Interpretation of geoid anomalies in the contact zone between the East European Craton and the Palaeozoic Platform—I. Estimation of effects of density inhomogeneities in the crust on geoid undulations

Majdański M., Kozlovskaya E., Świeczak M., Grad M.

Geophysical Journal International

177(2), 2009, 321–333, 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2008.03954.x

In our paper, we compile a detailed 3-D velocity model of the crust for the territory of Poland and investigate the effect of a 3-D density distribution in the crust on geoid undulations. The major tectonic feature in the study area is the Trans European Suture Zone (TESZ) separating the Precambrian East European Craton from younger tectonic units of Palaeozoic Europe. High-resolution seismic models of the crust and upper mantle from recent controlled-source experiments were interpolated into a 3-D P-wave velocity model for the whole Poland. The model was converted to a density model assuming different equations connecting seismic velocities to densities for crustal rocks, sediments and the uppermost mantle. The crustal density model was used to calculate synthetic geoid undulations for the territory of Poland and to estimate influence of separate layers (topography, sediments, crust and uppermost mantle) on the geoid. To calculate the gravity effect of a large-scale 3-D density model, we developed a code based on a point mass algorithm as well as prisms algorithm that uses some easy to implement optimizations. The synthetic geoid undulations were compared to an existing gravimetric quasi-geoid solution. The modelling showed that the difference in crustal structure between the East European Platform and Palaeozoic Platform explains significant part of the observed geoid undulations in the study area. The remained residual could be related to density inhomogeneities in the upper mantle.