ANCORP'96 is the first section to produce a high resolution deep image of an active continental margin. Most reflectivity can be seen to be linked to active processes which involve the release, trapping, or consumption of fluids. This result is in contrast to seismic sections across most fossil mountain belts which usually can be interpreted in terms of structure and lithological contrasts only. Here, active petrological processes driven by active subduction are the probable causes for most of the conspicuous features seen in the section. Some of these relationships have recently also been reported for the Tibetan plateau from the INDEPTH experiment. It is here suggested that overthickened crust under active plateau areas develops these properties irrespective of the geodynamic environment and therefore develops a seismic appearance different from that of cold stacked crust. Thus, reflection seismic techniques have an unexpected potential to image ongoing intra-lithospheric processes at active margins.
DEKORP – German continental reflection seismic program
INDEPTH – InterNational DEep Profiling of Tibet and the Himalaya
IGCP Project 474 – Images of the Earth's Crust & Upper Mantle