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  • 1
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    In:  Geophysical Journal International ; Year: 2011 ; Volume: 185 ; Issue: 2 ; Pages: 799-831
    Publication Date: 2018-05-09
    Description: Mapping the elastic and anelastic structure of the Earth's mantle is crucial for understanding the temperature, composition and dynamics of our planet. In the past quarter century, global tomography based on ray theory and first-order perturbation methods has imaged long-wavelength elastic velocity heterogeneities of the Earth's mantle. However, the approximate techniques upon which global tomographers have traditionally relied become inadequate when dealing with crustal structure, as well as short-wavelength or large amplitude mantle heterogeneity. The spectral element method, on the other hand, permits accurate calculation of wave propagation through highly heterogeneous structures, and is computationally economical when coupled with a normal mode solution and applied to a restricted region of the Earth such as the upper mantle (SEM). Importantly, SEM allows a dramatic improvement in accounting for the effects of crustal structure. Here, we develop and apply a new hybrid method of tomography, which allows us to leverage the accuracy of SEM to model fundamental and higher-mode long period (〉60 s) waveforms. We then present the first global model of upper-mantle velocity and radial anisotropy developed using SEM. Our model, SEMum, confirms that the long-wavelength mantle structure imaged using approximate semi-analytic techniques is robust and representative of the Earth's true structure. Furthermore, it reveals structures in the upper mantle that were not clearly seen in previous global tomographic models. We show that SEMum favourably compares to and rivals the resolving power of continental-scale studies. This new hybrid approach to tomography can be applied to a larger and higher-frequency data set in order to gain new insights into the structure of the lower mantle and more robustly map seismic structure at the regional and smaller scales.
    Keywords: ddc:550
    Language: English
    Type: http://purl.org/escidoc/metadata/ves/publication-types/article
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  • 2
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    Unknown
    In:  Geophysical Journal International ; Year: 2011 ; Volume: 185 ; Issue: 2 ; Pages: 799-831
    Publication Date: 2018-05-09
    Description: Mapping the elastic and anelastic structure of the Earth's mantle is crucial for understanding the temperature, composition and dynamics of our planet. In the past quarter century, global tomography based on ray theory and first-order perturbation methods has imaged long-wavelength elastic velocity heterogeneities of the Earth's mantle. However, the approximate techniques upon which global tomographers have traditionally relied become inadequate when dealing with crustal structure, as well as short-wavelength or large amplitude mantle heterogeneity. The spectral element method, on the other hand, permits accurate calculation of wave propagation through highly heterogeneous structures, and is computationally economical when coupled with a normal mode solution and applied to a restricted region of the Earth such as the upper mantle (SEM). Importantly, SEM allows a dramatic improvement in accounting for the effects of crustal structure. Here, we develop and apply a new hybrid method of tomography, which allows us to leverage the accuracy of SEM to model fundamental and higher-mode long period (〉60 s) waveforms. We then present the first global model of upper-mantle velocity and radial anisotropy developed using SEM. Our model, SEMum, confirms that the long-wavelength mantle structure imaged using approximate semi-analytic techniques is robust and representative of the Earth's true structure. Furthermore, it reveals structures in the upper mantle that were not clearly seen in previous global tomographic models. We show that SEMum favourably compares to and rivals the resolving power of continental-scale studies. This new hybrid approach to tomography can be applied to a larger and higher-frequency data set in order to gain new insights into the structure of the lower mantle and more robustly map seismic structure at the regional and smaller scales.
    Language: English
    Type: http://purl.org/escidoc/metadata/ves/publication-types/article
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: 〈span〉〈div〉SUMMARY〈/div〉Low-velocity layers within the crust can indicate the presence of melt and lithologic differences with implications for crustal composition and formation. Seismic wave conversions and reverberations across the base of the crust or intracrustal discontinuities, analysed using the receiver function method, can be used to constrain crustal layering. This is commonly accomplished by inverting receiver functions jointly with surface wave dispersion. Recently, the proliferation of model-space search approaches has made this technique a workhorse of crustal seismology. We show that reverberations from shallow layers such as sedimentary basins produce spurious low-velocity zones when inverted for crustal structure with surface wave data of insufficiently high frequency. Therefore, reports of such layers in the literature based on inversions using receiver function data should be re-evaluated. We demonstrate that a simple resonance-removal filter can suppress these effects and yield reliable estimates of crustal structure, and advocate for its use in receiver-function based inversions.〈/span〉
    Print ISSN: 2051-1965
    Electronic ISSN: 1365-246X
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Deutsche Geophysikalische Gesellschaft (DGG) and the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2014-03-15
    Description: Seismic images of the base of the lithosphere across the San Andreas fault system (California, USA) yield new constraints on the distribution of deformation in the deep lithosphere beneath this strike-slip plate boundary. We show that conversions of shear to compressional waves (Sp) across the base of the lithosphere are systematically weaker on the western side of the plate boundary, indicating that the drop in seismic shear-wave velocity from lithosphere to asthenosphere is either smaller or occurs over a larger depth range. In central and northern California, the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary changes character across a distance of 〈50 km, and does so directly beneath the San Andreas fault along its simple central segment, and beneath the Calaveras–Green Valley–Bartlett Springs faults to the north. Given the absolute velocities of the North America and Pacific plates, and low viscosities inferred for the asthenosphere, these results indicate the juxtaposition of mantle lithospheres with different properties across these faults. The spatial correlation between the central San Andreas fault and the laterally abrupt change in the velocity structure of the deepest mantle lithosphere points to the accommodation of relative plate motion on a narrow shear zone (〈50 km in width), and a rheology that enables strain localization throughout the thickness of the lithosphere.
    Print ISSN: 0091-7613
    Electronic ISSN: 1943-2682
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2017-04-19
    Description: 〈span class="paragraphSection"〉〈div class="boxTitle"〉Summary〈/div〉High-resolution models of seismic velocity variations constructed using body-wave tomography inform the study of the origin, fate and thermochemical state of mantle domains. In order to reliably relate these variations to material properties including temperature, composition and volatile content, we must accurately retrieve both the patterns and amplitudes of variations and quantify the uncertainty associated with the estimates of each. For these reasons, we image the mantle beneath North America with 〈span style="font-style:italic;"〉P〈/span〉-wave traveltimes from USArray using a novel method for 3-D probabilistic body-wave tomography. The method uses a Transdimensional Hierarchical Bayesian framework with a reversible-jump Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithm in order to generate an ensemble of possible velocity models. We analyse this ensemble solution to obtain the posterior probability distribution of velocities, thereby yielding error bars and enabling rigorous hypothesis testing. Overall, we determine that the average uncertainty (1σ) of compressional wave velocity estimates beneath North America is ∼0.25 per cent 〈span style="font-style:italic;"〉dVP〈/span〉/〈span style="font-style:italic;"〉VP〈/span〉, increasing with proximity to complex structure and decreasing with depth. The addition of USArray data reduces the uncertainty beneath the Eastern US by over 50 per cent in the upper mantle and 25–40 per cent below the transition zone and ∼30 per cent throughout the mantle beneath the Western US. In the absence of damping and smoothing, we recover amplitudes of variations 10–80 per cent higher than a standard inversion approach. Accounting for differences in data coverage, we infer that the length scale of heterogeneity is ∼50 per cent longer at shallow depths beneath the continental platform than beneath tectonically active regions. We illustrate the model trade-off analysis for the Cascadia slab and the New Madrid Seismic Zone, where we find that smearing due to the limitations of the illumination is relatively minor.〈/span〉
    Print ISSN: 0956-540X
    Electronic ISSN: 1365-246X
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Deutsche Geophysikalische Gesellschaft (DGG) and the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: 〈span〉〈div〉Summary〈/div〉Receiver functions are sensitive to sharp seismic velocity variations with depth and are commonly used to constrain crustal thickness. The H-κ stacking method of Zhu and Kanamori (〈span〉2000〈/span〉) is often employed to constrain both the crustal thickness (H) and ${V_P}$/${V_S}$ ratio ($\kappa $) beneath a seismic station using P-to-s converted waves (Ps). However, traditional H-κ stacks require an assumption of average crustal velocity (usually ${V_P}$). Additionally, large amplitude reverberations from low velocity shallow layers, such as sedimentary basins, can overprint sought-after crustal signals, rendering traditional H-$\ \kappa $ stacking uninterpretable. We overcome these difficulties in two ways. When S-wave reverberations from sediment are present, they are removed by applying a resonance removal filter allowing crustal signals to be clarified and interpreted. We also combine complementary Ps receiver functions, Sp receiver functions, and the post-critical P wave reflection from the Moho (SP〈sub〉m〈/sub〉p) to remove the dependence on an assumed average crustal ${V_P}$. By correcting for sediment and combining multiple data sets, the crustal thickness, average crustal P-wave velocity, and crustal ${V_P}$/${V_S}$ ratio is constrained in geologic regions where traditional H-$\ \kappa $ stacking fails, without making an initial P-wave velocity assumption or suffering from contamination by sedimentary reverberations.〈/span〉
    Print ISSN: 2051-1965
    Electronic ISSN: 1365-246X
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Deutsche Geophysikalische Gesellschaft (DGG) and the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: 〈span〉〈div〉SUMMARY〈/div〉Receiver functions are sensitive to sharp seismic velocity variations with depth and are commonly used to constrain crustal thickness. The 〈span〉H〈/span〉–〈span〉κ〈/span〉 stacking method of Zhu & Kanamori is often used to constrain both the crustal thickness (〈span〉H〈/span〉) and ${V_P}$/${V_S}$ ratio ($\kappa $) beneath a seismic station using P-to-s converted waves (Ps). However, traditional 〈span〉H〈/span〉–κ stacks require an assumption of average crustal velocity (usually ${V_P}$). Additionally, large amplitude reverberations from low velocity shallow layers, such as sedimentary basins, can overprint sought-after crustal signals, rendering traditional 〈span〉H〈/span〉–$\ \kappa $ stacking uninterpretable. We overcome these difficulties in two ways. When 〈span〉S〈/span〉-wave reverberations from sediment are present, they are removed by applying a resonance removal filter allowing crustal signals to be clarified and interpreted. We also combine complementary Ps receiver functions, Sp receiver functions, and the post-critical 〈span〉P〈/span〉-wave reflection from the Moho (SP〈sub〉m〈/sub〉p) to remove the dependence on an assumed average crustal ${V_P}$. By correcting for sediment and combining multiple data sets, the crustal thickness, average crustal 〈span〉P〈/span〉-wave velocity and crustal ${V_P}$/${V_S}$ ratio is constrained in geological regions where traditional 〈span〉H〈/span〉–$\ \kappa $ stacking fails, without making an initial 〈span〉P〈/span〉-wave velocity assumption or suffering from contamination by sedimentary reverberations.〈/span〉
    Print ISSN: 2051-1965
    Electronic ISSN: 1365-246X
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Deutsche Geophysikalische Gesellschaft (DGG) and the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: 〈span〉〈div〉Summary〈/div〉Low-velocity layers within the crust can indicate the presence of melt and lithologic differences with implications for crustal composition and formation. Seismic wave conversions and reverberations across the base of the crust or intra-crustal discontinuities, analyzed using the receiver function method, can be used to constrain crustal layering. This is commonly accomplished by inverting receiver functions jointly with surface wave dispersion. Recently, the proliferation of model-space search approaches has made this technique a workhorse of crustal seismology. We show that reverberations from shallow layers such as sedimentary basins produce spurious low-velocity zones when inverted for crustal structure with surface wave data of insufficiently high frequency. Therefore, reports of such layers in the literature based on inversions using receiver function data should be re-evaluated. We demonstrate that a simple resonance-removal filter can suppress these effects and yield reliable estimates of crustal structure, and advocate for its use in receiver-function based inversions.〈/span〉
    Print ISSN: 2051-1965
    Electronic ISSN: 1365-246X
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Deutsche Geophysikalische Gesellschaft (DGG) and the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).
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  • 9
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    Unknown
    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Publication Date: 2018-06-28
    Description: Turbulent convection of the liquid iron alloy outer core generates Earth’s magnetic field and supplies heat to the mantle. The exact composition of the iron alloy is fundamentally linked to the processes powering the convection and can be constrained by its seismic properties. Discrepancies between seismic models determined using body waves and normal modes show that these properties are not yet fully agreed upon. In addition, technical challenges in experimentally measuring the equation-of-state (EoS) parameters of liquid iron alloys at high pressures and temperatures further complicate compositional inferences. We directly infer EoS parameters describing Earth’s outer core from normal mode center frequency observations and present the resulting Elastic Parameters of the Outer Core (EPOC) seismic model. Unlike alternative seismic models, ours requires only three parameters and guarantees physically realistic behavior with increasing pressure for a well-mixed homogeneous material along an isentrope, consistent with the outer core’s condition. We show that EPOC predicts available normal mode frequencies better than the Preliminary Reference Earth Model (PREM) while also being more consistent with body wave–derived models, eliminating a long-standing discrepancy. The velocity at the top of the outer core is lower, and increases with depth more steeply, in EPOC than in PREM, while the density in EPOC is higher than that in PREM across the outer core. The steeper profiles and higher density imply that the outer core comprises a lighter but more compressible alloy than that inferred for PREM. Furthermore, EPOC’s steeper velocity gradient explains differential SmKS body wave travel times better than previous one-dimensional global models, without requiring an anomalously slow ~90- to 450-km-thick layer at the top of the outer core.
    Electronic ISSN: 2375-2548
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2016-10-08
    Description: Large low shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs), whose origin and dynamic implication remain enigmatic, dominate the lowermost mantle. For decades, seismologists have created increasingly detailed pictures of the LLSVPs through tomographic models constructed with different modeling methodologies, data sets, parametrizations and regularizations. Here, we extend the cluster analysis methodology of Lekic et al. , to classify seismic mantle structure in five recent global shear wave speed ( V S ) tomographic models into three groups. By restricting the analysis to moving depth windows of the radial profiles of V S , we assess the vertical extent of features. We also show that three clusters are better than two (or four) when representing the entire lower mantle, as the boundaries of the three clusters more closely follow regions of high lateral V S gradients. Qualitatively, we relate the anomalously slow cluster to the LLSVPs, the anomalously fast cluster to slab material entering the lower mantle and the neutral cluster to ‘background’ lower mantle material. We obtain compatible results by repeating the analysis on recent global P -wave speed ( V P ) models, although we find less agreement across V P models. We systematically show that the clustering results, even in detail, agree remarkably well with a wide range of local waveform studies. This suggests that the two LLSVPs consist of multiple internal anomalies with a wide variety of morphologies, including shallowly to steeply sloping, and even overhanging, boundaries. Additionally, there are indications of previously unrecognized meso-scale features, which, like the Perm anomaly, are separated from the two main LLSVPs beneath the Pacific and Africa. The observed wide variety of structure size and morphology offers a challenge to recreate in geodynamic models; potentially, the variety can result from various degrees of mixing of several compositionally distinct components. Finally, we obtain new, much larger estimates of the volume/mass occupied by LLSVPs—8.0 per cent ±0.9 (μ ± 1) of whole mantle volume and 9.1 per cent ±1.0 (μ ± 1) of whole mantle mass—and discuss implications for associating the LLSVPs with the hidden reservoir enriched in heat producing elements.
    Keywords: Seismology
    Print ISSN: 0956-540X
    Electronic ISSN: 1365-246X
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Deutsche Geophysikalische Gesellschaft (DGG) and the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).
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