We derive the 3-D crustal structure (S wave velocity) underneath Italy and the Alpine region, expanding and exploiting the database of ambient noise Rayleigh-wave phase- and group-velocity of Verbeke et al. (2012). We first complement the database of Verbeke et al. (2012) with a dense set of new ambient-noise-based phase-velocity observations. We next conduct a suite of linear least squares inversion of both phase- and group-velocity data, resulting in 2-D maps of Rayleigh-wave phase and group velocity at periods between 5 and 37 s. At relatively short periods, these maps clearly reflect the surface geology of the region, e.g., low velocity zones at the Po Plain; at longer periods, deeper structures such as Moho topography under Alps and Apennines, and lower-crust anomalies are revealed. Our phase- and group-velocity models are next inverted via the Neighbourhood Algorithm to determine a set of one-dimensional shear-velocity models (one per phase/group-velocity pixel), resulting in a new three-dimensional model of shear velocity (vS) parameterized in the same way as the European reference crustal model EPcrust. We also show how well vS is constrained by phase and group dispersion curves. The model shows the low velocity area beneath the Po Plain and the Molasse basin; the contrast between the low-velocity crust of the Adriatic domain and the high-velocity crust of the Tyrrhenian domain is clearly seen, as well as an almost uniform crystalline crust beneath the Alpine belt. Our results are discussed from the geological/geodynamical standpoint, and compared to those of other, interdisciplinary studies. © 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Chemistry and Pharmacology