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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  30 Oct 2020

30 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal SE.

Moho topography beneath the Eastern European Alps by global phase seismic interferometry

Irene Bianchi1,2, Elmer Ruigrok3,4, Anne Obermann5, and Edi Kissling5 Irene Bianchi et al.
  • 1Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Via di Vigna Murata 605, 00143, Rome, Italy
  • 2Institut für Meteorologie und Geophysik, Universität Wien, 1090 Wien Althanstraße 14 (UZA II)
  • 3Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt, The Netherlands
  • 4Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 5Swiss Seismological Service, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract. In this work we present the application of the Global-Phase Seismic Interferometry (GloPSI) technique to a data-set recorded across the Eastern Alps with the EASI temporary seismic network (Eastern Alpine Seismic Investigation). GloPSI aims at rendering an image of the lithosphere from the waves that travel across the core before reaching the seismic stations (i.e. PKP, PKiKP, PKIKP). The technique is based on the principle that a stack of autocorrelations of transmission responses mimics the reflection response of a medium, and is used here to retrieve information about the crust-mantle boundary, such as its depth and topography. We produce images of the upper lithosphere using 64 teleseismic events. We notice that with GloPSI, we can well image the topography of the Moho in regions, where it shows a nearly planar behaviour (i.e. in the northern part of the profile, from the Bohemian massif to beneath the Northern Calcareous Alps). Below the higher crests of the Alpine chain, and the Tauern Window in particular, we cannot find evidence for a typical boundary between crust and mantle. The GloPSI results indicate the absence of an Adriatic crust made of laterally continuous layers smoothly descending southwards. On the contrary, our results confirm the observations of previous studies suggesting a structurally complex Moho topography and faulted internal Alpine crustal structure.

Irene Bianchi et al.

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Irene Bianchi et al.

Data sets

AlpArray Seismic Network (2014): Eastern Alpine Seismic Investigation (EASI) - AlpArray Complimentary Experiment. AlpArray Working Group. Other/Seismic Network.

Irene Bianchi et al.


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Latest update: 04 Dec 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The European Alps formed during collision between the European and Adriatic plates, and are one of the most studied orogens for understanding the dynamics of mountain building. In Eastern Alps, the contact between the colliding plates is still a matter of debate. We have used the records from distant earthquakes to highlight the geometries of the crust-mantle boundary in the Eastern Alpine area; our results suggest a complex and faulted internal crustal structure beneath the higher crests.
The European Alps formed during collision between the European and Adriatic plates, and are one...