Comparison of gravimetric and seismic constraints on the structure of the Aegean lithosphere in the forearc of the Hellenic subduction zone in the area of Crete.

Snopek, K., Meier, T., Endrun, B., Bohnhoff, M. and Casten, U. (2007) Comparison of gravimetric and seismic constraints on the structure of the Aegean lithosphere in the forearc of the Hellenic subduction zone in the area of Crete. Journal of Geodynamics, 44 (3-5). pp. 173-185. DOI 10.1016/j.jog.2007.03.005.

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Abstract

The island of Crete is located in the forearc of the Hellenic subduction zone, where the African lithospheric plate is subducting beneath the Eurasian one. The depth of the plate contact as well as the internal structure of the Aegean plate in the area of Crete have been a matter of debate. In this study, seismic constrains obtained by wide-angle seismic, receiver function and surface wave studies are discussed and compared to a 3D density model of the region.

The interface between the Aegean continental lithosphere and the African one is located at a depth of about 50 km below Crete. According to seismic studies, the Aegean lithosphere in the area of Crete is characterised by strong lateral, arc–parallel heterogeneity. An about 30 km thick Aegean crust is found in central Crete with a density of about 2850 kg/m3 for the lower Aegean continental crust and a density of about 3300 kg/m3 for the mantle wedge between the Aegean crust and the African lithosphere. For the deeper crust in the area of western Crete two alternative models have been proposed by seismic studies. One with an about 35 km thick crust and another one with crustal velocities down to the plate contact. A grid search is performed to test the consistency of these models with gravimetric constraints. For western Crete a model with a thick lower Aegean crust and a density of about 2950 kg/m3 is favoured. The inferred density of the lower Aegean crust in the area of Crete correlates well with S-wave velocities obtained by surface wave studies.

Based on the 3D density model, the weight of the Aegean lithosphere is estimated along an E–W oriented profile in the area of Crete. Low weights are found for the region of western Crete.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Hellenic subduction zone, Gravity field, 3D modelling, Seismic methods
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R06
Kiel University
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R09
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.jog.2007.03.005
ISSN: 02643707
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2017 09:57
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2017 09:57
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/39663

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