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Authors: Scafidi, D.*
Solarino, S.*
Title: Can local earthquake tomography settle the matter about subduction in the Northern and Central Apennines? Response from a new high resolution P velocity and Vp/Vs ratio 3-D model
Title of journal: Tectonophysics
Series/Report no.: /554-557(2012)
Publisher: Elsevier Science Limited
Issue Date: 2012
DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2012.06.007
Keywords: Seismic tomography
Asthenospheric upwelling
Abstract: According to the most common interpretation, the Apennines developed in Neogene and Quaternary times in the hanging wall of a west directed subduction zone. Seismic tomography is the most powerful tool to investigate large volume of Earth at depth, and it has been extensively applied to shed light on the geometry and shape of the subduction under the Italian peninsula. The various experiments were able to display the slab under the Southern Apennines, but even the most recent tomographic images were non-uniquely interpretable and left open questions about the characteristics of the subduction in the Northern-Central sector of the chain. We here present the results of an improved inversion experiment focused on the Northern and Central Apennines. The results do not show any pronounced subduction slab and the most evident anomaly is a low velocity body extending down to 100 km depth, located in a relatively small area under the western Tuscany. On the basis of accurate synthetic tests, we assess that, if established, a subduction like geometry should be visible in our tomographic images. We then conclude that no subduction is imaged in the Northern and Central Apennines. We thus interpret this anomaly as an asthenospheric flow. However, we cannot exclude that our result is due to intrinsic limitations of the methodology. In fact in response to the original question about the capability of local earthquake tomography to settle the matter about subduction, we underline that the absence of deep earthquakes to illuminate the model from below, the existence of seismic gaps in some sectors of the area under study even at shallow depth and the non uniqueness of interpretation of the tomographic images make local tomography unable to give alone definitive information on the deep structure of the Northern and Central Apennines.
Appears in Collections:04.06.07. Tomography and anisotropy
Papers Published / Papers in press

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