Diaz, J., J. Gallart, and R. Carbonell Moho topography beneath the Iberian-Western Mediterranean region mapped from controlled-source and natural seismicity surveys, Tectonophysics, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tecto.2016.08.023.


The complex tectonic interaction processes between the European and African plates at the Western Mediterranean have left marked imprints in the crustal architecture of this area, particularly concerning the lateral variations in crustal thicknesses. The detailed mapping of such variations is hence of large interest, as it provides a major constraint to geophysical and geodynamic modeling at different scales. Controlled-source seismic profiling and receiver functions from natural seismicity are widely considered as major tools to constrain Moho topography. We compile here the Moho depths determined from a comprehensive number of both types of seismic surveys, to end up with a new 3D Moho depth map of the Iberian Peninsula, its continental margins and North Morocco. Since the 1970s, the lithospheric structure beneath this study area has been extensively investigated using multichannel normal incidence seismic reflection and refraction/wide-angle reflection profiling. In the last few years some high-resolution surveys at sea and inland have been acquired, the latter ones involving ~ 1000 land stations. On the other hand, the TopoIberia-IberArray experiment has triggered the investigations on crustal and lithospheric structure using natural seismicity, providing a homogeneous spatial resolution never achieved before. The availability of good quality results from both methodologies in a common area provides an excellent opportunity to check the consistency of the Moho depth estimations. The integration of both datasets has resulted in a new, high resolution map of the crustal thickness variations. The final grid evidences large Moho topography variations, including crustal imbrication in the Pyrenean range, a large and relatively undisturbed Variscan Massif in the center of Iberia and a probable delamination process beneath the Gibraltar Arc. The crustal thicknesses vary from ~ 15 km in continental margins up to values exceeding 50 km beneath the Pyrenees or the Rif Cordillera.

Reference article

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