Articles | Volume 12, issue 11
Solid Earth, 12, 2633–2669, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-12-2633-2021

Special issue: New insights into the tectonic evolution of the Alps and the...

Solid Earth, 12, 2633–2669, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-12-2633-2021

Research article 25 Nov 2021

Research article | 25 Nov 2021

Orogenic lithosphere and slabs in the greater Alpine area – interpretations based on teleseismic P-wave tomography

Mark R. Handy et al.

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Cited articles

Agard, P. and Handy, M. R.: Ocean subduction dynamics in the Alps, in: Shedding Light on the European Alps, edited by: McCarthy, A. and Müntener, O., Guest Editors, Elements, 17, 9–16, https://doi.org/10.2138/gselements.17.1.9, 2021. 
Argand, E.: Des Alpes et de l'Afrique: Bulletin de la Société Vaudoise des Sciences Naturelles, 55, 233–236, 1924. 
Artemieva, I.: The Lithosphere: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Cambridge University Press Monograph, 794 pp., ISBN 9780521843966, 2011. 
Babuska, V., Plomerova, J., and Granet, M.: The deep lithosphere in the Alps: a model inferred from P residuals, Tectonophysics, 176, 137–165, https://doi.org/10.1016/0040-1951(90)90263-8, 1990. 
Baran, R., Friedrich, A. M., and Schlunegger, F.: The late Miocene to Holocene erosion pattern of the Alpine foreland basin reflects Eurasian slab unloading beneath the western Alps rather than global climate change, Lithosphere, 6, 124–131, https://doi.org/10.1130/L307.1, 2014. 
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Short summary
New images from the multi-national AlpArray experiment illuminate the Alps from below. They indicate thick European mantle descending beneath the Alps and forming blobs that are mostly detached from the Alps above. In contrast, the Adriatic mantle in the Alps is much thinner. This difference helps explain the rugged mountains and the abundance of subducted and exhumed units at the core of the Alps. The blobs are stretched remnants of old ocean and its margins that reach down to at least 410 km.