Receiver function mapping of mantle transition zone discontinuities beneath Alaska using scaled 3-D velocity corrections

Van Stiphout, AM and Cottaar, S. and Deuss, A (2019) Receiver function mapping of mantle transition zone discontinuities beneath Alaska using scaled 3-D velocity corrections. Geophysical journal international, 219 (2). pp. 1432-1446. ISSN Online ISSN 1365-246X Print ISSN 0956-540X DOI

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The mantle transition zone is the region between the globally observed major seismic velocity discontinuities around depths of 410 and 660 km and is important for determining the style of convection and mixing between the upper and the lower mantle. In this study, P-to-S converted waves, or receiver functions, are used to study these discontinuities beneath the Alaskan subduction zone, where the Pacific Plate subducts underneath the North American Plate. Previous tomographic models do not agree on the depth extent of the subducting slab, therefore improved imaging of the Earth structure underneathAlaska is required.We use 27 800 high quality radial receiver functions to make common conversion point stacks. Upper mantle velocity anomalies are accounted for by two recently published regional tomographic S-wave velocity models. Using these two tomographic models, we show that the discontinuity depths within our CCP stacks are highly dependent on the choice of velocity model, between which velocity anomaly magnitudes vary greatly. We design a quantitative test to show whether the anomalies in the velocity models are too strong or too weak, leading to over- or undercorrected discontinuity depths. We also show how this test can be used to rescale the 3-D velocity corrections in order to improve the discontinuity topography maps. After applying the appropriate corrections, we find a localized thicker mantle transition zone and an uplifted 410 discontinuity, which show that the slab has clearly penetrated into the mantle transition zone. Little topography is seen on the 660 discontinuity, indicating that the slab has probably not reached the lower mantle. In the southwest, P410s arrivals have very small amplitudes or no significant arrival at all. This could be caused by water or basalt in the subducting slab, reducing the strength at the 410, or by topography on the 410 discontinuity, preventing coherent stacking. In the southeast of Alaska, a thinner mantle transition zone is observed. This area corresponds to the location of a slab window, and thinning of the mantle transition zone may be caused by hot mantle upwellings.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author(s)
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2019AREP; IA76
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
08 - Green Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Geophysical journal international
Volume: 219
Page Range: pp. 1432-1446
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2020 00:22
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2020 00:23

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