Anisotropy and Vp/Vs in the uppermost mantle beneath the western United States fromjoint analysis of Pn and Sn phases

TitleAnisotropy and Vp/Vs in the uppermost mantle beneath the western United States fromjoint analysis of Pn and Sn phases
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBuehler J.S, Shearer PM
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth
Date Published2014/02
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number2169-9313
Accession NumberWOS:000333034600024
Keywordscalifornia; crustal structure; crustal thickness; joint inversion; lithosphere; north-america; regional phases; seismic anisotropy; seismic tomography; southern sierra-nevada; surface; USArray; velocity model; Vp; Vs; wave tomography

Pn and Sn phases are valuable for resolving velocity structure in the mantle lid, as they propagate horizontally right below the Moho. Relatively few Sn tomography attempts have been made compared to Pn, because Sn is often highly attenuated or buried in P wave coda. USArray has greatly increased data coverage for regional phases, and both Pn and Sn are routinely picked by network analysts. Here we jointly invert Pn and Sn arrival time residuals with a modified time-term analysis and a regularized tomography method and present new maps of crustal thickness, uppermost mantle P velocity perturbations, Vp/Vs ratios, and azimuthal anisotropy strength and orientation beneath the western United States. The results indicate partially molten mantle below the Snake River Plain and the Colorado Plateau. The seismic structure of the top approximate to 40 km of the mantle below the Colorado Plateau differs from that seen at greater depths in other studies, such as surface wave or teleseismic body wave tomography, whereas the Snake River Plain anomaly just below the Moho is comparable to structures seen at about approximate to 200 km depth. Pn fast axes provide complementary information to SKS shear wave splitting observations, and our analysis indicates that in several regions in the western United States the orientation of azimuthal anisotropy changes with depth in the upper mantle. However, we have so far been unable to resolve shear wave splitting directly in Sn waveforms, which seem to be dominated by Sn-SV energy.

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