EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Receiver function analysis for determining the crustal structure of Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain)

Víctor Ortega1 and Luca D'Auria1,2
Víctor Ortega and Luca D'Auria
  • 1Instituto Volcanológico de Canarias, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands (
  • 2Instituto Tecnológico y de Energías Renovables (ITER), Granadilla de Abona, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain (

The receiver function analysis (RF) is a commonly used and well-established method to investigate subsurface crustal and upper mantle structures, removing the source, ray-path and instrument signatures. RF gives the unique signature of sharp seismic discontinuities and information about P-wave (P) and shear-wave (Ps) velocity below the seismic station. In particular using the direct P-wave as a known reference arrival time, and the relative arrival time of P-to-S (Ps) conversions as well as PpPs, PsPs and PsSs reflections allow constraining the principal crustal structures and allows us to study the effects of dipping interfaces and crustal layering.

The aim of this work is to use the RF non-conventional analysis to study the crustal structures of Tenerife. Previous studies on receiver functions analysis an active oceanic volcanic island, showed that the Moho topography have a high dipping under the volcanic edifice and a depth ranging between 11 and 18 km depth. Furthermore, it has been observed that some phases related with a layer of volcanic rocks having a thickness of about 5.5 km and a P-wave velocity (Vp) of approximately 6 Km/s, lies above an old oceanic crust having a thickness of about 7 km and a Vp of about 6.8 km/s.

For this study we applied both time and frequency domain deconvolution to obtain receiver functions. The determination of the average crustal thickness and has been achieved by using the commonly uses H-k method. To constrain the internal crustal layering, we used a non-linear inversion algorithm based on full waveform modeling of the receiver function. Finally, we realized a modelling of the reflected and converted phases in the crust using seismic ray tracing. Our modelling takes into account the surface topography as well as an arbitrary geometry of the Moho.

In conclusion our results showed the presence of a thick layer (up to 5.5 km) of volcanic rocks in the central part of the island overlying an oceanic crust whose total thickness varied from 18 km in the central part to about 11 km in the peripheral areas. This work represents the first step toward further studies devoted at a finer imaging of the crustal structures of Tenerife using receiver function analysis.

How to cite: Ortega, V. and D'Auria, L.: Receiver function analysis for determining the crustal structure of Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain), EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-309,, 2019