Lithospheric structure of the Tornquist Zone resolved by nonlinear P and S teleseismic tomography along the TOR array

Shomali ZH, Roberts RG, Pedersen LB and the TOR Working Group (m. in. Grad M,Wilde-Piórko M)

Publication type:
Scientific publication reviewed (Science Citation Index)


416(1-4), 2006, 133-149, 10.1016/j.tecto.2005.11.019

Organization unit:

The main aim of the TOR project is to study the lithospheric–asthenospheric boundary structure under the Sorgenfrei–Tornquist Zone, across northern Germany, Denmark and southern Sweden. Relative arrival-time residuals of teleseismic P and S phases from 51 earthquakes, recorded by 150 seismic stations along the TOR array, were used to delineate the transition zone in the studied area. The effects of crustal structures were investigated by correcting the teleseismic residuals for travel-time variations in the crust based on a 3D crustal model derived from other data. The inversion was carried out for S phases. The results were then compared with the corresponding P-wave models. As expected, the derived models show that the relatively old and cold Baltic Shield has higher velocity at depth than the younger lithosphere farther South. The models show two sharp and distinct increases in depth to velocities which are low compared to our reference model, as we move from South to North. The location and sharpness of these boundaries suggests that the features resolved are, at least partially, compositional in origin, presumably related to mantle depletion. A sharp and steep subcrustal boundary is found roughly coincident with the southern edge of Sweden. This is below where the edge of the Baltic Shield is usually placed, based on surface geological evidence (the Sorgenfrei–Tornquist Zone). Another less significant transition is recognised more or less beneath the Elbe-lineament. Relatively high d(Vp / Vs) ratios under the central part of the profile (Denmark) indicate relatively low S-velocity in an area where a gravity high supports the hypothesis of extensive mafic intrusions.