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Present-day upper-mantle architecture of the Alps: insights from data-driven dynamic modelling
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  • Ajay Kumar,
  • Mauro Cacace,
  • Magdalena Scheck-Wenderoth,
  • Hans-Jürgen Götze,
  • Boris J.P. Kaus
Ajay Kumar
GFZ, German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam Germany

Corresponding Author:kumar@gfz-potsdam.de

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Mauro Cacace
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
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Magdalena Scheck-Wenderoth
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
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Hans-Jürgen Götze
Institute of Geosciences, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel
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Boris J.P. Kaus
Johannes Gutenberg University
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The dynamics of the Alps and surrounding regions is still not completely understood, partly because of a non-unique interpretation of its upper-mantle architecture. In this respect, it is unclear if interpreted slabs are consistent with the observed surface deformation and topography. We derive three-end member scenarios of lithospheric thickness and slab geometries by clustering available shear-wave tomography models into a statistical ensemble. We use these scenarios as input for geodynamic simulations and compare modelled topography, surface velocities and mantle flow to observations. We found that a slab detached beneath the Alps, but attached beneath the Northern Apennines captures first-order patterns in topography and vertical surface velocities and can provide a causative explanation for the observed seismicity.