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Seismic anisotropy, structures and geodynamics of continents Shear-wave splitting in the Appalachians and the Pyrenees: importance of the inherited tectonic fabric of the lithosphere

Abstract : Splitting of teleseismic shear waves has been measured in the Appalachians (eastern USA) and the Pyrenees (western Europe) using data recorded by permanent and portable stations. From a comparison of the results, it appears that an interpretation of the recorded seismic anisotropy in terms of geodynamics is not straightforward. Successive geodynamic events have generated structures that may have resulted in a similar pattern of mantle flow and that therefore may have contributed in the development of the recorded anisotropy. Combining geological and geophysical arguments, it appears that the mantle anisotropy measured across the Appalachians and the Pyrenees may not be systematically Appalachian or Pyrenean in age but may be mainly due to a lithospheric structure formed during earlier major tectonic events, i.e. the Grenvillian and the Hercynian orogenies, respectively. We suggest that during major episodes of continent assembly, a pervasive tectonic fabric is developed in the lithospheric mantle. In the subsequent evolution of the continent, this fabric may induce a significant mechanical anisotropy that will drastically influence the mechanical behaviour of the Iithosphere when submitted to new tectonic events.
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A Vauchez, Guilhem Barruol. Seismic anisotropy, structures and geodynamics of continents Shear-wave splitting in the Appalachians and the Pyrenees: importance of the inherited tectonic fabric of the lithosphere. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, Elsevier, 1996, 95 (3-4), pp.127-138. ⟨10.1016/0031-9201(95)03125-1⟩. ⟨hal-01389717⟩

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