Structure of the crust and uppermost mantle beneath the Sicily channel from ambient noise and earthquake tomography

Radia Kherchouche, Merzouk Ouyed, Abdelkrim Aoudia, Billel Mellouk, Ahmed Saadi


  1.  In this work, we study the crust and the uppermost mantle structure beneath the Sicily Channel, by applying the ambient noise and earthquake tomography method. After computing cross-correlation of the continuous ambient noise signals and processing the earthquake data, we extracted 104 group velocity and 68 phase velocity dispersion curves corresponding to the fundamental mode of the Rayleigh waves. We computed the average velocity of those dispersion curves to obtain tomographic maps at periods ranging from 5 s to 40 s for the group velocities and from 10 s to 70 for the phase velocities. We inverted group and phase speeds to get the shear-wave velocity structure from the surface down to 100 km depth with a lateral resolution of about 200 km. The resulted velocity models reveal a thin crust with thickness value of 15 km beneath the southern part of the Tyrrhenian basin and a thickness value of 20 km beneath Mount Etna. The obtained thickness values are well correlated with the reported extension of the Tyrrhenian lithosphere due to the past earthquake tomography subduction and rollback of the Ionian slab beneath the Calabrian Arc. The crustal thickness increases and reaches values between 28 and 30 km beneath the Tunisian coasts and Sicily Channel. The S-wave models reveal also the presence of high velocity body beneath the island of Sicily. This finding can be interpreted as the presence of the Ionian slab subducting beneath the Calabrian Arc. Another high velocity body is observed beneath the southern part of the Tyrrhenian basin, it might be interpreted as the presence of fragments of the African continental lithosphere beneath the  Tyrrhenian basin.


Sicily channel; Seismological data; Data processing; Tomography; Inverse methods.

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