High Resolution Seismological Profiling across Sierra Nevada (HIRE)

Time frame: 2010 - 2011

We operated a densely spaced broadband seismic field experiment to study the structure of the crust and mantle lithosphere across the Sierra Nevada mountain range, southern Spain. The Sierra Nevada is one of the key areas within the complicated Betic-Alboran-Rif system. It contains the highest mountain of the Iberian Peninsula and is located in the close vicinity of a very deep seismic zone (>600 km depth). This region plays a decisive role in answering the question if subduction or delamination is the dominant geological process in the western Mediterranean. The seismic array, consisting of 40 broadband stations spaced 2 km apart (compared to earlier station spacing of ~50 km), has been deployed in September 2010 by a joint effort of GFZ Potsdam and University of Granada, and has
be operated until the end of 2011. The proposed scientific work is the analysis of the data collected with the present experiment which includes mainly P and S receiver function analysis and surface wave tomography with ambient noise data. We will image the seismic structure and thickness variation of the crust and mantle lithosphere at high resolution and hence infer tectonic and geodynamic processes related to the Africa-Eurasia collision. Joint inversion/interpretation of receiver functions and ambient noise tomography may remove some of the ambiguities associated with each individual method and provide appropriate models for time-depth conversion of the receiver functions. The resulting structural details especially of the mantle lithosphere will contribute essentially to the recognition of the geodynamic deformations in the western part of the African-Eurasian plate collision.

Dr. Xiaohui Yuan (GFZ Potsdam)
Dr. Benjamin Heit (GFZ Potsdam)

Principle Investigators
Dr. Xiaohui Yuan (GFZ, Section 2.4)
Dr. Benjamin Heit (GFZ, Section 2.4)
Dr. Rainer Kind (GFZ, Section 2.4)

Dr. Flor de Lis Mancilla, Dr. Daniel Stich, Prof. Jose Morales (University of Granada, Spain)

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