Three-dimensional variations in Love and Rayleigh wave azimuthal anisotropy for the upper 800 km of the mantle

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Kaiqing Yuan, Caroline Beghein 


We present a new mantle model (YB14SHani) of azimuthal anisotropy for horizontally polarized shear waves (SH) in parallel with our previously published vertically polarized shear wave (SV) anisotropy model (YB13SVani). YB14SHani was obtained from higher mode Love wave phase velocity maps with sensitivity to anisotropy down to ~1200 km depth. SH anisotropy is present down to the mantle transition zone (MTZ) with an average amplitude of ~2% in the upper 250 km and ~1% in the MTZ, consistent with YB13SVani. Changes in SV and SH anisotropy were found at the top of the MTZ where olivine transforms into wadsleyite, which might indicate that MTZ anisotropy is due to the lattice-preferred orientation of anisotropic material. Beneath oceanic plates, SV fast axes become subparallel to the absolute plate motion (APM) at a depth that marks the location of a thermally controlled lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB). In contrast, SH anisotropy does not systematically depend on ocean age. Moreover, while upper mantle SV anisotropy is anomalously high in the middle of the Pacific, as seen in radial anisotropy models, SH anisotropy amplitude remains close to the average for other oceans. Based on the depth at which SV fast axes and the APM direction begin to align, we also found that the average thickness of cratonic roots is ~ 250 km, consistent with Yuan and Romanowicz (2010) for North America. Here we add new constraints on the nature of the cratonic LAB and show that it is characterized by changes in both SV and SH anisotropy.



Earth Sciences, Geophysics and Seismology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Surface waves, Seismic anisotropy, transition zone, azimuthal anisotropy, higher modes


Published: 2017-11-03 21:37


Academic Free License (AFL) 3.0

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