Crustal and Upper Mantle Shear Wave Velocity Structure of Botswana: The 3 April 2017 Central Botswana Earthquake Linked to the East African Rift System

Islam Fadel, Hanneke Paulssen, Mark van der Meijde, Motsamai Kwadiba, Onkgopotse Ntibinyane, Andrew Nyblade, Raymond Durrheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Rayleigh wave group and phase velocity measurements obtained from ambient noise and earthquake data at 51 broadband stations were used to construct the first 3-D crustal and upper mantle shear wave velocity model of Botswana. The model shows low crustal velocities associated with the Passarge and Nosop sedimentary basins, whereas the Kaapvaal, Zimbabwe, Maltahohe, and Congo Cratons are recognized by high mantle velocities. The lowest upper mantle shear wave velocity, beneath northeastern Botswana, is associated with the southwestern branch of the East African Rift System. This low-velocity mantle anomaly appears to be linked to the crust of the Okavango Rift Zone and the location of the 3 April 2017 Mw 6.5 earthquake in central Botswana. We suggest that fluids or melt at the base of the crust from the southward continuation of the East African Rift Zone triggered the intraplate earthquake in an extensional tectonic setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2019GL085598
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 28 2020


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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