The study of the directional dependence of seismic velocities (seismic anisotropy) promises more refined insight into mineral composition and physical properties of the crystalline crust than conventional deep seismic refraction or reflection profiles providing average values of P-and S-wave velocities. The alignment of specific minerals by ductile rock deformation, for instance, causes specific types of seismic anisotropy which can be identified by appropriate field measurements. Vice versa, the determination of anisotropy can help to discriminate between different rock candidates in the deep crust. Seismic field measurements at the Continental Deep Drilling Site (KTB, S Germany) are shown as an example that anisotropy has to be considered in crustal studies. At the KTB, the dependence of seismic velocity on the direction of wave propagation in situ was found to be compatible with the texture, composition and fracture density of drilled crustal rocks.
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Seismic anisotropy of the crystalline crust: What does it tell us?