Journal of Seismology

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 839–851 | Cite as

Moho depth variations and Vp/Vs ratios in the seismotectonic zones of Central Iran, Eastern Iran, and Makran: using a modified Zhu and Kanamori method

  • Afsaneh NasrabadiEmail author
  • Mohammad Reza Sepahvand
  • Zahra Dadjo
Original Article


Variations of the Moho depth and Vp/Vs ratio beneath the Central Iran, Eastern Iran, and Makran regions using a modified Zhu and Kanamori method are presented in this paper. Receiver functions have been calculated from 3 years of teleseismic recordings at seventeen broadband stations using a time-domain iterative deconvolution method. Our results indicate that Moho depth changes from 56 km beneath the western part of Central Iran to 40 km in Central Iran and 38 km in Eastern Iran. The relatively thick crust beneath western margin of Central Iran is due to the close proximity of this region to the Sanandaj-Sirjan Zone and the Urumieh-Dokhtar magmatic arc that are associated with underthrusting of the Arabian plate beneath Central Zagros along the main Zagros reverse fault. Also, crustal thickening of this region would be due to volcanic intrusions, magmatic. The reduction of crustal thickness beneath the eastern stations in this region could be due to the absence of a collisional zone in the tectonic evolution of the region. The results beneath the CHBR station located in Makran indicate a value of 31 km for crustal thickness and 1.70 for the Vp/Vs ratio. It is associated to subduction of the oceanic crust of the Arabian plates, beneath the southern part of the Makran crust with a very low slope. The crust beneath Central and Eastern Iran has a moderate thickness which decreases from west to east.


Moho depth Receiver function Vp/Vs ratio Central Iran 



We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions and comments. The seismic data used in this study were obtained from the Iranian Seismological Center (IRSC, and broadband Iranian National Seismic Network (INSN, We used the computer programs of SEISAN (the earthquake analysis specialized,, SAC (Seismis-Analysis-Code, and TauP package ( for data processing and GMT (Wessel and Smith 1995) for plotting.


  1. Abdetedal M, Shomali ZH, Gheitanchi MR (2014) Crust and upper mantle structures of the Makran subduction zone in south-east Iran by seismic ambient noise tomography. Solid Earth Discuss 6(1):1–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alavi M (1994) Tectonics of the Zagros orogenic belt of Iran: new data and interpretations. Tectonophysics 229:211–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berberian M, King GCP (1981) Towards a palaeogeography and tectonic evolution of Iran. Can J Earth Sci 18:210–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berberian M, Jackson JA, Fielding EJ, Parsons BE, Priestley K, Qorashi M, Talebian M, Walker R, Wright TJ, Baker C (2001) The 1998 March 14 Fandoqa earthquake (Mw 6.6) in Kerman province, southeast Iran: re-rupture of the 1981 Sirch earthquake fault, triggering of slip on adjacent thrusts and the active tectonics of the Gowk fault zone. Geophys J Int 146:371–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Byrne DE, Sykes LR (1992) Great thrust earthquakes and aseismic slip along the plate boundary. J Geophys Res 97(B1):449–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dehgani GA, Makris J (1984) The gravity field and crustal structure of Iran. N Jb Geol Palaont 168:215–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dehghani GA, Makris J (1983) The gravity field and crustal structure of Iran. Geol Surv Iran 51:51–68Google Scholar
  8. Eaton DW, Dineva S, Mereu R (2006) Crustal thickness and Vp/Vs variations in the Grenville orogen (Ontario, Canada) from analysis of teleseismic receiver functions. Tectonophysics 420(1–2):223–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ghasemi A, Talbot CJ (2006) A new tectonic scenario for the Sanandaj-Sirjan Zone (Iran). J Asian Earth Sci 26:683–693CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hatzfeld D, Tatar M, Priestley K, Ghafory- Ashtiany M (2003) Seismological constraints on the crustal structure beneath the Zagros Mountain belt (Iran). Geophys J Int 155:403–410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hessami K, Jamali F, Tabassi H (2003) Major active faults of Iran, edition 2003. International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, TehranGoogle Scholar
  12. Kennett BLN, Engdahl ER, Buland R (1995) Constraints on seismic velocities in the Earth from traveltimes. Geophys J Int 122:108–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kopp C, Fruehn J, Flueh ER, Reichert C, Kukowski N, Bialas J, Klaeschen D (2000) Structure of the Makran subduction zone from wide angle and reflection seismic data. Tectonophysics 329:171–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ligorrı’a JP, Ammon CJ (1999) Iterative deconvolution and receiver function estimation. Bull Seismol Soc Am 89:1395–1400Google Scholar
  15. Manaman NS, Shomali H, Koyi H (2011) New constraints on upper-mantle S-velocity structure and crustal thickness of the Iranian plateau using partitioned waveform inversion. Geophys J Int 184(1):247–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mokhtari M, Farahbod A, Lindholm C, Alahyarkhani M, Bungum H (2004) An approach to a comprehensive Moho depth map and crust and upper mantle velocity model for Iran. Iran Int J Sci 5:223–244Google Scholar
  17. Motaghi K, Priestley K, Tatar M, Romanelli F, Doglioni C, Panza GF (2015) The deep structure of the Iranian Plateau. Gondwana Res 28(1):407–418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Paul A, Kaviani A, Hatzfeld D, Vergne J, Mokhtari M (2006) Seismological evidence for crustal-scale thrusting in the Zagros mountain belt (Iran). Geophys J Int 166:127–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Paul A, Kaviani A, Hatzfeld D, Tatar M, Priestley K (2010) Seismic imaging of the lithospheric structure of the Zagros mountain belt (Iran). Geol Soc Lond Spec Publ 330:5–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Schluter HU, Prexl A, Gaedicke C, Roeser H, Reichert C, Meyer H, von Daniels C (2002) The Makran accretionary wedge: sediment thicknesses and ages and the origin of mud volcanoes. Mar Geol 185:219–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Tatar M, Nasrabadi A (2013) Crustal thickness variations in the Zagros continental collision zone (Iran) from joint inversion of receiver functions and surface wave dispersion. J Seismol 17:1321–1337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Vernant P, Nilforoushan F, Hatzfeld D, Abbassi M, Vigny C, Masson F, Nankali H, Martinod J, Ashtiani A, Bayer R, Tavakoli F, Ch’ery J (2004) Present-day crustal deformation and plate kinematics in the Middle East constrained by GPS easurements in Iran and northern Oman. Geophys J Int 157:381–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Vita-Finzi C (2002) Neotectonics on the Arabian Sea coasts. Geol Soc Lond, Spec Publ 195:87–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Walker R, Jackson J (2004) Active tectonics and late Cenozoic strain distribution in central and eastern Iran. Tectonics 23.
  25. Wessel P, Smith WHF (1995) New version of the generic mapping tools released. EOS Trans Am Geophys Union 76:329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Yaminifard F, Hatzfeld D (2008) Seismic structure beneath Zagros-Makran transition zone (Iran) from teleseismic study: seismological evidence for underthrusting and buckling of the Arabian plate beneath central Iran. J Seismol Earthq Eng JSEE 10:11–25Google Scholar
  27. Zhu L, Kanamori H (2000) Moho depth variation in southern California from telesiesmic receiver functions. J Geophys Res 105:2969–2980CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate University of Advanced TechnologyKermanIran

Personalised recommendations