RI-11 Seismic Studies Over the Midcontinent Gravity High in Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin
Minnesota Geological Survey
Seismic refraction data from 87 profiles contribute to the delineation of the geologic structures which
cause gravity and magnetic anomalies associated with the northern part of the Midcontinent Gravity High.
Interpretations of the seismic data provide knowledge about structure within the sedimentary section as well
as depth to the igneous basement, which reaches a maximum of about 10,000 feet in this area.
The area investigated extends from the Minnesota-Iowa border on the south to Lake Superior on the
north, and includes parts of eastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. Gravity and magnetic maps
compiled from published data and 12,000 additional gravity stations occupied as part of the present
investigation were used in combination with geologic control from outcrops and drill holes as a guide in the
location and later interpretation of the seismic profiles. The seismic data were obtained by shooting across a
fixed geophone spread for shot distances up to a maximum of eight miles.
Results for each profile are presented separately and include observed seismic travel-time data, an inferred
geologic structure section, and a discussion. The discussion describes the geologic setting and purpose of the
seismic profile, the reliability of the seismic interpretation, and the correlation of the seismic results with
gravity, magnetic, and geologic control.
Tabulated values for the observed seismic velocities fall in the range of 9,000-23,000 feet/second. The
velocities can be assigned to seven groups of geologic strata, corresponding to Paleozoic, upper, middle, and
lower Upper Keweenawan sedimentary strata, Middle Keweenawan volcanics, pre-Keweenawan felsic
intrusives, and pre-Keweenawan mafic intrusives. Good velocity correlations can be established between similar
strata in different geologic provinces.
A second paper (Mooney and others, 1970) synthesizes data reported here into a regional geologic picture
in the form of six structural cross-sections across the Midcontinent Gravity High.
Previously Published Citation
Mooney, H.M., Farnham, P.R., Johnson, S.H., Wolz, G. and Craddock, C., 1970, Seismic Studies Over the Midcontinent Gravity High in Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin, Minnesota: Minnesota Geological Survey Report of Investigations 11, 191 p.
Mooney, Harold M.; Farnham, Paul R.; Johnson, Stephen H.; Volz, Gary; Craddock, Campbell.
RI-11 Seismic Studies Over the Midcontinent Gravity High in Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin.
Minnesota Geological Survey.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,