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https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-177
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-177
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  16 Jan 2020

16 Jan 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal SE.

Crustal structures beneath the Eastern and Southern Alps from ambient noise tomography

Ehsan Qorbani1,2, Dimitri Zigone3, Mark R. Handy4, Götz Bokelmann2, and the AlpArray-EASI working group Ehsan Qorbani et al.
  • 1International Data Center, CTBTO, Vienna, Austria
  • 2Department of Meteorology and Geophysics, University of Vienna, Austria
  • 3Institut de Physique du Globe de Strasbourg, EOST, Université de Strasbourg/CNRS, Strasbourg, France
  • 4Institute of Geological Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • Eastern Alpine Seismic Investigation (EASI) AlpArray Complimentary Experiment. AlpArray Working Group

Abstract. We study the crustal structure under the Eastern and Southern Alps using ambient noise tomography. We use cross-correlations of ambient seismic noise between pairs of 71 permanent stations and 19 stations of the EASI profile to derive new high-resolution 3-D shear-velocity models for the crust. Continuous records from 2014 and 2015 are cross-correlated to estimate Green's functions of Rayleigh and Love waves propagating between the station pairs. Group velocities extracted from the cross-correlations are inverted to obtain isotropic 3-D Rayleigh and Love-wave shear-wave velocity models. Our high resolution models image several velocity anomalies and contrasts and reveal details of the crustal structure. Velocity variations at short periods correlate very closely with the lithologies of tectonic units at the surface and projected to depth. Low-velocity zones, associated with the Po and Molasse sedimentary basins, are imaged well to the south and north of the Alps, respectively. We find large high-velocity zones associated with the crystalline basement that forms the core of the Tauern Window. Small-scale velocity anomalies are also aligned with geological units such as the Ötztal and the Gurktal nappes of the Austroalpine nappes. Clear velocity contrasts in the Tauern Window along vertical cross-sections of the velocity model show the depth extent of the tectonic units and their bounding faults. A mid-crustal velocity contrast is interpreted as a manifestation of intracrustal decoupling in the Eastern Alps and decoupling between the Southern and Eastern Alps.

Ehsan Qorbani et al.

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Ehsan Qorbani et al.

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Short summary
Crustal structure of the Eastern and Southern Alps is complex. Although several seismological studies have targeted the crust, the velocity structure under this area is still not fully understood. Here we study the crustal velocity structure using seismic ambient noise tomography. Our high resolution models image several velocity anomalies and contrasts and reveal details of the crustal structure. We discuss our new models of the crust with respect to the geologic and tectonic features.
Crustal structure of the Eastern and Southern Alps is complex. Although several seismological...
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