Crust-mantle mechanical coupling in Eastern Mediterranean and Eastern Turkey

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Ozeren M. S.

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, vol.109, no.22, pp.8429-8433, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Present-day crust-mantle coupling in the Eastern Mediterranean and eastern Turkey is studied using the Global Positioning System (GPS) and seismic anisotropy data. The general trend of the shear wave fast-splitting directions in NE Turkey and Lesser Caucaus align well with the geodetic velocities in an absolute plate motion frame of reference pointing to an effective coupling in this part of the region of weak surface deformation. Farther south, underneath the Bitlis Suture, however, there are significant Pn delays with E-W anisotropy axes indicating significant lateral escape. Meanwhile, the GPS reveals very little surface deformation. This mismatch possibly suggests a decoupling along the suture. In the Aegean, the shear wave anisotropy and the Pn anisotropy directions agree with the extensional component of the right-lateral shear strains except under the Crete Basin and other parts of the southern Aegean Sea. This extensional direction matches perfectly also with the southward pulling force vectors across the Hellenic trench; however, the maximum right-lateral shear directions obtained from the GPS data in the Aegean do not match either of these anisotropies. Seismic anisotropy from Rayleigh waves sampled at 15 s, corresponding to the lower crust, match the maximum right-lateral maximum shear directions from the GPS indicating decoupling between the crust and the mantle. This decoupling most likely results from the lateral variations of the gravitational potential energies and the slab-pull forces.