Gravity modeling of the Alpine lithosphere affected by magmatism based on seismic tomography

Tadiello, Davide; Braitenberg, Carla

The southern Alpine regions were affected by several magmatic and volcanic events between the Paleozoic and the Tertiary. This activity undoubtedly had an important effect on the density distribution and structural setting at lithosphere scale. Here the gravity field has been used to create a 3D lithosphere density model on the basis of a high-resolution seismic tomography model. The results of the gravity modeling demonstrate a highly complex density distribution in good agreement with the different geological domains of the Alpine area represented by the European Plate, the Adriatic Plate and the Tyrrhenian basin. The Adriatic-derived terrains (Southalpine and Austroalpine) of the Alps are typically denser (2850 inline-formulakg m−3), whilst the Alpine zone, composed of terrains of European provenance (Helvetic and Tauern Window), presents lower density values (2750 inline-formulakg m−3). Inside the Southalpine, south of the Dolomites, a well-known positive gravity anomaly is present, and one of the aims of this work was to investigate the source of this anomaly that has not yet been explained. The modeled density suggests that the anomaly is related to two different sources; the first involves the middle crust below the gravity anomaly and is represented by localized mushroom-shaped bodies interpreted as magmatic intrusions, while a second wider density anomaly affects the lower crust of the southern Alpine realm and could correspond to a mafic and ultramafic magmatic underplating (gabbros and related cumulates) developed during Paleozoic extension.



Tadiello, Davide / Braitenberg, Carla: Gravity modeling of the Alpine lithosphere affected by magmatism based on seismic tomography. 2021. Copernicus Publications.


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Rechteinhaber: Davide Tadiello

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