Moho depth of the European Plate from teleseismic receiver functions

Grad M., Tiira T.

Journal of Seismology

16 (2), 2012, 95-105, 10.1007/s10950-011-9251-x

Crustal structure and the Moho depth are exceptionally well known beneath Europe. The first digital, high-resolution map of the Moho depth for the whole European Plate was compiled in 2007 and recently published in Geophysical Journal International. In the past few years, considerable developments have taken place in the receiver function techniques. Different receiver function techniques provide new, independent information, in particular on the S-wave velocity distribution in the crust and on the Moho depth. This gives an opportunity to compare the Moho depth from the Moho depth map of the European Plate (HMM) and the Moho depth from receiver function studies (HRF). Herein, we also compile and analyze the uncertainty of the crustal thickness determinations data obtained with receiver function analysis. The uncertainty is found to be ±2 km for 20-km-thick crust and about ±4 km for 60-km-thick crust. Comparison of the Moho depths shows an approximately linear trend between HRF and HMM. For the Moho depth of 30–40 km, the values are approximately equal, while for thin crust, HRF is about 5 km shallower than HMM, and for thick crust, it is about 5 km deeper than HMM. Possible reasons for this, the observed discrepancy between the Moho depths HMM and HRF, are discussed.