An integrated geophysical study of north African and Mediterranean lithospheric structure

Paul Joseph Dial, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

This dissertation utilizes gravity and seismic waveform modeling techniques to: (1) determine models of lithospheric structure across northern African through gravity modeling and (2) determine lithospheric and crustal structure and seismic wave propagation characteristics across northern Africa and the Mediterranean region. ^ The purpose of the gravity investigation was to construct models of lithospheric structure across northern Africa through the analysis of gravity data constrained by previous geological and geophysical studies. Three lithospheric models were constructed from Bouguer gravity data using computer modeling, and the gravity data was wavelength-filtered to investigate the relative depth and extent of the structures associated with the major anomalies. In the Atlas Mountains area, the resulting earth models showed slightly greater crustal thickness than those of previous studies if a low density mantle region is not included in the models. However, if a low density mantle region (density = 3.25 g/cm3) was included beneath the Atlas, the earth models showed little crustal thickening (38 km), in accord with previous seismic studies. ^ The second portion of the research consisted of seismic waveform modeling of regional and teleseismic events to determine crustal and lithospheric structure across northern Africa and the Mediterranean. A total of 174 seismograms (145 at regional distances (200–1400 km) and 29 with epicentral distances exceeding 1900 km) were modeled using 1-D velocity models and a reflectivity code. At regional distances from four stations surrounding the western Mediterranean basin (MAL, TOL, PTO and AQU) and one station near the Red Sea (HLW), 1-D velocity models can satisfactorily model the relative amplitudes of both the Pnl and surface wave portions of the seismograms.^ Modeling of propagation paths greater than 1900 km was also conducted across northern Africa and the Mediterranean. The results indicate that the S-wave velocity model of Corchete et al. (1995) is more appropriate for the Iberian Peninsula, southwestern Mediterranean basin and northwest African coast than the other models tested. This model was better able to predict both the timing and amplitudes of the observed Sn and surface wave components on the observed seismograms. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)^

Subject Area

Physical Geography|Geology|Geophysics|Geological Survey

Recommended Citation

Dial, Paul Joseph, "An integrated geophysical study of north African and Mediterranean lithospheric structure" (1998). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI9919356.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI9919356

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