Lithospheric P- and S-wave velocity models of the Sicilian area using WAM tomography: procedure and assessments

Marco Calò, Laura Parisi, Dario Luzio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


We present 3-D models of the P- and S-wave velocity distributions in the crust and uppermost mantle beneath Sicily, Calabria (Southern Italy), and surrounding submerged areas, obtained by tomographic inversion of traveltimes of regional body waves phases. Our method combines double-difference tomographic inversion with a post-processing procedure [Weighted Average Model method (WAM)]. This procedure was applied to a set of models consistent with the experimental data. We tested the ability of the WAM procedure to mitigate the uncertainty associated with the arbitrary nature of the many input parameters required for each inversion. The local reliability and resolution of the obtained models have been assessed through: syn- thetic tests, experimental tests carried out with independent data sets and unconventional tests based on the analysis of the internal consistency of the P- and S-velocity models. The tomo- graphic images provide a detailed sketch of P- and S-wave velocity anomalies. These clearly show the shape of the Sicilian-Maghrebian belt beneath Sicily and Calabrian Arc at different depths. Low VP and Vs bodies are imaged beneath Stromboli and Marsili volcanoes in the southern Tyrrhenian, whereas high and low seismic velocities alternate beneath the Etna giving inferences on the possible depth of the mantle melting feeding the volcano. In the upper crust, the main sedimentary basins and tectonic features are also well imaged. Finally, tomographic cross sections show the trend of the Moho in the study area, where its depth ranges between 35 and 40 km beneath the Sicilian belt and between 15 and 22 km in the southern Tyrrhenian basin and Ionian Sea.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-649
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number1
Early online date7 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Seismic tomography
  • Sicily

Cite this