Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-468
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-468
22 Feb 2024
 | 22 Feb 2024

Highlights on mantle deformation beneath the Western Alps with seismic anisotropy using CIFALPS2 data

Silvia Pondrelli, Simone Salimbeni, Judith M. Confal, Marco Malusà, Anne Paul, Stephane Guillot, Stefano Solarino, Elena Eva, Coralie Aubert, and Liang Zhao

Abstract. There are still open questions about the deep structure beneath the Western Alps. Seismic velocity tomographies show the European slab subducting beneath the Adria plate, but all these images did not clarify completely about the possible presence of tears, slab windows or detachments. Seismic anisotropy, addressed as an indicator of mantle deformation and studied using data recorded by dense networks, may shed some light about the location and orientation of mantle flow at depth. Using the large amount of shear wave splitting and splitting intensity measurements available in the Western Alps, collected through the CIFALPS2 temporary seismic network, together with already available data, highlight some new patterns, filling the gaps left by previous studies. Instead of the typical seismic anisotropy pattern parallel to the entire arc of the Western Alps, this study supports the presence of a differential contribution along the belt, only partly related to the European slab retreat. A nearly NS anisotropy pattern beneath the external Alps, direction that cuts the morphological features of the belt, is clearly found with the new CIFALPS2 measurements. It is however confirmed that the asthenospheric flow from Central France toward the Tyrrhenian Sea, is turning around the southern tip of the European slab.

Silvia Pondrelli, Simone Salimbeni, Judith M. Confal, Marco Malusà, Anne Paul, Stephane Guillot, Stefano Solarino, Elena Eva, Coralie Aubert, and Liang Zhao

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-468', Anonymous Referee #1, 24 Mar 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-468', Anonymous Referee #2, 31 Mar 2024
Silvia Pondrelli, Simone Salimbeni, Judith M. Confal, Marco Malusà, Anne Paul, Stephane Guillot, Stefano Solarino, Elena Eva, Coralie Aubert, and Liang Zhao
Silvia Pondrelli, Simone Salimbeni, Judith M. Confal, Marco Malusà, Anne Paul, Stephane Guillot, Stefano Solarino, Elena Eva, Coralie Aubert, and Liang Zhao

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Short summary
We analyse and interpret seismic anisotropy from CIFALPS2 data, that fills the gaps in Western Alps and support a new hypothesis. Instead of a continuous mantle flow parallel to the belt here we find: a NS mantle deformation pattern from beneath Europe that merges first with mantle deformed by slab retreat beneath Central Alps, then merges with an asthenospheric flow sourced beneath the Massif Central. This new sketch supports the extinction of slab retreat beneath Western Alps.