Sharp contrast in lithospheric structure across the Sorgenfrei-Tornquist Zone as inferred by Rayleigh wave analysis of TOR1 project data

Cotte N, Pedersen HA, TOR Working Group

Publication type:
Scientific publication reviewed (Science Citation Index)


360(1-4), 2002, 75-88, 10.1016/S0040-1951(02)00348-7

Organization unit:

This work is a part of the TOR1 project (1996–1997) and is devoted to determining the lithospheric structure across the Sorgenfrei–Tornquist Zone in Northern Europe. For the first time in Europe, a very dense seismic broadband array has offered the possibility of determining very sharp lateral variations in the structure of the lithosphere at small scales using surface wave analysis. We measure phase velocities for Rayleigh waves with periods ranging between 10 and 100 s, both within arrays with apertures of 40–50 km (small compared to the wavelength), and along long profiles of at least 100 km. Dispersion curves are then inverted and shear-wave velocity models down to the depth of 200 km are proposed. We show that the Sorgenfrei–Tornquist Zone is a major tectonic feature within the whole lithosphere. North–east of this feature, in Sweden beneath the Baltic Shield, no lithosphere–asthenosphere boundary is observed to exist to depths of 200 km. South–west of the Sorgenfrei–Tornquist Zone, beneath Denmark, we find a lithospheric thickness of 120±20 km. The transition across the Sorgenfrei–Tornquist Zone is sharp and determined to be very steeply dipping to the south–west. We also demonstrate the existence of a sharp discontinuity between the lithospheres beneath Denmark (120±20 km thick) and beneath Germany (characterized by thicknesses of 50±10 km in the northernmost part and 100±20 km in the southwest). This discontinuity is most likely related to the Trans-European Fault at the surface.