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Teleseismic Array Analysis of Upper Mantle Compressional Velocity Structure


Walck, Marianne Carol (1984) Teleseismic Array Analysis of Upper Mantle Compressional Velocity Structure. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/76q0-ye98.


Large quantities of teleseismic short-period seismograms recorded at SCARLET provide travel time, apparent velocity and waveform data for study of upper mantle compressional velocity structure. Relative array analysis of arrival times from distant (30° < Δ < 95°) earthquakes at all azimuths constrains lateral velocity variations beneath southern California. We compare dT/dΔ back azimuth and averaged arrival time estimates from the entire network for 154 events to the same parameters derived from small subsets of SCARLET. Patterns of mislocation vectors for over 100 overlapping subarrays delimit the spatial extent of an east-west striking, high-velocity anomaly beneath the Transverse Ranges. Thin lens analysis of the averaged arrival time differences, called 'net delay' data, requires the mean depth of the corresponding lens to be more than 100 km. Our results are consistent with the PKP-delay times of Hadley and Kanamori (1977), who first proposed the high-velocity feature, but we place the anomalous material at substantially greater depths than their 40-100 km estimate.

Detailed analysis of travel time, ray parameter and waveform data from 29 events occurring in the distance range 9° to 40° reveals the upper mantle structure beneath an oceanic ridge to depths of over 900 km. More than 1400 digital seismograms from earthquakes in Mexico and Central America yield 1753 travel times and 58 dT/dΔ measurements as well as high-quality, stable waveforms for investigation of the deep structure of the Gulf of California. The result of a travel time inversion with the tau method (Bessonova et al., 1976) is adjusted to fit the p(Δ) data, then further refined by incorporation of relative amplitude information through synthetic seismogram modeling. The application of a modified wave field continuation method (Clayton and McMechan, 1981) to the data with the final model confirms that GCA is consistent with the entire data set and also provides an estimate of the data resolution in velocity-depth space. We discover that the upper mantle under this spreading center has anomalously slow velocities to depths of 350 km, and place new constraints on the shape of the 660 km discontinuity.

Seismograms from 22 earthquakes along the northeast Pacific rim recorded in southern California form the data set for a comparative investigation of the upper mantle beneath the Cascade Ranges-Juan de Fuca region, an ocean-continent transit ion. These data consist of 853 seismograms (6° < Δ < 42°) which produce 1068 travel times and 40 ray parameter estimates. We use the spreading center model initially in synthetic seismogram modeling, and perturb GCA until the Cascade Ranges data are matched. Wave field continuation of both data sets with a common reference model confirms that real differences exist between the two suites of seismograms, implying lateral variation in the upper mantle. The ocean-continent transition model, CJF, features velocities from 200 and 350 km that are intermediate between GCA and T7 (Burdick and Helmberger, 1978), a model for the inland western United States. Models of continental shield regions (e.g., King and Calcagnile, 1976) have higher velocities in this depth range, but all four model types are similar below 400 km. This variation in rate of velocity increase with tectonic regime suggests an inverse relationship between velocity gradient and lithospheric age above 400 km depth.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Geophysics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Geological and Planetary Sciences
Major Option:Geophysics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Harkrider, David G.
Thesis Committee:
  • Harkrider, David G. (chair)
  • Anderson, Donald L.
  • Clayton, Robert W.
  • Helmberger, Donald V.
  • Stolper, Edward M.
Defense Date:22 November 1983
Funding AgencyGrant Number
United States Geological Survey (USGS)14-08-0001-19720
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:10092013-142945359
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7986
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:11 Oct 2013 16:06
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 23:19

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