3D Crustal Model of Western and Central Europe as a Basis for Modelling Mantle Structure

  • Magdala TesauroEmail author
  • Mikhail K. Kaban
  • Sierd A.P.L. Cloetingh
Part of the International Year of Planet Earth book series (IYPE)


EuCRUST-07 is a new 3D model of the crust for western and central Europe. It offers a starting point in any kind of numerical modelling, which requires an a priori removal of the crustal effect. The digital model (35ºN, 71ºN; 25ºW, 35ºE) consists of three layers: sediments and two layers of the crystalline crust. The latter are characterized by average P-wave velocities (V p ), which were defined based on seismic data. The model was obtained by assembling together at uniform 15×15 grid available results of deep seismic reflection, refraction and receiver function studies. The Moho depth variations were reconstructed by merging the most robust and recent Moho depth maps existing for the European region and compiled using published interpretations of seismic profiles. EuCRUST-07 demonstrates large differences in Moho depth with previous compilations: over ±10 km in some specific areas (e.g., the Baltic Shield). The basement is outcropping in some part of eastern Europe, while in western Europe it is up to ∼16 km deep, with an average value of 3–4 km, reflecting the presence of relatively shallow basins. The velocity structure of the crystalline crust turns out to be much more heterogeneous than demonstrated in previous compilations, having an average V p varying from 6.0 to 6.9 km/s. In comparison to existing models, the new model shows average crustal velocity values distributed over a larger and continuous range. The sedimentary thickness appears underestimated by CRUST2.0 by ∼10 km in several basins (e.g., the Porcupine basin), while it is overestimated by ∼3–6 km along part of the coastline (e.g., the Norwegian coast). EuCRUST-07 shows a Moho 5–10 km deeper than previous models in the orogens (e.g., the Cantabrian Mountains) and in the areas where the presence of magmatic underplating increases anomalously the crustal thickness. EuCRUST-07 predicts a Moho shallower 10–20 km along parts of the Atlantic margin, and in the basin (e.g., the Tyrrhenian Sea), where previous models overestimate the average crustal velocity. Furthermore, the results of EuCRUST-07 are used to make inferences on the lithology for various parts of Europe. The new lithology map shows the eastern European tectonic provinces represented by a granite-felsic granulite upper crust and a mafic granulite lower crust. By contrast, the younger western European tectonic provinces are mostly characterized by an upper and lower crust of granite-gneiss and dioritic composition, respectively.


3D crustal model EuCRUST-07 



We would like to thank Pierre Dèzes and Peter Ziegler (University of Basel), Richard W. England (University of Leichester), Elena Kozlovskaja (University of Oulu), Federica Marone (University of California), Michael Martin and Joachim Ritter (University of Karlsruhe), Luis Matias (University of Lisboa), Forough Sodoudi and Rainer Kind (GFZ, Potsdam), for providing Moho data. We are grateful to Conxi Ayala (IGME), Olivier Bourgeois (Nantes University), Patrick Ledru (BRGM), Thomas Diehl (ETH), Laszlo Lenkey (Eötvös University) and Magdalena Scheck-Wenderoth (GFZ, Potsdam), for providing sedimentary thickness and basement depth compilations. We are grateful to Charlotte Krawczyk, Yuriy Maystrenko, Magdalena Scheck-Wenderoth (GFZ, Potsdam), Adele Manzella and Giovanni Ruggeri (Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse), Roland Oberhänsli (University of Potsdam) and Peter Ziegler (University of Basel) for fruitful discussions. Funds were kindly provided by NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) and SRON (Space Research Organization Netherlands) DFG (German Research Foundation) Ro-2330/4-1.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magdala Tesauro
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mikhail K. Kaban
    • 3
  • Sierd A.P.L. Cloetingh
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Earth and Life SciencesNetherlands Research Centre for Integrated Solid Earth ScienceAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ)PotsdamGermany
  3. 3.Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam, Deutsches GeoforschungsZentrum (GFZ)PotsdamGermany

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