Seismic Anisotropy Along the Eurasian-Arabian Plate Boundary

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 9:45 AM
Eric A Sandvol1, Gleb Skobeltsyn1, Niyazi Turkelli2, Gulten Polat3, Gurban Yetirmishli4, Tea Godoladze5, Robert J Mellors6 and Rengin Gok7, (1)Univ Missouri Columbia, Columbia, MO, United States, (2)Kandilli Observatory, Geophysics, Istanbul, Turkey, (3)Kandilli Observatory, Istanbul, Turkey, (4)Republican Seismic Survey Center of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, Baku, Azerbaijan, (5)Ilia State Univeristy, Tbilisi, Georgia, (6)LLNL L-046, Livermore, CA, United States, (7)LLNL, Livermore, CA, United States
The Anatolian plateau and Caucasus are part of the orogenic belt that formed as the result of the closure of the Neo Tethys Ocean and the ensuing continental collision of Arabian and Eurasian plates. Multiple tomographic studies of both P and S wave velocities all show a broad low velocity zone beneath East Anatolian and North Iranian plateaus. The low velocity zone appears to range from the Moho to a depth 150 km, which suggests asthenospheric material underlying a very thin lithosphere of eastern Anatolia. This low velocity zone coincides with widespread Late Miocene – Quaternary calc–alkaline volcanic products of mantle origin. This very shallow asthenosphere strongly implies that any present day anisotropy is likely to reflect very recent mantle deformation.

In order to image seismic anisotropy and improve understanding of the nature of mantle deformation in young continental collision zone we analyzed data from the IRIS station KIV and the regional seismic networks of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia to determine shear wave splitting fast polarization directions and delay times in the region. Our results show that the fast polarization directions are quite uniformly parallel to NE-SW across the East Anatolian Plateau and the westernmost part of the Greater Caucasus. The observed delay times decrease northward with the shortest located in the western Greater Caucasus. However, to the east, the fast polarization direction rotates clockwise until it becomes parallel to the EW topographic? trend in the Lesser Caucasus where the delay times are the largest in the region. The situation becomes more complex north of the Lesser Caucasus, in the central and eastern parts of the Greater Caucasus, where the fast polarization directions shift abruptly to the NNE-SSW. Furthemore, we find relatively strong evidence of layered anisotropy using a new method we have developed to image multi-layered polarization anisotropy from teleseismic core phases such as SKS.