This study investigates crustal thickness and properties within the Libyan region. Results obtained from 15 seismic stations belonging to the Libyan Center for Remote Sensing and Space Science are reported, in addition to 3 seismic stations publically available, using receiver functions. The results show crustal thicknesses ranging from 24 km to 36 km (with uncertainties ranging between ±0.10 km and ±0.90 km). More specifically, crustal thickness ranges from 32 km to 36 km in the southern portion of the Libyan territory then becomes thinner, between 24 km and 30 km, in the coastal areas of Libya and thinnest, between 24 km and 28 km, in the Sirt Basin. The observed high Vp/Vs value of 1.91 at one station located at the AS Sawda Volcanic Province in central Libya indicates the presence of either partial melt or an abnormally warm area. This finding suggests that magma reservoirs beneath the Libyan territory may still be partially molten and active, thereby posing significant earthquake and volcanic risks. The hypothesis of an active magma source is further demonstrated though the presence of asthenospheric upwelling and extension of the Sirt Basin. This study provides a new calculation of unconsolidated sediment layers by using the arrival time of the P to S converted phases. The results show sediments thicknesses of 0.4 km to 3.7 km, with the Vp/Vs values ranging from 2.2 to 4.8. The variations in crustal thickness throughout the region are correlated with surface elevation and Bouguer gravity anomalies, which suggest that they are isostatically compensated.
A. A. Lemnifi et al., "Crustal Thickness beneath Libya and the Origin of Partial Melt beneath As Sawda Volcanic Province from Receiver Function Constraints," Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, vol. 122, no. 12, pp. 10,037-10,051, Blackwell Publishing, Dec 2017.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JB014291
Mining and Nuclear Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
Bouguer anomaly; Crustal thickness; Magma; Partial melting; Seismic velocity; Seismic wave; Tectonics; Volcano; Libyan Arab Jamahiriya; Sirte Basin; Libya; Partial melt; Receiver functions; Volcano tectonics
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Journal
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