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Authors: Piromallo, C.* 
Morelli, A.* 
Title: P wave tomography of the mantle under the Alpine-Mediterranean area
Issue Date: 2003
Series/Report no.: B2/108 (2003)
DOI: 10.1029/2002JB001757
Keywords: travel time
body wave tomography
upper mantle
Europe-Mediterranean area
Earth structure
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.02. Geodynamics 
Abstract: We study the upper mantle P wave velocity structure below the Euro-Mediterranean area, down to 1000 km depth, by seismic travel time tomography. We invert summary residuals constructed with both regional and teleseismic first arrival data reported by the International Seismological Centre (ISC) (1964–1995), introducing some alternative strategies in the travel time tomographic approach and a new scheme to correct teleseismic data for global mantle structure. Our high-resolution model PM0.5 is parameterized with three-dimensional (3-D) linear splines on a grid of nodes with 0.5 spacing in both horizontal directions and 50 km vertical spacing. We obtain about 26% root-mean-square (RMS) reduction of residuals by inversion in addition to roughly 31% reduction after summary rays formation and selection. Sensitivity analyses are performed through several test inversions to explore the resolution characteristics of the model at different spatial scales. The distribution of large-scale fast anomalies suggests that two different stages of a convection process presently coexist in very close regions. The mantle dynamics of western central Europe is dominated by blockage of subducted slabs at the 660 km discontinuity and ponding of seismically fast material in the transition zone. Contrarily, in the eastern Mediterranean, fast velocity material sinks into the lower mantle, suggesting that the flow of the cold downwelling here is not blocked by the 660 km discontinuity. On a smaller scale, the existence of tears in the subducted slab (lithospheric detachment) all along both margins of the Adriatic plate, as proposed by some authors, is not supported by our tomographic images.
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