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New evidence for the serpentinization of the Palaeozoic basement of southeastern Sicily from joint 3-D seismic velocity and attenuation tomography

By Elisabetta Giampiccolo, Alfonso Brancato, F. C. Manuella, S. Carbone, Stefano Gresta and V. Scribano


This article has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Journal Internationa ©: 2017 Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.In this study, we derived the first 3-D P-wave seismic attenuation images (QP) as well as new 3-D VP and VP/VS models for the crust in southeastern Sicily.We used a large data set of local seismic events occurring in the time span 1994–2013. The results of this tomographic study have important implications on the seismic behaviour of the region. Based on velocity and attenuation images, we identified distinct volumes characterized by different fluid content, which correlate well with seismicity distribution. Moreover, the obtained velocity and attenuation tomographies help us to provide a more complete picture of the crustal structure of the area. High VP, high QP and high VP/VS values have been obtained in the crustal basement, below a depth of 8 km, and may be interpreted as due to the presence of serpentinized peridotites. Accordingly, the new model for the degree of serpentinization, retrieved from VP values, shows that the basement has an average serpentinization value of 96 ± 3 vol.% at 8 km, decreasing to 44 ± 5 vol.% at about 18–20 km. Our joint interpretation of geophysical and petrophysical evidence suggests that the nature and composition of the Hyblean upper lithosphere may differ from accepted and longestablished geological models, which consider this lithospheric block a continuation of the Africa continental plate.Published1375–13957T. Struttura della Terra e geodinamicaJCR Journa

Publisher: 'Oxford University Press (OUP)'
Year: 2017
DOI identifier: 10.1093/gji/ggx369
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Provided by: Earth-prints
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