Multiscale, radially anisotropic shear wave imaging of the mantle underneath the contiguous United States through joint inversion of USArray and global data sets
- Journal Article
EarthScope's USArray seismic component provided unprecedented coverage of the contiguous United States and has therefore spurred significant advances in tomographic imaging and geodynamic modelling. Here, we present a new global, radially anisotropic shear wave velocity tomography model to investigate upper mantle structure and North American Plate dynamics, with a focus on the contiguous United States. The model uses a data-adaptive mesh and traveltimes of both surface waves and body waves to constrain structure in the crust and mantle in order to arrive at a more consistent representation of the subsurface compared to what is provided by existing models. The resulting model is broadly consistent with previous global models at the largest scales, but there are substantial differences under the contiguous United States where we can achieve higher resolution. On these regional scales, the new model contains short wavelength anomalies consistent with regional models derived from USArray data alone. We use the model to explore the geometry of the subducting Farallon Slab, the presence of upper mantle high velocity anomalies, low velocity zones in the central and eastern United States and evaluate models of dynamic topography in the Cordillera. Our models indicate a single, shallowly dipping, discontinuous slab associated with the Farallon Plate, but there are remaining imaging challenges. Inferring dynamic topography from the new model captures both the long-wavelength anomalies common in global models and the short-wavelength anomalies apparent in regional models. Our model thus bridges the gap between high-resolution regional models within the proper uppermost mantle context provided by global models, which is crucial for understanding many of the fundamental questions in continental dynamics. Show more
Journal / seriesGeophysical Journal International
Pages / Article No.
PublisherOxford University Press
SubjectStructure of the Earth; Joint inversion; Tomography; Body waves; Seismic tomography; Surface waves and free oscillations
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