills, and we suggest that MT is a logical compliment to seismics for the exploration of the deep crust in this volcanic-covered basement terrain. A detailed 3-D field study is recommended to gain a better understanding of the deep structure of the volcanic field.

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16 Jan 2009 16:53
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19 Sep 2023 23:57