Waveform Fitting of Receiver Functions for Enhanced Retrieval of Crustal Structure in the Presence of Sediments

Stephen Akinremi* (Corresponding Author), M. van der Meijde, Christine Thomas, Juan Carlos Afonso, Elmer Ruigrok, Islam E.A.M. Fadel

*Corresponding author for this work

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The receiver function technique is widely used to image crustal structure using P-to-S converted phases at the Moho discontinuity. However, the presence of sedimentary layer generates additional P-to-S conversions and reverberations, which can overprint the Moho phases and pose problems in imaging crustal structure with standard receiver function techniques. We introduce a robust two-step method that uses H-κ stacking to determine average thickness and Vp/Vs of the sedimentary layer, followed by waveform-fitting of the observed receiver function to constrain the average crustal thickness and sub-sediment Vp/Vs. We tested the method using both synthetic data and real-data from stations located on sedimentary layers in the Netherlands and USA. We show that the new method outperforms other common approaches in retrieving accurate Moho depth and sub-sediment Vp/Vs estimates, even in cases where the Moho phases are completely overprinted by large-amplitude phases related to sedimentary layers.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2023JB028393
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2024


  • Receiver function
  • low-velocity sedimentary layer
  • Moho discontinuity
  • crustal structure
  • broad band
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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