Journal cover Journal topic
Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

IF value: 2.921
IF 5-year value: 3.087
IF 5-year
CiteScore value: 4.8
SNIP value: 1.314
IPP value: 2.87
SJR value: 0.993
Scimago H <br class='widget-line-break'>index value: 38
Scimago H
h5-index value: 36
© 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.

  08 Jul 2020

08 Jul 2020

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

Crustal structure of southeast Australia from teleseismic receiver functions

Mohammed Bello1,2, David G. Cornwell1, Nicholas Rawlinson3, Anya M. Reading4, and Othaniel K. Likkason2 Mohammed Bello et al.
  • 1Department Geology & Geophysics, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
  • 2Department of Physics, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Nigeria
  • 3Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 4School of Natural Sciences (Physics), University of Tasmania, Australia

Abstract. In an effort to improve our understanding of southeast Australia’s enigmatic tectonic evolution, we analyse teleseismic earthquakes recorded by 24 temporary and 8 permanent broadband stations using the receiver function method. Crustal thickness, bulk seismic velocity and internal crustal structure of the southern Tasmanides – an assemblage of Palaeozoic accretionary orogens that occupy eastern Australia – are constrained by our new results which point to: (1) a 39.0 ± 0.5 km thick crust, a relatively high Poisson’s ratio (0.262 ± 0.014) and a broad (> 10 km) crust-mantle transition beneath the Lachlan Fold Belt. This is interpreted to represent magmatic underplating of mafic materials at the base of the crust; (2) a complex crustal structure beneath VanDieland, a postulated Precambrian continental fragment embedded in the southernmost Tasmanides, where the crust thickens (37.5 ± 1.2 km) towards the northern tip of the microcontinent as it enters south central Victoria but thins south into Bass Strait (30.5 ± 2.1 km), before once again becoming thicker beneath western Tasmania (33.5 ± 1.9 km). The thinner crust beneath Bass Strait can be attributed to lithospheric stretching that resulted from the break-up of Antarctica and Australia and the opening of the Tasman Sea; (3) stations located in the East Tasmania Terrane and eastern Bass Strait (ETT+EB) collectively indicate crust of uniform thickness (∼ 33 km) and a slightly broad Moho transition that reflect a possible underplating event associated with a Palaeozoic subduction system. The relative uniformity of Vp/Vs and Poisson’s ratio in VanDieland – suggesting uniformity in composition – could be used in support of the VanDieland microcontinental model that explains the tectonic evolution of southeast Australia.

Mohammed Bello et al.

Interactive discussion

Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
[Login for Authors/Topical Editors] [Subscribe to comment alert] Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

Mohammed Bello et al.

Data sets

SE Australian receiver function dataset Mohammed Bello, David G. Cornwell, Nicholas Rawlinson, Anya M. Reading, Othaniel K. Likkason

Mohammed Bello et al.


Total article views: 273 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
156 79 38 273 9 32 30
  • HTML: 156
  • PDF: 79
  • XML: 38
  • Total: 273
  • Supplement: 9
  • BibTeX: 32
  • EndNote: 30
Views and downloads (calculated since 08 Jul 2020)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 08 Jul 2020)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 158 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 157 with geography defined and 1 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1



No saved metrics found.


No discussed metrics found.
Latest update: 01 Dec 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
In this study, ground motion caused by distant earthquakes recorded in southeast Australia is used to image the structure of the crust and underlying mantle. This part of the Australian continent was assembled over the last 500 million years, but it remains poorly understood. By studying variations in crustal properties and thickness, we find evidence for the presence of an old microcontinent that is embedded in the younger terrane, and forms a connection between Victoria and Tasmania.
In this study, ground motion caused by distant earthquakes recorded in southeast Australia is...