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Authors: Rappisi, Francesco* 
VanderBeek, Brandon* 
Faccenda, Manuele* 
Morelli, Andrea* 
Molinari, Irene* 
Title: Slab Geometry and Upper Mantle Flow Patterns in the Central Mediterranean From 3D Anisotropic P-Wave Tomography
Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 
Series/Report no.: /127 (2022)
Publisher: Wiley-AGU
Issue Date: May-2022
DOI: 10.1029/2021JB023488
Keywords: Central Mediterranean
P‐wave tomography
mantle dynamics
seismic anisotropy
slab geometry
subduction zone
Subject Classification04.01. Earth Interior 
04.06. Seismology 
Abstract: We present the first three-dimensional (3D) anisotropic teleseismic P-wave tomography model of the upper mantle covering the entire Central Mediterranean. Compared to isotropic tomography, it is found that including the magnitude, azimuth, and, importantly, dip of seismic anisotropy in our inversions simplifies isotropic heterogeneity by reducing the magnitude of slow anomalies while yielding anisotropy patterns that are consistent with regional tectonics. The isotropic component of our preferred tomography model is dominated by numerous fast anomalies associated with retreating, stagnant, and detached slab segments. In contrast, relatively slower mantle structure is related to slab windows and the opening of back-arc basins. To better understand the complexities in slab geometry and their relationship to surface geological phenomenon, we present a 3D reconstruction of the main Central Mediterranean slabs down to 700 km based on our anisotropic model. P-wave seismic anisotropy is widespread in the Central Mediterranean upper mantle and is strongest at 200-300 km depth. The anisotropy patterns are interpreted as the result of asthenospheric material flowing primarily horizontally around the main slabs in response to pressure exerted by their mid-to-late Cenezoic horizontal motion, while sub-vertical anisotropy possibly reflects asthenospheric entrainment by descending lithosphere. Our results highlight the importance of anisotropic P-wave imaging for better constraining regional upper mantle geodynamics.
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