Shear wave anisotropy beneath the Aegean inferred from SKS splitting observations

C. P. Evangelidis, W. T. Liang, N. S. Melis, K. I. Konstantinou

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SKS splitting parameters are measured in the Aegean region using events recorded at a dense temporary network in the south Aegean and the operating permanent networks, especially focusing in the back-arc and the near-trench areas of the Hellenic arc. In general, fast anisotropy directions are trench perpendicular in the back-arc area and trench parallel near the trench. Anisotropy measurements near the volcanic arc mark the transition between these two regions. In the back arc, a gradual increase is observed in delay times from south to north, with a prevailing NE-SW direction. In Cyclades, this pattern is correlated with GPS velocities and stretching lineations of metamorphic core complexes. Our preferred source of anisotropy in the back-arc region is the mantle wedge flow, induced by the retreating descending slab. The westernmost termination of the trench reveals directions parallel with the Kefalonia Transform Fault and perpendicular to the convergence boundary. Beneath Peloponnese, the trench-parallel flow is probably located beneath the shallow-dipping slab, although scattered measurements may also reflect fossil anisotropy from a past NW-SE strike of the trench. In western Crete, which may be entering a stage of continental collision, the anisotropy pattern changes to trench perpendicular, with a possible subslab source. Good nulls in central east Crete indicate a change in the anisotropy origin toward the east. At the easternmost side of the trench, fast directions are trench parallel. This reflects a similar subslab flow that may become toroidal around the slab edge beneath western Turkey. This may also produce a trench-parallel flow within the mantle wedge.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberB04314
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2011


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