Journal of Seismology

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 361–384 | Cite as

Complex deep seismic anisotropy below the Scandinavian Mountains

  • Corinna Roy
  • Joachim R. R. RitterEmail author
Original Article


Several seismological projects focused on the deep structure of the Scandinavian Mountains, in Norway and neighbouring Sweden. We use these recordings to study seismic anisotropy by analysing the birefringence of SKS and SKKS phases. These phases, which should be polarised radially, are split into an additional transverse component if they propagate through an anisotropic medium. Our results are directions Φ of the apparent fast shear wave polarisation and delay times δt between the split phases. For station KONO in Southern Norway, we find frequency-dependent Φ and δt values, indicating a depth-dependent anisotropy. Additionally, Φ and δt values vary with epicentre backazimuths in Norway, indicating a complex anisotropic structure in the crust and upper mantle. Stacking of the SKS/SKKS waveforms improves the signal-to-noise ratio along one station line and allows us to better determine the splitting parameters. A unique and complete model of the complex anisotropy cannot be obtained due to the limited observed backazimuth range. Near-surface tectonic structures correlate with the splitting pattern and thus the crust is one anisotropic layer in the region. Partly preferred orientations in the rock fabric at the surface can be correlated with Φ. Below one or more anisotropic layers must exist to explain the backazimuth- and frequency-dependent observations, as well as the long δt values (>2 s) which cannot be explained with crustal anisotropy alone. The spatial distribution of the splitting results indicates that different tectonics units, e.g. the Sveconorwegian, the Central and Northern Svecofennian and the Caledonian nappes, are each characterised by specific anisotropic signatures.


Scandinavia SKS splitting Anisotropy Lithosphere 



We thank especially Dr. Richard England, Dr. Johannes Schweitzer, and Dipl.-Geophys. Britta Wawerzinek for providing SCANLIPS, NORSAR, and MAGNUS waveforms, respectively. Two anonymous reviewers provided helpful and critical comments. MAGNUS waveforms were recorded with the mobile KArlsruhe BroadBand Array of the Universität Karlsruhe (TH) (now KIT), Germany, as well as with permanent stations of the NORSAR array and the Norwegian National Seismological Network. Financial support for the MAGNUS experiment was provided by the University of Aarhus, University of Copenhagen, University of Karlsruhe, and University of Oslo as well as NORSAR. SCANLIPS was conducted using seismic stations from the NERC Geophysical Equipment Facility (SEIS-UK) and NERC funding. This work has been done in association with the partners of the ESF EUROCORES TOPO-EUROPE Programme 07-TOPO-EUROPE-FP-014 “The Scandinavian mountain chain: deep processes (TopoScandiaDeep)”. It was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through grant RI1133/8-1. SeismicHandler (Stammler 1993) was used for seismic waveform processing and GMT software (Wessel and Smith 1998) was used for plotting maps.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geophysical InstituteKarlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany

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