Physical differences in deep lithosphere of Northern and Central Europe

Gregersen S, Voss P, Shomali ZH, Grad M, Roberts RG, TOR WORKING GROUP (m. in. Wilde-Piórko M)

Geological Society Memoir

32, 2006, 313-322, 10.1144/GSL.MEM.2006.032.01.18

A number of large-scale integrated studies, including the TOR and POLONAISE'97 projects, with an emphasis on seismic methods, have been used to elucidate the southwestern boundary (suture zone) between the East European Craton and the Phanerozoic terranes of Western Europe. Results indicate that a thick slab of mantle lithosphere below the craton thins southwestwards beneath the Trans-European Suture Zone and is not seen south of the Variscan front. The thinning is not gradual, but is interrupted by at least two abrupt deep boundaries, the most significant of which corresponds to the surface position of the Tornquist Zone, a major fault. The present geometry of the lithosphere is the result of modification of the margin of the Neoproterozoic continent Baltica by Phanerozoic processes, including the development of the Tornquist Zone and the stretching of the lithosphere in a broad central block SW of this zone. Seismic results and their interpretations from the TOR tomographic project are presented and compared with results from the POLONAISE'97 controlled source project to the SE. Both investigations have shown high-angle, non-symmetrical features extending deep into the mantle.