Anisotropy across the Sorgenfrei-Tornquist Zone from shear wave splitting

TOR Working Grp

Publication type:
Scientific publication reviewed (Science Citation Index)


314(1-3), 1999, 335-350, 10.1016/S0040-1951(99)00252-8

Organization unit:

During the TOP-1 passive seismic experiment in 1996/97, a maximum of 139 temporary seismograph stations were operating over the Sorgenfrei-Tornquist Zone (STZ) in an area extending from northern Germany through Denmark to central Sweden. One of the objectives was to study horizontal anisotropy directions in the subcrustal lithosphere and asthenosphere across the Trans-European Suture Zone. To achieve this goal, broad-band and intermediate-period (5 s) data of the TOP-1 stations and additional stations of permanent networks (GRSN, GEOFON) were analysed for splitting of SKS and SKKS phases. As a result of the relatively dense station spacing, the method offers good lateral resolution of anisotropy. Preliminary results suggest that the directions of the fast horizontal S wave velocity are affected by the STZ. In central Europe and southern Sweden, far away from the STZ, fast S wave directions are approximately E-W while they turn more northerly closer to the STZ where they are approximately parallel to the trend of the STZ. No significant shear wave splitting was observed north of 57 degrees N and east of 14 degrees E. Small delay times between 0.2 and 0.5 s observed at the northernmost TOP-1 station T40S and T60S may be controlled by anisotropy in a thickened crust. The mantle contribution of horizontal anisotropy within the STZ is probably constrained to an approximately 60-km-thick zone in the depth range between 70 and 300 km. The observations are consistent with a model where azimuthal anisotropy is not governed by present-day mantle flow in the asthenosphere, but rath:er is frozen into the subcrustal lithosphere during the last episode of tectonic activity.