Crustal and uppermost mantle shear-wave velocity structure beneath the Middle East from surface-wave tomography

Sandvol, Eric and Tang, Zheng and Lu, Yang and Rümpker, Georg and Boschi, Lapo and Pilia, Simone and Mai, Paul Martin and Moradi, Ali and Paul, Anne and Kaviani, Ayoub (2020) Crustal and uppermost mantle shear-wave velocity structure beneath the Middle East from surface-wave tomography. Geophysical Journal International. ISSN 0956-540X DOI

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We have constructed a 3-D shear-wave velocity (Vs) model for the crust and uppermost mantle beneath the Middle East using Rayleigh wave records obtained from ambient-noise cross-correlations and regional earthquakes. We combined one decade of data collected from 852 permanent and temporary broadband stations in the region to calculate group-velocity dispersion curves. A compilation of > 54000 ray paths provides reliable group-velocity measurements for periods between 2 and 150 s. Path-averaged group velocities calculated at different periods were inverted for 2-D group-velocity maps. To overcome the problem of heterogeneous ray coverage, we used an adaptive grid parametrization for the group-velocity tomographic inversion. We then sample the period-dependent group-velocity field at each cell of a predefined grid to generate 1-D group-velocity dispersion curves, which are subsequently inverted for 1-D Vs models beneath each cell and combined to approximate the 3-D Vs structure of the area. The Vs model shows low velocities at shallow depths (5–10 km) beneath the Mesopotamian foredeep, South Caspian Basin, eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea, in coincidence with deep sedimentary basins. Shallow high-velocity anomalies are observed in regions such as the Arabian Shield, Anatolian Plateau and Central Iran, which are dominated by widespread magmatic exposures. In the 10–20 km depth range, we find evidence for a band of high velocities (> 4.0 km/s) along the southern Red Sea and Arabian Shield, indicating the presence of upper mantle rocks. Our 3-D velocity model exhibits high velocities in the depth range of 30–50 km beneath western Arabia, eastern Mediterranean, Central Iranian Block, South Caspian Basin and the Black Sea, possibly indicating a relatively thin crust. In contrast, the Zagros mountain range, the Sanandaj-Sirjan metamorphic zone in western central Iran, the easternmost Anatolian plateau and Lesser Caucasus are characterized by low velocities at these depths. Some of these anomalies may be related to thick crustal roots that support the high topography of these regions. In the upper mantle depth range, high-velocity anomalies are obtained beneath the Arabian Platform, southern Zagros, Persian Gulf and the eastern Mediterranean, in contrast to low velocities beneath the Red Sea, Arabian Shield, Afar depression, eastern Turkey and Lut Block in eastern Iran. Our Vs model may be used as a new reference crustal model for the Middle East in a broad range of future studies.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2019AREp; IA76
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
08 - Green Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Geophysical Journal International
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2020 15:55
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2020 15:55

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