A model for the Hellenic subduction zone in the area of Crete based on seismological investigations
T. Meier, D. Becker, B. Endrun, M. Rische, M. Bohnhoff, B. Stöckhert, H.-P. Harjes, 2007. "A model for the Hellenic subduction zone in the area of Crete based on seismological investigations", The Geodynamics of the Aegean and Anatolia, T. Taymaz, Y. Yilmaz, Y. Dilek
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The island of Crete represents a horst structure located in the central forearc of the retreating Hellenic subduction zone. The structure and dynamics of the plate boundary in the area of Crete are investigated by receiver function, surface wave and microseismicity using temporary seismic networks. Here the results are summarized and implications for geodynamic models are discussed. The oceanic Moho of the subducted African plate is situated at a depth of about 50–60 km beneath Crete. The continental crust of the overriding Aegean lithosphere is about 35 km thick in eastern and central Crete, and typical crustal velocities are observed down to the upper surface of the downgoing slab beneath western Crete. A negative phase at about 4 s in receiver functions occurring in stripes parallel to the trend of the island points to low-velocity slices within the Aegean lithosphere. Interplate seismicity is spread out about 100 km updip from the southern coastline of Crete. To the south of western Crete, this seismically active zone corresponds to the inferred rupture plane of the magnitude 8 earthquake of ad 365. In contrast, interplate motion appears to be largely aseismic beneath the island. The coastline of Crete mimics the shape of a microseismically quiet realm in the Aegean lithosphere at 20–40 km depth, suggesting a relation between active processes at this depth range and uplift. The peculiar properties of the lithosphere and the plate interface beneath Crete are tentatively attributed to extrusion of material from a subduction channel, driving differential uplift of the island by several kilometres since about 4 Ma.
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The complexity of plate interactions and associated crustal deformation in the Eastern Mediterranean region is reflected by the numerous destructive earthquakes that have occurred throughout its history. Many of these have been well documented and studied. In addition, the Aegean region provides examples of core-complex formation, synchronous basin evolution and subsequent graben formation and continental extensional deformation following orogenic contraction. It is therefore considered to be a perfect natural laboratory for the study of these mechanisms. The region has been the subject of intensive research for several decades. This book contains current results and ideas regarding the geodynamics of the Aegean and Anatolia. It will be essential reading for all geoscientists with an interest in the structural evolution of the Eastern Mediterranean.