Urals Reflection Seismic Experiment and Integrated Studies: Transecting an intact Paleozoic orogen

The Uralide mountains present a Paleozoic orogen that resulted from the Middle to Late Paleozoic collision of the East European craton with a Sibirian-Kasachian terrane agglomerate. The out- standing feature of the Uralides is the existence of a significant crustal root in a low-relief, little eroded and unextended mountain belt preserved since Early Mesozoic times.

The multiseismic survey URSEIS `95 across the southern Urals aimed

  • to reveal the geometry and nature of the crustal root.
  • to unravel the internal architecture of the orogen, including the geometry and extent of the Main Uralian Fault and crustal shear zones.
  • to test the hypothesis of a genetic relation between crustal reequilibration and reflective lower crust.
  • to image orogenic signatures in the upper mantle.
  • to correlate near-surface geology and deep structures.
  • to scrutinize the geodynamic evolution of the Uralides.

The project integrated moreover gravity and petrophysical modelling, as well as geological investigations.


The 510 km long, integrated seismic transect across the southern Urals consists of three main components:

  • a high-fold, near-vertical incidence vibroseis-source reflection survey,
  • a low-fold, near-vertical incidence explosive-source survey,
  • a wide-angle, 3-component refraction survey.
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