Anisotropic lithosphere under the Fennoscandian shield from P receiver functions and SKS waveforms of the POLENET/LAPNET array


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Seismic azimuthal anisotropy is the key evidence of the past and present strains in the upper mantle. The standard analysis of shear-wave splitting with the SKS techniques is useful in mapping lateral variations but it is insensitive to depth of anisotropy and to variations of anisotropy with depth. To retrieve the depth localized anisotropy under the Fennoscandian shield, we inverted P-wave receiver functions of the POLENET/LAPNET array in northern Finland jointly with SKS recordings. Shear-wave anisotropy of ~. 2.5% with the fast direction of 40°-60° in a depth range from the Moho to ~. 110. km is a robust result of the inversion. The obtained direction is nearly normal to the azimuth of the maximum horizontal compressional stress in the lithosphere, but a recent origin of this anisotropy is in doubt. This anisotropy may be frozen since the Precambrian, but it shows no clear relation with the trends of the Precambrian tectonics. The upper anisotropic layer accounts for ~. 40% of shear-wave splitting in SKS, and to explain the rest another anisotropic layer is required. The top of the second layer with a practically similar fast direction is found at a depth of 200-240. km. This direction is close to the current APM direction of the lithosphere with implication that the inferred anisotropy may be related with the current plate motion, and the anisotropic layer belongs to the asthenosphere. The bottom of this layer is uncertain, but it is at least 320. km deep. In a depth range from 160. km to 200-240. km the fast anisotropy direction is 110-150°. Origin of this direction is unclear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-54
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier B.V.


The study was funded by Academy of Finland (grant No. 122762 ) and University of Oulu, BEGDY programme of the Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Institut Paul Emil Victor and ILP task force VIII, the Grant Agency of the Czech Academy of Sciences (grant No. IAA300120709 ), Russian Academy of Sciences (programmes No.5 and No. 9).

FundersFunder number
Grant Agency of the Czech Academy of SciencesIAA300120709
Agence Nationale de la Recherche
Academy of Finland122762
Russian Academy of Sciences
Institut Polaire Français Paul Emile Victor
Oulun Yliopisto


    • Asthenosphere
    • Lithosphere
    • Mantle flow
    • Receiver functions
    • Seismic anisotropy
    • Shear-wave splitting


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