Get access

Seismic velocity structures of southern Italy from tomographic imaging of the Ionian slab and petrological inferences



In this study we have determined detailed Vp and Vs seismic velocity models of the Ionian lithosphere subducting beneath the Tyrrhenian basin and of the surrounding mantle, by applying a post-processing technique to a large sample of local earthquake tomography studies.

Our seismic velocity models permit us to infer the presence of low velocity anomalies within the slab, which we interpret as regions that are partially hydrated by fluids released during the subduction process. A petrological interpretation of the velocity anomalies gives new details on the magmatism of the volcanic Aeolian arc. Furthermore our velocity models provide a more detailed description of the boundary of the slab and its connection with the large seismically active Tindari-Letojanni strike slip system. Finally these results allow describing in detail some features of the slab as the presence of lateral and vertical tears. In conclusion, the obtained models provide some constraints for inferences on mantle circulation, and on the geodynamical evolution of the central-western Mediterranean.