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High resolution image of the Moho in the Eastern Alpine–Dinaric transition and implications for Alpine tectonic history

The tectonic structure of the Eastern Alps is heavily debated with successive geophysical studies that are unable to resolve areas of ambiguity (e.g., the presence of a switch in subduction polarity and differing crustal models). In order to better understand this area, we produce a high resolution Moho map of the Eastern Alps based on a dense seismic broadband array deployment. Moho depths were derived from joint analysis of receiver function images of direct conversions and multiple reflections for both the SV (radial) and SH (transverse) components, which enables us to map overlapping and inclined discontinuities. We observe the European Moho to be underlying the Adriatic Moho from the west up to the eastern edge of the Tauern Window. East of the Tauern Window, a sharp transition from underthrusting European to a flat and thinned crust associated with Pannonian extension tectonics occurs, which is underthrust by both European crust in the north and by Adriatic crust in the south. The Adriatic lithosphere underthrusts northward below the Southern Alps and becomes steeper and deeper towards the Dinarides where it dips towards the north-east. Our results suggest that the steep high velocity region in the mantle below the Eastern Alps, observed in tomographic studies, is likely to be of European origin.


Stefan Mroczek1, Frederik Tilmann1, Pleuger Jan2, Xiaohui Yuan3, Heit Ben3, SWATH-D Working Group -4, AlpArray Working Group -5
1GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), Potsdam, Germany;Freie Universität Berlin, Institute for Geological Sciences, Berlin, Germany; 2Freie Universität Berlin, Institute for Geological Sciences, Berlin, Germany; 3GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), Potsdam, Germany; 4See for full memberlist; 5See for full member list
GeoBerlin 2023
Eastern Alps