Imaging Upper-Mantle Structure under USArray using Long-period Reflection Seismology

Sponsored by Geophysics Department


Thursday, May 16, 2019
12:00 pm – 01:15 pm
Add to my calendar


Mitchell 350/372

Contact via email
Contact via phone


This event is open to:
Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni/Friends, Members

See event details for admission info.

Event Details:

Geophysics Department Seminar

Speaker: Peter Shearer; IGPP/SIO/U.C. San Diego

The USArray seismic data have led to greatly improved images of upper-mantle structure under the contiguous United States, both from tomography to invert for volumetric heterogeneity and receiver-function studies to probe mantle discontinuities.  Here I introduce an alternative approach to imaging mantle discontinuities that exploits long-period S-wave reflections seen in teleseisms.    Analysis of USArray transverse-component data from 3250 earthquakes shows clear reflections off the 410- and 660-km discontinuities, which can be used to map the depth and brightness of these features.  We also observe intriguing reflectors at shallower depths in many regions, including a negative polarity reflection that may delineate the top of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) in some areas.  We observe a dipping reflector in the west that aligns with the top of the high-velocity Farallon slab anomaly seen in some tomography models, but which also may be an artifact caused by near-surface scattering of incoming S waves.