Crustal Structure of the Western Anatolian Extensional Province: Evidence for a ductile lower crust through the joint inversion of Receiver Functions and Dispersion Data
Abstract:Western Anatolia is one of the most seismically active regions in the world, undergoing broad N-S extension associated with the rollback of the Aegean slab in the south. This region is characterized by high heat-flow, recent volcanism, and core-complex formation. We use >3500 receiver functions from a dense array of 47 stations located in western Turkey and dispersion data from a recent regional-scale, ambient noise tomography study to invert for shear-wave velocity as a function of depth. Using this technique, we obtain an unprecedented three-dimensional shear-wave velocity model that characterizes the crust of western Turkey.
We find a sharp Moho transition beneath much of western Anatolia, with crustal thickness varying from ~25 km near the Aegean Sea to ~35 km beneath the Fethiye Lobe correlating with the topography in western Turkey. The lower crust exhibits a relatively continuous ~10-15 km thick low shear-wave velocity layer (LVL) beneath most of western Anatolia, reaching velocities below 3.0 km/s in some places. The top of this LVL marks the lower boundary of crustal seismicity. These characteristics suggest that the lower crust in western Anatolia is behaving as a ductile solid, as seismic velocities in this range at lower crustal depths are indicative of the presence of fluids (possibly partial melts when considering the high heat-flow in the region). We propose that the lower crust in this region may be undergoing local crustal flow due to the N-S dominated stress regime, which led to the formation of the sharp, low-relief Moho observed in western Turkey.
Across the Fethiye-Burdur Fault Zone, we see the slowest S-wave velocities in the lower crust, reaching ~2.8 km/s. Unlike elsewhere in western Turkey, this region has relatively low surficial heat-flow and no recent volcanism. Therefore, the anomaly in the Fethiye Lobe is likely due to a different mechanism than western Turkey. We also observe a very slow uppermost mantle beneath this region, with shear-wave speeds < 4.2 km/s. We attribute this anomaly to subduction related processes, such as the introduction of aqueous fluids from the underthrusting of thick, hydrated sediments or alternatively, to possible serpentinization of the upper-mantle. Mantle wavespeeds transition to more typical velocities across the Fethiye-Burdur Fault Zone.