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Near-vertical multiple ScS phases and vertically averaged mantle properties

By
Hiroo Kanamori
Hiroo Kanamori
Seismological Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA
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Luis Rivera
Luis Rivera
Institut de Physique du Globe de Strasbourg, Université de Strasbourg CNRS, Strasbourg, F67084, France, and Seismological Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA
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Published:
October 01, 2015

Near-vertical multiple ScS (S waves reflected at the core-mantle boundary) phases are among the cleanest seismic phases traveling over several thousand kilometers in the Earth's mantle and are useful for constraining the average attenuation and shear wave speed in the whole mantle. However, the available multiple ScS pairs are limited. We took advantage of the recent dramatic increase in the number of global broadband stations and made a thorough computer-assisted search for high-quality data of multiple ScS pairs. We could find 220 station-event pairs which provided us with robust local estimates of average Q (quality factor) and two-way shear wave travel times. With the assumption that geometric focusing caused by lateral velocity heterogeneity does not seriously affect the amplitude measurements, the Q values exhibit strong short-range lateral variations, with very high and very low Q regions adjacent to each other. The mantle beneath seismic station KIP (Hawaii) has normal Q and shear wave speed, which supports the result of earlier studies. The mantle beneath station AFI (Samoa Islands) has a very high Q, possibly larger than 1400, and the slowest shear wave speed. The stations on the upper plate of the Tonga and Japan subduction zones yield average to low Q values. In contrast, the stations on the trenchward side of the upper plate of some subduction zones, e.g., station LVC (Chile) and station PET (Kamchatka, Russia), indicate high Q values, larger than 1000. We found no obvious correlation between Q and shear wave speed, which suggests that different factors like temperature, composition, anisotropy, etc., are controlling these properties in the mantle of different tectonic environments.

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GSA Special Papers

The Interdisciplinary Earth: A Volume in Honor of Don L. Anderson

Gillian R. Foulger
Gillian R. Foulger
Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
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Michele Lustrino
Michele Lustrino
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Universita` degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, P.le A. Moro, 5, 00185 Roma, Italy
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Scott D. King
Scott D. King
Department of Geosciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
514
ISBN print:
9780813725147
Publication date:
October 01, 2015

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