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Despite similar surface transform faulting behaviour, observed shear-wave splitting patterns in the California and New Zealand plate boundary regions are markedly different. To better understand the origin of the seismic anisotropy in these regions we model mantle flow and strain for a variety of strike-slip plate boundary scenarios. Simple relations between the flow or strain and elastic anisotropy are assumed to determine the integrated splitting in shear particle motion along teleseismic paths. Strain-controlled models fit the observations in New Zealand and California better than simplified flow-controlled models. Fast shear polarizations are progressively rotated toward the shear plane over time,...

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