The phase velocity method has been applied to the problem of the determination of the crust and upper mantle under the western Alpine crest and in the Alpine foreland to the north. An extensive data processing package has been designed so that Fourier analysis is applied to the determination of phase velocities, rather than the more usual peak-and-trough method. Effects of contamination by multipath interference, manifested in beats, can be minimized. Advantage is made of apparent azimuthal variations in phase velocity to yield a further refinement in the method whereby the tripartite results are assigned to discrete lines in the network rather than to the area swept out by the wave front.
The results show that a well-developed low-velocity channel for S is found throughout the region with a velocity of S in the channel of 4.2 km/sec. The top of the channel is at about 80 km depth. A new analysis of P-wave data shows a likely horizon for reflections at 220 km; this is taken to be the depth of the lower boundary to the channel.
The mean P-wave velocity in the lower crust is at least as high as 6.7 km/sec. The crustal and upper mantle structure vary significantly over relatively short distances. The Mohorovičić discontinuity is deepest under the crest of the Alps and shoals to the north and west; a well developed root has been found.