Multifrequency Inversion of Ps and Sp Receiver Functions: Methodology and Application to USArray Data
- Journal Article
We image the thermochemical structure of crust and mantle underneath the North American continent by inverting recordings of P‐to‐s (Ps) and S‐to‐p (Sp) converted seismic body waves (receiver functions [RFs]). Through careful data selection and processing, we construct a multifrequency Ps (5‐, 8‐, and 10 ‐s) and Sp (10‐ and 15‐ s) RF data set from USArray recordings. The inversion is interfaced with petrological phase equilibria computations to build self‐consistent radial seismic velocity and density models for RF waveform simulations. Inverted models are combined through back‐projection along converted raypaths and interpolation to tomographic images of crust and mantle structure. Through clustering analysis we identify three major tectonic regions based on mantle thermochemical and seismic structure: the tectonically active West (TAW), the central transition region (CTR), and the cratonic‐orogenic East (COE). TAW is chemically more fertile with a Mg# ∼ 0.90 (molar Mg# = Mg/(Mg + Fe)) and characterized by an elevated mantle potential temperature of 1490 ± 27°C relative to COE, which is chemically more depleted (Mg# ∼ 0.91) and colder (1419 ± 27°C). CTR is intermediate to TAW and COE. We find significant thermochemically induced topography associated with the base of the lithosphere (±90 km), while the mantle transition zone is mostly influenced by thermally induced topography on the 410‐km discontinuity (±15 km). In contrast, the 660‐km discontinuity, where variations are only ±5 km, reflects a more complex thermochemical interplay. To place the results in a tectonic context, thermobarometric estimates from basaltic rocks across the western United States are integrated with the seismic inversions to produce a thermal model of the underlying mantle. © 2020 American Geophysical Union Show more
Journal / seriesJournal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth
Pages / Article No.
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
Subjectseismology; receiver functions; mantle thermochemistry; North America
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