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Structure of central and southern Mexico from velocity and attenuation tomography

By Ting Chen and Robert W. Clayton


The 3D V_p, V_p/_Vs, P- and S-wave attenuation structure of the Cocos subduction zone in Mexico is imaged using earthquakes recorded by two temporary seismic arrays and local stations. Direct P wave arrivals on vertical components and direct S wave arrivals on transverse components from local earthquakes are used for velocity imaging. Relative delay times for P and PKP phases from teleseismic events are also used to obtain a deeper velocity structure beneath the southern seismic array. Using a spectral-decay method, we calculate a path attenuation operator t^* for each P and S waveform from local events, and then invert for 3D spatial variations in attenuation (Q_p^(−1) and Q_s^(−1)). Inversion results reveal a low-attenuation and high-velocity Cocos slab. The slab dip angle increases from almost flat in central Mexico near Mexico City to about 30° in southern Mexico near the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. High attenuation and low velocity in the crust beneath the Trans-Mexico Volcanic Belt correlate with low resistivity, and are probably related to dehydration of the slab and melting processes. The most pronounced high-attenuation, low-V_p and high-V_p/V_s anomaly is found in the crust beneath the Veracruz Basin. A high-velocity structure dipping into the mantle from the side of Gulf of Mexico coincides with a discontinuity from a receiver functions study, and provides an evidence for the collision between the Yucatán Block and Mexico in the Miocene

Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Year: 2012
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Caltech Authors

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