Velocity structure and seismic anisotropy in the crust and upper mantle from Receiver Function analysis: three case studies in Italy

Bianchi, Irene (2010) Velocity structure and seismic anisotropy in the crust and upper mantle from Receiver Function analysis: three case studies in Italy, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Geofisica, 22 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/2614.
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The research for this PhD project consisted in the application of the RFs analysis technique to different data-sets of teleseismic events recorded at temporary and permanent stations located in three distinct study regions: Colli Albani area, Northern Apennines and Southern Apennines. We found some velocity models to interpret the structures in these regions, which possess very different geologic and tectonics characteristics and therefore offer interesting case study to face. In the Colli Albani some of the features evidenced in the RFs are shared by all the analyzed stations: the Moho is almost flat and is located at about 23 km depth, and the presence of a relatively shallow limestone layer is a stable feature; contrariwise there are features which vary from station to station, indicating local complexities. Three seismic stations, close to the central part of the former volcanic edifice, display relevant anisotropic signatures­­­ with symmetry axes consistent with the emplacement of the magmatic chamber. Two further anisotropic layers are present at greater depth, in the lower crust and the upper mantle, respectively, with symmetry axes directions related to the evolution of the volcano complex. In Northern Apennines we defined the isotropic structure of the area, finding the depth of the Tyrrhenian (almost 25 km and flat) and Adriatic (40 km and dipping underneath the Apennines crests) Mohos. We determined a zone in which the two Mohos overlap, and identified an anisotropic body in between, involved in the subduction and going down with the Adiratic Moho. We interpreted the downgoing anisotropic layer as generated by post-subduction delamination of the top-slab layer, probably made of metamorphosed crustal rocks caught in the subduction channel and buoyantly rising toward the surface. In the Southern Apennines, we found the Moho depth for 16 seismic stations, and highlighted the presence of an anisotropic layer underneath each station, at about 15-20 km below the whole study area. The moho displays a dome-like geometry, as it is shallow (29 km) in the central part of the study area, whereas it deepens peripherally (down to 45 km); the symmetry axes of anisotropic layer, interpreted as a layer separating the upper and the lower crust, show a moho-related pattern, indicated by the foliation of the layer which is parallel to the Moho trend. Moreover, due to the exceptional seismic event occurred on April 6th next to L’Aquila town, we determined the Vs model for two station located next to the epicenter. An extremely high velocity body is found underneath AQU station at 4-10 km depth, reaching Vs of about 4 km/s, while this body is lacking underneath FAGN station. We compared the presence of this body with other recent works and found an anti-correlation between the high Vs body, the max slip patches and earthquakes distribution. The nature of this body is speculative since such high velocities are consistent with deep crust or upper mantle, but can be interpreted as a as high strength barrier of which the high Vs is a typical connotation.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Bianchi, Irene
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze matematiche, fisiche ed astronomiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Data di discussione
28 Maggio 2010

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