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Multiple-frequency SH-wave tomography of the western US upper mantle

Tian, Yue, Karin Sigloch, and Guust Nolet (2009), Multiple-frequency SH-wave tomography of the western US upper mantle, Geophysical Journal International, 178(3), 1384-1402, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2009.04225.x.

We estimate the SH-wave velocity and attenuation structures of the western US upper mantle using the dense network of the USArray and new techniques: we observe a multiple-frequency data set of both traveltime and amplitude anomalies, and interpret these with full 3-D finite-frequency sensitivity kernels. Amplitudes show stronger frequency dependence than traveltimes. We perform a joint inversion on the measured traveltime and amplitude anomalies, interpreting them in terms of velocity and attenuation heterogeneities.

Aside from the expected clear division between the slow, tectonically active region in the west and the fast craton in the east, several interesting smaller velocity anomalies are observed. The subduction along the Cascades at 100–300 km depths shows lateral discontinuity, with a 'slab hole' (absence of fast anomalies) observed around 45°N . The delaminated Sierra Nevada Mountains root is observed to have sunk to 200 km depth. The Yellowstone plume seems to have an origin (weak slow velocity anomalies) near 1000 km depth, but the plume conduit seems to be interrupted by a fast anomaly, which is identified as a fragment of the Farallon slab. The S-velocity model shows a trench-perpendicular 'slab gap' (absence of fast anomalies) at almost the same location as in the P model recently published by Sigloch et al. (2008).

The methodological improvements described in the first paragraph have several benefits. Amplitude data help to sharpen the edges of narrow velocity heterogeneities in the shallow upper mantle. The focusing effect from velocity heterogeneity dominates over that of attenuation and must be considered when interpreting amplitude anomalies. In general, velocity and attenuation heterogeneities correlate positively, suggesting that temperature plays a major role in forming the anomalies.

Download pdf offprint: 2009_TianSiglochNolet_GJI.pdf
  author = {Yue Tian and Karin Sigloch and Guust Nolet},
  journal = {Geophysical Journal International},
  month = {sep},
  number = {3},
  pages = {1384-1402},
  title = {{Multiple-frequency SH-wave tomography of the western US upper mantle}},
  volume = {178},
  year = {2009},
  language = {en},
  url = {http://www.geophysik.uni-muenchen.de/~sigloch/papers/2009{\_}TianSiglochNolet{\_}GJI.pdf},
  doi = {10.1111/j.1365-246X.2009.04225.x},
%0 Journal Article
%A Tian, Yue
%A Sigloch, Karin
%A Nolet, Guust
%D 2009
%N 3
%V 178
%J Geophysical Journal International
%P 1384-1402
%T Multiple-frequency SH-wave tomography of the western US upper mantle
%U http://www.geophysik.uni-muenchen.de/~sigloch/papers/2009_TianSiglochNolet_GJI.pdf
%8 sep
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Printed 27. Oct 2020 23:53