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High-resolution ambient-noise and earthquake surface-wave tomography of the Alps Apennines and Dinarides

Emanuel David Käestle 1
1 LSD - Lithosphère, structure et dynamique
iSTeP - Institut des Sciences de la Terre de Paris
Abstract : The plate collision in the Alps and adjacent orogens has created a complex picture of highly arcuate mountain belts and complicated interactions of subduction slabs. The subduction polarity is reversed from European to Adriatic subduction in the transition of the Alps to the Apennines and to the Dinarides. The subduction of Adria both to the west and east and the almost vertical dip of the slabs implies an important flexure of this plate. Even more so if one considers the proposed subduction of Adria also to the north under the eastern Alps, which is still a matter of discussion. Gaps in the Adriatic slab under the northern Dinarides, below 150~km depth and in the southern Apennines above 200~km may be signs of the stresses and the consequent tearing that the Adriatic plate is exposed to.Also the European plate has supposedly undergone one or several break-offs all along the Alpine arc. Especially in the eastern and western Alps it is still an open question whether the European slab is detached below the lithosphere. New tomographic models are thus needed.The herein presented tomographic model is based on surface-wave phase velocities and gives a picture of the shear-velocity structure from the surface to 200 km depth. It is the first high-resolution shear-velocity model of the entire Alpine crust and upper mantle. It is also unique in its good resolution in the lithospheric mantle, where previous body-wave models are subject to high uncertainties. In order to be able to image both crust and upper mantle, a combination of ambient-noise and earthquake-based phase-velocity measurements is used in the present thesis.The validity of this approach is tested by a detailed comparison of the phase-velocity measurements and the structures that are imaged from each method individually. A small bias between the methods results in slightly elevated velocities from earthquake measurements. By comparison with earlier works it appears that this bias is due to methodological differences. Several effects that may influence the ambient-noise records are tested with synthetic experiments, but no unique cause is found. The most likely explanation for the bias between the two methods is a combination of different structural sensitivities and the influence of higher modes. Nevertheless, the discrepancy is sufficiently small with respect to the structural variations that the bias can be neglected.A final shear-velocity model of the Alpine region is obtained which has a lateral resolution in the shallow crust of approximately 25 km. From synthetic tests, the average depth resolution is estimated to be 2~km close to the surface and 5 km for the Moho depth. In the upper mantle the resolution decreases significantly, but main slab structures are well imaged in the central Alps and the Apennines down to the bottom of the model at 200 km depth.Highlights of the crustal part of the model are size and depth of sedimentary basins, the Ivrea body and the Moho structure. Being the first shear-velocity model of this detail and extend it is proposed to serve as reference for the Alps...
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Emanuel David Käestle. High-resolution ambient-noise and earthquake surface-wave tomography of the Alps Apennines and Dinarides. Geophysics [physics.geo-ph]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017PA066307⟩. ⟨tel-01721450⟩

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