Brandmayr, E., Raykova, R., Zuri, M., Romanelli, F., Doglioni, C. and Panza, G. 2010. The lithosphere in Italy: structure and seismicity. In: (Eds.) Marco Beltrando, Angelo Peccerillo, Massimo Mattei, Sandro Conticelli, and Carlo Doglioni, The Geology of Italy: tectonics and life along plate margins, Journal of the Virtual Explorer, Electronic Edition, ISSN 1441-8142, volume 36, paper 1, doi:10.3809/jvirtex.2010.00224
The lithosphere in Italy: structure and seismicity
We propose a structural model for the lithosphere-asthenosphere system for the Italic region by means of the S-wave velocity (VS) distribution with depth. To obtain the velocity structure the following methods are used in the sequence: frequency-time analysis (FTAN); 2D tomography (plotted on a grid 1°×1°); non-linear inversion; smoothing optimization method. The 3D VS structure (and its uncertainties) of the study region is assembled as a juxtaposition of the selected representative cellular models. The distribution of seismicity and heat flow is used as an independent constraint for the definition of the crustal and lithospheric thickness. The moment tensor inversion of recent damaging earthquakes which occurred in the Italic region is performed through a powerful non-linear technique and it is related to the different rheologic-mechanic properties of the crust and uppermost mantle.
The obtained picture of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system for the Italic region confirms a mantle extremely vertically stratified and laterally strongly heterogeneous. The lateral variability in the mantle is interpreted in terms of subduction zones, slab dehydration, inherited mantle chemical anisotropies, asthenospheric upwellings, and so on. The western Alps and the Dinarides have slabs with low dip, whereas the Apennines show a steeper subduction. No evidence for any type of mantle plume is observed. The asymmetric expansion of the Tyrrhenian Sea, which may be interpreted as related to a relative eastward mantle flow with respect to the overlying lithosphere, is confirmed.
Table of Contents
- Appendix A. The influence of uppermost crustal composition in the inversion process and obtained VS structure.
- Appendix B. VS-depth model of the Italic region obtained after LSO.
- Appendix C. VS-depth model of the Alpine region obtained after GFO.
- Appendix D. Focal mechanism solutions.