Abstract

We have obtained a Poisson’s ratio image of the uppermost mantle beneath China by performing tomographic inversion of travel-time differences between Sn and Pn. The arrival pairs were selected from the Annual Bulletin of Chinese Earthquakes from 1985 to 2007 and from the International Seismological Center (ISC) data set between 1985 and 2005. The data include 58,663 arrival pairs from 10,486 earthquakes recorded at 204 stations. The average Poisson’s ratio is 0.266. The preliminary tomographic results show that (1) the pseudowave velocity is high and the velocity ratio (VP/VS) and Poisson’s ratio are low in the stable cratons around the Tibetan Plateau such as the Tarim and Junggar basins, the Ordos craton, and the southern region of the Sichuan basin; (2) a low pseudowave velocity and high velocity ratio and Poisson’s ratio exist in the central and northern Tibetan Plateau, the North–South Seismic Zone, and north China; and (3) the high velocity ratio and Poisson’s ratio region in the Tibetan Plateau extends to the surrounding cratons, suggesting that the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau results from a high Poisson’s ratio or partially melted rocks beneath the plateau and that the softer rocks have intruded into the upper mantle of surrounding cratons.

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