Recent observations of P′P′ and its precursors, identified as reflections from within the Earth's upper mantle, are used to examine the structure of the uppermantle discontinuities with specific reference to the density, the S velocity, and the Q variations. The Haskell-Thomson matrix method is used to generate the complex reflection spectrum, which is then Fourier synthesized for a variety of upper-mantle velocity-density and Q models. Surface displacements are obtained for the appropriate recording instrument, permitting a direct comparison with the actual seismograms. If the identifications of the P′P′ precursors are correct, our proposed method yields the following: (1) a structure of Gutenberg-Bullen A type is not likely to produce observable P′P′ upper-mantle reflections, (2) in order that a P′P′ upper-mantle reflection is strong enough to be observed, first-order density and S-velocity discontinuities together with a P-wave discontinuity are needed at a depth of about 650 km, and (3) corresponding to a given uppermantle velocity-density model, an estimate can be made of the Q in the upper mantle for short-period seismic body waves.

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