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Global mantle structure from multifrequency tomography using P, PP and P-diffracted waves

Hosseini, Kasra, Karin Sigloch, Maria Tsekhmistrenko, Afsaneh Zaheri, Tarje Nissen-Meyer, and Heiner Igel (2019), Global mantle structure from multifrequency tomography using P, PP and P-diffracted waves, Geophysical Journal International, 220(1), 96-141, doi:10.1093/gji/ggz394.

In global-scale seismic tomography, teleseismic P and PP waves mainly constrain structures in the upper two thirds of the mantle, whereas core-diffracted waves (Pdiff) constrain the lower third. This study is the first to invert a very large data set of Pdiff waves, up to the highest possible frequencies. This results in tomographic resolution matching and exceeding that of global S-wave tomographies, which have long been the models of choice for interpreting lowermost mantle structure.We present three new global tomography models of 3-D isotropic P-wave velocity in the earth’s mantle. Multifrequency cross-correlation traveltimes are measured on all phases in passbands from 30 s dominant period to the highest frequencies that produce satisfactory fits (≈3 s). Model DETOX-P1 fits ≈2.5 M traveltimes from teleseismic P waves. DETOX-P2 fits the same data, plus novel measurements of ≈1.4 M traveltimes of Pdiff waves. DETOX-P3 fits the same data as DETOX-P2, plus ≈ 1.2 M PP traveltimes. Synthetics up to 1 s dominant period are computed by full wave propagation in a spherically symmetric earth using the spectral-element method AxiSEM. Traveltimes are linked to 3-D velocity perturbations (dVP/VP) by finite-frequency Fréchet kernels, parametrized on an adaptive tetrahedral grid of ≈400 000 vertices spaced by ≈80 km in the best-sampled regions. To complete spatial coverage, the waveform cross-correlation measurements are augmented by ≈5.7 million analyst-picked, teleseismic P arrival times. P, Pdiff and PP traveltimes are jointly inverted for 3-D isotropic P-velocity anomalies in the mantle and for events corrections, by least squares solution of an explicit matrix–vector equation.Inclusion of Pdiff traveltimes (in DETOX-P2, -P3) improves the spatial sampling of the lowermost mantle 100- to 1000-fold compared to teleseismic P waves (DETOX-P1). Below ≈2400 km depth, seismically slow anomalies are clustered at southern and equatorial latitudes, in a dozen or more intensely slow patches of 600–1400 km diameter. These features had long been classed into two large low shear velocity provinces (LLVP), which now appears questionable. Instead, patches of intensely slow anomalies in the lowermost mantle seem to form a nearly continuous, globe-spanning chain beneath the southern hemisphere, according to our increased resolution of LLVP-internal subdivisions and newly imaged patches beneath South America. Our tomography also supports the existence of whole-mantle plumes beneath Iceland, Ascension, Afar, Kerguelen, Canary, Azores, Easter, Galapagos, Hawaii, French Polynesia and the Marquesas.Seismically fast structure in the lowermost mantle is imaged as narrowly elongated belts under Eastern Asia and the Americas, presumably reflecting the palaeo-trench geometries of subduction zones and arcs that assembled Eastern Asia and the American Cordilleras in Palaeozoic and early Mesozoic times. Mid-mantle structure is primarily constrained by teleseismic P waves, but Pdiff data have a stabilizing effect, for example, sharpening the geometries of subducted slabs under the Americas, Eurasia and the Northern Pacific in the upper 2000 km. PP traveltimes contribute complementary constraints in the upper and mid mantle, but they also introduce low-velocity artefacts beneath the oceans, through downward smearing of lithospheric structure.Our three new global P-wave models can be accessed and interactively visualized through the SubMachine web portal (http://submachine.earth.ox.ac.uk/).
Further information
  author = {Kasra Hosseini and Karin Sigloch and Maria Tsekhmistrenko and Afsaneh Zaheri and Tarje Nissen-Meyer and Heiner Igel},
  journal = {Geophysical Journal International},
  number = {1},
  pages = {96-141},
  title = {{Global mantle structure from multifrequency tomography using P, PP and P-diffracted waves}},
  volume = {220},
  year = {2019},
  url = {https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggz394},
  doi = {10.1093/gji/ggz394},
%0 Journal Article
%A Hosseini, Kasra
%A Sigloch, Karin
%A Tsekhmistrenko, Maria
%A Zaheri, Afsaneh
%A Nissen-Meyer, Tarje
%A Igel, Heiner
%D 2019
%N 1
%V 220
%J Geophysical Journal International
%P 96-141
%T Global mantle structure from multifrequency tomography using P, PP and P-diffracted waves
%U https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggz394
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Printed 21. Jun 2021 00:21