Receiver function provides the signature of sharp seismic discontinuities and the information about the shear wave (S−wave) velocity distribution beneath the seismic station. This information is very valuable in areas where any or few reflection and/or refraction studies are available and global and/or regional models give only rough information about the seismic velocities. The data recorded by broadband seismic stations have been analysed to investigate the crustal and upper mantle structure of the Svalbard Archipelago. Svalbard Archipelago is a group of islands located in Arctic, at the north−western part of the Barents Sea continental platform, which is bordered to the west and to the north by passive continental margins. The new procedure of parameterization and selection of receiver functions (RFs) has been proposed. The back−azimuthal sections of RF show a strong variation for the HSPB and KBS stations. Significant amplitudes of transversal component of RF (T−RF) for the HSPB station indicate a shallow dipping layer towards the southwest. The structure of the crust beneath the SPITS array seems to be less heterogeneous, with very low amplitudes of converted phase comparing to the KBS and HSPB stations. Forward modelling by trial−and−error method shows a division of the crust into 3–4 layers beneath all stations and layering of the uppermost mantle beneath the SPITS array and the HSPB stations. The thickness of the mantle transition zone is larger for western part of archipelago and smaller for eastern part comparing to iasp91 model.
In the framework of the 4th International Polar Year Panel “Plate Tectonics and Polar Gateways” the international project “The Dynamic Continental Margin Between the Mid-Atlantic-Ridge System (Mohns Ridge, Knipovich Ridge) and the Bear Island Region” was undertaken in 2007-2008. As a part of this project a new three-component seismic broadband station was installed in September 2007 in the area of the Polish Polar Station Hornsund in Southern Spitsbergen . The new HSPB station has the coordinates: Φ = 77.0019°N, λ = 15.5332°E, H = 11 m a.s.l. During the first years of operation a number of good quality teleseismic events were recorded. This gives the opportunity for a first determination of crustal and mantle structure beneath the station by using receiver function (RF) and SKS splitting techniques. The Moho depth determined using RF is about 32 km beneath HSPB. Significant amplitudes on the transverse components of the RF indicate a shallowly dipping discontinuity (sedimentary-basement) towards the south-west. The fast polarization of SKS phases is near parallel to the border between the continental and the oceanic crust and the Hornsund fault (α = 151.8°). The average time delay dt between “fast” and “slow” directions is 0.68 s, which implies ca. 2% anisotropy in a 100- 200 km thick layer in the mantle.