Innovation of the Magnetotelluric method and its application to the characterization of the Pyrenean lithosphere

  1. Campanyà Llovet, Joan
Supervised by:
  1. Juan José Ledo Fernández Director

Defence university: Universitat de Barcelona

Fecha de defensa: 14 February 2013

  1. Agata Siniscalchi Chair
  2. Anna Gabàs Gasa Secretary
  3. David Pedreira Rodríguez Committee member

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 340899 DIALNET


This thesis is a compendium of three papers related to the magnetotelluric (MT) method and its application to the characterization of lithospheric-scale geoelectrical structures. The thesis begins with an Introduction where the motivation and the aims are presented as well as the geological context of the Pyrenees, the previous geophysical studies and the used data set. The Introduction also contains a description of the MT method with basic concepts useful to understand the MT analysis developed in the three papers. Then the three papers, which are the main part of the thesis, are exposed. After the papers, there is a Discussion where the results are commented and compared, extending some of the ideas proposed in the articles and including a new geoelectrical crustal model of the Western Pyrenees. Then there are the Conclusions and proposals of future works related to the MT sites acquired in the Pyrenees and the proposed method for processing MT data. At the end of the thesis there are the references of the cited works and an annex containing a copy of the two published papers and a copy of the submitted manuscript of the third paper. The first published paper determines the geoelectrical structures below the Central Pyrenees using new BBMT and LMT data acquired close to the ECORS-Pyrenees deep seismic profile. The aim of this study has been to improve the results obtained by Ledo (1996) and Pous et al. (1995a), taking advantage of the progress occurred in the last fifteen years associated with the MT method and the acquisition of MT data. The most important improvements that have been achieved are the better definition of the top of the electrical resistivity structure associated with the Iberian subducted lower crust (IBSLC) and the determination of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) below the Iberian and the European plates close to the collision zone. Complementary, an analysis of the geological properties of the lower-crust and the dehydration point of the muscovite and biotite rocks provides more arguments in favour of the hypothesis of partial melting to explain the geophysical observations associated with the IBSLC. In the second paper the MT method has been applied to characterize the geoelectrical structures below the West-Central Pyrenees in a new MT profile across the Pyrenean mountain range. This new MT profile is 130 km long and is composed by twenty BBMT sites acquired in 2010, seven of them also with LMT data. Results have been compared with the ones obtained in the Central Pyrenees characterizing the main geoelectrical variations between the two MT profiles. An analysis of the thermal re-equilibration of the IBSLC has been developed completing the analysis of the previous paper about the presence or absence of partial melting in the IBSLC. This analysis corroborates partial melting as the best explanation for the low electrical resistivity values of the IBSLC. The LAB below the West-Central Pyrenees has been determined not only below the Iberian and the European plates, as in the Central Pyrenees, but also below the collision zone. Additionally, an unexpected geoelectrical structure completely buried below the Ebro basin has been associated with a Variscan boundary. In the third paper a new method is proposed for processing MT data. The proposed method uses the horizontal magnetic fields recorded at a neighbouring site to process the MT data of a local site from inter-station tensor relationships. Results obtained in the experiments validate the method. A parameter has been defined in order to determine, in each specific study for each used period, if the proposed method can be applied.