All-Ireland Studies

The first “All-Ireland” map of the crust-mantle boundary has been drawn using Receiver Function data from 34 broadband seismic stations. The seismic network uniformly covered the entire Ireland, with an approximate 70 km spacing between stations, allowing to extend Moho depth estimates to the Northern portion of Ireland with an homogeneous density of measurements.

The topography of the crust-mantle boundary (so called Moho map) from sparse measurements can be biased from user-selected interpolation algorithms. To avoid any subjective choice in depicting a Moho map for the British Isles, a compilation of Moho depth measurements, from different sources (e.g. active and passive seismics) has been used as input for a Bayesian surface reconstruction algorithm, based on trans-dimensional Monte Carlo sampling.

Interpolated Moho depth map of Ireland. Individual point measurements are those reported in Licciardi et al. GJI, (2014) for Vp equal to 6.0, 6.5 and 7.0 km s−1. Stations are indicated by circles with size proportional to data quality (from Licciardi et al. GJI, 2014)

Moho depth map o fthe British Isles. The Bayesian surface reconstruction algorithm is applied to a compilation of Moho depth estimates from different data-sets (Davis et al., GJI, 2012). Recent estimates of Moho depth from broadband seismic data are also (Licciardi et al. GJI, 2014). Locations of the data-points are shown in panel (a) as triangles. Mean posterior Moho depth model is shown in panel (b), with corresponding posterior standard deviation shown in panel (a). Masked areas in Panel (b) indicate portion of the study area with uncertainties larger than 15km. In panel (c), the density of the Voronoi nuclei is reported.


Irish seismic data for our “All-Ireland” studies have been acquired during a number of temporary seismic deployments. We thank all the technicians and researchers at DIAS and UCD that worked in field the for ISLE, ISUME and Ireland Array seismic experiments. Continuous seismic recording for all the stations used is archived in DIAS as 1-day MSEED files. Access to the data can be requested contacting DIAS Geophysics Section.


Licciardi, A. and N. Piana Agostinetti (2016) Bayesian surface reconstruction: examples of application and developments, Geophysical Research Abstracts, 18, EGU2016-13896, EGU general assembly, Vienna

Licciardi, A. and N. Piana Agostinetti, S. Lebedev, A. J. Schaeffer, P. W. Readman and C. Horan (2014) Moho depth and Vp/Vs in Ireland from teleseismic receiver functions analysis, Geophys J. Int., 199, 561–579, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggu277

Licciardi A., S. Lebedev and N. Piana Agostinetti (2013) Moho depth and crustal anisotropy in Ireland from teleseismic receiver functions, Geophysical Research Abstracts, 15, EGU2013-9755-1