Anomalous directional behaviour of the real parts of the induction arrows in the Eastern Alps: tectonic and palaeogeographic implications

M. Gurk, P. A. Schnegg


The electromagnetic induction pattern in the Eastern Alps is characterised by a (continuous) large-scale zone on which the real parts of the induction arrows show anomalous directional behaviour. This zone extends from the Penninic Domain of Eastern Switzerland (Graubünden) probably into the Carpathian ranges. A coarse mesh of a Magnetotelluric (MT) and Geomagnetic Deep Sounding (GDS) station in the Alps of Graubünden and Valais (Western Switzerland) indicates that this electromagnetic anomaly is restricted to the Mesozoic sediments of the North Penninic Bündnerschiefer-facies that begins in Eastern Switzerland and extends towards the east beneath Austroalpine, South Penninic and Southalpine units. Striking similarities in position and arrangement between this zone and the magnetic signature in the Eastern Alps are found. The analysis of the GDS data with the method of the Hypothetical Event Analysis (HEA) shows that current channelling affects the electromagnetic fields in this zone and causes the anomalous direction of induction arrows. Based on the combined interpretation of GDS data from the Eastern Alps and West Hungary together with our recent data from Switzerland, the following geological implications are discussed: i) a spatial decoupling of induction processes from the upper to the lower crust; ii) a lower crustal conductive structure caused by the indentation of the Northern Adriatic promontory or terrane; iii) the eastward continuation of the Bündnerschiefer-facies at least to the tectonic window of Rechnitz.


EM induction;geomagnetic deep sounding;conductivity anomaly;eastern Alps

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X