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B. H. Jacobsen

Upper-mantle P- and S- wave velocities across the Northern Tornquist Zone from traveltime tomography

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This study presents P- and S-wave velocity variations for the upper mantle in southern Scandinavia and northern Germany based on teleseismic traveltime tomography. Tectonically, this region includes the entire northern part of the prominent Tornquist Zone which follows along the transition from old Precambrian shield units to the east to younger Phanerozoic deep sedimentary basins to the southwest. We combine data from several separate temporary arrays/profiles (276 stations) deployed over a period of about 15 yr and permanent networks (31 stations) covering the areas of Denmark, northern Germany, southern Sweden and southern Norway. By performing an integrated P- and S-traveltime analysis, we obtain the first high-resolution combined 3-D VP and VS models, including variations in the VP/VS ratio, for the whole of this region of study. Relative station mean traveltime residuals vary within ±1 s for P wave and ±2 s for S wave, with early arrivals in shield areas of southern Sweden and later arrivals in the Danish and North German Basins, as well as in most of southern Norway. In good accordance with previous, mainly P-velocity models, a marked upper-mantle velocity boundary (UMVB) is accurately delineated between shield areas (with high seismic mantle velocity) and basins (with lower velocity). It continues northwards into southern Norway near the Oslo Graben area and further north across the Southern Scandes Mountains. This main boundary, extending to a depth of at least 300 km, is even more pronounced in our new S-velocity model, with velocity contrasts of up to ±2–3 per cent. It is also clearly reflected in the VP/VS ratio. Differences in this ratio of up to about ±2 per cent are observed across the boundary, with generally low values in shield areas to the east and relatively higher values in basin areas to the southwest and in most of southern Norway. Differences in the VP/VS ratio are believed to be a rather robust indicator of upper-mantle compositional differences. For the depth interval of about 100–300 km, thick, depleted, relatively cold shield lithosphere is indicated in southern Sweden, contrasting with more fertile, warm mantle asthenosphere beneath most of the basins in Denmark and northern Germany. Both compositional and temperature differences seem to play a significant role in explaining the UMVB between southern Norway and southern Sweden. In addition to the main regional upper-mantle velocity contrasts, a number of more local anomaly features are also outlined and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Pages (from-to)437-458
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

    Research areas

  • Body waves, Seismic tomography, Cratons, Dynamics of lithosphere and mantle, Europe

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