Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 176, Issue 11, pp 4783–4796 | Cite as

Three-Dimensional P-Wave Velocity Structure of Tehran from Local Micro-Earthquake Tomography

  • Taghi ShirzadEmail author
  • Mojtaba Naghavi
  • Mahsa Afra
  • Farzam YaminiFard


Tehran region is located at the southern foothills of central Alborz Mountains which is one of the most seismically active regions due to the convergence between the Arabian and the Eurasian plates. In this study, 3-D crustal velocity structure of Tehran region was investigated using first P-wave arrival times of events with magnitudes less than 4. Data used was recorded by the stations from Tehran Disaster Management and Mitigation Organization, Iranian Seismological Center and International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology from 2004 to 2018. In order to obtain the crustal velocity structure of Tehran, iterative, damped least-squares method was used to solve/obtain earthquake parameters and velocity structures, simultaneously. Final results show three tectonic characteristics in the study area including high velocity anomalies in northern and eastern Tehran Mountains, and low velocity anomaly in triangular Tehran basin, so that the separation of the eastern Tehran Mountains and Tehran basin is especially sharp in cross-section profiles. Moreover, some low velocity anomalies are appeared around major faults in the study area (e.g. North Tehran Fault). The tomographic maps also show that the Tehran region contains of an upper crust layer with the thickness of 6 km which is located over middle crust layer bedrock with constant velocity up to 15 km. This upper crust layer consists of a sedimentary layer (~ 3 km thickness) overlaid a basement layer. Moreover, the thick and thin upper crust layers are separated by North Tehran and Kosar/Ghasr-Firooz faultsystems from the Tehran basin, respectively.


Local earthquake tomography p-wave velocity structure Tehran region 



This study was supported by the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), Sao Paulo, Brazil [grant number 2016/20952-4]. This study would not have been possible without the digital data sets provided by the Tehran Disaster Management and Mitigation Organization (TDMMO;; not openly available to the public, last accessed April 2019), Iranian Seismological Center (IrSC) at the University of Tehran/Iran (; openly available to the public, last accessed April 2019) and International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES, last accessed April 2019). All plots were made using Generic Mapping Tools (GMT), version 4.2.1 (Wessel and Smith, 1998;, last accessed April 2019). All processing and simulations presented in this paper were performed using a Cluster system on the Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences (IAG,, at University of Sao Paulo (USP). We would also like to thank the Editor and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and useful suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric ScienceUniversity of Sao PauloSao PauloBrazil
  2. 2.School of GeosciencesUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  3. 3.Institute of GeophysicsUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  4. 4.International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and SeismologyTehranIran

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