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Vilanova S.P.,University of Lisbon | Nemser E.S.,URS Corporation | Besana-Ostman G.M.,University of Lisbon | Bezzeghoud M.,University of Évora | And 13 more authors.
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America | Year: 2014

In probabilistic seismic-hazard analysis (PSHA), seismic source zone (SSZ) models are widely used to account for the contribution to the hazard from earthquakes not directly correlated with geological structures. Notwithstanding the impact of SSZ models in PSHA, the theoretical framework underlying SSZ models and the criteria used to delineate the SSZs are seldom explicitly stated and suitably documented. In this paper, we propose a methodological framework to develop and document SSZ models, which includes (1) an assessment of the appropriate scale and degree of stationarity, (2) an assessment of seismicity catalog completeness-related issues, and (3) an evaluation and credibility ranking of physical criteria used to delineate the boundaries of the SSZs. We also emphasize the need for SSZ models to be supported by a comprehensive set of metadata documenting both the unique characteristics of each SSZ and the criteria used to delineate its boundaries. This procedure ensures that the uncertainties in the model can be properly addressed in the PSHA and that the model can be easily updated whenever new data are available. The proposed methodology is illustrated using the SSZ model developed for the Azores-West Iberian region in the context of the Seismic Hazard Harmonization in Europe project (project SHARE) and some of the most relevant SSZs are discussed in detail.


Evans R.L.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Jones A.G.,Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies | Garcia X.,Barcelona Center for Subsurface Imaging | Muller M.,Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth | Year: 2011

A regional-scale magnetotelluric (MT) experiment across the southern African Kaapvaal craton and surrounding terranes, called the Southern African Magnetotelluric Experiment (SAMTEX), has revealed complex structure in the lithospheric mantle. Large variations in maximum resistivity at depths to 200-250 km relate directly to age and tectonic provenance of surface structures. Within the central portions of the Kaapvaal craton are regions of resistive lithosphere about 230 km thick, in agreement with estimates from xenolith thermobarometry and seismic surface wave tomography, but thinner than inferred from seismic body wave tomography. The MT data are unable to discriminate between a completely dry or slightly "damp" (a few hundred parts per million of water) structure within the transitional region at the base of the lithosphere. However, the structure of the uppermost ∼150 km of lithosphere is consistent with enhanced, but still low, conductivities reported for hydrous olivine and orthopyroxene at levels of water reported for Kaapvaal xenoliths. The electrical lithosphere around the Kimberley and Premier diamond mines is thinner than the maximum craton thickness found between Kimberley and Johannesburg/Pretoria. The mantle beneath the Bushveld Complex is highly conducting at depths around 60 km. Possible explanations for these high conductivities include graphite or sulphide and/or iron metals associated with the Bushveld magmatic event. We suggest that one of these conductive phases (most likely melt-related sulphides) could electrically connect iron-rich garnets in a garnet-rich eclogitic composition associated with a relict subduction slab. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.


Moeller S.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science | Grevemeyer I.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science | Ranero C.R.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Berndt C.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science | And 4 more authors.
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems | Year: 2013

Extension of the continental lithosphere leads to the formation of rift basins and ultimately may create passive continental margins. The mechanisms that operate during the early stage of crustal extension are still intensely debated. We present the results from coincident multichannel seismic and wide-angle seismic profiles that transect across the northern Tyrrhenian Sea Basin. The profiles cross the Corsica Basin (France) to the Latium Margin (Italy) where the early-rift stage of the basin is well preserved. We found two domains, each with a distinct tectonic style, heat flow and crustal thickness. One domain is the Corsica Basin in the west that formed before the main rift phase of the northern Tyrrhenian Sea opening (∼8-4 Ma). The second domain is rifted continental crust characterized by tilted blocks and half-graben structures in the central region and at the Latium Margin. These two domains are separated by a deep (∼10 km) sedimentary complex of the eastern portion of the Corsica Basin. Travel-time tomography of wide-angle seismic data reveals the crustal architecture and a subhorizontal 15-17 ± 1 km deep Moho discontinuity under the basin. To estimate the amount of horizontal extension we have identified the pre-, syn-, and post-tectonic sedimentary units and calculated the relative displacement of faults. We found that major faults initiated at angles of 45°-50° and that the rifted domain is horizontally stretched by a factor of β ∼ 1.3 (∼8-10 mm/a). The crust has been thinned from ∼24 to ∼17 km indicating a similar amount of extension (∼30%). The transect represents one of the best imaged early rifts and implies that the formation of crustal-scale detachments, or long-lived low-angle normal faults, is not a general feature that controls the rift initiation of continental crust. Other young rift basins, like the Gulf of Corinth, the Suez Rift or Lake Baikal, display features resembling the northern Tyrrhenian Basin, suggesting that half-graben formations and distributed homogeneous crustal thinning are a common feature during rift initiation. ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


Prada M.,Barcelona Center for Subsurface Imaging | Sallares V.,Barcelona Center for Subsurface Imaging | Ranero C.R.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Vendrell M.G.,Barcelona Center for Subsurface Imaging | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth | Year: 2014

In this work we investigate the crustal and tectonic structures of the Central Tyrrhenian back-arc basin combining refraction and wide-angle reflection seismic (WAS), gravity, and multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection data, acquired during the MEDOC (MEDiterráneo OCcidental)-2010 survey along a transect crossing the entire basin from Sardinia to Campania at 40°N. The results presented include a ~450 km long 2-D P wave velocity model, obtained by the traveltime inversion of the WAS data, a coincident density model, and a MCS poststack time-migrated profile. We interpret three basement domains with different petrological affinity along the transect based on the comparison of velocity and velocity-derived density models with existing compilations for continental crust, oceanic crust, and exhumed mantle. The first domain includes the continental crust of Sardinia and the conjugate Campania margin. In the Sardinia margin, extension has thinned the crust from ~20 km under the coastline to ~13 km ~60 km seaward. Similarly, the Campania margin is also affected by strong extensional deformation. The second domain, under the Cornaglia Terrace and its conjugate Campania Terrace, appears to be oceanic in nature. However, it shows differences with respect to the reference Atlantic oceanic crust and agrees with that generated in back-arc oceanic settings. The velocities-depth relationships and lack of Moho reflections in seismic records of the third domain (i.e., the Magnaghi and Vavilov basins) support a basement fundamentally made of mantle rocks. The large seamounts of the third domain (e.g., Vavilov) are underlain by 10-20 km wide, relatively low-velocity anomalies interpreted as magmatic bodies locally intruding the mantle. ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


Prada M.,Barcelona Center for Subsurface Imaging | Sallares V.,Barcelona Center for Subsurface Imaging | Ranero C.R.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Vendrell M.G.,Barcelona Center for Subsurface Imaging | And 3 more authors.
Geophysical Journal International | Year: 2015

Geophysical data from the MEDOC experiment across the Northern Tyrrhenian backarc basin has mapped a failed rift during backarc extension of cratonic Variscan lithosphere. In contrast, data across the Central Tyrrhenian have revealed the presence of magmatic accretion followed by mantle exhumation after continental breakup. Here we analyse the MEDOC transect E-F, which extends from Sardinia to the Campania margin at 40.5°N, to define the distribution of geological domains in the transition from the complex Central Tyrrhenian to the extended continental crust of the Northern Tyrrhenian. The crust and uppermost mantle structure along this ~400-km-long transect have been investigated based on wide-angle seismic data, gravity modelling and multichannel seismic reflection imaging. The P-wave tomographic model together with a P-wave-velocity-derived density model and the multichannel seismic images reveal seven different domains along this transect, in contrast to the simpler structure to the south and north. The stretched continental crust under Sardinia margin abuts the magmatic crust of Cornaglia Terrace, where accretion likely occurred during backarc extension. Eastwards, around Secchi seamount, a second segment of thinned continental crust (7-8 km) is observed. Two short segments of magmatically modified continental crust are separated by the ~5-km-wide segment of the Vavilov basin possibly made of exhumed mantle rocks. The eastern segment of the 40.5°N transect E-F is characterized by continental crust extending from mainland Italy towards the Campania margin. Ground truthing and prior geophysical information obtained north and south of transect E-F was integrated in this study to map the spatial distribution of basement domains in the Central Tyrrhenian basin. The northward transition of crustal domains depicts a complex 3-D structure represented by abrupt spatial changes of magmatic and non-magmatic crustal domains. These observations imply rapid variations of magmatic activity difficult to reconcile with current models of extension of continental lithosphere essentially 2-D over long distances. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society.


Kormann J.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences | Biescas B.,Barcelona Center for Subsurface Imaging | Korta N.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences | De La Puente J.,Barcelona Supercomputing Center | Sallars V.,Barcelona Center for Subsurface Imaging
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans | Year: 2011

Recent works show that multichannel seismic (MCS) systems are able to provide detailed information on the oceans' fine structure. The aim of this paper is to analyze whether 1-D full waveform inversion algorithms are suitable to recover the extremely weak acoustic impedance contrasts associated to the oceans' fine structure, as well as their potential to image meso-scale objects such as meddies. We limited our analysis to synthetic, noise-free data, in order to identify some methodological issues related to this approach under idealistic conditions (e.g., 1-D wave propagation, noise-free data, known source wavelet). We first discuss the influence of the starting model in the context of the multi-scale strategy that we have implemented. Then we show that it is possible to retrieve not only sound speed but also salinity and temperature contrasts within reasonable bounds from the seismic data using Neural Network relationships trained with regional oceanographic data sets. Potentially, the vertical resolution of the obtained models, which depends on the maximum frequency inverted, is of the order of 5-10 m, whereas the root mean square error of the inverted properties is shown to be ∼0.5 m/s for sound speed, 0.1C for temperature, and 0.06 for salinity. To conclude this study, we have inverted synthetic data simulated along an oceanographic transect acquired during the EU-funded Geophysical Oceanography (GO) project. The results demonstrate the applicability of the method for synthetic data, as well as its potential to define oceanographic features along 2-D transects at full ocean depth with excellent lateral resolution. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.


Alcalde J.,CSIC - Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera | Alcalde J.,CIUDEN Foundation | Marti D.,CSIC - Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera | Juhlin C.,Uppsala University | And 9 more authors.
Solid Earth | Year: 2013

The Basque-Cantabrian Basin of the northern Iberia Peninsula constitutes a unique example of a major deformation system, featuring a dome structure developed by extensional tectonics followed by compressional reactivation. The occurrence of natural resources in the area and the possibility of establishing a geological storage site for carbon dioxide motivated the acquisition of a 3-D seismic reflection survey in 2010, centered on the Jurassic Hontomín dome. The objectives of this survey were to obtain a geological model of the overall structure and to establish a baseline model for a possible geological CO2 storage site. The 36 km2 survey included approximately 5000 mixed (Vibroseis and explosives) source points recorded with a 25 m inline source and receiver spacing. The target reservoir is a saline aquifer, at approximately 1450 m depth, encased and sealed by carbonate formations. Acquisition and processing parameters were influenced by the rough topography and relatively complex geology. A strong near-surface velocity inversion is evident in the data, affecting the quality of the data. The resulting 3-D image provides constraints on the key features of the geologic model. The Hontomín structure is interpreted to consist of an approximately 10 7 m2 large elongated dome with two major (W-E and NW-SE) striking faults bounding it. Preliminary capacity estimates indicate that about 1.2 Gt of CO2 can be stored in the target reservoir. © 2013 Author(s).


Prada M.,Barcelona Center for Subsurface Imaging | Prada M.,Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies | Ranero C.R.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Sallares V.,Barcelona Center for Subsurface Imaging | And 2 more authors.
Tectonophysics | Year: 2016

The Tyrrhenian basin opened in the Neogene following the E-SE retreat of the Appenines-Calabrian subduction system and the subsequent back-arc extension of an orogenic crust. The resultant crustal structure includes a complex distribution of continental, back-arc magmatism, and mantle-exhumation domains. A clear example of this complex structure is found in the central and deepest part of the basin (i.e. Magnaghi-Vavilov sub-basin) where geophysical data supported that the bulk of the basement is composed of partially serpentinised peridotite representing exhumed mantle rocks, and intruded by basalts forming low ridges and volcanic edifices. However, those data sets cannot univocally demonstrate the widespread presence of serpentinised mantle rocks, let alone the percentage of serpentinisation. Here, we use S-wave arrivals and available geological information to further constrain the presence of mantle serpentinisation. Travel times of converted S-waves were used to derive the overall Vp/Vs and Poisson's ratio (σ), as well as S-wave velocity of the basement in the Magnaghi-Vavilov Basins. This analysis reveals Vp/Vs. ≈. 1.9 (σ. ≈. 0.3) that strongly supports a serpentinised peridotite forming the basement under the basins, rather than oceanic-type gabbro/diabase. P-wave velocity models is later used to quantify the amount of serpentinisation from fully serpentinised (up to 100%) at the top of the basement to <. 10% at 5-7. km deep, with a depth distribution similar to continent-ocean Transition zones at magma-poor rifted margins. Seismic reflection profiles show normal faulting at either flank of the Magnaghi-Vavilov Basin that is potentially responsible for the onset of serpentinisation and later mantle exhumation. These results, together with basement sampling information in the area, suggests that the late stage of mantle exhumation was accompanied or soon followed by the emplacement of MOR-type basalts forming low ridges that preceded intraplate volcanism responsible for the formation of large volcanoes in the area. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

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