loading page

Moho Depth of Northern Baja California, Mexico, From Teleseismic Receiver Functions
  • +2
  • Erik E. Ramirez,
  • Klaus Dieter Bataille,
  • J. Antonio Vidal-Villegas,
  • Joann M. Stock,
  • Jorge Ramírez-Hernández
Erik E. Ramirez
Instituto de Ingeniería, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC)

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Klaus Dieter Bataille
Universidad de Concepcion
Author Profile
J. Antonio Vidal-Villegas
Departamento de Sismología, División Ciencias de la Tierra, Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada, México (CICESE)
Author Profile
Joann M. Stock
California Institute of Technology
Author Profile
Jorge Ramírez-Hernández
Instituto de Ingeniería, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC)
Author Profile


We estimated Moho depth from data recorded by permanent and temporary broadband seismic stations deployed in northern Baja California, Mexico using the receiver function technique. This region is composed, mainly, of two subregions of contrasting geological and topographical characteristics: The Peninsular Ranges of Baja California (PRBC), a batholith with high elevations (up to 2600 m above mean sea level); and the Mexicali Valley (MV) region, a sedimentary environment at around the mean sea level. Crustal thickness derived from the P-to-S converted phases at 29 seismic stations were analyzed in 3 profiles: two that cross the two subregions, in a ~W-E direction, and the third one that runs over the PRBC in a N-S direction. For the PRBC region, Moho depths vary from 35 to 45 km, from 33ºN to 32ºN; and from 30 to 46 km depth from 32ºN to 30.5ºN. From a profile that crosses the subregions in the W-E direction; Moho depths vary from 45 to ~34 km under the PRBC; with an abrupt change of depth under the Main Gulf Escarpment, from ~32 to 30 km; and depths of 17-20 km under the MV region. Moho depths of the profile that runs, of an almost W-E direction at ~31.5º N, follow the eltimetry from 0 to 2600 m: from ~30 to 40 km; and became shallower (16 km depth) as the profile reaches the Gulf of California. These results show that deeper Moho is related to higher elevations with an abrupt change under the Main Gulf Escarpment.
Jun 2021Published in Earth and Space Science volume 8 issue 6. 10.1029/2020EA001463