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Analysis of the crustal velocity structure of the British Isles using teleseismic receiver functions

By J.P. Tomlinson, P. Denton, P.K.H. Maguire and D.C. Booth


The onshore crustal and upper mantle velocity structure of the British Isles has been investigated by teleseismic receiver function analysis. The results of the study augment the dense offshore and sparse onshore models of the velocity structure beneath the area. In total almost 1500 receiver functions have been analysed, which have been calculated using teleseismic data from 34 broadband and short-period, three-component seismic recording instruments. The crustal structure has primarily been investigated using 1-D grid search and forward modelling techniques, returning crustal thicknesses, bulk crustal V[subscript p]/V[subscript s] ratio and velocity-depth models. H−κ stacking reveals crustal thicknesses between 25 and 36 km and V[subscript p]/V[subscript s] ratios between 1.6 and 1.9. The crustal thicknesses correlate with the results of previous seismic reflection and refraction profiles to within ±2 km. The significant exceptions are the stations close to the Iapetus Suture where the receiver function crustal thicknesses are up to 5 km less than the seismic refraction Moho. This mismatch could be linked to the presence of underplated magmatic material at the base of the crust. 1-D forward modelling has revealed subcrustal structures in northern Scotland. These correlate with results from other UK receiver function studies, and correspond with the Flannan and W-reflectors. The structures are truncated or pinch out before they reach the Midland Valley of Scotland. The isolated subcrustal structure at station GIM on the Isle of Man may be related to the closure of the Iapetus Ocean.Peer-reviewedPublisher Versio

Publisher: Oxford University Press for Royal Astronomical Society
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03044.x
OAI identifier:

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